January 17th, 2012 / 11:08 am

The Day the Comments Died

Deadgod writes a memoir.
Bookslut starts talking about rap.
The openended snippets eat their young.
Poets have sex.
You try to “like” a Denver omelet.
The omelet gets an MFA.
Jimmy Chen starts juxtaposing billboards on a highway.
Some of the drivers are menstrual.
Big Other blows up.
Montevidayo blows up.
Submishmash combusts.
Ploughshares raises their submission fee to $400 a word.
Obama hits a kill switch.
There’s no one left worth killing.
Brandon Gorrell adds the “Scott” back to his name.
Everyone else is still named Jonathan.
MLA is Fur Con.
Syllabi are lonely.
Experimental literature is words.
People “like” their own reflections.
The reflections unsubscribe.
Shame dies.
Fear lives.


  1. I have done things. « About that Writing thing.

      […] case you haven’t noticed HTMLGIANT, the comments have died. […]

  2. postitbreakup

      and what was the fucking point of it, other than there is now a backlog of posts that won’t get the attention they would have otherwise and are basically wasted

  3. Roxane

      What makes you think there was a downturn in readership? That would be… the wrong assumption to make.

  4. M. Kitchell

      comments /= attention

  5. postitbreakup

      I’m sure there was a spike in page views with people checking to see if the comments were back, but I think it’d be hard to argue that the most commented posts aren’t also the most read. But mostly I think the whole gimmick was pointlessly antagonistic. Oh well.

  6. postitbreakup

      Since your posts are often the least commented on, I’m sure you would say that ;)

  7. Roxane

      Interesting that you consider it a gimmick and that you feel antagonized. I’m not picking on you here but you’re giving the impression that websites (generally speaking), owe it to readers to be able to comment. One of the reasons I love the LA Review of Books is that if you want to comment on something, you have to write a letter to the editor. If you want to voice an opinion, you have to think about it a little. I don’t have inside knowledge on why the comments died and why they’ve risen. Your comment just truly interests me.

  8. reynard

      comments do not equal reads, nor do ‘likes,’ virtual pinky swear

  9. mimi

      my problem with the whole situation. . . well, i had several problems with it  

      1. it seemed to be imposed top-down instead of bottom-up/grassroot – i am opposed in principle to top-down silencing – i’m generally opposed in principle to “top-down” edicts 

      2. it happened without explanation  

      3. some of the posts seemed to be taunts/slaps in the face questions (“should i name my new puppy ‘king arfer’? should i dress him in a tuxedo?”)  

      4. i found myself thinking “if they want my continued readership, the quality of the posts/writing is going to have to get way a whole lot more better”  

      – that said, i probably comment more often, and less-thoughtfully, on the goofy posts, but isn’t that what the goofy posts are here for?  i read more carefully and thoughtfully the more well written and thought-out posts (roxane’s, for example)  i feel like i learn a lot from higgs’ posts even tho i almost never have an intelligent comment to contribute  

      also, i missed other commenters, whose voices i have become familiar with 

  10. Frank Tas


  11. deadgod

      The commentout was surely a provocation, and (I agree) a vaunt of a series of “taunts”.  –so lonely, restless frequenters – like me – would be disciplined in the virtue of patience.  –and if the commentout were permanent (or I were banned), I’d not return only to read the blogicles–I then missing whatever meritorious stand-alones because, after all, most of the blogicles are designed to be conversation starters.

      But I didn’t feel especially personally “imposed”-on by the phase.  A few days of self-cackling coyotl-pups scouring blogs, group blogs, the facebook, and twitter for signs of distress . . .  Tee hee.  A dangerous prank?  Bah.

      It’s good to see your CAP-free thoughts again.

  12. postitbreakup

      My annoyance here is the same level as my annoyance that Taco Bell ended the Chicken Flatbread promotion. I don’t think websites owe their viewers anything, I think that a lot of people other than me come here mostly for the comments, and still think that disabling them for a week was antagonistic. But not outside of the website’s rights. Just annoying.

  13. Trey

      this is true. I mean I think the second part is true, but is that so bad? it has been a forum for so long, it’s very weird and a little antagonistic when it goes away. and also it didn’t help that there were some openly antagonistic (but, sure, with a sense of humor) posts. like the snippets-style questions, if what I meant wasn’t clear (I’m a little/fairly drunk).

      I mean, yeah, everythings fine. I was a little sad when I couldn’t comment anymore. I thought to myself “oh the comments are down and there are so many posts I want to comment on” and then I realized that at least some of them were engineered to create that feeling in me and then I felt a little antagonized. I hope that makes sense.

      anyway I’m agreeing with both you, reynard, and you, postitbreakup.

  14. Anonymous

      the only reason to ever come to this site is for the comments.

  15. Anonymous

      also this — 4. i found myself thinking “if they want my continued readership, the quality of the posts/writing is going to have to get way a whole lot more better” — is spot on.

  16. mimi

      deaders! you laid an egg!    

      and started a twitter! and already have a follower! (not me, alas)  


  17. bartleby_taco

      feel like this kind of unnecessary bitchiness is part of the reason why comments were removed; i for one welcome the removal of my vocal cords, “every word is a stain” etc etc

  18. reynard

      it’s not so bad, no. but sometimes it seems like it! mostly i think it is a perception thing. i agree there was antagonism in those questions. but none worse than can be found in say the interrogative mood by padgett powell. questions are just

  19. postitbreakup

      haha no that was really bitchy of me to comment, but i know mike doesn’t give a shit so i didn’t mind typing it

  20. mimi

      oh, man, my thinking about the interrogative case had become very uptight  new shit has come to light

  21. postitbreakup

      i like th ename mimiiiiii

  22. mimi

      hi there postitnote!
      i like anime too! and edamame! and the internet! and enamel too! tooth enamel! 
      and i like postitnotes!   
      and breakups! they can be dramatic!
      i’m thinking of changing my name to ‘m yname’   
      whaddya think?