Thursday, August 17, 2006

and another thing.........

Okay, okay, I'm new to the world of blogging, so I have a few questions and, after yesterday's mild rant, I have another related issue to unload about.

I read several blogs written by UU ministers, all of them erudite and well-written. You know who you are, colleagues, and I salute you!

However, a few of those erudite and provocative blogs do not allow for comments from readers. Why would that be? Who among us would be so hubrissy (it's not a word but it ought to be) as to disallow response? Is there a good reason?

Some of us say outrageous and stimulating things, just begging for a response. Most of us take that response with delight and wade right in, parrying thrusts and delivering mortal blows if necessary, sometimes a little too enthusiastically, but still...

I am trying to visualize why and am brainstorming: do they not have time to respond to comments? are they afraid of critical comments? would they rather not have a discussion about their stimulating ideas but rather just plonk them down out there and walk away?

Comments are my favorite thing about blogging! I love to read them and, as CC has remarked, I get a sense of what people are looking for as they surf the blogs. I can't imagine just sticking up a sermon or an essay and not allowing anyone to comment on it. I'm about to quit reading the ones I can't comment on. I don't want to have to send an email to someone with my thoughts, because the only person who will read that is the recipient. I want to know what others think about the matter, not have my comments fall into a black hole.

One of the blogs I read belongs to a colleague who is known for an extremely thin skin and inability to listen to dissent about his/her points of view. I wish this person would get some therapy about the issue, but at least I understand her/his reluctance to have anyone criticize the point of view in the blog.

So------those of you who do not allow readers to comment on your ideas, please tell us why. If I understood, I would not be so critical. And I'm assuming there's a good reason or you wouldn't do it. This also applies to those bloggers who, when we do comment, do not allow the comments to be published. Why?

Beginner's mind, that's all it is. I don't think it's as big a deal as the emperor having no clothes. As a newbie, I am allowed to ask foolish questions, right? But I would appreciate answers!


UUpdater said...

A large part of the problem might be the difficulty in handling spam comments. Depending on the software used to publish the blog it might be difficult to handle spam comments efficiently. So, comments are either moderated or shut down until the software can be upgraded.

Another bane of the blogger is the troll. The person either seeking to hijack any and all threads to their personal use, or simply looking to pick a verbal fight because they have nothing better to do. More difficult to keep away than automated spam comments, but equally or even more annoying.

I think your assesment is correct about blogging and comments being a big part of the site. It helps generate a community feel which is what helps drive the attraction to blogger sites. I do think it is something folks should consider enabling.

Philocrites said...

I'd add that different ministers use blogs for very different reasons. Some do not think of themselves as bloggers at all, but are essentially using blog software to simplify the publishing process for newsletter columns, sermons, newspaper op-eds, and other mass distribution material.

Blogging, as a phenomenon, takes many forms and shouldn't be interpreted through too narrow a lens. Which is not to say that the interactive blog isn't a marvelous thing that holds real promise!

Clyde Grubbs said...

I moderate comments to prevent trolls and spammers.

Some of the most successful discussion blogs ask the respondents to register and sort of covenant not to engage in trash talk.

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, folks, your thoughts are helpful in my understanding. But it seems to me that spamming and trolling are easily controlled without eradicating discussion. But maybe the folks I read have had real trouble that I don't know about; so who am I to judge?

LinguistFriend said...

I can't add much to the comments already made, from which I have learned much, as from your two posts on this topic, but the word you wanted (under "hubrissy") is "hubristic". It is real, and appropriate.

ms. kitty said...

Aha! Thank you, LinguisticFriend, I appreciate the information. Hubristic, hubristic, hubristic! Yay!