Thursday, September 28, 2006

Comment Moderation

Vox populi: Civility in the blogosphere" addresses the issue of civility in an electronic age. Cronin notes that the "technology of blogging is a marvelous innovation." But the concern he raises is: "The pivotal issue is the atrophying of civility in the public sphere and the emergence of a brutish me-centeredness which acknowledges no social norms, no form of cognitive authority and wraps its barbs and banalities in the cloak of First Amendment rhetoric. Blaming the technology for the dubious and deviant is, of course, infantile..."

Bothered by unacceptable commentaries in your blog? And desirous of elevating the civility and relevance levels of comments in your blogsite?

Instead of completely eliminating the comments option, maybe comment moderation is the answer.

Here's one personally recommended as a model to follow, extracted completely from Donald Sensing's blog, One Hand Clapping:
Comments policy

Commenting is provided as a courtesy only. I review all comments before they appear. I do not edit comments, I only approve or delete. My criteria for approving or deleting generally correspond to the following guidelines but in the end are subjective.

Comments using profanity automatically get tossed into the bit bucket - I never see them and neither does anyone else.

No personal attacks, name calling or commercial commenting. Links to your own blog site or relevant other web pages are fine.

Please be brief and relevant to the post.

I rarely answer comments, I just don't have the time.

Many high-traffic blogs, especially those that are essentially one-man operations, inundated daily with hundreds (or thousands) of comments, of course, will find this solution quite burdensome and tiresome.

But there are enough blogs out there whose traffic levels will allow the hosts to have time to permit moderation.

Will the desired or desirable effects of moderation be reason enough to try it to improve the tenor and civility in the blogosphere?

Collective Responsibility In The Internet

The Sassy Lawyer, popular Philippine political and cuisine blogger, assesses her participation in a contest promoting SEO as a marketing tool to improve search engine rankings, and documents her reservations.

Having previously scanned through the several articles linked to this brewing issue, I agree with her reservations/ observations.

SEO (search engine optimization) was initially devised as a marketing tool for commercial websites, but since blogs now are either hawking merchandise or at the very least, carrying commercial ads on their pages which can potentially earn some money for the hosts, one can understand the interest in pursuing SEO.

But at what costs and through what means?

Reminds me of those pernicious chain letters still popular among email groups, or even many of those on-line petitions with their expanding name lists, or those perpetually circulating urban legend items.

They may pale in comparison with the fast-spreading viruses that virtually everybody disdains, but as she observed, the result is still - mess and clutter.

In the process, Sassy also reveals her preference for a MacBook which she purchased over the PC laptops at about 100k pesos. While I concede that if one is heavy on graphics and media, i.e., video production and editing (or terribly afraid of infection from viruses in the Internet) that would be one’s choice, still the price differentials are quite gaping.

Here in the US, starting at $400, one could own a PC laptop (Gateway or Dell), which would be a little over 20K pesos. And typically are women-friendly weighing as light as 3.5lbs.

In trying to break into the PC’s markets, Apple’s thrust continues to be that their products may also run Windows. And their current use of Intel chips (and I suppose chipsets) makes the transition even easier. Still, one needs to remember that MacBooks were not technically designed to run on Windows.