Lovefest

Lovefest
: Damn, I do love my comments. There are a few people who drive me batty (and I won’t name them). But the discussion there is carbonated and smart. I’m happy that Glenn Reynolds is both contributing to the comments and pointing to them (now if I could get him to turn comments on — with the help of a volunteer militia to police them).

I’ve been working on my talk at next week’s blog conference in Boston and today’s talk here reminds me that one of the great advantages of weblogs over other forms of content is interactivity — first in links and notations, weblog to weblog, and second in comments on a weblog. That is how we discuss; that is how we fact-check each other’s asses (which starts to sound obscene when said that way, doesn’t it?).

Take this as a virtual hug, all of you.

And now let’s get back to arguing over Andrew Sullivan and his monotonous harping…

  • http://www.miscellaneousetc.com/ac Jackie D

    Just a hug? Tease.

  • http://www.freespeech.com Del Simmons

    Jeff,
    I find it interesting that this “comments” issue has come up today. I just happen to have posted a couple of stories over the last 48 hours or so about how important it is to have a blog with commenting enabled, and what it is like trying to deal with a site where no comments are allowed.
    I’d like to know if you agree with my position.
    http://www.freespeech.com/archives/000383.html
    http://www.freespeech.com/archives/000390.html
    http://www.freespeech.com/archives/000377.html
    To quote one..
    Reading a blog without comments and trackback support is kind of like watching someone stand in a glass chamber and yell into a mic that broadcasts to anybody that walks by. Everyone gets to hear you, but nobody watching the spectacle can easily refute anything you say. In fact, we’re not even able refute your false information to the others that hear you on your blog. They go through life thinking that your comment is true unless they happen to stumble on someone with a dissenting opinion. There is no opportunity to correct any mistakes in the statements.

  • balbulican

    “There are a few people who drive me batty (and I won’t name them).”
    That’s okay. We know who we are.

  • http://jimtreacher.com Puce

    bablic is REBEL

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    You know what else reading a blog without comments or trackback support is like? Reading pretty much anything else in the history of the world. “Nobody else can easily refute what you say?” Well, it’s not quite as easy now that Blogspot is falling apart, or going through growing pains, or whatever is going on there these days. But it takes 5 minutes and $0.00 to start your own blog. Then you can refute to your heart’s content.
    I decided to enable comments on my new blog, and so far it’s been pretty cool. And there are other blogs whose comments I enjoy. But if I decide to turn them off tomorrow, it’s not a free speech issue. If you write a letter to a newspaper and they don’t print it, you’re not being censored.

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    “And there are other blogs whose comments I enjoy.”
    Including this one, of course!

  • http://cdguy.blogspot.com/ Rook

    {{{{{{{hug}}}}}}} {{{{{{{{kissy/kissy}}}}}}}
    Hey! Watch those hands!

  • http://www.freespeech.com Del Simmons

    Jim Treacher, you miss my point completely..
    Of course you can set up your own blog. That is what I’ve done at FreeSpeech.com.
    As I have said many times, not allowing comments is a problem because the people who read the original article, that is, the one full of lies, have no way of knowing that the issues in the original post are disputed unless they just happen stumble on the dissent.
    When comments are enabled, the flaws in a post can be shown immediately and anyone who reads the post has the ability to be made aware immediately that some of the post could have had false statements in it. I never said that J, or Mike Wang, or anyone else didn’t have the right to turn off comments. To the contrary, I said they had every right to do that:
    http://www.freespeech.com/archives/000377.html
    Many people do it and it is their right. But I will say that it is a “Bad Thing” and that it does not help in promoting the search for the truth. Get it?
    I never said anyone was censoring me. I simple said that not allowing comments on your own posts is a sheild to hide behind and makes your posts less legit if you think the search for the truth of an issue is important.
    I think we can all agree that the search for the truth should be important, right?
    God knows I have been wrong in my posts before and having comments enabled allowed astute viewers to help me see the truth. This is a good thing.
    http://www.freespeech.com/archives/000367.html
    See, in that last post, how Roger Sweeny was able to add some good thoughts on my position, and allow anyone who reads that to know that I might have been opverreacting a bit. And I appreciated that. This is the type of proper search for the truth that makes blogs a powerful force for good. If I had not had comments enabled, I’d still be convinced of my original position. Now I have learned and everyone else that reads it will see both sides of the story. This is truly Free Speech in action.
    The problem is that people like Mike and J don’t want to know the truth and as such they should be exposed as people uninterested in the truth. And the shield of no comments that allows them to hide the truth should be made plain to everyone.
    Make sense?
    On a side note, it seems that Mike and J might be the same person cheating in the New BLog Showcase. It wouldn’t suprise me. Check this out..
    http://www.freespeech.com/archives/000394.html
    So I hope my point is clear now.. Anyone else have any thoughts?

