Was online discussion better when blogs were in their heyday? I don’t think I have rose-colored spectacles, but it seems to me there was at least more room for productive discussion. There was a greater chance that a commenter had been following your blog for a while and knew where you were coming from — and similarly, there was a tendency for a community of commenters to develop.
Now it seems like commenting culture is like guerilla warfare — people swoop in, take potshots with no context whatsoever, and don’t even stick around for the responses. No one responds directly to what a particular person is saying, but only to the kind of thing they think that kind of person says. Plus there’s the weaponization of comment through orchestrated harassment campaigns.
There are still people trying to have a genuine dialogue, but it’s hard to filter out the noise. It was never great, of course, but now it’s even worse.