Blogging in Ann Arbor and the Comment Question

Some vigorous discussion has been going on lately here and there about “rules” for comments on blogs.   I found the recent post on MarkMaynard.com quite amusing.  According to his post, AnnArbor.com plans to moderate comments.  I’ll let you read Mark’s take on it for yourself.  Meanwhile, “Murph” posted an essay on moderation on Arbor Update (and comments were not enabled) after a particularly contentious run of discussions about policy on deleting comments.  Arbor Update also has a current discussion about the use of pseudonymous commentors.  And Edward Vielmetti, whose thoughts are never vacuous, provides a whole series of discussions from blogs and news sites around the world on this subject.  Ann Arbor Chronicle, which of course is not a blog, handled a recent run of troublesome off-topic comments neatly by simply excising them and making them available in an orphan section.

I won’t try to add to the chorus on this subject but I thought it a good opportunity to lay out rules for commenting on this blog.

1. Most comments will be published immediately, without prior review.

2. WordPress sends suspect comments into a spam folder.  It hasn’t caught any local comments yet.

3. Though you are asked for your email address in filling out comments, it will never be published and I will not send you any messages unless necessary for some administrative reason (can’t think of any right now).

4. Filling in a URL in the comment page will mean that people can go to your website, but this is optional – just leave it out if you don’t want to be linked to.

5. If you must use a pseudonym, I will reluctantly permit it.  Best if you have a well-known one used elsewhere also.  Personally, I’d rather see you stand behind your opinions with your real name.

6. I will delete your comment only if it is abusive, seriously off-topic, or otherwise totally unacceptable.  I won’t publish personal attacks against me or anyone else, and if the comment contains obvious falsehoods I’ll address that in a reply.  What is totally unacceptable?  It follows Justice Stewart’s rule. (Offensive language falls under the “abusive” label, again using the J.S. rule.)  But differences of opinion and especially corrections of fact are welcomed.

All that said, here’s hoping for more comments!

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One Comment on “Blogging in Ann Arbor and the Comment Question”

  1. TeacherPatti Says:

    The comment issue is a difficult one, isn’t it? I use TeacherPatti because I thought it sounded cute. My last name, as I am happy to tell anyone who asks, is Smith. Also, I inevitably get the “I love your music”/”Sing something for us”/”Are you THE Patti Smith ha ha ha”/all of the above when I reveal my full name. For the record, I can’t stand the other Patti’s music. I’m sure she’s a nice person, but her music makes me shudder. Then again, my singing makes everyone else shudder, so….


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