The Comments Are Gone at Pivot. Why? And What Now?

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If you’ve been following my new Pivot blog, you may have noticed something missing in the last few days.

There’s no more comment section.

Why? Because the comment sections have been removed from all blogs and news articles at ChristianityToday.com.

 

 

Why Are the Comments Gone?

There are two main reasons for this. One neutral, the other negative.

First, the neutral one.

The commenting habits of readers has been changing recently. Now there are far more comments made on social media, especially Facebook, than in comment sections. And the trend is for that to increase. 

As it turns out, social media is actually a much better place for people to comment on posts. A comment at the end of a post will only be read by the tiny percentage of people who have already read the post and choose to keep going to the comment section. There is some benefit to this, namely continuing the conversation which the article raises, but it doesn’t bring anyone new into the conversation.

On the other hand, comments on social media are seen by people who haven’t read the article yet. So it draws in a new audience of readers.

So why not keep doing both? Can’t we keep the comment section for deeper talks while using social media to introduce new readers?

Unfortunately, no.

Which brings us to the second reason.

The comment sections are getting nasty(er).

Despite using multiple tools to keep spammers away and discourage trolls (people looking for a fight) it’s been impossible for the folks at ChristianityToday.com to monitor all the negative, nasty comments and keep their site safe for civil conversation.

Sad, but true.

That’s one of the challenges on a site as widely-read as ChristianityToday.com.

 

How Can I Comment Now?

Thankfully, we still have a couple options:

1. Like my Facebook page and/or follow me on Twitter, then comment there. It’s also a great way to share posts you like.

2. Make your comments here. This is one big advantage of keeping NewSmallChurch.com alive. No one can shut down the comments but me. And I love hearing from you!

Yes, it’s an extra, awkward step to go to the Pivot blog to read the article, then come back here to comment, but I think it’s worth it.

The conversations here have been great, so there’s no reason think they won’t continue to be that way.

I guess that’s another wonderful advantage that comes with being smaller.

 

So what do you think? Can we keep the great conversation going here?

We want to hear from you. Yes, you!
Enter your comment right below this post and get in on the conversation.

(Closed Sign photo from Jesuscm • Flickr • Creative Commons license)

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12 thoughts on “The Comments Are Gone at Pivot. Why? And What Now?”

  1. Thanks for keeping us up to date Karl. Personally, and this is probably just me, but not having comments over at PIVOT kind of makes it a “moot” blog. The whole point, I think, in blogging is to foster conversation and in some cases find where meaningful dissent exists. If the issue is that the comments are becoming nastier, then you know that will happen over at facebook. And when it happens, people will spend more time commenting on the comments than they will be doing commenting and digesting the original post. Admittedly, people can come back here and make comments on the posts but again, doesn’t that just make posting a blog on PIVOT an unnecessary and wasteful use of space and step?

    1. I agree Gary. The image of God imprinted in every human is for two-way communication, for relationship, and even more so for those he has redeemed. Outside of two-way communication there is no basis for relationship. Without relationship, truth stops being transformative and reproductive and becomes mere information.

      We come from a historical line of Protestants. Our forefathers protested systemic evil fully accepted by the spiritual leaders of the day. They were tortured and killed for this. Today, torture won’t happen, but there is a struggle for believers to call those who occupy positions of control into a relationship with dialogue, rather than one of separation and non-relationship. When there is no interest in relationship, there is no option but to walk away and watch God provide relationship with his people that desire two-way communication and mutual participation. This involves a deep sorrow combined with a deep trust and joy as you watch God open up the windows of fresh relationship with Him and His people. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” I fear for the men of Christianity Today, a significant core of God’s design for his people has been set aside.

    2. Agreed, Gary. The two-way communication is a huge part of what makes blogging work. I hate that we’ve lost it at Pivot and that we have to make an extra step to do it now. But it’s one of the few downsides of moving my blog there. But I also understand why CT did it.

  2. I agree with the decisions to separate the comments. Dialog is still available. The article can be read without the toxic trolling pollution. Relationships can be gained or strengthened through social media and your website stays relevant and functional. Keep up the Good work, Pastor!

    1. Thanks, Chris. I wish we had comments at Pivot, still. But maybe that’s because I’m still too new there to have experienced some of the nastiness that comes with being on a more mainstream blogging platform. And there has been a lot of great dialog on Facebook, Twitter and here, so hopefully we’ll get used to it.

    2. Not to be rude Chris, but will closing the comments stop the “toxic trolling polution”? I think not, this is the internet so it is going to happen. Moving it from one place to the other won’t really change that. AND, more to the point, I think closing the comments at PIVOT, while it may stop people from trolling, will also most likely dissuade people from interacting with what Karl has to say all together. If there are no comments at PIVOT, honestly I just don’t see the usefulness in it.

  3. That is fine, i would appreciate having the full blog on new small church as well as Pivot. to me it is frustrating to begin reading the post in the email, click to be sent to new small, and then have to click again to read the post on pivot. sometimes i would rather choose which site to got to and not have to go through both. but that may be a function of posting on pivot.
    thanks

    1. I would do that if I could, Charley. But when two sites have exactly the same content, they get punished by search engines, making it much harder for people to find both blogs. That’s because search engines want to give their customers original content, not just blog where they cur-and-paste other people’s content.

      The only way to avoid that is to do a preview here, like I;m doing now. The good option for you might be to Like the New Small Church Facebook page. Whenever I wrote post, either for Pivot or for here, I links it directly to the original post, so there’s no switching back-and-forth once you start reading.

  4. Honestly, I’m glad to hear this–CT blogs really have become troll territory, and nobody there seemed to have the time to do a moderator’s job and keep it civil. Thanks for allowing us to chat here or at Facebook.

  5. One of my small pleasures in life is seeing a troll being tarred and feathered by faithful defenders. Should I repent, do you think? While I certainly understand the need for keeping things civil over at CT, I do think it will shut down conversation somewhat. I’m glad I can still post here and on FB and on Twitter. I like forwarding your content, and the latter venues make it easy for me to do so.

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