A blog comment policy? Who, me?

Image: thanks ifindkarma

Day 11 and we’re getting into the pointy end part of the 31 Day Comment Challenge. Today we’re to write a comment policy for our blog. No, I don’t think so … not for me.

This isn’t because I don’t think it’s a good idea to know and respect the boundaries of what constitutes that problematical (apparently for some) notion of appropriate behaviour. I think Neville Hobson’s clearly articulated set of guidelines or ‘terms of use’ which he lays out for his blog is eminently sane. It’s just that I need to operate under the assumption that what moves a visitor to leave a comment is genuine engagement and good will. Did I mention I also have a healthy scepticism for bureaucratic systems and authoritarianism?

Now I’m not so idealistic as to think that my posts don’t get splogged or scraped or whatever synonym we’re currently using when we mean ‘stolen.’ Heck, there are bottom-feeders everywhere, but they don’t rate as commenters. Nor do I imagine that the blog won’t be a target for spam or the occasional commenter with an axe to grind or a point to make at my expense. However I do have Akismet to gate-keep for me, content moderation switched on, and the freedom to choose whether or not to respond to a comment … and indeed, what to do with it. In the real world, I also lock my doors and take out insurance on things I care for. The rest is up to me.

Maybe we need more discretion and common sense, not policies and commandments.

Those old rules that we learned a long time ago about playing nicely and doing unto others? They still hold.





6 responses to “A blog comment policy? Who, me?”

  1. Sue Waters Avatar

    “Today we’re to write a comment policy for our blog. No, I don’t think so … not for me.” Its funny when I saw that was todays task I also felt the same way but couldn’t quite work out how to explain how I felt.

    However saying that I haven’t had an opportunity to read the articles Michele has linked to so will reflect and make decision once I have examined all the evidence (like the scientist I am).

  2. Kate Foy Avatar

    Look forward to reading your response Sue. This one really hit a nerve with me!

  3. Diane Hammond Avatar

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who felt “not for me”!

    Is it because we’re teachers that we feel the need to organize and regulate everything? This fits in the same category as trying to define rules of etiquette for everything. I too appreciate some sense of order (even if I’m the only one who can see the pattern), yet I don’t see the need to regulate the “community”. Quite frankly, I doubt many people would take the time to read these policies anyway.

  4. […] this task provoked similar response to Kate Foy who said “Today we’re to write a comment policy for our blog. No, I don’t think so … […]

  5. color_chart Avatar

    Surely you have a sub-conscious (<bad spelling i know) blog comment policy. Im sure you have an incling in the back of your mind what constitutes a good or bad comment?

  6. Kate Foy Avatar

    Yes indeed I do have a view on what constitutes quality in a blog comment, but the original discussion was more about controlling the kind of material that the blog owner would permit on a site, rather than the wider issue of laying down general standards i.e., making a qualitative judgement on how 'good' or 'bad' that comment might be. A different, though related kettle of fish!

    As I noted in this post's contribution to the discussion, my own inclination is towards fewer policies and commandments of the 'thou shalt not …' kind in the world, and not more! As I also noted, individual discretion and common sense should work just fine … if exercised.

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