Another Comments Experiment

I’m putting that muzzle on myself…

So I’m calling off the Comments-via-Email experiment. My goal had been to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, and though there was far less noise, there was far less signal too.

I’m going to keep experimenting until we get this right. At some point over the last two weeks, it struck me that maybe the problem wasn’t that y’all were commenting too much, but that I had been commenting too much.

So, for the next two weeks, I’ll turn comments back on, but I’m banning myself from participating in the forum. If I see something in comments that I want to respond to, I’ll do it on the main page. That should help sustain a higher pace of main-page posts, without placing too many barriers to readers wanting to scratch that banter itch.

Think of it as self-censorship, but not as you know it…

27 thoughts on “Another Comments Experiment

  1. I’m glad comments are here again. I think the problem was the trolling, but that is what those trolls want, keep this silent. Simply let the troll without answer, maybe he gives up, and at least it is easier to skip his posts. And yes, the writers of this blog don’t need to answer anything, I think it is a good approach Quico! We should also keep our comments at low quantity, high quality.

  2. Good to know comments are back. It was interesting though having one “moderator” for a while, but after two weeks of this experiment, It was like having a monologue instead of something more … democratic? anyway, this is my first comment after being reading this blog for a couple of years! good job guys, and keep the lean philosophy on.

  3. “I’m going to keep experimenting until we get this right.”

    In the eyes of your audience, you had already gotten it right, if the polls are to be trusted (Venezuelan caveat). So this brings up the questions of who, exactly, you are trying to get “this” “right” for. Yourself?

  4. I rarely have time to comment any more, and usually when I come back to the post someone already said what I had in mind so I don’t repeat it in deference to other readers that don’t need to read the same thing twice. But when I didn’t have the option to comment I really missed it, nunca sabes lo que tienes hasta que lo pierdes.

    I also missed certain people, I really wanted to hear Alek’s take on the post about the fraud, or Miguel’s take on things, setty, GTA, among others, people who really bring something interesting to the discussion.

    As for the trolls, I would say: delete their comments and delete the comments from members that engage them.

    • I agree with Moraima.As a former teacher,I could mention that my classrooms only worked for everyone when there was 0 tolerance for bullies.I see nothing wrong with Chavistas spouting their views, but when threads disintegrate into name calling,put-downs, disqualifications instead of arguments,and obnoxious jokes intended to hurt someone, it takes away from the seriousness of the situation Venezuela is living through.

      For someone looking upon us from foreign shores, the impression might be ” no wonder they have Chavez”.

  5. Good for CcsChro; publishing only selected comments this superb blog looks like El Nacional (Cartas al Editor y Opinión)

  6. I am glad the comments are back, hopefully we won’t get many personal battles splashed across the comments section.

    I am not sure, Quico, that keeping yourself out of the fray is going to produce the results you are hoping for. Posting your “reply” in the form of another post will simply spread out the “argument” into too many “rooms” in the house, and will weaken the overall “toma y dame”.

    Try it and see, but I think you’ll find what we are doing now that the comments are back is the way to go.

    Moraima had a good point: “As for the trolls, I would say: delete their comments and delete the comments from members that engage them.”

  7. To me, there was no better time then when you had the shitty blogspot thing where the comments popped up and you took it as a challenge to edit that sucker like Mandela himself would have. It was like the blog and the comments where two different animals. So, on this score, I simply advocate much heavier handed editing in the comments section, but without forgetting what the standards are that you are editing for.

    About the email thing, I am sure that, after enough time, enough tantrums done with and enough new readers dragged in through the new system, the quality of the emails would have picked up.

    My suggestion, then, as an antichavista so shitty he is pretty much chavista, is to keep a big ‘ol link for the emails, and reclaim ownership of your comments section.

    • Carl, I doubt it.Most people like to share, especially Venezuelans.

      The situation in Venezuela right now is very murky, hidden, and chaotic – it is hardly straightforward.I like to see all the different viewpoints to get a better picture of how the people really think.If I just want the news I can hook into others sites, and I am not one of those ladies who believe that just because someone owns a blog that they have the truth.The truth is an amalgamation of the entire group.

      • Not Truth, just a larger intellectual investment. I’m sure, as a teacher, you censored a comment or two.

        • Carl,

          1.When it comes to Venezuelan Politics, I am not interested in intellect, I am interested in trends.The mind can thing anything, but I want to see what is it that the people actually think.

          2, The kids I censored were the ones trying to take away the right of others through aggressive behaviors, not the ones whose opinions I disagreed with.

          3. Only through free thought can we arrive at original solutions, but free thought and actions that inhibit others through bullying are not compatible.

  8. I think of you as editor of a newspaper. People write in, but you have no duty to publish their letters. You can be open to fair-minded response, but reject the obvious trolls. This works for the print media, so I think it can work for you, too.

  9. I know the move had the best of intentions, but the difference between writing an email and commenting on a blog is surprisingly large – i.e. I know for one I can’t be bothered to email anyone about anything, but I will comment on a blog if the mood takes me.

  10. Problem not only trolls (foes) but friendly regulars who post on every comment every day and then start personally attacking other friendlys just because they disagree or don’t like. I don’t take likely to these personal attacks by smart asses who at the end of the day need to look at themselves in the mirror

  11. Think you are in the right path. If a comment is good enough to get you writing it should go into a new post.

  12. I welcome the comments back, and reiterate an earlier suggestion for experimentation towards getting “this right”: delete/edit comments much more freely. If you want a trigger happy moderator that will take all the heat for off topic deletions/editions, I am sure many would gladly preclude themselves from making comments of their own for that role.

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