in Ideas

The problem with not reading comments

I detest the comments section of the Internet. It is (often) a cesspool of hot takes, unreasonable opinions and an empowerment to those with the biggest Internet muscles to flex them as narcissistically as possible.

It’s one of the most ridiculous places on the planet, no matter the website.

But the problem with ignoring the comments section is that you run the risk of being the tone-deaf blogging has-been we’re all afraid of turning into.

I’m not saying you should read the comments out of fear but I’m saying in a perfect world that reading the comments would be a measured exercise of separating the chaff (most of it) from the wheat (“hey, I didn’t consider that, that’s smart, I should fold it into my future work”).

My problem is that I’m not a very good separator of these things.

Austin Kleon suggested earlier this week to publish and walk away. I agree with the practice but I also like that he said to come back the next day to see what you’ve caught.

Otherwise you run the risk of completely whiffing on things your tribe might find valuable or might be able to (reasonably) call you out for missing and retiring your good sense in the process.