I have received complaints about some people using the comment section who do not seem to stick to the subject but run all over the place posting about things that have no relevance to what the discussion is about. This has caused some people not to make a comment because they feel that it gets lost among those non relevant comments.
There have also been some comments that amount to ad hominem attacks on other people. These do not discuss the issue raised by the blog but attack the person making the comment. I do not feel these add to the knowledge of people who are along with me trekking toward the truth.
Then at times we have the yelling – where some people feel they have to write line after line in caps as if somehow we cannot read lower caps. I have asked people to refrain from doing that but my requests seem to fall like seeds on cement.
There have also been complaints about people who want to post several comments to one blog rather than responding like most people do in one comment putting their thoughts together and posting.
The idea for the blog is that we discuss things. We don’t run far afield although suggestions and references to other matters I may have discussed in the past such as problems with the FBI, the Justice System, race relations and the like are always welcome. Along with that citing other opinions and providing the site to them for others to pursue further research is also fine.
I want the blog to be a free flowing as possible as if we were in a discussion group where everyone has a chance to speak without some people hogging the discussion or going far off topic for a lengthy period or yelling. The question I face is how to make this happen. In the past I tried to review each comment prior to it being published but I found that hard especially since I have other things to do and more so now because my six-year-old grandson likes to hang around with his grandfather from the time he wakes him up until bed time.
So I am reluctant to return to doing that. But if need be I may be forced to do it. Or perhaps rather than restricting everyone I will just put any offender into a place I found myself in when in high school too many times called “jug” for a limited period of time as is done on Twitter.
I am asking for the following:
- No more yelling. Make comments without capitalization.
- No more hogging. Try to get all your thoughts into one post.
- Be concise in your thoughts. F. Scott Fitzgerald who knew something about writing once wrote a letter and at the end he added: “I am sorry my response is so long but I’ve been rushed lately and haven’t had the time to put my thoughts together and write a more concise letter.” On second thought maybe it was James Joyce who said it. In other words, even though in Dedham they have the James Joyce Ramble, try not to ramble on when you write. As Professor Strunk said we should all seek: “cleanliness, accuracy, and brevity in the use of English.”
- I try to limit my posts to six to seven hundred words. I should do better and bring them down to 500. No comment should exceed that length.
- Of course, you may respond once if you are referred to in another comment but only briefly and directly.
- No more ad hominem attacks. Discuss the issue. Don’t discuss the person writing the comment.
I suggest if we follow those suggestions we my learn more from each other. Let’s see if it works.