Of course, as Chris Shiflett in his (now traditional :P) Ideas of March post espouses, the disadvantage of any third party service is the lack of data ownership; “You never know when it’s going to disappear.” citing the recent announcement that Google Reader is to be shut down. This is why I am reluctant to implement such a solution. And given Lorna Mitchell’s suggestion, “don’t read the comments”, I have to wonder if having comments is worth the effort involved?
For now, it looks like I’m going to remain comment free. Which is a shame. The occasional grateful comment from a random stranger on the Internet has a certain way of almost making up for some of the not-so-nice the Internet thrusts upon us. Without this feedback, where’s the love?
Both Lorna Mitchell and Rob Allen (in his response) assert that they intend to sometimes “turn off comments and encourage others to respond by writing […] on their own blog.” I think this is a fantastic idea (I’m doing so right now), though I do have some concern about how well fragmented blog posts can coalesce into a meaningful conversation, “trackbacks” were an attempt at solving this issue, but I’m not sure that worked too well.
This is one advantage the “walled gardens” currently hold – they have the ability to aggregate the posts into a single congruous conversation.
If you have any solutions to the fragmented conversation problem, write a response on your blog and I’ll… Probably never see it… Ping me on twitter, maybe?