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Reply by email

I am pretty quickly coming to the conclusion that the default functionality for feedback and responses to posts in any blogging platform should be “Reply by email.”

I’ve got this functionality on my primary blog. That blog is hosted on and there is a plug-in on offer that offers reply-by-email. I don’t get a ton of responses that way, but the ones that do come through are nearly always thoughtful.

I think no small part of that is that the community at is a relatively small and self-selecting bunch. That said, my blog is still on the public internet and I do not get spammers, creeps, or assholes emailing me.

The downside of email replies is that they are higher-friction than comment/discussion tooling that is built in to a many platforms. It’s not that much easier to click Reply and start typing in the box that appears beneath the post than to click Reply by Email and start typing in the new message window that opens in your mail client, but the latter seems to be enough of a hurdle that it weeds out the people who can’t be bothered to write an email. Maybe it triggers the “Ugh, email” response?

I guess reply-by-email strikes me as a reasonable middle ground for smaller, independent blogging platforms; it provideds some functionality for readers to interact, but avoids the overhead of having to build out and implement a whole discussion feature or a Likes function (and then dealing with all of the shitty behavior that sort of stuff seems to incentivize).

✍️ Reply by email

✴️ Also on another weblog yet another weblog