Change to the comment policy on the FM site

As the site has grown in site and readership, responding to comments now takes too much time.  Time better spent IMO on writing posts.  The time available to run this site is fixed, and likely to shrink in 2009 (along with many other things).

So I will no longer be responding to comments.  This is standard practice at sites I read (Matthew Yglesias, Brad Delong), and for obvious reasons.

Also, the Comment Policy will be more strongly enforced in order to reduce the time required to moderate discussions.

  1. Comments running beyond the maximum limit of 250 words will be truncated, not edited.  A few words over is OK, but this has gotten out of control.
  2. Comments that violated the other terms of the comment policy will be deleted (snipped):  incivil, grossly off-topic, illegal, or advocating illegal actions.

7 thoughts on “Change to the comment policy on the FM site

  1. I think that you get more benefit from responding to comments than you get from not responding to them.

    Just cut waaaay down on which ones you chip in on – trust us to pick up the really obvious stuff ie. trolls or big points you’ve gone over before. That way you still get time to keep feeding us great posts AND you can keep building the community of commenters here.

    Great example to follow: Umair Haque over at his Harvard Business Lab site. He aggregates several responses into one brief post and always manages to shift discussion in unexpected ways with brevity and wit.

  2. Yes to Tree Frog — your comment responses are often quite valuable, altho admittedly you’ve done too much work on the AGW theme / pseudo-conversation. Perhaps too frustrating to you.

    Your own comments on comments also sets the tone, and resets it, which is a positive example for keeping that level.

    The truncation policy is less objectionable (tho I guess I’m one of the too frequent violators).

    Making more clear your own positions about the interesting articles you cite would be worth giving up more of your comment replies.
    I actually don’t know what policy you think the gov’t should be pursuing to minimize the readjustment pain coming from the post-WW II econ order collapse (that your site & references have convinced is coming).

    On the other hand, lack of explicitly favoring one policy means you seem the most even-handed at stating reasonable options and looking for articles that support (or oppose) various options.

  3. I think not responding to comments is a mistake, just respond less.

    EG, one of the things which made Tanta such a good Blogger on calculated risk is that she responded to comments both in comment threads AND as followup posts. The dialog between you and your readers is IMO, the most valuable part of this site.

  4. I’m in agreement with everybody else, your follow-up comments can be very enlightening. I understand your issues with lack of time but I agree with the others that reducing rather than eliminating your comments would be a better choice.

    The rest of the changes to your policies seem reasonable and prudent. Cutting out the comment by 89787887, for example, was a good choice.

  5. I also agree with the previous posters. One of the things that really distinguishes an excellent blog is the dialog that occurs along with the posts, the quality of which is improved by the participation of the blogger himself.

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