a blog with cultural bulimia.

Monday, July 19, 2004

No comments.

A lot of people ask me why I don't have the 'comments' feature on my web site and I usually answer with the link to this great post:
Is civility an endangered species in the blogosphere?
There's been a lot of chatter as of late about the civility of bloggers and the people who comment on them. A few weeks ago, Matthew Yglesias argued that bloggers had an incentive to behave badly:

The trouble is that when you write something really good, in the sense of being sober, on-point, factual, and tightly argued, your targets would do well to simply ignore you. And so they do. Maybe a person or two will recommend the story to their friends, but basically it vanished into the HTML ether. Something sloppy, offensive, over-the-top, or in some minor way inaccurate, by contrast, will provoke a flood of responses. If you're lucky, those responses will, themselves, be someone sloppy, and folks start defending you. Then you find yourself in the midst of a minor contretemps, and everyone gets more readers.

Brad DeLong concurs. Laura at Apartment 11D is similarly disgusted with bad big blogger behavior:

[A] nasty side effect of blogging is that hit counts can go to your head. Occasionally, hit counts can inflate egos creating not only the so-called pundits, but a hundred little bullies. Blogs are not soap boxes for speaking your mind, because bloggers don’t have to respond to hecklers in the audience. Blog readers don’t have the opportunity to hear responses to posts and weigh differing points of view. The heckler has been effectively silenced.

And no, Mr. CF, it does not mean that I consider my blog to be in the "upper reaches of the blogosphere." (Same way I do not agree with his bf assessment that I am part of the NY gay glitterati- eventough I am flattered.)

My stock answer to the 'no comments' policy goes like this:

"I just don't care for comments per se as they appear in most blogs. the reasons why people decide to leave them are mostly negative. or obscure at best. the main reason to have comments, to me, would be as an appendix to the post. not just a 'cool, dude'! or an war of insults.

plus ppl can always communicate directly with me via email. there is a link there.

also, my blog is kind of weird in format. i can't quite figure it out. not very personal. a magazine, if i were a magazine. and very personal at the same time: it's all me. by me for me. i would still publish it even if no one was reading it. the pleasure i get is from the act itself, not from knowing that people are reading it.

as i said, i can't quite figure it out."

If you want to comment on this, please use this.