Over two years ago, I made 404 Tech Support comment-free. Since then, I have been able to focus on writing, improving the site functionality, and getting the PageRank up again after a Google algorithm had our traffic down to unsustainable numbers. Since then, our numbers are up.
Comments on articles are great as a writer because it allows me to clarify points based on reader feedback and learn from others. In 2013, I turned off comments because first-party WordPress comments were inundating me with spam and third-party comment systems slowed down page load time. There are also comments from those that read the article with hopes that it will fix their unrelated issue or expect something I write to change how a Microsoft/Google/Apple products operates.
Unlike Motherboard, who recently replaced comments with something better (nothing!), I have found social networking engagement minimal, if not non-existent. In order to build up a community, I have established a forum for article comments, technology news, and community technical support. After my article on forum software, I went with Discourse because of its responsive, clean look and WordPress integration. Article threads will continue the discussion while other categories can host different topics.
Talk.404techsupport.com is available and ready for new users to register and participate. Please feel free to sign up by creating an account, or using Google, Facebook, or Twitter to sign in.
Update: Due to lack of interest, the forum has been closed.