Conversations

Today I did something twice that I’ve only had to do three or four times since this blog began:

Deleted a comment awaiting moderation.

Readers of Cites & Insights know that I’m skeptical of the notion that weblogs are automatically great conversational media, or that they’re substantially superior to lists. At best, at least in single-author weblogs, conversations are always a little one-sided: The owner speaks first.

That said, I also believe that weblogs can involve good conversations, and I’m delighted that this one has gathered so many thoughtful and informative comments.

I’ve finished the “biblioblogosphere” investigation that will be the heart of the next C&I; to my surprise, Walt at Random turned out to be one of “a top 50″–and, to my delight, it ranks as the sixth most conversationally intense of that group during the April-June 2005 study period. (That is, the average number of comments per post was higher than all but five other weblogs. I suspect few of you will guess which weblog came out on top…and I’m not telling until the issue comes out.)

In the interests of good conversations, I approve most comments–and, for that matter, most comments don’t even require moderation.

But there are limits. Commercial posts are right out. Spam is right out.

The two today were, I believe, spam of a sort; I’m really not quite sure. Both were attached to the Blaise Cronin entry; both seemed to come from the same person although there were different names and email addresses; both combined a short statement with a link to slashdot or firefox.

Here are the statements, as I remember them:

1. “I’m tired of reading about this”

2. “Why don’t you shut up”

This is fair warning that I feel free to continue deleting comments with this level of substance, either at the moderation phase or after they’re posted if they escape moderation. If you’re tired of reading about (whatever), then stop reading it. If you want me to stop “talking to you” (one meaning of “shut up”), unsubscribe or just stop coming here. If you want me to shut up in general…well, good luck.

6 Responses to “Conversations”

  1. Michael Stephens Says:

    Greetings Walt! I wonder…is there someone out there commenting at some of the LIS blogs… David King has mentioned it on his blog. Aaron had a quirky one as well… hmmm..some disenchanted blogger perhaps?

  2. rochelle Says:

    So far, I’ve only had a couple of off-the-wall or aggressive anon comments on my blog, and I got the sense that they weren’t a regular part of the blogging community. I did finally turn off track-backs. Ick! What a creep parade that drew! We just got one at LISNews a few days ago…someone who typed all in caps and quoted Brittney (Spears, I presume) about supporting the president, no matter what. Pretty sure it wasn’t an LIS person. At least, I hope it wasn’t.

  3. tangognat Says:

    I’ve had to do that a few times, if the person posting the comment is clearly making a personal attack or swearing, I have no qualms about deleting it.

  4. Seth Finkelstein Says:

    I suspect those weren’t comments from real people. Rather, it may have been intended to get the email and IP address pre-approved for posting for a subsequent spamming.

  5. Dorothea Salo Says:

    Hm. If Seth’s right (and he may well be), it probably says something about the flow of commentary in other corners of the blogsphere that comments such as those Walt deleted could be presumed to go unnoticed!

  6. walt Says:

    There were three more attempts this weekend, two of them comments on this post. I’m pretty sure Seth’s right. (And, of course, lots of weblogs don’t have any bars to comments.)

    Now that I’m hearing about impressive amounts of linkback spam, I’m satisfied that my accidental choice to NOT display linkbacks is probably a good thing.


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