on comments

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One of the things I love about Movable Type is its comments management. Unlike Blogger, MT incorporates comments into the blog engine itself. It's fast, efficient, customizable. And comments allow blogs to blur the boundaries between publishing and dialogues.

I've had comments on my blog since it started, and value the way they allow anyone reading to join in the conversations. My first ventures into the blogosphere were through comments on other people's blogs--which were warmly received, and made me feel like I had a voice that could be heard. (Thanks, Joi. :-)

So my decision today to turn off comments on a post was not made lightly. I posted in haste, and have time to repent at leisure. I shifted between deleting the post entirely, and simply turning off the comments...and decided on the latter.

Why? I just don't have the energy to debate the gender issue right now. The first few comments were so *(^$ familiar. And I know it's not malice that spurs them. But at the moment I just don't want to go there.

So what's the difference between a mailing list and a blog? Why is my turning off comments different from Dave Winer announcing he won't approve mailing list posts?

That's easy for me to answer. This blog is not a public space, it's a private one. It has never been presented as anything else. In many ways, it feels like my online home. I welcome visitors, and enjoy discussions with them. I've had plenty of people disagree with me in comments, and that's fine, too. But there are times when I just don't want to have another discussion on the same divisive topic in my living room. I don't want to stop others from having that discussion--I just don't want them to have it here.

Trackbacks are still enabled, so people with trackback-enabled blogs can write about any of my posts to their hearts' content, and--through the magic of trackback technology--a pointer will appear back to their sites.

And because I'm drunk with the power of it all, I'm not even turning comments on for this post. :)

3 TrackBacks

New and Naive from Jaab Family on May 7, 2003 9:25 PM

I am very new to blogging. I have just setup this blog and one other for the other half of my family. As of now, I have �Commenting� and �Trackbacks� turned on and I hope I don�t have the same... Read More

One of the things I love about Movable Type is its comments management. Unlike Blogger, MT incorporates comments into the... [mamamusings] Elizabeth Lane Lawley discusses comments and the ability to turn them off or on...... Read More

I noticed on mamamusings an entry with this quote. "This blog is not a public space, it�s a private one. " This struck me as very interesting. I mean the content is on a public server, on a public network, Read More




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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on May 7, 2003 7:09 PM.

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