September 1, 2012

The challenge of running a blog comments section.

Instapundit writes:
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD GETS RID OF COMMENTS ON HIS BLOG: “To make the comments section work in its present form we would have to edit and curate much more aggressively than we do now and in our current judgment the effort needed to do that is better spent improving other features of the blog.”

I toy with the idea of opening comments now and then, but the above has always been my feeling, too.
Mead announces the end of comments effective immediately. No comments on the end of comments. I think he should have had one more comments thread on that post. The previous post, the last post with comments, is saying that the blog hit a new traffic record. That got 11 comments. 11 comments! Is it really that hard to "edit and curate"?

I like Instapundit as it is, without comments, mostly because it's all about sending people to other blogs, so all the other blogs stand in for comments. But if you're not a blog that's about linking to a lot of other people, it feels like there ought to be comments. Maybe it's just because that's what I'm used to.  I don't know. I love the comments section around here.

128 comments:

Wally Kalbacken said...

Think of the kilowatt hours saved!

cubanbob said...

Part of the fun of a blog is the comments. Even the insane and odious ones. Ann most of your commenters are very bright people, not that I always agree with them but even the ones I disagree with are bright albeit IMHO wrong. However there is one particular commenter that is a rather bigoted......

fivewheels said...

I thought you were starting to get frustrated by the comments a couple of weeks ago. Which I wouldn't blame you for if you did. As an infrequent commenter at all the blogs I visit, my enthusiasm waxes and wanes. But I usually read a lot of them, even whem I'm just lurking.

fivewheels said...

Well, I guess that's the definition of lurking. I do that a lot.

Erika said...

I'd like to know, as I'm not a blogger, what exactly happens when one feels an obligation to 'edit and curate.' Can't you just let 'er rip, other than basic anti-spam measures? Does Mr. Meade read and decide the fate of every comment here, or just let people say what they're going to say?

The only blog without comments that I read regularly is Instapundit. I like reading the conversation and the varying points of view. It seems a bit presumptuous to think that the blogger's voice alone should be satisfying or that the experience wouldn't be improved by the salon-style atmosphere that develops with a good comments section.

traditionalguy said...

And the comments section loves you.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

It sometimes drives me crazy that I can't comment on Instapundit, but I know it wouldn't be the same read if it had comments. No offense, Ann, but I probably wouldn't come here any more if you got rid of comments. Your posts are but Rorschach blots for us, your commenters, to reveal our manifold psychopathologies. Everybody except PaddyO, anyway.

bagoh20 said...

"I love the comments section around here."

Oh shit! You mean people can see what I type here? Umm, aaaaa, bye.

Dick Stanley said...

I'd still come if you closed comments but they can be fun to read.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'd like to know, as I'm not a blogger, what exactly happens when one feels an obligation to 'edit and curate.' Can't you just let 'er rip, other than basic anti-spam measures? Does Mr. Meade read and decide the fate of every comment here, or just let people say what they're going to say?"

It's mostly me reading comments and deleting a few things to control the "bad faith" problem described in the instructions.

We had a huge problem a while back, which led to this separate discussion page, and Meade worked with a lot of people who were being inappropriate, cluttering up the comments with stuff that was driving better commenters away.

Meade reads many of the comments too, and he deals with email from people who want explanations about why they've been deleted or who want to argue that somebody needs deletion.

We're mostly freewheeling here, but that can't be the only policy, because there will be some people who abuse the welcome, and we think these are people who basically just hate me and want to ruin the blog. We're not going to sit back and let them do that.

john said...

...edit and curate...?

As a member of the clergy, yes, I guess caring for his flock could take a lot of time.

Pettifogger said...

Please keep it up. The only blogs I regularly comment on are here and The Volokh Conspiracy.

creeley23 said...

Mead and/or his assistants ran a pretty tight comment ship. The blog was moderated such that each comment had to be approved before it appeared and the delay was usually a few hours or more. Mead himself rarely replied in the comments thread.

So there wasn't much conversation in the comments. It was mostly a string of people walking up to the mic to get whatever it was off their chest then going back to sit down.

Mead was also prolific. He posted several articles a day and they were meaty think pieces. Seems to me it was the writing that he cared about, not the blogging.

America's Politico said...

