When I published my recommended reading post Sunday reactions to it on Facebook and Twitter brought home an issue I had noticed for a while now – more people responding on Facebook and Twitter and less on the blog. 99.9% of the time I am completely ok with this – I know comments are not a sign of success and I’m happy to have a conversation wherever it happens. But. In the case of the recommended reading list some of the responses were additional book recommendations and I really wanted those on the blog. That way more people could see them, and they’d be preserved on the post rather than floating past on Twitter or Facebook. This made me wonder about the collective/connected knowledge we’re losing. Don’t get me wrong I love the ephemeralness of Twitter and Facebook conversations and I don’t think everything needs to be preserved but in this case I do feel like it is a loss.
Which brings me to the question – do I import Facebook and Twitter comments about blog posts into the blog as comments?
WordPress makes it easy with some handy dandy plug-ins so that isn’t really a factor. I know several library blogs that I read and respect do this, so it’s not uncommon.
What I’m struggling with is first is it ok? Do people realize the comments they are making elsewhere are being imported to a blog? That what they see as a passing Twitter comment becomes more permanent? It is even less obvious on mobile devices that your Facebook comment is being posted elsewhere.
Second the aesthetics of the blog. A couple of years ago I did have Twitter comments imported but I ended up feeling like it makes the blog look cluttered. There were a lot of simple retweets that didn’t add commentary. Plus I felt like it took away from comments left on the actual blog (though this would be less of a problem these days).
So should I import comments? Why or why not? Should there be a disclaimer if I do?