A small experiment in comments

Apologies in advance for this off-topic post. I assume nobody noticed, but comments on articles over 90 30 days old will now automatically close.

It's not that I don't appreciate the comments I receive. I really hope I don't seem ungrateful. It's just that lately I'm getting too many "this is great, but can you also do this and that for me?" type of comments. I also see a lot of comments that are only marginally related to the article. In short, the comments section is becoming a de facto help forum, and it's just not meant to be used like that. I wish I had time to respond to each comment. Many of these comments deserve a blog post of their own. Simply ignoring them is not an option. Unfortunately, I know of no other way to encourage high-quality, targeted comments. If you do, I would love to know.

I tried starting a forum, but you know the story about a tree falling in the forest when nobody is around.

So I am again trying something new. As soon as an article reaches 90 days old, WordPress will close the comment form. I may also decide to change that to 30 or 60 days. If you read an article and see "Comments are closed" at the bottom, and you want to follow up specifically about that article, please do one of the following:

  1. Check the existing comments. Someone may have already brought up and addressed the issue.
  2. Read the FAQ. Your question may be already answered there.
  3. Write a response on your own blog or website. Send a trackback and it will appear at the bottom of the article in the Trackbacks section. If you don't have one, write the article and I'll publish it for you right here!
  4. Post your question on one of the many active forums such as MrExcel, VBA Express, MSDN, Chandoo, ExcelGuru, Stack Overflow, and so on. Send me an email and if I have an account on the forum, I'll try to stop by and assist.
  5. Send me a message on Twitter.

I strongly encourage the first four options as your best chance of getting targeted help. I do check Twitter every so often, but you'll get a more detailed response on a forum.

And I cannot emphasize this enough: if you choose to email me, be specific. I get too many emails that are full blown work descriptions without any actual questions in them.

Sorry, TLDR!

If someone lets me know about an issue with an article (wrong code, bad advice, additional details etc) I will of course amend the article. But not through comments.

Please understand, I am not trying to discourage the interaction that is important for many blogs. There are still plenty of ways I can be reached. I really hope this doesn't come across as whining or condescending. I am not trying to hide from my critics. But as the amount of traffic grows, so is the amount of off-topic conversation. Comments are not being turned off completely, just on older posts. As usual, this is an experiment and if it looks like it's not working, I will revert to the previous state.

Thanks for your time. We now return you to your regularly scheduled helpings of VBA.

About JP

I'm just an average guy who writes VBA code for a living. This is my personal blog. Excel and Outlook are my thing, with a sprinkle of Access and Word here and there. Follow this space to learn more about VBA. Keep Reading »

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comment bubble 4 Comment(s) on A small experiment in comments:

  1. You're beating yourself up about this unnecessarily. This is an appropriate response, in my opinion. Blogs aren't forums no matter how much people want them to be. WordPress Plugin idea: We need an excel forum and a few excel blogs to participate. When someone posts an unrelated question, you can flag it as a forum question. The plugin automatically posts it to the forum and replaces the comment with a link to the forum post.

  2. J.LaDuke writes:

    Your blog, your rules. It really IS that simple.

  3. I'm going to slip in under the wire here and make the off-topic comment that I'm amazed at, and grateful for, the quality of your site. Seriously, it's fun to read and I encourage you to keep it fun for yourself. A 90-day comment cutoff is so far from unreasonable it should pack an overnight bag if it goes to visit.

  4. And I thought this was going to be a post about adding comments to cells on a worksheet… ;^)

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