I am Jorge Fontan an architect and I have been blogging since February 1st 2016 on subjects in and around architecture. Since the beginning I have allowed comments on my blog, but the time has come end comments. For those few people that actually leave good, useful, productive, and not completely self serving comments I am sorry. But the reality is there are very few of these people.
I am going to list all the reasons I removed comments below. I know some people may not like this but I am running a business and there is no way for me to manage all these comments and run my business at the same time.
I can’t Give So Much Free Advice
Almost nobody ever leaves general questions on my blog. When I started my architecture blog, I thought people would leave comments in order to ask for clarification on something I said that maybe wasn’t clear. Or that people would suggest topics. I thought the comments and questions would be something that other people would benefit from. This is not the case. The majority of the non-spam comments are people asking me highly specific questions basically to figure out their issue for them for free. An issue that they should be paying either me or another architect to figure out. I cannot spend all my time giving people free advice. I would go out of business for all the time I would lose. So as of today I am not providing any free advice at my office. I have wasted way too much time on it, and the majority of people who ask me for free advice never even bother to say thank you. THE VAST MAJORITY NEVER SAY THANK YOU. In all the years I have been giving people free advice via email, responding to comments, and phone calls only one person showed gratitude by leaving a positive review of my firm on Google.
Other “Professionals” Ask Me To Teach Them How To Do Their Job
There is nothing about the comments on my blog that bothers me more than other architects or other “professionals” in the business that come to my blog for help and leave questions for me to solve their problems. Let me be very clear about something. I write a blog to cultivate project leads as a marketing tool. This is the only reason I blog. People seam to think I am blogging because I want to spend my free time putting information out their and helping them. It is just not the case. This is how I get clients. And I do not work for architects.
When an architect tells me they have a problem on their project or they have DOB objections and that my blog is helping them I am like “WTF”. If you are an architect you should not be going to my blog to learn about zoning. If you are it just means you are lazy. I did not learn about zoning by reading blogs. Not a week of my life goes by where I do not read at least some of the Zoning Resolution and or Building Code. That is the only source of information that I go to. For an architect to read my blog and think they understandably zoning or some other topic is like someone ready the CliffsNotes of the Great Gatsby and then pretending to be a literary expert on the book. It is just ridiculous.
I once had a person post a question on my site for a zoning analysis they where working on. The question was so basic and simple that it was obvious this person knew absolutely nothing about New York City residential zoning. Yet I went to their website and on it said “Zoning Experts”. I refuse to help people like this. I have never called myself a zoning expert and I sure knew a hell of a lot more than this person who did make such a claim. So I told them that they were committing fraud by taking a commission to do a zoning analysis when they do not even understand basic zoning concepts. Do not call me if you are one of these people. And honestly I will be glad to no longer see these types of comments.
Too Much Spam
Having comments enabled on my blog was a huge invitation to spam. I get sometimes over 100 comments a day. Of those there are a couple legit comments and the rest are spam. The worst offenders are people who try real hard to not look like spam. Like people who clearly read the entire post and provide a thoughtful comment, but just happen to mention their own business. I do not allow anyone to use my blog to promote themselves. I have had many people offer me money to mention them in my blog or to link out to their site from my blog. I have never taken a dollar to mention someone in my blog, and I sure as hell am not going to let people do it in my comments.
Waste of Time To Sift Through
As I mentioned my blog posts collectively get 100 or more comments a day. Of course there are spam filters but these do not work great and in fact they usually block good comments along with the bad. This means I have to be very lax with my spam filter perimeters and then manually review all the comments. This is just a waste of my time and a waste of my employees time.
I am sorry to say no more comments on my blog and I regret having had them in the first place. I used to be proud of the fact that I allowed comments but I just can’t do it anymore I do not have the time to read them, and I am not going to pay someone to do it either. My employees have more important things to do.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.