How do you interact with readers of your blog without handing over control?
One of the most graceful practitioners of the reader comment is Andrew Sullivan, who’s been writing his blog The Dish (née The Daily Dish) since 2000.
The Dish doesn’t allow direct commenting. There is no comments box at the end of a Dish post. To tender your opinion, you have to email it to the Dish—if you can find the well-hidden email link.
But you better believe these people read their emails. And when they get comments they think are worthwhile, they get published as blogposts.
A post last week about Black Friday elicited a number of email comments, which The Dish promptly turned into a blogpost:
There are many things to love about this technique:
- Readers get a voice, while The Dish retains almost total editorial control
- Comments can be cherrypicked to include only the best, and each comment shortened to include only its key point
- The dialogue gets extended, with no risk of expletives, disparagement, or fights
- The Dish demonstrates that it’s listening to its readers and holding itself accountable to them (a blogging ethic not to be underestimated)
- It’s really easy to create—no writing necessary
This is also a great way to handle corrections or emendations:
Given FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 11-39, this approach to comments has no additional compliance hurdles if you’re already blogging. Just continue archiving and monitoring your posts.
You are doing that, aren’t you?