If you are coming to campaign in Tampa, stop by my "The Pizza Guy" (based on the Fast Times, with Sean Penn in Mr. Hand's classroom episode). I had it before 2008 in CT. Now it will be FL. Today I left the Obama campaign after working for it from Summer 2008 (to Summer 2012). What tipped? The Clint Eastwood talk. He is my hero. When he said that if you do not do your job, you are to let go, and that I - yes, I - own America. I realized that the POTUS cannot be an empty chair. Since that night, I cannot get that image out of my head (Obama == empty chair == not reporting to work as not knowing how to do work). I left him. No words necessary between me and David P., David A., and Jim M. I just checked out.

See you in Tampa. (Am not going to Charlotte.)

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Mead announces the end of comments effective immediately.

Somehow that line caught my eye first. My reactions in order were:

1)Oh my God! No! It just can't be!

2)Well I guess we know who wears the pants at Meadhouse.

3)Oh Mead, not Meade. Whew!

creeley23 said...

I was disappointed when Commentary axed its comment sections (O the irony!) several years back. As I understand it, several commenters were constantly pushing the envelope with not very subtle antisemitism.

EMD said...

Is WRM afraid of his own shadow?

An open commentariat could be the last bastion of free speech.

EXCELSIOR!

EMD said...

Nice to see the Badgers almost choke one against a FCS opponent.

edutcher said...

Given some of the things said against you personally, Madame, I have to credit you with the patience of Job not to clean house occasionally.

You'd think the trolls might be a little more grateful, as you give them free rein, but that's what happens when you deal with spoiled children.

Ann Althouse said...

@Tyrone LOL

John Lynch said...

I think the proximate cause was the election. More traffic, more insanity. Mead doesn't want to have a partisan blog.

I don't think Mead is really comfortable with this whole internet thing, even though it's given him a second chance at mass publicity. His books were out of print before his blog took off (I remember trying to get a copy of "Special Providence" a few years ago. BTW, that's a great book.

It's also really odd that WRM is so much more successful as a conservative than as a liberal (and yes, that's what he is now). Perhaps there's too much competition on the left for the sort of commentary he was providing. He's kind of a Tom Friedman, explainer type. Without a big media gig, the internet was all there was, and he did a good job with it.

sydney said...

I enjoy the comments here much more than any place else on the Internet. It is the most diverse and interesting of the comment sections, and I include such sites as The New Republic, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and even The New Engand Journal of Medicine. Most comment sections end up being echo chambers of the same point of view. At some of them, it feels like you are reading commentary from those two old guys in the box seats on the Muppet Show. But here, it is often thoughtful, and always entertaining. May your comment section always remain open.

sydney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erika said...

Thank you for the explanation, Professor, and for your attention toward curating the quality of the discussion. {Although, after reading a bit of the page you linked, I'm a bit leery of saying that lest I come across as a suckup. I'll refrain from making appreciative comments about anyone for a while now. :) }

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann - I think that if you were to eliminate comments, I would likely stray away (and some here might think that a good thing). The only non-comment "blogs" I routinely follow are Instapundit and Drudge. What most makes this a desirable blog for me is the commenting. You (Ann) throw something out, and everyone starts in. And, you do a good job of being an instigator.

garage mahal said...

I wonder if everyone here realizes just how lucky they are for having me around.

Althouse: Just think. I do this all for free!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

As I recall, before you became Meadhouse, the point of this blog was to replicate the atmosphere of a coffee house or what in the very olden days was called a "Salon gathering"

Now. Perhaps we have all not been as gentile as that original concept, however you can't have either of those venues without allowing a free exchange of ideas.

Is it a Salon or a Soliloquy?

If it is the latter... most of us are not interested.

wyo sis said...

I was a lurker for quite a long time before I got the courage to be a regular commenter. Now, it's a fun part of my day and I would miss it.

I admit to sometimes looking at the name before I bother to read the comment. Some I never read, they're just not my cup of tea.

Others I can't resist reading even though they make my blood boil.

It does feel like a community to me. Bagoh, Paddy O and carnifax are like brothers. The women are great as mentioned on the other thread.

Ann and Meade, you are great tour guides through pop culture and politics. Please don't change a thing.

Chip Ahoy said...

Claro que sí. Es un idea muy buena. Gracias por acoger esta sección de comentarios. Y usted es muy sabio para hospedarlo. Muchas gracias por hacer available esta área.

Blown glass hummingbird feeders

Joke! It's just that I'm amazed how many people are making hummingbird feeders on etsy. Thirteen pages of them. Mostly bottles. But people are concerned about the spouts too. People make flowers for the spouts. I'm impressed. It warms my heart to learn so many people love those little birds.

