Why You Should Reconsider Removing Comments Like Michael Hyatt and Copyblogger Did

Fri, Jan 9, 2015

Influence, Marketing, Social Media

Why You Should Reconsider Removing Comments Like Michael Hyatt and Copyblogger Did

Michael Hyatt recently announced that he is pulling comments from his blog. He’s not just removing a few comments, he’s pulling the entire commenting feature all together.

Copyblogger has removed their blog comments section too. So has Chris Brogan.

It’s a trend that seems to be rising in popularity amongst many top bloggers for multiple but similar reasons.

Does that mean you should remove the commenting feature from your blog too?

Good question and that’s what I hope you will reconsider.

Here’s why….

Many who follow more popular bloggers like Michael Hyatt, Chris Brogan, or Copyblogger will instantly do whatever they see the popular blogger do. If it works for them, it must work for me too… right?

Not always.

These popular bloggers have different objectives, challenges and considerations than you do. Their WHY is different than yours and you never want to simply copy someone else’s WHY because it might take you off track from your own.

What you should do is this…

You should learn from others then THINK about how what they did applies to you. Don’t just adopt it blindly. If the reasons why people like Michael Hyatt and Chris Brogan removed their comments are in line with your objectives and you want to remove your comments too then by all means, do it. But, don’t just do it because they did it.

I’m not advocating for comments or no comments. That’s a decision for you to make. There are those who have removed comments and there are plenty of popular blogs that still have comments enabled with seemingly good engagement [Jeff Goins, Jon Acuff, Jeff Walker, etc. just to name a few]. There are pros and cons both ways depending on your objectives and where you are in your platform building process.

Be you.

What I am hoping for is that, in everything you do, you will do it with thought and strategy. Think through how you can be different, how you can stand out, and how you can learn from what others are doing and apply it to your own unique platform or circumstances versus simply trying to copy everyone else.

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    About Daniel Decker:

    Daniel Decker is President of Higher Level Group, Inc., a strategic marketing and development firm that helps authors, professional speakers, and organizations who are doing good to expand their influence. LINKS: Follow @DanielDecker on Twitter | Visit the "About" Page | Subscribe to the Blog and get updates via RSS or Email.

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    • Alejandro Reyes

      Great article man. Love that you’re getting people to think through this on their own vs what their favorite blogger thinks.

      BE YOU.

      • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

        Thanks man.

    • Bob Brundrett

      Common sense!
      Great advice!

      We had comment features removed from our community website due to nonstop abuse and trolling. But that situation warranted it. Many don’t.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com/ Joseph Lalonde

      Love the contrarian view Daniel. I was honestly quite shocked when I heard this news and it saddened me. Michael’s blog was the spot for leadership discussion. I see this as a move towards content and nothing else. The community will suffer )-:

      • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

        Will be interesting to watch for sure.

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com/ Joseph Lalonde

          It will be interesting. I’m expecting to see many other leadership bloggers begin to remove comments as well. I’ll definitely keep an eye out to see how this plays out.

          • http://personalsuccesstoday.com/ John Richardson

            It’s a real slap in the face to many of us who spent hours in the conversation. All of our thoughts, ideas and content are gone. Yet Michael’s posts live on. I will certainly reconsider spending time commenting on other people’s social real estate in the future.

            • http://www.jmlalonde.com/ Joseph Lalonde

              I guess I didn’t realize that all of that past content was gone. That is truly disappointing. There’s definitely ways to have left that content up.

            • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

              But how many times did you go back to those comments. John. Very, very few people read old comments (I have tested this with a CrazyEgg heat map.) Conversation is by nature a transient thing. I don’t doubt it has value in the moment. But I do question whether the return is worth the investment over time. I may be wrong. Time will tell.

            • http://personalsuccesstoday.com/ John Richardson

              I actually had many conversations with work people that read my comments on your blog. Most of them wouldn’t comment, but they read the content just the same. I actually got more engagement from your blog than my own, since so many people read it. Lot’s of water cooler content.

            • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

              Fair enough. Thanks, John.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        You might be right. We’ll see.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        But, Joseph, just look at your own engagement on my blog over the last two years. Did it go up or down?

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com/ Joseph Lalonde

          Like I mentioned on my blog, it’s my fault for not commenting as much on your blog. Life issues came up and my efforts on connecting with other bloggers through their communities fell through the cracks.

