March 13, 2006

Blogging 101

I'm sorry that the obvious apparently needs to be explained yet again, but it does.

It should be obvious what comments are, and what they are for. But apparently a growing number of people are getting mixed up.


Comments are for your comments regarding the subject or topic of the post under which you leave them. They are NOT to be used for anything other than that.

Comments are NOT a dialog with me only.

Comments are a dialog with all readers of the blog.

BECAUSE comments are a dialog with all readers, comments shouldn't be written as if they're directed or addressed to me, UNLESS, they're in direct response to a comment that I have made, in which case, the specific comment should be referenced or quoted so all will know what you're talking about.

If you want more information about a topic or have a question about it, ask the entire group, not just myself. I'm not that bright, but the beauty of a blog is that you have the knowledge of hundreds of people at your fingertips. For God's sake don't rely on just me.

Comments are NOT a messaging system to send personal messages to me. This is what e-mail is for.

My e-mail address is plainly shown in the sidebar. [] If you don't want to mess around with filling it in yourself, simply click on the red e-mail link and a shiny new blank e-mail should pop up with my address already filled in for you. Just another service provided free of charge here at The Inside Dope. Take advantage of it.

If you have a problem with me or something to do with the blog, DO NOT waste your time sending it in comments. I will not reply to such comments and they will be ignored, as it is off-topic and comments are NOT about the blog or myself, they are to be about the subject or topic at hand.

If you have a complaint about me or the blog or anything else which you wish me to address, DO NOT waste your time sending it in a comment. I will not reply to such comments and they will be ignored.

If you have a question about the blog, whether it's technical problems or about how the blog works, policies, etc. DO NOT waste your time putting it in a comment. I will not reply to such comments and they will be ignored.

If you want to question why I did not publish something you wrote as a comment, DO NOT waste your time asking it in a comment, I will not reply to such comments and they will be ignored. (I DO however, encourage such questions or challenges to be sent via e-mail. See below.)

If you want to let me know why you think the blog sucks or why I suck, DO NOT waste your time sending it in a comment, I won't reply to such comments and they will be ignored.

If you have any question, comment, complaint, suggestion, or observation about the blog in general, DO NOT waste your time sending it as a comment as I will not reply to such comments and they will be ignored.

If you have any questions, comments, complaints, suggestions, or observations about myself, DO NOT waste your time writing them in comments, as I will not reply and it will be ignored.

If you have a question about the blog or a technical problem you are having, or anything else might apply to other readers or be helpful, I'll gladly post the question and answer in a post so other readers can be informed.

All of the above must be dealt with via-email.

I encourage those who think their comment was unfairly screened out to take it up with me in e-mail. If you do so, please include the comment itself or at least the post it was left under and the general content or time sent so I can see what we're talking about. I welcome the chance to tell people where they went over the line, as I often have to dump otherwise good comments simply because they messed up at some point. If people know where they went wrong, it might allow their comments to get through in the future. It's very frustrating to get many comments which are fine for 95% of it, but then blow it with one out of line sentence. My goal isn't to cut down on the number of comments, just to cut down on the number of them that are out of line.

But, in general, if you want to communicate to me directly about anything do so using e-mail. The reasons are obvious I would think, but apparently it's not getting through.

First of all, I can actually REPLY and give you an answer without using up huge chunks of a comment thread on something not related to the topic of the post.

If the matter deserves more discussion, we can exchange e-mail until it's resolved.

And clearly, if you want to address me personally, it doesn't belong in comments.

The blog is NOT about the blog, nor is it about me! Period.

Yet people feel free to write comments asking a question without even specifying who they're asking, assuming I guess, that this is some "Ask the Dope" column or something.

It's not, nor do I intend it to be.

When you write comments, unless you are addressing a specific comment by another commenter or myself, it should be kept in mind that you are directing your comments to everyone who reads this blog, and they are free to reply, add to your comment, dispute it, or agree.

I write posts which introduce what I hope are topics and stories which might cause readers to think about the matter and then share their particular views or reaction. Notice that the first step is to THINK.

Please keep these things in mind. Send e-mail when the situation calls for it, and please don't waste your time and mine writing things in comments which don't belong there.

E-mailing the Dope is painless (usually) and easy. It does not cause tooth decay or hair loss or any sort of seizures. Hundreds of good people (and some not-so-good) have actually e-mailed me and have lived to tell the tale. There is simply no reason to not do so.

Let's get this show organized and running well. You'll all thank me later.

Don't make me pull this blog over!!!


At 3/13/2006 3:44 PM, Blogger Dissenter said...

Dear Dope:

I address this public comment directly to you. I have both a problem and a complaint about you. But first, a question: How does this blog work and why do its technical problems occur? Also, why did you not publish my last comment? I think you suck and this blog sucks! So please answer my questions, comments, complaints, suggestions, and observations in the comments section. Thanks.

At 3/13/2006 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here here, I agree with you.

At 3/13/2006 5:10 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I forgot to mention that the rules presented in the post don't apply to Dissenter, who has a special dispensation.

This is largely due to the fact that due to enormous stress, he's been wound so tight that, frankly, I don't want to do anything to upset him.

And besides, he's earned a lifetime pass to say whatever the hell he damn well feels like saying.

At 3/13/2006 7:43 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Has the problem gotten worse after you turned on comment moderation? I think people might be too lazy to email, and know that due to moderation you read all comments before posting them.

At 3/13/2006 9:38 PM, Blogger latinv said...

I hope this blog gets back to where you want it. I would like that. I do not participate anymore. I just shake my head in disgust at the constant negativity. I feel like Donald Sutherland in Kellys Hero's. (sp)

At 3/13/2006 11:31 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


I can only say that when decent commenters decide to sit idly by and let the yahoos take over, it's as much your fault as theirs.

By not stepping in and trying to discourage such commenters and by allowing them the run of the place, you've abdicated control and contributed to the problem.

I hope you change your way of thinking in the future.

At 3/13/2006 11:44 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

QCI... I haven't really noticed any particular change since moderation. But certainly, people are obviously sending in trash which they know has no possible chance of being published.

Comments are skimmed and the trash is quickly taken out. But it is tedious, and frankly, if it appears that I sometimes suddenly come on like I'm mad as hell for no apparent reason, it's due to the fact that I've just had to deal with a dozen or more comments the likes of which you can't imagine, and all of them without being able to so much as reply to them at all.
That, my friends, is the definition of frustration to me.

I'd take anyone to task one on one here, gladly, and almost eagerly. But these cowards only leave their comments and run, knowing that I can't respond.

If they had a pair, they'd deal with it in e-mail where I could take care of matters without having to disrupt other more rational readers. We could take it outside, so to speak.

But... as usual, the bully types like to dish it out but run from a fair fight. (though I don't suppose my having a battle of wits with an unarmed person is exactly fair.)

But in a way I don't blame them. If I was as emotionally stunted and intellectually crippled as these dingos are, I'd be a scared bunny too.


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