There's one glass blower I noticed on etsy who is making them a little too big but at incredibly low price. I bet I could contact them and arrange for feeders 1/3 normal size. The ideas people come up with are amazing.

You should buy one.

For the birds. Think of the birds.

Lem said...

I wonder if everyone here realizes just how lucky they are for having me around.

garage.. seriously, would it kill you to put up another one of your lame avatars?

I'm not picking up your comments as a result.

Lem said...

I second what wyo sis said.

John Lynch said...

Lem-

The avatar is everything. You want a pizza. Order a pizza.

Comments not only reward brevity, but repetition. They can get boring after a while.

Palladian said...

I wish there were just a little less pointless chattering. That ebbs and flows, of course, but I think it's useful to remember that there's a difference between a comments section and a chat room.

When I see people making literally dozens and dozens of comments in a single thread I think:

1. How do you have the time to do this for hours?

2. Why are you wasting your precious time doing this for hours, if you're not making new, substantive and interesting points?

3. SHUT UP, ALREADY! I hate scrolling through a 75 comment tennis match between (not to single people out) Bender and Allie or Jay and Allie or anyone and Allie.

But who am I to complain? Bad patches come and go. Irritating commenters come and go. I've been here since (I think) November 6th, 2005 at 2:23 PM, whereupon I slagged on the Beats. There's a unique chemistry involving Althouse's writing and the better commenters here (past and present) that have kept me reading and writing these (nearly) 7 years.

Chip Ahoy said...

I looked at frozen pizza for the first time in decades, and I must say, they sure do look good.

Tombstone seemed the best. No nonsense. Sold on a cardboard disc. Two pizzas for $7.00 summat, but I forgot to go back to the freezer section.

shiloh said...

"Please don't change a thing."

Not to worry as Althouse hasn't missed a day for the past 20/30 years. :-P

Death, taxes and Althouse ...

Palladian said...

More archaeology: Here's my second-ever Althouse comment, coming out as a resident gay, and talking about how I distrust tribalism of any sort.

And here's a thread where Althouse, Chuck B. and I manage to talk about tryptophan, indole, Received Ideas that irritate us, perfumery and cooking.

I think the arc of my personality is easily discernable in those few early comments.

garage mahal said...

garage.. seriously, would it kill you to put up another one of your lame avatars?

Sure, not a problem Lem. We're practically blood, me and you, yo?

I wonder if our resident Hall Monitor approves.

Paddy O said...

Wait a second, I thought all I was doing was revealing my pyschopathologies. Now I can't?

Anyhoo, I like the comments here because they're full of usually good arguments and discussions that help me sketch out my thoughts and see what others are sketching. It's great. Plus, I spend my time in academia, and am looking for jobs there, so I have to keep a very tight control over my political statements. Which isn't a bad thing, as it keeps me focused on what I should be focused on, but this place has been amazing to say what I'm thinking, riff off what others are thinking, and otherwise let off steam.

Thanks for this place. I go to instapundit as well, but this is the only place I comment at anymore, pretty much the only blog I regularly visit.

Chip Ahoy said...

Then on eBay you can find the most amazing array of antique bottles I've ever seen. You can pick a day, any day, and any price range, and a million bottles will come up. Or maybe a hundred. But a lot.

I don't care for bottles myself, but when it comes to hummingbird feeders it's good to start with an interesting bottle and there are tons of them on eBay.

Palladian said...

Tombstone seemed the best. No nonsense. Sold on a cardboard disc. Two pizzas for $7.00 summat, but I forgot to go back to the freezer section.

About a week ago, my boyfriend and I happened to watch this inexplicably mesmerizing video showing frozen pizza manufacture and we immediately went out and bought two.

I was not impressed. They were "Amy's" brand; too expensive, too pretend fancy, bland, meatless. What I really wanted was a cheap, old-fashioned frozen pizza that seemed proud of the fact that it was both frozen and machine-made. It's getting more difficult to find such products.

I did, however, find ice cream sandwiches, 6 for 2.99, made with emulsifiers and fake vanilla and all manner of other horrors. But that's exactly what I wanted. They were wonderful!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Chip Ahoy said...

