Tobold's Blog
Monday, January 18, 2010
Poll: Comments Yes or No?

I moderate comments on this blog. I explained the reasons for that multiple times, but if you don't remember my arguments, there is one long comment from me in the previous post which sums them up well. Nevertheless comment moderation invariably leads to people complaining about the restrictions.

Thus I would like your input on the options: Do you prefer comments in the current form, with moderation? Or would you prefer if I had no comment section at all? This is a simple "comments yes or no" question, there is no third option of "I would like comments without moderation", because I simply couldn't stomach that one (and I tried).
Comments Yes

Ignore folks who don't like the moderation, its your blog after all.
Comments with moderation and a banana, please!
I like to hear what you say.

I don't like how you moderate comments.

On balance. Yes is the answer for me.
The only one that can answer the question in those terms is you.

Do you want comments? If yes, why do you want them for?

If you answer those questions truthfully to yourself then you'll get your answer.

The internetz are cruel yes. People are rude, yes. But give me /b/ anytime as oposing to a hyper sanitized and ultra controlled environment even if sometimes I foam due to some trollism or plain stupidity.

Howver, just to answer the post I would with yes to comnments but with a twist. Ban the "fuck you" comments but anyother with a valid point but rude why not publish it but instead of the text just an edit [Edit: Please rephrase that with politness and decorum]?
With moderated comments please Tobold if you can bear it. The (sensible) comments add a lot to the discussion, particularly as you often write quite opinion pieces which rightly provoke discussion. I am a daily reader of your blog and feel it would be much diminsished if the discussion element were to go. However, I also appreciate how painful it must be sifting out the swathes of unconstructive and personal comments. I certainly couldn't do it.

That said, if you feel that you really can't face it any more then I would rather have your pieces without comments than have you feel unable to continue.
I prefer moderated comments.
Comments on.

That said, I will say that there is something definitely missing with the delay caused by moderation.

In my case, on the west coast of the US, no comments are approved after Noon. The net effect is that the topic is pretty much closed and very few replies are posted after that break.

You DO need to sleep, so it's completely understandable. But it is different -- and not in a good way. Still, some comments are better than none -- which I suspect is your point here.
Yes, keep the comments! with all due respect to you Tobold, I like the 'healthy' debates that often arise in the comments!
I think it would be fun if you didn't allow comments, but did allow for trackbacks (links to here from another blog). That way, if someone wanted to put a comment on what you say on the Internet, they'd have to be willing to have their own blog to discuss it (at they can decide if they want to have comments or not).
Yes. Comments please.
I would like comments with moderation.

However, if moderating comments is taking up post writing time, then no comments, so you can juice out more wonderful tobold-brains to us junkies.
I have read your blog for a long time, and any change that you have made over the past few years has been good for the signal to noise ratio, and often times that is very difficult to accomplish, yet you've done a great job doing so.

Kudos on that.

I prefer the moderated comments method as it stands now and cast my vote that you maintain it.

People arent guaranteed a voice in such a setting, and they should remember that when submitting comments. You have every right not to approve a comment for publication if you feel that it is a personal attack or doesnt add to the discussion. Use your energies to do what you have done in the past: Using your writing talent to provide thought provoking posts on games/MMO's.

Wasting your energy on the drama and fallout over not publishing comments is not worth your time. You dont have to explain to anyone why you choose to publish a comment or not.
I like it as is.
I vote yes to comments with moderation.
I'd prefer comments, because the good ones add to the topic, and I couldn´t care less for the bad ones.

So yes.
Comments don't bother me either way - I mostly read through RSS, so I don't care :D
Yes. It is perfect in it's current form.

Moderation is fine, I don't want to read rants against a blogger on their own blog.
Yes on Comments.
I rarely read comments, but you seem to appreciate having them. Yes to comments.
Its your mind that creates this place everyday anew. But it would be dead without comments. Comments save you from being a preacher. They also save us from being something weird like The Followers of the Church of Tobold and allow us to reflect (instead of digest) what you wrote and articulate an opinion of ourselves.
I would prefer the comment not to be moderated beforehand and any black sheeps picked out afterwords because as it is now the possibility to get a conversation going is a bit limited. But since you didn't gave that choice its "Comments Yes".
I find that comments add even more to your already thoughtful posts, it would be a shame to not have other people's opinions on your opinions.
A blog without comments would be like Priests without Prayer of Mending or Mages without portals.

Would it work? Certainly. But it would suck beyond believe.
You wouldn't want to blog without comments. And I wouldn't read this blog if there were no comments.
Comments: yes.

Moderation: not preferred, but it is reasonable for you to want it, and it is utterly expected that you should get what you want on your blog. Otherwise why would you put the effort into writing it for free?
Whichever option causes you less stress.

