Dave Winer has posted
a response to the ongoing blog comments argument
. He says that a blog is the "unedited voice of a person" and that comments may actually interefere.
Do comments make it a blog? Do the lack of comments make it not a blog? Well actually, my opinion is different from many, but it still is my opinion that it does not follow that a blog must have comments, in fact, to the extent that comments interfere with the natural expression of the unedited voice of an individual, comments may act to make something not a blog.
We already had mail lists before we had blogs. The whole notion that blogs should evolve to become mail lists seems to waste the blogs. Comments are very much mail-list-like things. A few voices can drown out all others. The cool thing about blogs is that while they may be quiet, and it may be hard to find what you're looking for, at least you can say what you think without being shouted down. This makes it possible for unpopular ideas to be expressed. And if you know history, the most important ideas often are the unpopular ones.
Adding comments does not unblog a blog anymore than not having comments makes a blog not a blog. However, on some popular blogs comments do lead to a community atmosphere that may change the blog over time. Comments can make a blog more like a web forum if there are enough people leaving comments.
Those urging Google's Blog to add comments may be upset when Google finally does add comments and the conversation (and traffic) moves to Google's Blog and away from their own blogs. What if Techmeme
added comments? Wouldn't this drain traffic from top comment blogs like TechCrunch?
Will some pro-community bloggers eventually argue that all blogs must have a feature like MyBlogLog
in order to be a blog? Will they insist that these blogs allow little faces of other bloggers to appear on their blog? Will they argue that Google and other companies need these features on their corporate blogs in order for them to really be corporate blogs? There are good arguments that adding comments can increase traffic to a blog. There are also strong arguments that comments make a blog more interesting. However, there are not any good arguments that a blog is not a blog because it does or does not have comments.