Blown glass hummingbird feeders


I knew an old-timer in a remote part of Alaska who delighted in feeding the hummingbirds. They migrated almost nine thousand miles each way to and from southern Chile (and boy were their wings tired). Anyway, one fall he had a whole gallon of sugar syrup left over which he stuck in the pantry for the winter. When spring rolled around he used it to fill up the feeder, as usual. In the afternoon of the first day he checked his feeder, only to find about ten of the little critters on the ground, apparently dead. But then, one by one, they got up and unsteadily flew away-- with massive hangovers-- because the syrup had spent the winter fermenting.

EMD said...

Tombstone is pretty solid.

Celeste also gets high rankings as far as frozen pizza goes.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Paddy O said...

Wait a second, I thought all I was doing was revealing my pyschopathologies. Now I can't?


Paddy, I only meant to say I think you are about the sanest one here.

rcommal said...

I think editing and curating are different things. Weeding out is yet another different thing. There are other distinctions as well.

Perhaps the potential ball[s] of yarn[s] from an anticipated tangled mass all over the room did not seem worth the untangling and then reconnecting. Who knows? There's no accounting for preference (and, often enough, worth-the-time ability) after all, now, is there?

PatCA said...

I thought it was Meade, too. :)

Hardly anybody comments on WRM's blog! I guess he took curating too seriously, pondering over each one.

Yes, I think this blog has just the right balance of all the elements of blogging.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

All the Althouse ladies
All the Althouse ladies
All the Althouse ladies
All the Althouse ladies
All the Althouse ladies
Etc

Cuz if you liked it then you should have put a tag on it
If you liked it then you shoulda put a link on it
Don’t be mad once you see that she want it
If you liked it then you shoulda put a tag on it

wo oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh oh
Synova, wyo sis, Freeman Hunt, kentuckyliz, Erika
wo oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh oh
Victoria, Ruth Anne, Allie Oop, rcommal, Beth and all the rest
wo oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh ooh oh oh oh

bagoh20 said...

More and better liberals please. We need someone to explain how that shit works and why anyone would want to live in such a world. Hell, I could be wrong about everything, and I got nobody to teach me gooder around here.

rcommal said...

Palladian: Heh! Love that comment. It's all about "be what you are/things should be what they are and neither engage in pretense to bother otherwise or engage in silly pretensions." Isn't it? Or did I get that wrong?

Pogo said...

It's "goodly", bagoh, not "gooder".

rcommal said...

Sorry. In editing, I accidentally deleted the italicized reference-paragraphs (#2 & #3) from Palladian's 11:24 comment which which I'd started my just-previous comment (of 11:54). I'm rusty. My bad. : (

Yet! ; )

(Hey, Pogo.)

bagoh20 said...

I've tried all the frozen pizzas around here, one by one, and my favorite is California Pizza Kitchen - thin crusts, better quality ingredients, no nastiness, they cook well. There are others that are also good, and there are a few brands out there that are really not human food, and should be sold at Home Depot.

Paddy O said...


"Paddy, I only meant to say I think you are about the sanest one here."

Oh, that's nice, then. Thanks! Though, truth be told, I am the one who in my mid-30s thoughts a PhD in theology of all things was a good career move, so I'm not sure that's entirely sane. Few people are across the board sane in every area of life.

And thanks, wyo sis for your kind words.

I went looking to see if I could find my first comment. No idea. I know I started reading Althouse in the election coverage of 2004, but comments weren't open then, it seems, and I can't find when I first made one.

I did, however, find the very interesting post in which Althouse turned on the comments welcome sign. Seems we have Judge Posner to thank for it.

Paddy O said...

Digiornos pizza is good for frozen pizza, but only if it's on sale. It's the same pizza not on sale, but if you're paying over $5 for one, it just doesn't seem quite as good.

wyo sis said...

bagoh
I'm not sure there are better liberals. When you look at HufPo or Kos they're freakin' nuts.

Gabriel Hanna said...

I like the commenters here.

First, there are enough commenters that it's not the same people saying the same things every day. Second, there's not so many that you can't get to recognize some of them. Third, our hostess is somewhat liberal, and attracts commenters who are mostly somewhat conservative. This keeps it from being an echo chamber. Fourth, our hostess is experienced in getting people to discuss things in her professional life.

There are a couple of other places I will frequent but none so good as this, for commenting.

rcommal said...

I always say to my friends, I'm not a member of a group, the groups are members of me.

This is why you became and are eye-catching to me, Palladian, and why--no matter whether you have irritated me at times (and no matter that I do, in fact, after years of exposure, profoundly disagree with some of your music/musician etc., in particular, judgments) or not--I will always give attention to what you say and think about it.

Palladian said...

