I tend to comment on blogs in waves. It really depends on my availability to not only read the post, but the time and attention to comment in a way that contributes to the conversation.
I prefer following blog communities over those in closed systems (read Facebook). To me, a blog is like a home; it’s where the content creator is inviting me as their personal guest. I don’t have to jump through hoops to participate. I can either go to their site (one click) or open my Google Reader and then follow the link to the post I want to comment on (if I want or have the time to comment). On the other hand, Facebook communities require an account, a profile, a friendship and/or a membership in a specific topical group. There are far too many procedures to join the conversation and then to return to participate. It’s far too impersonal and inconvenient.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Seth Godin‘s trackback-limited approach, particularly after Mitch Joel put some context to it in a recent episode of Six Pixels of Separation. Seth has disabled the comment feature on his blog, preferring to encourage trackbacks. The premise is that commenters should extend the conversation to their own blogs and connect everything through links (isn’t that what the Web’s about). That seems like a more natural way to grow the conversation and add voices to it — and everyone can do it, publicly, on their own terms.
Blogs have been around for many years and likely will for many years to come. In Internet terms, they’ve stuck. Facebook, like many other social network sites, will eventually be trumped by yet another bigger and better service that we will all flock to and build from zero, again.
So, Jeff… please keep your ‘home’ open and active. It’s a great hangout.