Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blog and discussion forum comments

The owner of the blog Mangan's Miscellany, Dennis Mangan, has announced he is closing the comments down that were triggered primarily by an article critical of Lawrence Auster (into which Auster had to chime to anxiously set the record straight), and secondarily by a para-topical dispute between Auster and me.

Apparently, this flurry of comments was unprecedented for that blog. The blog owner at one point described himself as "basking" in the uncommon attention his blog was receiving.

I see no reason why a blog should shut down comments. It's not like another 100 comments will damage his main articles in any way. The comments field of Mangan's blog -- as the coments fields of all blogs and discussion forums I have ever seen -- do not visually impede upon the visual territory of the main articles or on other comments fields. So what's the problem? That Auster comments field could attract another thousand comments, and it would still be cyber-physically and visually contained in a field that does not impinge on anything else within the blog. It's not like an additional 1000 comments will cause electrical short-outs to occur or put any drain on the loading and reading experience of readers who ignore that comments field and instead sample other parts of the blog. So what's the big deal?

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