I very rarely read the comments. The vast majority of the time I only read what shows up in the RSS feed.
yes to comments!
I like the comments in the current form, but I must point out that your poll is self-selecting: generally people who like comments will actually comment to vote Yes to comments. :-)
Moderated comments, yes.

And I fully understand why you want it to be moderated also.
Comments: Yes.

I'll further add that I would not ever read comments on your blog if they were not moderated. So, although not asked, moderation: yes.

Some (sadly, many) people just have a very, very erroneous concept of what "freedom of speech" actually means. Ignore them.
Your blog has good discussion in the comments, so I hope you keep them. You should be ruthless in moderating as many comments as you feel like. It's your blog.
It's your blog so you should do as you prefer.

If you didn't have comments, however, I would no longer read the blog. Generally I read MMO blogs in order to have somewhere to post because I am too lazy to get my own blog started, so a blog that doesn't allow comments would have to be spectacularly readable.
Yes on comments. The discussion is always welcome no matter where people take it.
Moderated comments please.

Someone with intelligence needs to filter the mostly mindless rantings to get to the meat of the arguments and counter arguments. I trust you to do that.

Thank you for your effort.
Comments yes, I don't think you would like blogging so much if you couldn't participate in discussions after.
I like the comments but they seem to have a very negative impact on you, so much that you sometimes spend multiple posts a week talking about them.

I don't really enjoy reading these blog-about-the-blog metaposts, which are almost exclusively about the comments. If they distract you, or even upset you, then I'd turn them off.

But I think the better solution is to just ignore them, develop your own message, and stop feeling like you need to react to the more visceral ones.
Yes, don't get discouraged by the naysayers.

You're not the FoH boards after all. It's your space, do what the hell you like.
Yes for moderated comments.

I love your blog, whether I agree or disagree with your opinion. It is entertaining and thought provoking (as shown here with comments abounding).

Its your spotlight, and if you want to wear a red dress or a black tuxedo.. it your call (how bout that random?)
Yes for moderated comments.
moderated comments
Moderated comments work fine.
Speaking as one who reads your blog through the magic of my RSS reader (and therefore the only time I hear about comments is your comments on the comments) I'd say it's entirely up to you. If the moderation process is causing headaches (either in time sunk or negative feedback) simply stop comments altogether. If anyone wants to send you feedback they can do so through the email address you've kindly left us on your website (and most will be at least slightly more polite via email as they don't have their audience)

Comments: Yes. With an apple and banana cream pie.
Yes to comments. I'd be much less likely to come read the blog if I knew there weren't going to be any responses.
Comments on please.

And btw, I actually prefer the moderated version of your blog.
I like the moderated comments. I don't personally moderate them on my blog, but my bandwidth isn't nearly what yours is.

Overall I'd rather see amplification or opposing views or it feels more like a signpost than a blog.
Comments On and moderated.

I read your blog everyday, and occasionally comment myself. Having a discussion with you and the people who read this blog is half the reason I keep coming back.

I think many others are the same way. Allowing people the option to take part in a conversation gives them a sense that this is their blog, too. Some people will take advantage of that, and moderation of comments should fix that problem. For everyone else who is civil, your blog becomes, in a way, their blog, when they can actively take part in a discussion with you and others.

I'd say keep that dynamic going. It is what makes you one of the more popular bloggers in the field, and what makes your readers come back everyday to read what you write.
Yes, I think the moderated comments add value to the blog. But I would understand perfectly well if you preferred not to deal with them at all ;^)

As someone else mentioned, if there is some way to ban certain accounts or IPs, that might prove ideal.
Comments yes.
Moderate it, your blod, your rules
Yes, but a third party moderator.

I'd say do away with the comments completely.

I enjoy your writing but grow tired of the 'people are nasty', 'they called me names' talk creeping into your posts, your a blogger grow a thicker skin.

They are merely words and I'll probably talk for most of your readers by saying when insulting comments are made or were made your usual audience ignore it. And it takes two seconds to delete.

I also say this because I miss the unmodded flow of the conversations in your blog posts.

Just my opinion
Yes. (my opinion).

But the questions you have to ask are:
1) do you have the time and inclination to pull the weeds from the flowers everyday?

Its hard work that never seems to end, and if you don't pause to look at the flowers once in awhile, all you see is weeds when you close your eyes at night.
Yes please for comments!
I'm afraid if you disabled comments it would take away about a third of the point of reading the blog for me personally. It isn't always about what an author says, but about what comes from a discussion on what the author says.

The intelligent comments definitely complements your blog posts. Make a blacklist with the trolls and delete them automatically.

Moderated comments work fine for me. If I want to say something that for some reason I don't believe you'd let me post here (ie, "Tobold eats the fungus from between his own toes, which is why he likes WoW lololol"), I'd just post it on my own blog.
Yes, it's your Blog, let people who don't like your rules go elsewere.

It's a blog at the end of the day, not a News Channel. Your playground, your rules.
Comments yes.