  • http://www.freespeech.com Del Simmons

    For what it’s worth, I think with huge sites like Instapundit, comments are not nearly so important. If InstaPundit makes a false claim, everyone and their brother will be talking about it. There is a much smaller chance that the dissent won’t be stumbled upon, if that makes sense. Not to mention that when you get that much traffic, having comments enabled becomes a huge strain on the server and the comments get so long that nobody can read them all anyway. But for people starting a new blog that have a smaller audience, enabling comments is critical.

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    “As I have said many times, not allowing comments is a problem because the people who read the original article, that is, the one full of lies, have no way of knowing that the issues in the original post are disputed unless they just happen stumble on the dissent.”
    Which is the way it’s always been. I don’t think people need comments sections to figure out when something’s BS. Sure, some people do, but there wouldn’t be so many blogs if people never questioned anything.
    I’m sure your other 20 points are good, though.

  • http://www.freespeech.com Del Simmons

    Just because something is “the way it has always been”, Jim, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t recognised that it’s problematic and work as a community to discourage it. Fair enough?
    Plenty of people out there need help, like comments, to figure out when something is BS. If this weren’t true then the trio of Dowd, Krugman and Herbert wouldn’t have so many devoted followers at the NYT oped pages.. ;)
    Right?

  • http://www.mindofmog.net/ mog

    Having originally been on Blogger where options were essentially nonexistent (Blogspot suffers the same problem), I was delighted to find blogware that allowed comments, trackback, etc. It is more personal and allows for some good discussion to have comments on a particular post as opposed to just using a guestbook to say they like or don’t like your site. It definitely enriches the blogging experience.

  • kim

    I like the fact that Glenn’s site doesn’t have comments. He gives his opinion and tells you to go read and form your own. No debate necessary. He doesn’t write in concrete and he has posted and linked to his own fisking’s. (forgive me, is that a word) Other sites have picked up his imput and blogged on it and I’ve seen him post in the comments on those sites.
    On a side note, I’ve detected an awful lot of bloggers envy these days. Why? I read most of your sites and I’m a little surprised. Maybe I’m wrong?

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    “Just because something is ‘the way it has always been’, Jim, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t recognised that it’s problematic and work as a community to discourage it. Fair enough?”
    Not really. Comments are a good option, but they’re just that. Optional. A blog without comments is in no way problematic. In some ways it might be better, in other ways it might be worse. ;)
    “Plenty of people out there need help, like comments, to figure out when something is BS. If this weren’t true then the trio of Dowd, Krugman and Herbert wouldn’t have so many devoted followers at the NYT oped pages.”
    The NYT has comments? ;)

  • http://jimtreacher.com Jim Treacher

    Er… never mind. I don’t even know why I’m arguing about this. Del’s right. Everybody get comments, and do it now.

  • http://www.rossirant.com rossi

    eyah
    i just had comments added to my site this year
    and ive gotta say it has really and truly changed my entire blog experience
    i had no idea how wonderful
    supportive and interactive it would become
    i used to feel like a solo voice in the
    in the water with a few bleeps of feedback via email
    but now
    now its like i have pals
    and sometimes critics
    but what the heck
    its a whole new
    thang

  • http://cdguy.blogspot.com/ Rook

    Kim, I’ll admit to having blogger’s envy. Is that a disorder or a condition?

  • Kim

    Rook, hmmmm does it cause you pain? If so it would be an affliction.

  • http://hackjammer.com/weblogs/bc cheezwiz

    I’m about to rejoin the Dark Side with Movable Type myself and I’ve been wondering whether I want to enable comments or not.
    This thread, I think, is a perfect illustration of the arguments both for and against enabling comments.
    ‘Nuff said.