Why Daring Fireball is Comment Free

It’s January 15, 2007 and I download the Macworld Podcast #68 to listen to on a trip to L.A. The first 57 minutes John Gruber and Cabel Sasser talk about iPhone and iTV and Panic.

But what made this podcast stand out — so much so that I archived it to quote six months later — is that right towards the end John answers why there are no comments on Daring Fireball:

I wanted to write a site for someone it’s meant for. That reader I write for is a second version of me. I’m writing for him. He’s interested in the exact same things I’m interested in; he reads the exact same websites I read. I want him to like this website so much that he reads it from the top to the bottom, and he reads everything. Every single word. The copyright statement, what software I use, he’s read it all.

If I turn comments on, that goes away. It’s not that I don’t like sites with comments on, but when you read a site with comments it automatically puts you, the reader, in a defensive mode where you’re saying, “what’s good in this comment thread? What can I skim?”

It’s totally egotistical. I want Daring Fireball to be a site that you can’t skim if you’re in the target audience for it. You say, “Oh, a new article from John. I need to read it,” and your deadlines go whizzing by because you have to read what I wrote.

If I turn comments on I feel like it’s two different directions. You get to the end of my article and you’re like, “let’s see if there’s anything interesting. Let’s see if there’s any names I know.” That’s really it. Sometimes a design decision is what you don’t put in, as opposed to what you put in.

That may be one of the best reasons to write a weblog.