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Guy Kawaskai on Darren Rowse on Seth Godin

This week, Guy Kawasaki interviewed Wiley Author and creator of Problogger.net Darren Rowse on on his Sun Innovation blog.  (It was nice to see a little plug for Darren’s and Chris Garrett’s Problogger book as well.)

If you have ever seen Guy interview someone, or read an online interview conducted by him, you know his questions are generally straight to the point, a little dangerous, and usually a little over the top - which of course is why I like Guy Kawasaki’s interviews.

Darren gets to answer some great questions about blogging, but his response to Guy’s question about the lack of comments on marketing guru Seth Godin’s blog was very insightful.

However another stroke of genius (I’m not sure if it’s intended) with this approach is that Seth has made his blog a little more viral by not having comments. What happens when he writes something that people want to respond to? In many cases they blog about it - ’sneezing’ his post further than his current readership.

Check out the number of blogs that link to his posts in Technorati. Most of them are just writing things that you’d normally expect to see being left as comments on a blog. It’s no wonder that he’s currently the 13th most linked to blog in the blogosphere (according to the Top 100 list)!

Sure, it seems really obvious now, doesn’t it?  Of course not everyone can pull that off, can they?

What about you?  Think turning off comments on your blog can help make it a bit more viral by forcing readers to comment outside of your blog?

(via Chris Brogan)

  • Thanks for all the great discussion here.

  • Darren

    David - not sure it could be seen as gaming Technorati - he's not incentivising links or anything - just choosing not to let the conversation happen on his own blog. I actually like it in some ways because it picks up on another element of the social web (and what Seth is all about) - the viral nature of it all.

  • Darren Rowse

    you're definitely smart Seth :-)

    Chris - I think that link to Seth's explanation of why he doesn't have comments illustrates my point perfectly. It has 48 trackbacks on it! 48 bloggers (and they are just the ones who use trackbacks) wrote about Seth's decision not to have comments. I wonder how many of them would have bothered to write about it if they'd been able to leave a comment?!

    Like I tried to say in the interview though, this might not have been Seth's intention behind the decision - but it's been one side benefit I'm sure.

  • Chris Brogan...

    Seth's explained it before, right Seth? It's here.

    Some days, I think it makes perfect sense, and other days, I rail against it myself. But that's the beauty. We're always only fighting with ourselves in times when we try to interpret another's choice.

    It was a great interview, though. You have to admit. : )

  • Seth Godin

    That's not why I don't have comments. I'm not that smart.

  • david valade

    Hey Chris...

    This is a very interesting approach to extending the reach of your network.

    Here [http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2008...] Fred Wilson advocates the use of a third party product to link all of your comment discussions in a format more easily accessible so other's can follow along and contribute to the LARGER conversation.

    Based on the above description by Darren of Seth's actions and the effects seen in technorati, it could appear that Seth is simply gaming the system. And of course lacks a key element of the social web—dialog!

  • mac

    Why no comments enabled?? Elementary rule of blogging!

    http://www.pretentiousblogger....

  • JD (YooMakeMoneyOnline)

    I think turning off comments would only work at the high profile peak of the blogosphere. You need to be someone worth blogging about and be saying something worth blogging about.

    I also believe that if you really want comments you need to leave your posts open (not concluded, summarized or finished). Don't say it all! Leave some of the conversation for others to add!

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