There are lots of good liberals around here— like me, for example. The problem is that the definition of liberalism in the United States has drifted from the "classical" liberalism of Locke, many of the Founders, Adam Smith, Hayek, Friedman, et al, to the post-New Deal, social welfare/socialist "progressivism".

I always refer to "progressive" liberals as "so-called liberals".

Gabriel Hanna said...

The pros of blogs that allow comments:

There's a chance to keep the blogger honest. It's harder to get away with a lie or spin. Someone who maybe agrees with you links to you, and the people who follow that link may read the comments and see that you got called out and how you responded to it.

It's not as passive as reading the news or an opinion column.

If you're lucky there is a community you can feel a part of.

The cons of blogs that allow comments:

Trolls and griefers who just want to bust things up.

Mobys who will try to discredit you by putting something inflammatory in the comments and calling the attention of others to it.

Poes who are inflammatory, and possibly sincere--no one can tell.

Spam.

Groupthink. It affects blogs with smaller pools of commenters than this one, I think. I know that there are people who think this blog is monolithic but I think that says more about their views than the views of the commenters here.

Drama. Much smaller blogs than this one, I think, are more susceptible. It's like griefing or trolling but everyone involved means it.

Palladian said...

It's all about "be what you are/things should be what they are and neither engage in pretense to bother otherwise or engage in silly pretensions." Isn't it? Or did I get that wrong?

You didn't get it wrong :)

It's applicable to more than just frozen pizza.

rcommal said...

Full disclosure: I didn't read all the comments on this post before posting mine. (There was a time where that would have been entirely unthinkable. Then there was a time when it was somewhat thinkable, sometimes, but times were hard then. And then... and then ... well, then, you get my drift. Often enough, since then, it's been a down-slide, though not ALWAYS.) The page for the comment on the post took me to the comment place and then I scrolled up until just after a couple of things caught my eye.

Now, I realize, I should have started from the very top, as I did from days of yore.

rcommal said...

I wish that some things that used to available on YouTube just a few years ago were still available (yet I understand why they're not and I can't even say that I disagree as to why).

Anyhoo, this seems appropriate enough for the purposes of 2012 quick commentary [in terms of what I recall, anyway]:

Am I wrong?

rcommal said...

I mean, that song is right up there along with "living freely through writing," as an enlivening undercurrent, is it not?

Not that there weren't and aren't other things, like art and photography and politics and Bob Dylan and squirrels and even "squism," for example. And sometimes even food and sometimes even friends! If you know what I mean.

; )

So it goes [ebbs and flows, even went] ... .

shiloh said...

hmm, blogging is a hobby, albeit to some extreme, con teabaggers a life or death hobby to be sure ... but a hobby er recreation nonetheless.

As again, no social/economic/political problem is gonna be solved and certainly nobody's mind is gonna change re: political ideology.

Indeed, absolutes are the order of the day at conservative blogs ie I'm 100% right and pay no attention to the (8) years of cheney/bush.

yada yada yada

I yield back the balance of my time to go find a more invigorating recreation! :)

furious_a said...

CPK for the ice pizza, Althouse for the comments. Austin and Oakland have nothing on Madison.

Thanks, Professor and Meade.

rcommal said...

Pogo:

Speaking of Beth, I e-mailed her earlier this week in the context of Hurricane Isaac. She was just fine.

I miss her here, though. A great loss.

rcommal said...

shiloh: You've begotten what you've beget, and you beget what you want. Not for one darn second do I believe that you'd want anything [to be] different. I've read your comments from the start, too.

caseym54 said...

Doesn't he have, like, grad students?

shiloh said...

rcommal

Beget indeed, as Althouse threads are 100% anti-Obama and 100% pro-mittens which I find somewhat amusing even for a 90/10 con blog.

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer or some such nonsense ...

The tribalism at a solidly con blog can be somewhat interesting ;) if taken in moderation.

Kirk Parker said...

"[Mead is] kind of a Tom Friedman, explainer type."

Oh good grief, is that some new kind of new putdown like damning with huge damn? No, no, a thousand time no! Mead is an actual explainer (that's "explainer-explainer" to you Whoopi fans), not a gaseous name-dropper and serial metaphor-abuser.

Gary Rosen said...

"even the ones I disagree with are bright albeit IMHO wrong. However there is one particular commenter that is a rather bigoted"

C-fudd is not only a bigot but he is dumber than a box of rocks. He fakes intelligence by posing himself as knowledgable on subjects he knows most people don't know anything about but when someone shows up who does he is *always* exposed for the liar he is.

