Whelan Apologizes


Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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4 Responses

  1. Avatar Dan Summers says:

    I think that the blog draws the comments it deserves. There are very, very few blogs where I bother to read the comments, because the quality contained therein is consistently low. However, it seems that the more thoughtful blogs draw the more thoughtful and respectful comments.

    The comment threads at The New Republic are an interesting case study. Many regular readers and commenters have lamented that the ability to comment on articles used to be limited to subscribers, and thus those who had some kind of investment in keeping the quality of the comments at a certain level. Since they redesigned their page (alack the day!), the comments on articles have been open to the public, while the comment threads on the blogs are still open only to subscribers. The article comments rapidly devolved into spittle-flecked vitriol and nonsense, while the comments on the blogs remain (relatively) worth reading. It seems that the more invested readers are in tending the quality of the commentary, the higher the quality of the comments, which (I think) validates the viewpoint I expressed at the outset.

    I will say that I try to be more thoughtful here, where I use my real name, as compared to when I comment at TNR (under a lame pseudonym). However, I’m still quite cognizant of the “reputation” I’ve tried to create for my moniker, and it prevents me from writing more intemperate expressions of spleen.Report

  2. Avatar mike farmer says:

    I have grown to value the comments as much or more than many blog posts. My own blog is not really set up to draw comments — it’s more of an individual opining deal — but The League here is an excellent format to tap into the power of comments. And I do follow some commenters like I would follow a blogger — recently, when I see a comment by Jaybird, I know it’s going to be a thoughtful or entertaining response. Some blogs have been overrun by trolls and I think that’s unfortunate, but if done right commenting can be a vital part of each post.Report

  3. Avatar Dave S. says:

    When the commenter is also a blogger, either at the same site or at a different one, often there is a greater incentive to “cultivate a reputation” in the interest of drawing traffic in one’s direction. Conversely, I have read many excellent comments by non-bloggers and thought “That commenter should have a blog!”Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I would ask that people stop offering free psychoanalysis as one of my commandments.

    If someone says “I think that we should not X”, it’s bad form to respond with something like “while it’s certainly cute that you are pretending to oppose X for idealistic reasons, it’s obvious that you’re aligning yourself against X because of reasons Y, Zed, and Aleph. Alephists, being inadequate, have psychological responses to this inadequacy that include being a total jerk in comments… which neatly explains why you have little enough shame in the first place to come on here and say that you have misgivings about X.”

    That sort of thing drives me up the wall.Report