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Notes about blog comments
By Dave Winer on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 10:54 PM.

I have rules about blog comments. They're only rules for this blog. That's central to what having a blog means. You get to craft your own medium. No one else can tell you what to do. And there's no force in it because your rules only apply to your domain. If someone doesn't like it, they don't have to read the blog. Or they can read it, and say whatever they like about it -- in their own space. #

That's the big idea of blogging. Imho.  #

I get to craft my own medium.  #

So now what are my rules and why do I have them. #

1. Comments are short responses to the post.  #

2. If you have more to say then it's not a comment.  #

A picture named tramp.jpg3. In verbal speech a comment is something like "Nice weather we're having" or "How about those Mets." They aren't long rants where you have to stand there listening to all this person's stuff. It's as if someone thinks my house is a place to give a speech. Well it isn't.  #

4. That's why I tell people if they have something long to say, write it in their own space. #

5. My comment space isn't a place to gather all opinions about some topic I'm writing about. I know what that means. Every permathread in the world shows up under my post. All of a sudden people are exercising their rights in my space. There are lots of public spaces for that. There is only one place where I get to speak about whatever I want. And if you have some information to add, or a point of view that's unique, and can say it in a sentence or two, then I want your comment.  #

6. If someone doesn't actually ask a question in a blog post, I'm reluctant to post a comment in response. I ask people to think that way about my comments. Maybe I don't want your opinion. Maybe the point of my post is simply to express my opinion. Maybe it has nothing to do with you. Consider the possibility.  #

7. The last thing I want to see in a comment is regurgitation of Fox News talking points. Or Ron Paul or Rachel Madow talking points. Or Rush Limbaugh. If I wanted to hear bullshit like that I can watch their shows or go to a Ron Paul rally. I get enough of that on TV. (And I watch very little TV.) #

On the other hand I really like Al Sharpton, Joe Trippi and Karl Rove. If they said something clever, it might be worth passing on. :-) #

And Frum, Krugman. But please don't tell me what Friedman said. He's a freaking idiot. #

8. I think a lot of what people post as comments would qualify as spam. If it came to me in an email message I would delete it. I consider every comment here something someone is saying to me. If it has nothing to do with what I've written about, I just delete it. That's pure spam. And you'd be surprised how many comments that are posted here have absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote. Or even worse, assume the post says one thing, when it says something else entirely. I suspect those people didn't even read the post. #

9. Speaking of people who don't read posts, I think a lot of the comments are from people who skim the first paragrah, and maybe the last, and then enter their canned spiel on whatever they think you're writing about.  #

10. Bottom line is most of what gets posted as comments is garbage. Fine. I'll read it. Got your message. Now I get to decide if I want to let you use my space to push garbage on people I respect, the people who read this site. I don't want to make readers sort though a lot of crap to find the interesting stuff. So I do that for them. Again if you don't like it, that's okay -- cause this is my space. You can make different rules in your space. #

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