David said...

He says he published about 40,000 comments over three years and filtered out half a million!

fivewheels said...

Hmm. When I think back to my blog-reading habits of years past, which is trackable by saved backup bookmark files, does it mean anything that the main shift in the last decade is that Althouse *replaced* Instapundit in my surfing habits?

Actually, what we see in my bookmarks is that I've always had Kaus and Volokh, and that long ago I read Instapundit, Lileks and Andrew Sullivan. Those three are gone, Rachel Lucas and Megan McArdle came and went, Dr. Helen and Bloggingheads.tv have gotten in there and Althouse has become a mainstay.

bagoh20 said...

Is there an easy way for a commenter to find their old comments on here without searching each individual post?

rcommal said...

Althouse threads are 100% anti-Obama and 100% pro-mittens

Hmmmmmm. That latter is obviously untrue and that former at least demonstrably so.

***

bagoh20:

There used to be a number of commenters here who knew how to do that. But the last time I noticed someone even making reference to it, I'm tentatively thinking that it was chickelit (?) in the context of saying that a particular technique didn't work anymore? I could be completely wrong about that, however.

Kathy said...

Ann - Yours is a true salon and not a soliloquy - nice comment Dust Bunny Queen.

I don't comment often - but have been a long time regular reader. And I love that I can just pop in fairly easily with my two cents worth at the oddest hours...

But all in all - a very open, honest, accessible and authentic salon. Very Emersonian - quite American. Quite wonderful place.

I love the comments section. My vote is to keep it as is. You are doing fantastic work here.

rcommal said...

There's a post here, somewhere, in the comments of which there was an explicit explanation of how to do something like that. (There may be more, but I'm thinking of one in particular that I recall, fuzzily, and there was discussion pursuant to it in that thread.) That was the one time I actually used that technique, with reference to my own comments (as reader_iam). But that was years ago. So, useless_iam, except to suggest that you try posting your query again very high up in another thread or even emailing Althouse or Meade, who might be able to either answer your question directly or recall those commenters who did know how to do that.

rcommal said...

shiloh: This is the third presidential election with which this blog has dealt over the years (and there have been, as well, midterms and the like). And yet you strive, because you apparently you wish, to define it as not JUST "anti-Obama" v. "pro-mittens" but more specifically as "100% anti-Obama and 100% pro-mittens? Sheesh.

I mean, I have my issues here, too, but THAT statement of yours is truly ridiculous. With all due respect, think about it. Won't you? Please.

Palladian said...

There used to be a site that chronologically aggregated all the comments made by someone with a particular Blogger account, but that site became a paid service and has now been swallowed up by Twitter, both rendering it unavailable.

The only way to do it now is to use Google's search-by-date function which, while inexact, can still serve the purpose. For example, I believe I've found bagoh2o's first Althouse comment.

rcommal said...

Pogo:

I can't speak for the other ladies, but I got a kick out of the thighs in the video of that Beyoncé song to which you were alluding.

I am inspired!

(And thanks for the reference.)

rcommal said...

But, to be clear, inspired only for myself, and for my husband--because, in fact, I am both not single AND am a very committed, married woman to a wonderful guy (for many, many years now). Lucky me!

; )

rcocean said...

In you don't edit and curate you get:

"contributors who hog the microphone, launch flame wars, smuggle hate speech into the comment page, rant about personal pet peeves repeatedly and predictably, let partisan or ideological animus run wild or otherwise abuse what at its best was a forum for reflection and thoughtful debate."

That's why you need the blogger's involvement in the comments section.

edutcher said...

Palladian said...

When I see people making literally dozens and dozens of comments in a single thread I think:

1. How do you have the time to do this for hours?


Most of the trolls, as I say, are sockpuppets with anonymous Lefties working in shifts with their pre-digested talking points and boilerplate in hand.

You, sir, Cook, MadMan, and our own beloved garage are the only real Liberals here.

rcommal said...

Pfuie.

tim maguire said...

Some blogs seem to be harmed by comments, some are not. I think volokh was better before comments. Instapundit would probably get thousands of comments on every post.

Anything more than 50 or 60 is too many to keep up with and i never bother posting when there's more than 100. Who'd read it?

Althouse is on the cusp. One of the great things about this blog is that the professor's posts are often just set ups for our conversations. And she gives us a free hand, which many commenters use brilliantly. It's almost a group blog.

