Constant Comment

John has left Facebook, and is building his own publishing platform. Someone asked him if he was going to support commenting on his site. “Hard pass” was the answer.

I’ve made a decision, and it’s that there will probably never be a comment section here. The reasons are technical, practical, and ethical…If you want to respond to something I write here, my inbox is always open. And I’ve gotten a ton of really thoughtful emails! I always reply! Feel free to engage. It’s low-commitment, like texting but with better spelling.”


There’s another path, too. For the past twenty-plus years, we’ve all had our own printing presses (and for the last fifteen of those years, they’ve been in our pockets). We all have our “own little first amendment machines.”

We don’t need “commenting systems” in order to respond and elaborate and collaborate.

We can do it on our own websites, just like this.

This is the foundation that was pioneered by folks like Dave and Doc and Lisa and Elisa and Jory and countless others.

While the big social media platforms created onramps to bring everyone into one place to interact, one key piece that was left out was accountability. Sure, some sites have used the “you own your words” policy for commenters, but without accountability, those policies are toothless.

The tools are here for thoughtful, civil, interactive discourse, if we choose to use them.