Blog Comments: Productive or Just Adding Noise?

If something is a blog does that necessitate that it allows comments? Knee jerk reaction would be yes. However, today I came across an interesting quote that made me ponder the whole commenting paradigm:

The important thing to notice here is that Dave does not see blog comments as productive to the free exchange of ideas. They are a part of the problem, not the solution. You don’t have a right to post your thoughts at the bottom of someone else’s thoughts. That’s not freedom of expression, that’s an infringement on their freedom of expression. Get your own space, write compelling things, and if your ideas are smart, they’ll be linked to, and Google will notice, and you’ll move up in PageRank, and you’ll have influence and your ideas will have power.” — Joel Spolsky endorses the Dave Winer approach to reader comments.

The quote is from this post, which highlights several blog posts that are littered with comments of no consequence, so…Does the potential value of comments in the free exchange of ideas outweigh the possible noise of unproductive comments? Does this give more credence for bloggers to remove comments on a post(only keeping those they feel useful-normally this is a big no,no)? Should commenting be limited to pure links to posts on other blogs as the quote suggests?

Thoughts…

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