Some commentary on the endangered comment box on style blogs

Like many young people my age, I'm an avid reader of style blogs. I enjoy getting ideas for ways to pair things, lusting over things I'll never afford, and getting to comment on what I liked about the outfit or photography. Unfortunately it seems quite a few of the more popular (and "incidentally" the most blogging-is-business focused) bloggers have been eliminating the option to comment. While I understand that abusive or even threatening comments are annoying, I'm not a fan of how some bloggers appear to only want the benefit of tons of adoring fans who are willing to purchase their merchandise. This attitude, to me, reflects a failure to acknowledge that without the support of these commentors their blogs would not be providing them with the vast opportunities being a "style blogger" in this day and age permits. I don't think anyone would have been getting invites to sit front row at fashion shows if the industry wasn't aware that blogging is the best new way to advertise in terms of specific targeting of a demographic (young, style-obsessed, and aware of the costs of looking fabulous) while still being a more financially desirable investment than traditional print media.

I can understand wanting to maintain personal privacy, but I think that can easily be controlled by what type of content you put out about yourself. You also can not allow anonymous commenting, which often cuts down the abusive or threatening comments. This blog is pretty separate from my everyday existence and I prefer it to be that way. I'm always surprised by how much personal information people are willing to talk about on the internet and then get upset when someone with halfway-decent Facebook stalking skills sends them a creepy message. There is absolutely a balance between being impersonal and providing every minute detail of your life, especially if you are a creative person and have some writing talent.

I think the mentality of "delete-the-comment-box-and-get-rid-of-the-bullies-on-the-internet" is not the right approach, and makes some of these bloggers appear to be almost like neo-Luddites, shunning the very thing that's given them so much. Perhaps, even more disturbingly, is that this attitude reflects an entitlement to remove oneself from the reality of having a blog. There will always be detractors, cynics, sycophants, and the indifferent folks. However, I think if you're wanting to create something with integrity and a bit more depth than merely showing off how high your Visa card's credit limit is, you should be willing to take the good, the bad, the heinous, and the jealous. That's just simply the reality of interacting with other people.