Friday 17 December 2010

A comment on comments


I am not a huge fan of comments on blogs.

Indeed, when I first began looking at blogs and for quite a while, I was put-off reading several blogs (despite enjoying the postings) because of the comments.

The postings might be good, but the world of the comments that followed them was horrific.


So, in general I heartily dislike most comment sections on most blogs - especially popular blogs.

I find it hard to resist looking at the comments, but almost always wish that I had not.

I often leave a blog having had the good effects of the posting removed, and sometimes reversed, by the bad effects of the comment section.


Comments are best on small blogs with a keen readership; and I most enjoy the style of heavily-controlled commenting which is used by (for example) Lawrence Auster at View from the Right and Laura Wood at Thinking Housewife.

The blog and the edited comments combine to make a final product.

(Victims of my policy will be amused to know that Auster never prints my comments! I still read his blog daily. My attitude is that Auster knows best what works for his blog.) 

On the other hand there are some commenters whose stuff I always look forward to reading - and some of these favourites have become active on this blog, I'm delighted to say!


It is clear that just as some people blog in order to develop their thoughts, so the same applies to some commenters.

I used to do this myself, before I became a regular blogger. I have one or two commenters here who are clearly developing their own ideas in interaction with this blog, whose ideas interest me, and I am usually happy for this to be done in the comments section.

Yet the commenting should be complementary to my purpose in each blog posting; or at least should not diminish or sabotage it.


This is why I am so ruthless about filtering comments - generally rejecting as many or more than I publish.

I don't print angry comments, or hostile ones, or ones which do not share my basic premises, or ones which are (for me) just a re-hash of opinions which I myself used to hold but have since changed.

I don't print comments which tend to create the kind of atmosphere that I dislike. 

And a comment may be fine in and of itself - but may (in my opinion) detract in some way from the post; may indeed undermine what I conceive to be the purpose of the post.


Being so fussy, I am lucky that people can be bothered to comment at all! - because I have certainly benefited from many of the published comments, as well as some of the unpublished ones.

But anyway, this is a partial explanation for those commenters - including regulars - who have submitted a comment which seemed innocuous but which never appeared.


No comments: