Continued Thoughts On Comments

Ian Betteridge on Comments

“When I link, though, I try to send my readers away. I share every bit of my traffic that I can. Do I tend to link more frequently to pieces with which I agree, or which I think are correct? Of course, because those are the ones I tend to consider most worth my readers’ time. But it’s certainly not true that I never link to pieces with which I disagree — or which are written by people who disagree with me.”

(via Instapaper)

Sent from my Awesome iPad

Posted via email from Ed’s posterous


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  1. I lay in bed this morning thinking about these posts. I have an opinion and was going to keep it to myself. It looks like you are heading somewhere and I am not sure if the contemplation posts are the softening up before announcing that you are closing comments off. Or the winding up before jack-in-the-box jumps out and yells “Surprise! Just tricking.” Where ever you are going is your thing, but I feel strongly enough to write an essay back.

    So here’s my 2c about why I wouldn’t turn off comments if I was Ed Dale.

    Firstly the whole lizard brain thing. Don’t get me wrong, the lizard brain does exist and will take over everything you do…. For a whole 9 seconds after you encounter something. It does the triggering of chemicals to get your arse out of there because you are in danger, it tells you she looks good enough to jump, it also says stuff that Tim Tam in your mouth because you may need the energy one day when you are stuck out in the desert (my lizard brain is always telling me something like that).

    Everything after those 9 seconds is a pattern/habit (until you encounter something new to trip ole crocodile features again). Which means it can be broken, changed, fought and defeated. Yes I see it in combative terms, where others may see it as “the universe offering an opportunity to improve you”. I see it as a flaw to be stamped out, something to be triumphed over, and when defeated, to celebrate its death by carrying its head around (inside my head of course) going “ner ner you wanted me to be scared/anxious/stupid but I beat you and I am going to keep on beating you”.

    My guy is an ex-soldier and despite my pacifist nature (unless it comes to habit-breaking) I do have to admire what constant drilling can accomplish. It can change that 10th second (as I call it) from running away in flat terror, to performing complex tasks. The same as the pomodoro method, but you know all about that.

    Yes there are arseholes that comment on your blog. Should you run away from them by stopping them from being able to be arseholes? I say no, you are missing out working on something that will definitely help in the long run (especially when one of your daughter’s boyfriends calls you an “old man”… even at 68 my dad hadn’t worked on reacted well to something like that). A weak argument, but a true life example 

    The shit-talking commenters are always going to be there, I cite YouTube commenters as evidence.

    On the other side of the fence are us peeps that read your stuff. Sure it drives us (read ME) crazy that part of your brand is crap spelling, but we look past that to the things you are saying (I bet it amazes you that people even care, or hell even write hundreds of word essays in response to some musing cut-n-pastes). What sets YOU apart from many of your peers is your accessibility. Perception is everything (as they say) and cutting off one of the ways of communicating with you, even if your readers never leave a comment, will be seen as a door closing.

    Yes you cleared up Facebook, but that was only right and good. Facebook is a family and friends thing, and no one is going to complain too much because you want to see what your relos are doing over what some low-life pushing twat trying to be the next guru is trying to scream at you.

    Your blog however, is you talking with us. I am sure some smarty-pants is going to bring up Seth Godin and his lack of comments and I will say in reply, that’s him, that’s not you. He talks at, not with. He offers snippets, like throwing crumbs to the ducks, and the noise and squabbling over what he says is done elsewhere. I know he reads it though, because he pops up in other people’s blog comments now and then. Which is kinda cool, like Steve answering emails from his iPad. He isn’t really “engaging in the conversation” …or put more bluntly, he isn’t coming down to “our” level and hanging out with “us”. He just gives ideas, like those messages on the bottom of daily desk calendars.

    Closing the door after it has been open is a change that people who haven’t worked on their 10th second will find hard to cope with. Closing one door might mean you are closing ALL doors to speak to you. That is just unacceptable change, the robe of the Messiah must be within grasp at all times or the disciples will wonder whether the Messiah is worthy of following. One notable “guru” has lost fan base because he is perceived as turning into the new Howard Hughes when it comes to accessibility.

    Yet in the end, whatever you do probably won’t make too much difference. If you do close off comments then we will do the whining and moaning and you will probably have some blissful silence (if you can avert your eyes form all the places we hang out and chat).

  2. Ditch the comments. The price to connect is to create and to share. Write a post with a link.

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