28 July 2008

Mutter, grump ... oh, alright then...

Ray Girvan has, in another place, hinted loudly that I should enable comments on this blog.

I started off with them enabled, here and elsewhere ... but the chore of moderating six or seven hundred spam items a day (in each place) was taking up all my energy. I think I frequently deleted valid comments because I had glazed into autopilot mode. So, I disabled comments and put an unharvestable email address in the banner ... and suddenly, all my comments were useful ones (even when they are abusive, they at least represent a real human being with something to say).

But ... I value Ray's opinion so, for an experimental period, they are now enabled.

No promses that they will remain that way ... we'll see.


Poor Pothecary said...

Well, see how it goes. I enabled mine after painting myself into a philosophical corner: i've joined in bitching on a number of occasions about it being a Bad Sign regarding various flavours of pseudoscience, quackery and authoritarian politics that they are deeply cowardly about open discourse (e.g. websites with no comment mechanism, or at most highly censored forums). I thought i would be hypocritical not to allow comments on my own site. (OK, it could be done via e-mail, but as I use Blogger constantly - for content management as much as explicit blogging - that way was easier for me).

Felix Grant said...

Yes ... I've seen your Bad Sign commentary on occasions :-)

Which is partly why I decided to enable ... I lacked the courage to seem cowardly!

martin parkinson said...

Hmmm. I always consider "comments disabled" as a good sign and am disappointed that you have given in to what I consider a far-from-conclusive argument.
"Comments disabled" is good because it hints at a healthy self-confidence - "Pah! What do I care what random passers-by think?"

The reason I don't keep a public blog myself is because I'm afraid I'd find myself touting for readers and getting upset if no-one commented. Then if I actually got any commenters I'd start to feel responsible for keeping them entertained and I'd get all shouty and crude. (Shouty and crude on the internet? Surely not!) I'd then start to feel I had to keep the wretched blog fed with wordage every day and whatever tiny spark of inspiration I had would be snuffed out completely ...

Poor Pothecary said...

Well, there are a number of factors in there: whether a blog is intended as a form of broadcast or of communication; whether "self-confidence" and "healthy" can so readily be assumed to be connected; etc etc. I accept I'm probably biased from moving in circles (i.e. the Guardian Bad Science crowd) where The Enemy generally comprises people and groups whose besetting sin is insulating themselves from critical appraisal.

Purely from a practical POV, over the past few weeks comments (both on my weblog and others I visit) have brought my attention to a number of sites and sources that enabled me to significantly add to existing articles, as well as providing several ideas for new ones.

It's always possible you might run out of ideas, but for me anyway, external input is one of the ways to protect against that.