Wednesday, June 07, 2006

On comments at The Belmont Club

Wrechard, the proprietor of The Belmont Club is making changes to his blog. One of the changes he proposes is to only allow comments after a moderator (that would be he) has approved them. He has lots of smart readers who post insightful comments and, sadly, a few who have nothing interesting to say and nothing better to do than to share their nothing-to-say with the world. Reading the comment section of some of Wrechard's postings is a bit like trying to have a church service in the chimpanzee enclosure at the zoo. Lately the chimp to deacon ratio seems to have been climbing and Wrechard has decided to review comments in hopes that some of the chimps will get bored and wander off.

In the comment section for his announcement I offer this advice which I copy here so my loyal readers can let me know where I fall on the chimp-to-deacon scale.

First, it is your blog; do whatever you want with it. Don't feel that you need to do anything for us. Your blog is too good already: we are not worthy.

That said, what I would do if it were my blog would be to put a link to the comments policy in the template and, in that policy, I would state that comments are not only moderated but that only a small number will be approved. Commenters would be advised to regard the comments they enter as personal (but not private) notes to the moderator which may rarely be shared with other readers in the comments section if they are especially insightful. Commenters would be encouraged to post a copy of any long comments in their own blogs, linking to the Belmont Club item, and to look for their comments, and those of other commenters, in the "Links to This Post" section of the Belmont Club posting.

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