I’m not saying he was wrong to turn off commenting on his blog. That’s a decision each blogger has to make for themselves. As Dave Winer pointed out to me one of the last times I brought this up, Adam Green of Darwinian Web doesn’t have comments and that doesn’t make him a bad person (I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear that, Adam). I just happen to think that having comments, as much as it can be a major pain in the ass, is one of the key things that makes a blog a blog, rather than just a place where you put your thoughts or preach at people. It’s how you become part of the conversation.
So while Russell didn’t really give any reason for deciding to close his blog down, other than to say that he “just decided that I really needed a break, and that I’d really much rather start from scratch at another URL some other time when I’m ready to write again,” I think that shutting off comments was a sign of just being tired with the whole blogging thing, for whatever reason (Om reminds us that sometimes less is more). And closing the doors to the blog completely is obviously the end point of that process. Here’s hoping Russell comes back reinvigorated at some point and rejoins the conversation.