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Comments And What To Do With Them

Go read Kevin Drum on the decision to keep or discard comments. His conclusion (for Washington Monthly):

Long story short, I don't have any plans to either get rid of comments or to moderate them, at least for now. But as more and more blogs cross the 10-20,000 reader mark, which is where comment sections seem to break down, I wonder if comments will increasingly become a thing of the past in the upper reaches of the blogosphere. Ask me again a year from now, OK?
As one of those "more and more" blogs, I've dedicated myself to keeping comments open and resisting registration. How long will that be my policy? Until it's too big of a pain in the ass to do otherwise...

I already spend a good amount of time keeping the MT Blacklist current, and frankly it's a pretty good tool for managing comments. Like Kevin I'm not really interested in moderating comments. Other sites (Whiskey Bar) are shutting down comments, are moving toward registration (The Command Post), or are pondering their alternatives (ASV).

So what's the answer? For me it's closing old comment threads and inline trackbacks.

I encourage the use of trackbacks by displaying them inline with the text of a post. Tired of trying to get a link at one of the "big" sites? Inline trackbacks allow you to link yourself to Wizbang stories. I even wrote a Stand Alone Trackback Tool for those of you without automatic trackback generating abilities. I am happy to report that quite a few folks take advantage of this opportunity, and I hope that they are generating as many little Wizbanglanches as they want - it's all good.

Old posts are the main recipients of comment spam, so I will be closing comments on most posts older than two weeks old.

Update: Laurence Simon notes the selective use of comments by Michelle Malkin, an idea I meant to mention above. Combining trackbacks, closed comment threads on older posts, and selective use of comments may be the last best hope for those who wish to avoid registration systems.

Daniel Drezner wonders whether civility is an endangered species. Michele Catalano wonders if the level of discourse has dropped below the point of no return.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Comments And What To Do With Them:

» "...she's a flight risk." linked with Comments (Again)

» "...she's a flight risk." linked with Comments (Again)

» Chasing the Wind linked with Blogger Tip: Trackback Pings

» This Blog Is Full Of Crap linked with The Future of Comments

» chrisshort.net linked with Commenting on Blogs

» A Small Victory linked with The Social Civil War

» Outside the Beltway linked with Blog Comments II

» Slant Point linked with Blog Comments

» Brain Shavings linked with I'll take truth over civility anytime

» The Indepundit linked with On Liberty and Civility

» Intergalactic Capitalist, the StarBanker Blog linked with Kill Comments

» Mind of Mog linked with Hot Topic Commenting

Comments (9)

"Wizbangalanche"?... (Below threshold)

"Wizbangalanche"?

I hate registering anywhere... (Below threshold)

I hate registering anywhere, but I'm half-tempted to use registration when I move to Expression Engine. 300 Spam comments over the weekend was fairly painful, especially when the sender is continuously changing their IP.

At the very least I will add a CAPCHA.

Thanks for offering that ex... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Thanks for offering that explanation about what has been for me a very mystifying feature: "Trackback."

I link, I try, I eventually just relent and do the old HTML code for the link to a story here that I find interesting (as I do for those from elsewhere). I don't use MT, but Blogger to compose my Journal, but I do host it myself (at least, there's that).

Anyway, my Journal never shows up in the "Trackback" phenomena and I've been wondering w-t-h for a while now.

About the comments there, here, I support the ban-I.P. method, although it gets very tiresome to continue to use, I realize, and understand (and sympathize with other sites). So, registration for some sites really is necessary. I understand the CommandPost decision, because if left unchecked, it will really get out of hand. Next thing you know you have a yahoo message board.

10-20,000?HAHAHAHA... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

10-20,000?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Oooh, I hate when I laugh like that. Most blogs - especially those by men - struggle for tens or hundreds of readers.

Concern for most of us about comment overload is truly a laughable vanity.

Yeah, Kevin Drum can cry me... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Kevin Drum can cry me a river. I'm pretty sure I'm his weblogging elder (working on my fifth year) and I'm happy with five comments a day.

Anyway, Kevin is there a way for MT to automatically close comments and trackbacks after a certain length of time?

Sean, Click link to... (Below threshold)

Sean,
Click link to my post that answers your question about a tool to close comments. I just installed it and it works perfect.

ok, I need a little help...... (Below threshold)

ok, I need a little help... I found that tag for closing old comments. uhm... what do I *do* with it?

I goofed up the angle brack... (Below threshold)

I goofed up the angle brackets here it is corrected.
The first you need to do is place the MTclosecomments.pl in the plugins folder on your installation. It should be located in the public_html/cgi-bin/mt folder. Then place the comment ‹MTCloseComments old="21"› in your index or home html page. Locate it after the ‹body› , but before any div or table tags to prevent it from being executed more than once when the page is opened.

Thank you for responding, S... (Below threshold)

Thank you for responding, StarBanker. I can see this is a little beyond me so I am turning to my hosting company for help.

[geeze -- at this rate I'll *never* become a geek... *sigh*]




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