          I still value the community and interactions I had there. More important things were happening in my life and I put comments on the back burner.

    • http://personalsuccesstoday.com/ John Richardson

      After Copyblogger removed comments I slowly drifted away from reading them. I used to comment on most posts. Now I don’t even open them up. Google plus was not a good comment alternative. As far as Michael goes, I’ll probably do the same. An article by itself is not a conversation. Michael’s content is good but is not uniquely original. Currently the only way to converse with him are through his two paid sites which are currently closed. This opens up blogging opportunity for others.

      • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

        Very good points John. Certainly something to consider.

        • http://personalsuccesstoday.com/ John Richardson

          The thing that makes me mad about this whole thing is that all of our old conversations, idea blasts and problem solving in Michael’s comments are gone. Heck, his blog is where I met you, Kimanzie, Joe Lalonde, and many other leadership writers. It would be one thing to turn off future comments, but to remove all of them is just sad.

          • SuperTJ

            Sorry to be coming to the conversation so late! But I was stunned when SearchEngineLand removed comments. This has been pretty recently. As a webmaster, I really got a lot of mileage from reading the comments and answers to specific questions. SearchEngineLand links you to their FB, Twitter and Linked in pages. This is somewhat broken to me as I would like to easily see the FB post about the article I was just reading! I don’t want to scroll down the Timeline and try to find it! Also, as a webmaster, I want to see relevance at each post. I don’t want to have comments pertaining to a specific post sprinkled all around my FB page. It certainly makes sense to find a new solution to comments for big sites and those wasting way too much time with spam and moderating. I just don’t like the options that are available right now. I definitely miss reading the SearchEngineLand comments.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        John, that’s not exactly true. i engage pretty heavily on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks.

        • http://personalsuccesstoday.com/ John Richardson

          That’s true Michael, but you can’t have a substantial conversation on Twitter. Facebook is OK, but I never see your posts, since they don’t show up on my timeline. When I clicked on your FB and Twitter links on your post, it pulled up a share box, not a link to your FB or Twitter page.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

            Have you “liked” my Facebook page? I am just wondering why they don’t show up in your timeline. (By the way, I do understand that FB doesn’t show all my posts to everyone.)

            • http://personalsuccesstoday.com/ John Richardson

              That’s how I follow your page. Facebook used to show me your content, but I haven’t seen it for months

    • http://www.stevefogg.com Steve Fogg

      I can understand why one would want to remove comments, but the genesis of the blogging system vs traditional web brochure publishing system is the commenting.

      I can understand the desire to drive more people to engage on social media as the ‘new’ commenting system, but when Facebook hides posts the vast majority of your audience will never get the opportunity to comment.

      Tactically it may help your Facebook reach ‘if’ they see the post on social and comment. But with Facebook dialing-down organic reach to one percent the reach for pages this year I think it is a tactical error, at least on FB.

      For blogs like Michael’s and Copybloggers, I can understand curating the comments is very time-consuming but there is something in the creation of the community of commentors that will be lost here.

      I love reading Michael’s blog and probably don’t comment as much as I do, but one of the real value add-ons are some of the readers comments who bring up different points of views and add good thinking on top of Michael’s insights.

      I wonder if I’m alone in seeing the irony of having the ability to comment about not being able to comment on your blog Daniel :)

      • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

        It’s interesting how many people I have seen comment on Facebook and cite how they might not have left comments themselves but how much they valued / benefited from reading the comments of others on Michael’s blog.

    • http://www.skipprichard.com/ Skip Prichard

      I agree 100%. I almost wrote a post about it as well, but chose not to do so. I’m glad to read what you say here. Comments, for me, are a powerful relationship builder. I’ve met numerous people because of comments. I’ve also had my own thinking challenged.

      Michael Hyatt is also everywhere on multiple social media platforms. Many of us benefit from his thinking on various topics and more time there may be time better spent. It’s clearly an individual decision, as you say so well.

      Removing comments does seem to be the current trend. It also meets Michael’s needs. The good news is that technology changes rapidly and so who knows? There may be a more effective, more impactful system for all of it in the future.

    • Noel

      I completely agree with you Daniel. Different strokes for different folks like they say but more than that, it’s what you said about the reasons for removing the commenting feature. As authority figures, they have challenges that not every blogger goes through especially for those who are still trying to build relationships. I read about Michael Hyatt’s decision and I completely understand his reason behind it.