But with consistently 100 or more posts, it threatens to be too much. Althouse is being harmed by its own success.

tim maguire said...

Some blogs seem to be harmed by comments, some are not. I think volokh was better before comments. Instapundit would probably get thousands of comments on every post.

Anything more than 50 or 60 is too many to keep up with and i never bother posting when there's more than 100. Who'd read it?

Althouse is on the cusp. One of the great things about this blog is that the professor's posts are often just set ups for our conversations. And she gives us a free hand, which many commenters use brilliantly. It's almost a group blog.

But with consistently 100 or more posts, it threatens to be too much. Althouse is being harmed by its own success.

rcommal said...

I do love the conflation of Robert Cook, MadisonMan, garage mahal, and Palladian, though.

That is interesting.

rcommal said...

Tim: Do you mean your "[b]ut with consistently more than 100 posts..." to refer specifically to the political posts, or at least the posts having to do with politics? If you mean that more generally, I take issue with what you just wrote on a factual basis. And if you DO mean to refer specifically--only?--to the political posts/posts on politics, then I think you're reducing this blog to just one of its parts (even if Althouse does seem to be emphasizing that part more recently). I would be interested in reading what the proprietor herself has to say about that. Otherwise, IMO, this sort of analysis is just a morphing from "and you, a law professor!" to "and you, a serious politics commentator [who might be in danger of letting her comments section get out of control]."

Just a thought.

rcommal said...

I do love the conflation of Robert Cook, MadisonMan, garage mahal, and Palladian, though.

That is interesting.


Because those people--and I think each and every one of those people are actually individual people--strike me as markedly different even if one were taking only, solely, their politics, political commentary, and even their apparent philosophies into account, based on what each and every one of those individuals have written here over several years now.

What am I missing?

Tank said...

Sort of take down of Mead here.

wild chicken said...

There was a blog I used to read all the time that ended comments and so I stopped going there. I can't even remember what it was now. Something to do with family research typestuff.

Paco Wové said...

Glad to hear Beth is ok after Isaac. I wish she still came by around here, though...

shiloh said...

rcommal, Althouse has to cater/kowtow to her 90/10 con flock, no biggie. Much like fixednoise. Supply and demand.

Let me rephrase: Alhouse general theme is 100% pro-mittens, 100% anti-Obama.

But she will realize, in the comin' weeks, what a train wreck willard and Ryan truly are and have to start stating the obvious w/her blog. ok, she probably already realizes this, but did I mention she has to cater/kowtow to her super majority con flock.

The ying and yang of con/lib blogs.

Blogging is basically low brow entertainment for shut-ins. A release passive/aggressive folk.

>

btw, remember when Althouse was pissed at blogger and was ((( definitely ))) moving to a more upscale platform?

hmm, it would have cost her more $$$ and old habits are hard to break. Even for a professor!

I yield back the balance of my time to bagoh20 trying to find his posts. :D

If one remembers the "words" to their long lost post. Put althouse.com in google along w/your username name and said description and you can usually find an individual post. But if you use the same phrasing for most of your posts it could take a while. That's why it helps to be as specific as you can be w/the words.

I use it mostly to find a post some other fool may have posted inanity in the recent past. If you don't take blogging too seriously, it can be fun. :)

shiloh said...

yin and yang

Shouting Thomas said...

shiloh,

Really, you have the most amazing ability to say absolutely nothing in the maximum number of words possible.

kcom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kcom said...

Tim Blair used to have a free-wheeling, you-post-it-it's-there comment section. He did have a third party blog administrator who put the hammer down occasionally when certain commenters couldn't contain themselves but it was rare. She was actually a regular commenter, as well. There was a lot of wit displayed and a lot of back and forth banter. A good time was had by all.

Then he got a new job at a major newspaper and shifted his blog over to his new employer. Now every comment has to be approved before you see it and it frequently takes hours. The immediacy of having a conversation was destroyed and it's never been the same since. If you have to wait four hours to have your "What did you mean by that?" question come through, there is essentially no real conversation. Just your turn at the mic, as someone above said.

shiloh said...

Regardless, shouting tom always reads everything I post lol.

st just likes wasting his time which is why he's here.

Otherwise one would consider him a fool for reading someone's posts he knows are superfluous.

btw, do you read all of Jay's/Alex/Mick's etc. etc. posts? Rhetorical

tiger said...

Kinda weird that you link to site that links to another site...

Instapundit is a great site; the snark is strong with that one.

