Why I Treat Blog Comments Like Letters to the Editor

1. I don’t see the point of providing an unmoderated forum for discussion.  I know it doesn’t have to be completely unmoderated, but I don’t have time to watch the blog constantly, and still fulfill my other responsibilities. I do not want my blog to become a place where people can immediately spread false teaching or start flame wars.

2. I have enjoyed reading the letters to the editor section in magazines, but I don’t think that would be the case if the editor allowed any and every letter to be published.  I think blog readers deserve the same – thoughtful comments that are helpful.  I’m not anti-discussion, but I don’t think it needs to occur in real time everywhere.  With blogs, it’s probably better to have some delay so people can think about what they say before it shows up.

3. It is my blog and I don’t really get the argument that moderating or disallowing comments makes for a blog that’s less than authentic.  For folks that have the time and/or staff to babysit their blogs constantly… more power to them.  I have a family and a job, which are more important than my blog.

4.Good editors don’t mind publishing comments that challenge them or disagree with them.  But they sometimes comment back and have had time to consider their response.  Likewise, I reserve the right to publish things I agree or disagree with, and I also reserve the right to wait to publish it till I’ve had time to consider whether to try to answer the issue where we disagree (if at all; I don’t think we always have to have the last word).

5. Last but not least, the majority of comments I get are spam.  Do you really want to see those on here?  Didn’t think so; me neither.  This way I can easily weed out stuff like that, plus any other comments that I may deem unhelpful in content or in tone.

If you disagree, that’s okay.  If you want to submit a comment, that’s fine.  I have approved every decent comment I have received and will be glad to continue to do so.  Just don’t expect it immediately, as I have some other stuff to do.  Speaking of which…