Is This Thread Open?

Speaking of polls, something odd and interesting has happened to this thread on election polls and predictions — it's basically been hijacked and turned into an open forum by people with something to say.

I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about that.

One the plus side, it's no cost to me, interesting to read along, and nice that readers are forming a proto-virtual-community. Where's the harm?

On the minus side, there's reasons I never created a single open thread the way, say, Daily Kos routinely does. While I like comments very much, it's a 'personal blog', not one that tries to be all things to all people, and those aren't my topics anymore. Worse, the civility level is not always optimal, and I think I'm not doing a great job of policing it.

So, should I

A) Close comments there? (Unlikely)
B) Sit back and enjoy it? (Likely, but would require amending my comments policy to note exceptions to my request for vague relevance to topic)
C) Like B, but police a bit more.
D) Create an open thread once in a while to allow topic re-set and keep the size of the thing reasonable (Possible, but I'm strangely, perhaps irrationally, reluctant)
E) Other? (Please explain)

This entry was posted in Discourse.net. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Is This Thread Open?

  1. Mojo says:

    My preference, if you care, would be for you to post an open thread once in a while, possibly with even a vague subject matter suggested, but then police the other threads a bit more (or just flame an occaisional violator to keep the rest of us in line). One thing I really like about your site is that people from various backgrounds and with disparate points of view can actually learn something from each other sometimes. That all dies when it turns into a free-for-all.
    Now, somewhat off the subject, but…

  2. Greg says:

    I personally find it strange that people would want to continue to post at such an outdated post. I think that it would not be too nice to close the thread, however, I think it takes entirely too much work to have to police the thread. I guess the open thread thing is okay but I’m generally with you, you’re not exactly providing a messageboard service, it’s ancillary to your blog. I suppose I didn’t really recommend anything…

  3. fiat lux says:

    If you’re uncomfortable with that thread, close it. Personally, I have a blog of my own so I can sound off there all I want; no need for ‘open threads’ here.

    I wouldn’t be too concerned about being hijacked by your readership unless the long, off-topic threads start happening on a regular basis.

  4. ed says:

    being one that contributes on that thread, i’d say keep it open. If you want to know “why” it got that way, i think it might be because it was googled for the phrase

    “2004 election polls”
    (that’s how I happened on your site)

    You’ll notice that for the most part i’ve been trying to steer it back to on topic, once I realized that it was not meant to be open…

    anyways, do what you will, it’s your site, not mine.

  5. This is one of my favorite blogs….which is why I never tell anyone about it.

    there is a blog–comment rule. The usefulness of a blogs comments section is inversely proportional to the number of comments per topic.

    The only solution that I can come up with is “authorized comments”—allow “regular readers” unlimited access to the comments section, and find a couple of people you trust who will act as “gatekeepers” to the comments section. You should be spending a great deal of your time policing the comments section, and if there are enough people commenting here that it becomes a problem, there should be a couple of people willing to do the work for you!

  6. This is one of my favorite blogs….which is why I never tell anyone about it.

    there is a blog–comment rule. The usefulness of a blogs comments section is inversely proportional to the number of comments per topic.

    The only solution that I can come up with is “authorized comments”—allow “regular readers” unlimited access to the comments section, and find a couple of people you trust who will act as “gatekeepers” to the comments section. You shouldn’t be spending a great deal of your time policing the comments section, and if there are enough people commenting here that it becomes a problem, there should be a couple of people willing to do the work for you!

  7. The issue isn’t the number of posts, alone, so much as the quality of them. Follow that thread to the end and you start finding regurgitated party lines that don’t even make sense anymore. Case in point? “John Kerry has alienated many leaders of countries that were supporting our country from his arrogant.” Now, forget for a moment that’s not a sentence. But at the point people are evidently confusing the names of the politicians seeking office, these posts gain about as much useful life as the ones that won’t stop popping up on my blog trying to get you to play online poker and buy canadian pharmaceuticals.

    But I think Paul’s comment would still stifle the discourse…I say let it go on unchecked until such point as each day’s comments are clogged with garbage unrelated to the post itself (rude as hell, I can’t believe people think its acceptable to steal the bloggers power to determine content direction) that it becomes untenable…and hope the party-liners who only have one comment, regardless of its relevance to the post, stay in 2 month old posts where their out of the way.

  8. But I think Paul’s comment would still stifle the discourse…I say let it go on unchecked until such point as each day’s comments are clogged with garbage unrelated to the post itself

    although I understand your position, here’s why I disagree. you were able to respond to me two hours after I posted, and nearly five hours after you posted I could find your response, and reply to it. Imagine trying that on Kos, or Atrios, or most other “popular” sites.

    I’m not saying that steps have to be taken right away, but as more and more people realize how good Michael’s blog is (yeah, I’m a suck up! ) the less possible it will be to have a dialogue…

  9. e: Don’t worry about it unless it spills into other topics.

    wg

  10. I somewhat agree with Paul but I think it takes a while for it to become a problem. Anyway, I’ve found I get a lot of spam unless I close comments on old threads every once in a while (there’s a Movable Type plugin for that, which I can dig up if you like). That might take care of the whole thing anyway. But I also agree with Wendy–as long as live discussions don’t get dragged OT, this isn’t a big problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *