I disabled comments on this blog and a few other some time ago because I couldn't keep up deleting spam and it was getting embarrassing. I decided to clean the old ones up, add more protection (captcha? 1 + 5 = ?) and enable again. Needless to say, I failed because of procrastinating at step #1.
But is it worth enabling comments again? Do people even comment on blogs anymore? have the discussions moved to social sites - Facebook, Reddit, Hacker news (or other niche networks)?
I'm also running the performance advent calendar and there weren't many comment this year. I thought it's my fault or the topic is not that interesting... Then I checked a similar, more broadly applicable advent calendar site - 24ways.org. Looks like no one comments there either.
My guess was - yeah, probably not worth it dealing with spam for very little benefit (benefit = # of comments). Then I tried to go a small step further and have at least some data, however anecdotal.
I went to the homepage that lists all articles published in 2016, opened up the console and wrote a one-liner to count the number of comments.
Ouch. 60 comments for 24 articles. Under 3 comments a piece.
Random other year? 2010 sounds good.
608 comments. 10x. Order of magnitude.
How about looking at all the time since the existence of the site. Here's the graph.
So when did blog comments die? 2016? Or already pretty dead in 2014?
But probably more important question - what to do about it? How to bring all the discussions going on all over the place into one central location? I care what people think about the stuff I write. Also it's beneficial to the reader to see what other readers think. Any ideas?