As for moderation. Hell its your blog and the service you provide of things to read is free afterall. It is not like I'm spending my ever weakening american dollar on this so I have no right to complain.
Tobold, I'm amazed you are even asking this. If you don't want to deal with comments then turn them off. This is your blog and we are "guests" here. Your house, your rules.

People can email you comments if you don't want to deal with comment moderation, and you can simply write posts responding to those if you wish.

So I guess my answer is "indifferent". I'm happy with whatever you decide.
Yes to comments.
i don't like being moderated.

Youtube don't have this restriction. So, if you would like to increase participation, I suggest moderation turned off.
I appreciate the moderated comments. I hope they take not too much of your time. Thank you!
Have you tried unmoderating but limiting comments to registered users or Google accounts? I realize people can make as many Google accounts as they like, but how many will actually go out of their way to do that just to post a flame which would quickly be deleted?

As an alternative, you could add a few of your more trusted readers as authors, with the understanding that they won't create new posts but will only serve as moderators.

I can't see you ever burning out, Tobold, but anything is preferable to having your blog turn into something you view as a miserable chore.

Not if I risk you quit blogging
Comments: yes.
What's the point of saying something people cannot respond?
Moderated comments are fine. It's your blog, and the Internet is full of dicks :)
Comments yes.

With moderation too. And if people complain, ignore them. Heck, if someone's just going to complain about the fact that their comment is moderated, moderate that comment and remove it (if you're not already doing that).

P.S. I don't like bananas either.
keep it just as the way it is..
Comments please. :)
I think provided the comment isn't excessively profane or an ad hominem attack it should be allowed, with as little (but some) moderation as possible.

I would probably stop reading this blog if comments were no longer allowed.
I also think in general you worry far too much about what other people are saying about you. If you're exposing your own thoughts to the internet, you're going to get negative comments back (on occasion).

But I bet the good comments far outweigh the trolling, and also that you wouldn't be blogging anymore if you hadn't met so many people to discuss ideas with via allowing comments.

Your blog has probably inspired me to start my own, some day. But with less comment moderation :P

Since you started moderating comments a few months ago, my impression is that you're letting them get under your skin more and more each day. It seems there have been a lot more "meta-posts" during the last 3 months than I recall happening during the past few years. It's surely a tedious and tiring thing to have to wade through all the comments every day, and no doubt the negative ones suck the fun out of blogging.

I think you either need to 1) disable comments or 2) find someone to help you moderate them. Disabling comments would be unfortunate because your posts generate a lot of good discussion, but if that's what needs to happen then so be it. Having a 3rd-party moderator would help free up your time to do what you do best (MMO blogging) and likely reduce stress levels (you wouldn't even have to see personal insults anymore), but you'd need someone you could trust to do a good job.

Ultimately, if you continue moderating posts yourself, I think you're going to reach a point where you burn out and say "screw this". I'd hate to see it come to that and would urge you to thoughtfully consider option #2, but don't be afraid of option #1 if that's what needs to happen for the sake of your sanity.
If you're willing to continue putting in the work, comments with moderation is fine with me.
Comments: Yes!

I like to read the ones that make it through Security ;)
Comments Yes.
I think it would be easier for you to not have to moderate but I remember you mentioning a long time ago that you started this blog because you wanted a forum for intelligent discussion. Personally I only read the comments when it's a post that really hits home.... and normally I'm reading them because I plan on leaving a comment.

I'd say do whatever makes you happier. I'll keep reading whatever your decision.
The comments on the site usually resemble day time television drama and thus I never read them. I read your blog for your take and I don't much care about the others. I am sure even with comments disabled you will get emails from people so they interesting ones of those you can use to construct other posts. Ditch the comments and lessen the drama in your life.
Keep comments, please. 3 year reader here. Right now it's a community centered around your thoughts. Take commenting away and it's just a dairy.
I know it's more work for you, but I definitely prefer the moderation. Too many kiddies, trolls, and spammers.
Was it a "who has the most comments on a single post" competition? Because you'll surely have 3-400 "Yes". You could ask "do you think the sky is blue"?

Everyone want comments on the blog, and everyone with more than 1 braincells wants moderation.
> Everyone want comments on the blog, and everyone with more than 1 braincells wants moderation.

@Gevlon, you should scroll up and read the reply from Frank Grimes, he provides a thoughtful and good reason as to why comments should go all-together. So no, this is not the case of "is the sky blue"...

@Tobolod, like others I have a hard time understanding why you're taking negative comments so much to heart - it seems they get under your skin a lot more than they should. As Frank wrote, if you feel you might stop blogging all-together because of the effort of moderating them, I would suggest removing comments.

But I would be sad to see comments go since as others have pointed out the comments add a lot to your posts. So assuming you can continue I vote yes for comments with moderation.
I know the poll is over, but just wanted to point you to this:

Seems your not the only one with commenting problems.

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