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  1. #26
    SitePoint Member Joe@800Blog's Avatar
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    I sure think both are critical as far as your blog success is concerned. The trick though is to learn the delicate art of treating each of them differently while at the same time making sure that they both understand that they are important and that they do matter.

    Another way to understand the importance and relevancy of each of these group is to look at what level your blog is as far as growth is concerned. When starting out, it is easy to manage comments and carry on the conversation but as traffic grows it soon becomes unmanageable and it's common to see that most successful bloggers end up closing out the comment feature. Of course at this time you subscribers number can unlock many doors and opportunities.
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  2. #27
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    I say commentors. Sometimes someone's comment may spark a debate or disagreement in which more people comment.

  3. #28
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Commentors are active to share their opinions.

  4. #29
    SitePoint Addict GuardianAngel's Avatar
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    Since I started this thread and I am for the commenters, I am happy that many of you here agree with me. However, here are some of my thoughts why some bloggers disable their blog comments.

    1.0 It diverts their focus. Let us say you are in the middle of creating your next post, when suddenly you received a comment to one of your previous posts. You cannot help but read it and reply on it.

    2.0 It is time consuming. If you are receiving a lot of comments on your blog, by simply reading them will take out your precious time.

    3.0 It can be annoying. There are people who love debate. If you are this type of blogger and you receive a negative comment, chances are a debate will start and it will go on and on and in the end, no one will win.

    4.0 It does not generate traffic. Remember that your readers will still come back if they find your posts interesting to read, whether they can post a comment or not.

  5. #30
    SitePoint Addict pavelmaha's Avatar
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    @ Joe@800Blog: which successful bloggers ended up closing their comments? Seriously, that sounds like suicidal to me.

    @GuardianAngel: There is no written law that says you have to reply to every single comments you receive. Comments and feed-readers are natural process of a blog; moderatig or controlling them heavily is not advisable. I checked your blog and and see that you have 50+ readers and 4+ comments on average. My best blog has 1300+ readers (which is not great) and 15+ comments on average. Yet I rarely reply or moderate my comments. I let my anti-spam plugin deal with most spamming comments and in rare ocassions when there are obvious spams I just delete them.

  6. #31
    SitePoint Enthusiast Xavier_3D's Avatar
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    Heads up to Subscribers from my Side.
    Hamza Shams
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  7. #32
    Floridiot joebert's Avatar
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    I like both just the same.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Addict GuardianAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavelmaha View Post
    @ Joe@800Blog: which successful bloggers ended up closing their comments? Seriously, that sounds like suicidal to me.

    @GuardianAngel: There is no written law that says you have to reply to every single comments you receive.
    I did not mention about a written law, but thanks for reminding me. Anyway, a perfect example of a successful blogger who disabled his comments is Steve Pavlina. I wish you heard of him.

  9. #34
    Sesame Street Iimitk's Avatar
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    I would say commenters. They play vital role in promoting a blog unlike subscribers who are passive readers because nobody knows about them except a blog's owner.

    P.S. This thread could have benefited from a poll.
    Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Einstein

  10. #35
    SitePoint Addict pavelmaha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuardianAngel View Post
    I did not mention about a written law, but thanks for reminding me. Anyway, a perfect example of a successful blogger who disabled his comments is Steve Pavlina. I wish you heard of him.
    He obviously doesn't disable comments (check this post of his), he just heavily moderates his comments. meaning, "he doesn't allow people to comment he doesn't agree with".

    A fine metric to look at (or site as example), would be to look at comments of top 10-15 blogs out there (ie, technorati rank) and see if they disable comments. From my experience, none of them do.

    I think disabling (or heavily moderating) comments is a sign of being elitist, where the blogger puts his opinion above his/her readers. If your readers disagree with you, is not necessarily a bad sign or something to debate about. It's just that the person has a different opinion about your content.

    "comments" are not "forums" where you have to actively involve yourself in a debate.

    Hope this helps.

  11. #36
    SitePoint Addict GuardianAngel's Avatar
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    Oooops! I did not realized he re-abled his comments. The last time I visited his forum, he said he disabled his comments since he can talk to his readers through the forum.

    Now, back to the original topic. I think its better that I decided this one to be a thread rather than a poll. We can justify our votes then.

  12. #37
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    Successful blogs have both, and what this is an indicator of is that the content serving the audience is likely to pull visitors in and to comment, and to also have visitors who subscribe to feeds also.

    Not every visitor or feed subscriber will want to comment on all posts, so the development of your blog should have a strategy which seeks to pull in commenters from both casual visitors and regular feed/website readers.

  13. #38
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    Commenters, because it is better for SEO.

  14. #39
    SitePoint Wizard mPeror's Avatar
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    Personally I think commenters are more important. It really motiviates me when people praise, discuss or criticize what I write. It shows that they actually care.

    Most of my blog's posts hardly get any comments, but when I check the site's stats I see a lot of unique visits. Even my friends read what I write and discuss it with me in IM or face to face, but rarely bother to comment. Maybe I don't write in a way that encourages people to comment? or perhaps it's just the way people behave on the web - they read dozens of feeds daily and only have the time to comment on their favorites.

  15. #40
    SitePoint Evangelist happyoink's Avatar
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    To answer the OP's question, I think both subscribers and commenters are important. Commenters add a bit of content, and if the comments are quality, then there's something new to be learned from these commenters, which to my mind, is of great value. The number of subscribers indicate to me how popular my blog is. Obviously if I have a lot of subscribers then I know people are actually reading my blog, regardless of whether or not they actually visit my blog. That encourages me to write more for my blog, which in turn helps my blog to grow. I'm sure you can see the knock-on effect from this.

