Feeble Knees

Monday, January 03, 2005

Queen of This Realm

I have no problem with freedom of speech. I have no problem with dissenting viewpoints. I can even abide abject stupidity. But you cross the line when you hijack the comments on my blog with your own endless diatribes.

It continues to amaze me how people conduct themselves within the confines of a comment box. Things that people would probably never say in a roomful of strangers somehow are suitable for posting to an audience of hundreds or thousands on the Internet.

For the most part, I try to make my comments on other blogs a)Relevant to the topic discussed in the post, b) polite, even if my views are different than those expressed in the topic and c) either encouraging or thought provoking.

I've been blessed so far to have many of my readers leave thoughtful comments - and by thoughtful I mean they show careful thought and construction when writing them. It is the coolest thing in the world to check out my blog and see that something I read elicited a response from someone. That's why many of us find blogging so rewarding and neat (and addictive!) But with the good always comes the bad, eventually.

From here on ever after, be advised that if anyone attempts to add many multiple comments to one post that do nothing but rant and rave about your their opinion/beliefs, that person will likely get themselves banned. I would gladly take up arms and die to protect your freedom to say or write whatever you want - just do it on your own blog, OK? This blog isn't big enough for the two of us.

If you don't like it, go play in your own backyard.

It amazes me that so many people spend so much time going to someone else's post & pouring out paragraph after paragraph, when it'd probably more productive for them to start their own blog and save all their rants for their own posts. It is any easy trap to fall into. Several times now I've found myself tempted to do that. My new cardinal rule is that if I'm writing a comment on someone else's blog that starts to exceed just a paragraph or two, it's probably better for me to create a new post on my own blog and link back to the original post that sparked it. Sometimes I break this rule if I don't feel like revisiting the topic in my little corner of cyberspace, but on the whole it does work better and reduces the amount of time I spend ranting into the wind.

Mind you, I have seen some very interesting back-and-forth conversations on threads. When a conversation begins, it usually goes something like this:

Commenter: I like your writing, but the sky is really black, not blue.
Blogger: Thank you for reading. On what do you base your claim that the sky is black?
Commenter: Well from where I stand, it's black, with little white lights in it.
Blogger: Ah, I see. What time is it where you are? Where I am, it is daytime, the skies are clear and they are plainly blue. When the sun comes up where you are, write back and tell me what you see.

You get the idea. That sort of exchange can be enlightening and interesting to both the blogger and the readers. I have no problem with that at all.

If you want to vehemently disagree with something I wrote, marvelous! Do it succinctly in the space of one comment box, if you please. If that's not enough to get it off your chest, start your own blog, post your rant there, then kindly send a trackback to my original post. That is much more mutually beneficial, you see, because you get an opportunity to really let me have it with both barrels, and I get a share of your readership. That is how things work in the blogosphere.

I haven't yet determined where the line is when it comes to deleting posts. I guess it's kind of like the supreme court ruling on pornography - I'll recognize a delete-worthy post when I see it. For the most part, I intend to let all comments stand. If you want to make yourself look bad, heaven forbid I stand in your way. Better that everyone else know precisely what manner of person they are dealing with, I say. However, I reserve the right to ban anyone who, having made their point, continues to rant on and on with no signs of stopping.

The Queen has spoken. You've been warned!

<< Home

TrackBack URL for this post: http://haloscan.com/tb/feebleknees/110477075090366530