Saturday, August 23, 2003

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Give yourselves a hand

Due perhaps to my own personality quirks, I will confess to having had some trepidation about adding a comments feature to the blog. Will Baude and Jivha (and countless others) have speculated on the reasons why top-tier bloggers don't have them.

As a non-top-tier blogger, I was basically worried that the comments would be too difficult to manage, overhelming the posts by going off topic, just being nasty, or as James Joyner notes, more disturbing behavior.

I'm glad to say I was wrong. On the whole, the comments have been of exceptionally high quality. I've had to delete very few of them. And as Mickey Kaus) has pointed out about a recent post of mine: "The relatively high-quality comments... are also recommended."

So, thanks to all of you for the value-added!!!

posted by Dan on 08.23.03 at 02:25 PM


This sounds like Tom Cruise going on Jay Leno and telling the audience "Isn't this the greatest audience! They should give themselves a hand!"

posted by: snore on 08.23.03 at 02:25 PM [permalink]

I agree with Kaus: you do receive some of the best comments that I've seen around the blogosphere, which is why your forum is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I must say, however, that it still slightly trails Matt Welch's comments section. Have you seen the daily party that goes on out there?! Boy do we have a blast! It almost reminds me of a pub where the regulars show up at the same time everyday just to rant and rave (though I suppose this atmosphere has some disadvantages).

posted by: Robert Garcia Tagorda on 08.23.03 at 02:25 PM [permalink]

I blog occasionally at the BrothersJudd, which has a very high quality group of commenters. I think a quality blog attracts quality commenters; and a good-humored blogger attracts even-tempered commenters. It's easy to see what happens when these conditions aren't met: e.g., Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs is great but passionately angry, no surprise it attracts trolls.

My own experience is that comments are extremely valuable. They make blogging a learning experience, not just a speaking one; and they are humbling, reminding me regularly how many smart and knowledgeable people are out there, and how little I know in comparison to my readers as a whole. I wouldn't want to write on a blog without comments.

posted by: pj on 08.23.03 at 02:25 PM [permalink]

It is my understanding that a majority of the better bloggers out there started out as commenters. Then, one very scary day, they decided to go to blogspot and go over to the dark side.

Commenting could be considered the minor league of blogging.

posted by: Tom on 08.23.03 at 02:25 PM [permalink]

It could also be considered advertising for blogging. I have noticed that it sometimes happens that people will use comments to advertise their own web site. I deplore such activity, which is why there are no comments on my blog, Patterico's Pontifications. Nothing but insightful pontificatin'.

posted by: Patterico on 08.23.03 at 02:25 PM [permalink]

...and then there's John Lemon, who has nothing to say but has no shame in saying something anyways. What a troll.

posted by: John Lemon on 08.23.03 at 02:25 PM [permalink]

I've noticed, that for the most part, if content is smart, then comments will be smart. Eventually, every comment-enabled blogger finds at least one persistent heckler, though, I was told that when the hate-mail starts to pour in, it's a sure sign that you're doing something right ;)

posted by: aldahlia on 08.23.03 at 02:25 PM [permalink]

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