    Quote Originally Posted by pavelmaha View Post
    He obviously doesn't disable comments (check this post of his), he just heavily moderates his comments. meaning, "he doesn't allow people to comment he doesn't agree with".

    A fine metric to look at (or site as example), would be to look at comments of top 10-15 blogs out there (ie, technorati rank) and see if they disable comments. From my experience, none of them do.

    I think disabling (or heavily moderating) comments is a sign of being elitist, where the blogger puts his opinion above his/her readers. If your readers disagree with you, is not necessarily a bad sign or something to debate about. It's just that the person has a different opinion about your content.

    "comments" are not "forums" where you have to actively involve yourself in a debate.

    Hope this helps.
    Referring to the statements highlighted in bold - I don't really agree with that personally. Yes, there are bloggers out there who are elitist as you describe due to their ego issues, however, I would not assume that because a blogger has comments disabled or heavily moderated that s/he is being elitist. One cannot assume that in most cases its down to the blogger's attitude towards commenters' opinions unless it's explicitly stated.

    For example, with my own blogs, I disable comments if I have a discussion board installed. If I have comments enabled, the last thing I want is for my blog to aquire a feeling of negativity. Positive discussion and debating is very much encouraged, however, I moderate comments to ensure that only quality positive comments make it through so that my blog continues to be an energetically pleasant site to visit. People can still have a lively and interesting discussion whilst maintaining a positive attitude.

    So you see, it's not necessarily because of elitism.

  16. #41
    SitePoint Zealot ozone88's Avatar
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    I'd vote for commenters, it's the interaction the of different points of view that I find interesting.
    Catherine

  17. #42
    SitePoint Addict pavelmaha's Avatar
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    @Firefly I disagree with this method. I have a forum and blog comments are enabled. Blog comments are meant for instant opinion/reaction about specific article/post. Forums are not a replacement of comments.

    As a reader of your blog, given the option to reply to your article instantly in a single page or going to your forum - open a thread and start a new discussion - linking back to your article I am referring to. I would rather prefer to comment on your post.

    There is a reason why "most" bloggers has their comments open and lightly moderated; because "it works" and accepted.

    If you want to have a blog as a hobby, than I guess it's fine. If you want grow as a blogger and have serious amount of traffic and good reader base to your blog; I would seriously re-consider your approach. It's very "inconvenient".

    Lastly, if you get to be the judge to "positive comments" and "negative comments" and "quality comments" and get to choose "which comments pleases you", is (IMO) a form elitism. The fact that you don't let your readers speak their mind and "you get to choose" what they "get to say", is a form of elitism.

    Comments on your blog does not reflect your blog. your article, your writing, your personality as a write and how you interact with your readers through comments, reflects people notion on your blog.

    I don't understand how comments (no matter how bad they are), could reflect on your blog and "aquire a feeling of negativity". They only person your blog represent and reflects is you as a write.

  18. #43
    SitePoint Guru Angry Coder's Avatar
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    I don't have a blog.
    Why It Doesn't Work?!

  19. #44
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    for me both...but I need to choose one although it is hard I will choose commenter because they are the one who add spice on the blog. The comments ,suggestion and the praise is the one important to improve improve your blog.

  20. #45
    SitePoint Evangelist superuser2's Avatar
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    Subscribers are a what you're ultimately after, hopefully.

    Which is more important to a business, customers or market research? Gotta have both; if you have just market research you're going out of business but if you have just customers you're likely to lose them pretty quick if you're not even trying to see what they want.

    But who says the two have to be mutually exclusive? I would consider commenters to be subcribers themselves; at least they ought to be reading if they're responding...

  21. #46
    SitePoint Member antaramedia-com's Avatar
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    Both will be good. ;-)
    ANTARAMEDIA | explore the possibilities
    http://www.antaramedia.com

  22. #47
    SitePoint Addict GuardianAngel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavelmaha View Post
    Comments on your blog does not reflect your blog. your article, your writing, your personality as a write and how you interact with your readers through comments, reflects people notion on your blog.

    I don't understand how comments (no matter how bad they are), could reflect on your blog and "aquire a feeling of negativity". They only person your blog represent and reflects is you as a write.
    I think I have to disagree with you. If there were bad, as in bad comments on your blog, this will reflect your blog simple because they may influence the next commenters. If you're lucky enough, others will be on your side.

    That is why I really think we should also be careful in accepting them.

  23. #48
    SitePoint Enthusiast splenditello's Avatar
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    i would have to go with commenters...it keeps the dream alive

  24. #49
    SitePoint Enthusiast dmj1973's Avatar
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    I would say I think commentors are most important. They are subscribers by the very nature that to make comment you have to have read the blog.

    Add to this that if they are constructive comments they can also give you inspiration for your next post !

    Someone who subscribes doesn't necessarily read your blog. It just means it gets sent to them (?) Some poeple subscribe to things and are just to tecnologically lazy to un-subscribe !

  25. #50
    SitePoint Evangelist superuser2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmj1973
    I would say I think commentors are most important. They are subscribers by the very nature that to make comment you have to have read the blog.
    Exactly. This is partially why I fail to "get" this question; all commenters are subscribers, they're just subscribers who participate. If commentors don't read, then they're spam, and then they don't really count.


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