I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about what I consider the golden age of blogging - probably 2001 - 2004. Some people might consider this late, since the first blogs showed up in 1997. Other people would consider it early; I’ve recently seen people refer to 2008 and 2009 as the best time for blogging in their memory.
Regardless, as soon as comments were a feature people could have on their blogs, they became a part of what made blogs special. Reverse chronological order, single posts, sure sure, but also the comments.
When I had my first blog, back in 2001, I longed for comments. My blog was hand-coded HTML and CSS, and I just didn’t have the chops for making comments happen. So as soon as I realized I could (probably when I switched from a free host to a paid host), I switched from hand-coding to using Greymatter, almost entirely because it handled comments.
I started kimberlyhirsh.com in 2009 on WordPress, so it always had comments. When I moved it to Micro.blog at the end of last year, the comments didn’t come with it. People could @-reply on Micro.blog itself. They could reach out to me via Twitter, Tumblr, or email. But they couldn’t comment directly on the post.
In an ideal IndieWeb world, everyone would have their own site, and write their replies on their and send webmentions here and, now that Micro.blog displays conversations on posts, they would magically appear and it would be beautiful. But most of the people who want to interact with me online are not steeped in the IndieWeb. They might like to comment, but it is an extra-extra step asking them to communicate not on the post directly, after they’ve probably already taken the extra step to click over to the post from wherever it’s syndicated that they saw it.
As long as I’ve been here, Micro.blog has had a help document with information on enabling Comments with Disqus. I’ve been getting used to Micro.blog and tweaking my space here incrementally, and this is the latest increment. I really hope people will use it. Looking at other peoples’ blogs and the conversations that have gone on in their comments makes me hope for times when that’s how things will happen again.