Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Note on Comments

I noticed a big influx of spam comments this afternoon, deleted a bunch of them, changed the setup to moderated comments and added a word verification to comments. That kind of sucks, I think. I always appreciated having this an open forum. But when a post on Kirby Puckett from 18 months ago ened up with a dozen porn spam comments, I figured I had to do something.

If I haven't done this before, here's my mission statement on comments:

I will never delete a comment unless it's solicitation or beyond the pale (and I reserve the right to determine what that is).

I won't delete a comment, ever, just because the commenter disagrees with me or points out that I'm wrong about something (if the commenter does so outside decorum, different story).

If you want to blogwhore, post a comment that's at least slightly relevant - because I'm wont to delete comments that even kind of look like solicitation. Or, in the alternative, email me at the address above - I'll be much more likely to link to you or post it if you take some effort. Also: my blog is read by, like, 3 people; you're probably better off whoring elsewhere.

I might turn off the moderation if I get annoyed by it or if spammers are blocked by the verification system. If I haven't moderated a comment in a while and you're just dying to let me know something, email me and I'll get on it.

Sorry about this. Blame offshore betting sites, fake college degrees, and porn for it.


peacedog said...

Ahhh, comments. IMO, it's preferrable to turn off anon comments. We simply live in virtual times where some protection from the virtual barbarians is necessary. And while it won't do *much*, I like to think that having a sign in and such is a step towards increased intimacy, which is a good thing.

Comment threads aren't really a good place for discussion. Joel On Software has a recent post discussing this, and another guy's thoughts on this. They talk about how it's preferrable to have blog to blog exchanges, which it probably is if you and Mike want to discuss Stuart Mandel in a public forum.

Course, not everyone blogs (you know, I was going to give it another shot but I keep putting that off). I don't think comment threads are really ideal here either, not for anything other than quick hitting commentary.

What Joel doesn't mention are messageboards, which actually can be good for that. They are also suited to a number of things that are scoped beyond commenting on a blog post. Topic for another time.

As for Moderation, do what you gotta do. I have any number of rambling thoughts on the subject. In short, I think there's some responsibility that anyone engaging in communication takes on, no matter the form or media it takes place in. Moderation is unfortunately necessary because some people ignore that responsibility. Or are fucking spammers.