Ipso Fatso said...

I love the comment section but it is hard to keep up with when there are 200+ comments on a particular thread. You have no choice but to scroll through them Evelyn Wood style (wonder if she was related to Rosemary Woods?) Probabaly not as one has an s on the end and the other doesn't. Life is tough.

Shouting Thomas said...

"Regardless, shouting tom always reads everything I post lol."

Your posts are easy to read. Takes about .01 second.

As I said, you are the master of complete emptiness, and you seem to be quite giddy over it.

Kinda dopey, but it seems to get your rocks off.

Ipso Fatso said...

Whatever happend to Carol Herman?

Roger J. said...

I think you comments section works quite well. Seems to me if posters do not like what a given commenter has to say, the answer is simple: scroll on by and dont respond.

edutcher said...

The little animal doesn't know his yin from his ying.

There's a suprise.

btw, remember when Althouse was pissed at blogger and was ((( definitely ))) moving to a more upscale platform?

Too much hassle moving the archives and, for her, it was all or nothing.

But, he knew that.
But she will realize, in the comin' weeks, what a train wreck willard and Ryan truly are and have to start stating the obvious


Seems like "train wreck" is a recurring phrase among the trolls. You don't imagine anyone's feeding them their lines, do you?

BTW, if O and Joe are so swell, why are so many Demos wishing Hill was on the bill?

Shouting Thomas said...

shiloh,

What in the hell are the verbal tics about?

The multiple parens mean what?

The "I yield back..." thing signifies what?

It is Sunday morning. If I can't waste a little time on Sunday morning, then when?

Mr. D said...

I've always enjoyed the comment section here. I also think that most of your commenters respect you enough to avoid becoming problematic. That's why it works for you.

shiloh said...

That I struck a nerve w/st is duly noted.

Shouting Thomas said...

That I struck a nerve w/st is duly noted.

Another one of your absolutely empty statements that seem to tickle you no end.

Did you suffer brain damage as the result of an accident?

Try to say something that has some substance, no matter how slight. Anything. Give it a try. Take it as a challenge.

Kirk Parker said...


Go to google, type in the search box:

Cederford site:althouse.blogspot.com

(Well, actually I recommend you search for someone else's comments, but you get the idea...)

You can also use the Advanced Search to restrict the date range.

Kirk Parker said...

Palladian's a "liberal"? When did *that* happen?

MadisonMan said...

Whatever happened to Carol Herman?

She and vbspurs (Victoria) were victims of the White Slavery trade that Trooper York is in charge of. Both are now working at Sippican Cottage for 10 cents an hour.

Kirk Parker said...

Tim Maguire,

I disagree about Volokh. They were best back when the integrated commenting system was working. Disqus is what's killing them off (it's the nested comments, naturally.)

Kirk Parker said...

"The multiple parens mean what?"

Shiloh's getting paid by the byte, not by the word.

shiloh said...

"Shiloh's getting paid by the byte, not by the word."

If true lol that would definitely make me the smartest poster here.

bagoh20 said...

Rcommal & Palladian,

Thanks for that help. And yes, I think that is my first comment, and that's just what I was looking for. Thanks P.

edutcher said...

If true lol that would definitely make me the smartest poster here.

No, it means he was too stupid to hold out being paid by the bit.

Ipso Fatso said...

Kirk Parker:

I disagree about Volokh. They were best back when the integrated commenting system was working. Disqus is what's killing them off (it's the nested comments, naturally.)

This is so true. I don't understand Volokh's thinking. They had a great comment section. The best in many ways. It has died a slow painful death.

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk Parker said...

" I don't understand Volokh's thinking. "

Technical problems. The integrated commenting (Wordpress, I think maybe) started messing up and their tech people were unable to heal it. (If you were there at the time, it stopped showing new comments, you had to do a fake addendum to the URL like ..../page3 or something like that each time you wanted to see newly-added comments.

vanderleun said...

I noted that last week on Mead and thought, "Well, here goes his traffic into the toilet." And I betcha that's true.

All in all, Mead is a punk. Real men (and women) enable comments.

Mead's real problem with comments has been, for a long time, a number of posters who not only don't agree with the Prof but have not trouble saying so without tugging the forelock.

He's also a sort of lazy guy and it is also a problem when he blathers on about something nobody in the world cares about (often) and endures the ignominy of no comments.

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An enormous amount of comment having nothing to do with the subject matter. How depressing! Adam Friedman

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