Comments and Collatz Conundrum

Over the summer Terence Tao, a Fields Medal-winning mathematician considered one of the best of his generation, got an anonymous comment on his WordPress blog post from 2011 exploring the Collatz conjecture — one of the most persistent problems in math — suggesting he explore the problem for “almost all” numbers. Terence has been a regular blogger since 2007 and he and his commenters make extensive use of our LaTeX feature to express and embed equations.

That anonymous comment led him to an important breakthrough on the Collatz Conundrum, as Quanta Magazine reports. If you want great comments, you as the author have to participate in them and Terence is incredibly active in engaging with the commenters on his site.

I’ve always said that comments are the best part of blogging, but this is a particularly cool example. Here’s Terence’s latest post on it, with an excellent comment thread following.

5 replies on “Comments and Collatz Conundrum”

I’ve removed comments (for now) but am reconsidering…

194 comments and counting! That’s quite the community. I’m still reticent about turning comments back on for my blog, but I comment actively on my hobby blogs. Gardening blogs are still relatively troll and spam-free.

Is there data from tracking the percentage of sites disabling comments over the last few years?

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