Sunday :: Sep 10, 2006

Pessimist's Mailbox - 'No Comment' Edition

by pessimist

I didn't get as many comments concerning my decision to stop allowing comments on my posts as I expected. That being said, I am getting overwhelming support for my choice from those who did write me.

Pessimist, I congratulate you on taking a path I've followed from the beginning on my blog. What originally gave online discussion its strength also makes it vulnerable to - shall we call them the congenitally immature?

theleftcoaster is more than meaty enough without discussion threads. You did the right thing.
- Michele Petrovsky

Thanks, Michele. I agree that TLC is meaty - Steve and eRiposte and Duckman and the others - all carried on the strong back of the talented Mary, who keeps us up and running when she isn't posting herself. I'm honored to be allowed to post along side of them.

I completely agree with you about comments. I also got rid of comments on my blog but left my email, written out as salon ... at.... and put in comments that I LIKE. It was a major pain in the butt to monitor comments and for awhile I had this really strange spam that was getting left all the time.

Anyway, with you.
- salon ... at....

Thanks, salon, but we differ on one point. I am not concerned so much about comments that I 'like' as much as I am about comments that stay on topic. If more comments stayed on topic, I wouldn't have taken my action to eliminate them for my posts. But some abused the privelege.

... my first foray into writing to a blog was emailing you almost exactly 2 years ago in Aug 04 when you were thinking of shutting down comments. I hadn't been reading too long but was disappointed since I liked the comments ...

But now I'm tired in general, and tired of scout (and people being called "whores") and the other thread hijackers. I can't even keep up with the wonderful posts, and when comments are back-and-forths of total OT BS, I'm not interested.

So I respect your decision, and am not disappointed at all this time around. I'd have done the same.
- Sharon

Thanks for your understanding, Sharon.

I generally enjoy the comments almost as much as the posts on blogs. But the troll wars, flame parties, and the chat room type dialogues are a real distraction. While I'm sure you'll get a lot of suggestions how to control the garbage, your point is that moderating such things is for the full-time bloggers, not people who work, or have another life.

What makes the Internet a great thing, its open-ness, is also its Achille's heel.
- Mickey Nardo

Agreed, Mickey. Would that it weren't so.

I'm sorry that your comments have gotten you to this point. But, I don't read them anyway. I read what you have to say, period. 99.9% of the time, I think you reflect exactly my position, but do so in an articulate, logical, intelligent manner. Since I like to golf, I don't take the time to develop and expand on my thinking in the way that you do.

The scary part is that I agree with you so often. That could bode ill for you.
- John Truesdale

I doubt it will affect my handicap, John (I DON'T play golf!), but thanks for the expression of concern.

By the way - the check is in the mail for the generous testimonial intended to improve my blog image. I promise that this one won't bounce - it's drawn on Steve's blog account. ( ; < [)

Pess: There's no question this is the right move. We commenters all have gotten off topic and there's simply too much deadly important issues to focus and act upon. However, unlike the authoritarian mind, I do think your commenters can be retrained....take care.
- mainsailset

You have high hopes, my friend, but we'll see what happens. I had ordered a cattle prod for use when someone gets out of line, but they told me it got re-rerouted to Blackwater Security, c/o Abu Ghraib Prison. Thus, I'm left for the moment with no other option, since Halliburton got all the re-education camp business.

... if you think it's better to turn off comments I guess it's your call.
- headxray

It's the reluctant choice for now. I hope to resume comments if conditions warrant. (See mainsailset's comment)

Sorry to see your commenting decision, since you tend to be the main poster on economic matters. If we can't comment on those topics, the site is weakened.

I'm not going to be jumping into my email to comment.

I think we know what the problem is here and who should be banned.

"Non-reality" based commenters infuriate many, and frankly don't add anything of value to the site, though they stroke their own egos.
- euzoius

There are still the other posters, all of whom are still open for comment. Plus I made the email link to me clickable, so it shouldn't be so painful to comment that way. But if you choose not to, that's your option.

I'm reluctant to make banning a "vote 'em off the blog island" situation, but as this site is nothing without readers, I'm open to discussing the issue. In fact, that should be the next topic.

What's your take on banning in general? Is this something TLC should do more often? Should we do it at all? Should we bloggers decide who gets banned, or should we be open to our readers' recommendations?

Write me with your opinion at

pessimist :: 2:33 AM :: Digg It!