I wrote a post a while ago, where I asked why Seth Godin was not using Twitter, to ‘tweet’ with his many fans and why he banned comments on his blog. Seth was generous enough to come over to my blog and (ironically) leave a comment. Whatever you happen to think about Seth’s position in not allowing comments, one thing is certain – his strategy works well…. for him!
But, could the same strategy work for a non-celebrity too?
Seth Godin’s blog comment strategy
Seth’s decision not to allow people to comment on his blog posts, means his readers have only one alternative, if they want to discuss or debate what they have just read. They have to take that debate to; digg, FriendFeed, stumbleupon, facebook or twitter etc. Seth provides easy links below each post to encourage this and make it super-easy to spread his superb content.
The end result is that new people, who have never heard of Seth Godin or his excellent blog, (but who use one of those social bookmarking / social media services), will find him!
Although Seth has an alternative reason for banning comments on his blog, his strategy is perfect for a well known celebrity. It helps drive a massive amount of NEW people to his work and requires a fraction of his time; as he has no comments to filter or respond to.
Why Seth Godin’s comment strategy wouldn’t work for us
Because he’s famous, Seth avoids the one pitfall, which you or I would have if we banned comments on our blogs – Being slammed for failing to connect with our readers! Famous people who blog, don’t actually have readers - they have fans! Readers and fans are completely different.
Seth’s fans, for example, are used to paying in order to read his books, which is a one-way experience – just like his blog. He produces material – they read it – end of story. Equally, fans are far MORE likely to want to connect with Seth, by being seen to be forwarding his work on their social networks.
Could you or I use a version of Seth’s strategy on your blog?
I think that most bloggers can use a version of Seth’s approach; by occasionally closing comments on selected posts. This might be particularly effective if the post is either controversial or makes a significant announcement (or both!) The effectiveness of this strategy will depend on a few things, including; the number of readers your blog has, how many of them are actively using social bookmarking services and how easy you make it for people to share your posts.
However, for you or I to close the comments section for every post, as Seth has done, is NOT something I would recommend.