On Comments

Recently I’ve been overrun with an assortment of racist, hateful comments; comments from the loony Left positing that Bush is a Nazi; pornography of various sorts; and other comments that are made on old posts that will not see the light of day but I must either leave or delete.

This has left me with a bit of a problem. I show comments inline precisely because I want to facilitate discussion. However, the discussion has not been productive of late and I suspect it will get worse during the election year.

In addition to the comments — some of which are posted eight or nine times to annoy me — I receive a good deal of inflammatory / hate mail. At a minimum I will be installing a plug-in that won’t allow a comment on the site until I approve it.

I might also do away with comments altogether. That’s the way I’m leaning right now. I realize this would severely cut into the readership, but it would allow me to maintain control of the site’s message. It is, after all, my site and readers could email me and I could handle it just as The Professor does, by updating the post when someone emails a relevant comment. Limiting the interaction to inflammatory or thoughtful email updates seems like a much more useful way to manage the site. Less time consuming as well.

For bloggers that wish to comment, use TrackBack. If you use software, such as Blogger, that doesn’t support the TrackBack protocol simply go to this page and ping my entry from there. It will show up inline and I’ll respond if the entry merits it. Even if I don’t respond, it will drive traffic to your site since TrackBacks will remain inline.

I’ll decide in the next day or so what to do. Other bloggers, such as Rachel Lucas, have done the same and seemed to enjoy blogging more once they had rid themselves of comments. I would rather not do it but it’s becoming too much to deal with and making the operation of this site less enjoyable. Coming in Saturday afternoon to find my front page covered with racial epithets, in addition to the usual spam and comments posted ten times — don’t forget the inflammatory email, too — was the last straw.

UPDATE: I’ve already decided to not have comments on future posts. I’ll see how happy this makes me — thus making me more willing to blog — and if I like it I’ll keep it that way. It’s easily changed, as opposed to adding a plug-in that requires a change to the database tables.

Note that I’ve made it easier to email me with an email link accompanying every post. Fellow bloggers should use TrackBack as described above to comment.

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