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Comments

Yeah, we get comments on occasion. What’s nice about the new digs and system is that the spam filter is really quite dynamic. Under the old platform we had to spend a considerable amount of time cleaning out the spam subscribers, setting the system to a posting delay to cut down on spam posts and comments. We don’t have to do that anymore.

It’s not like we get a lot of comments. At one point when we were considering the new platform we weren’t too concerned about enabling comments. It just turned out that this new platform handles comments well – so far.

We recently received a “not spam” comment to one of our posts which was held in the pending comments queue. It contained a fair amount of misdirected opinion (How’s that for being charitable?).

I didn’t approve the comment.

Here’s the thing, if you’re posting Faux News Channel fueled spluttering we’re not really interested in what you think or have to say. Unless we feel like mocking you. That’ll be our decision.

Our philosophy on comments from the old site – you might note a few of the points that specifically addressed its subscriber format:

The owners of the blog call the shots. The owners are the sole representatives of this blog. No one else speaks for them.

If you’re going to complain about the infringement of your right to free speech please go ahead and start your own blog – if your content is good maybe others will show up to read it. Or maybe not.

Longevity does not confer gravitas, quality of content does. Originality, wit, fact checking, humor, critical thinking, insightful analysis, humor, and linking to sources are highly prized attributes. Did we mention humor? Properly titrated snark is also greatly appreciated.

Conspiracy theories, tautologies, calling another user out by name in a diary, personal attacks directed at another user, and uncritically repeating or recycling tabloid news (ah, a redundancy!), among many other nasty behaviors, are considered bad form. Depending on the badness of said form you will receive public comeuppance ranging from a thump on the back of your head to permanent banning.

We never get out of junior high school. Diaries which beg “recommend this!”, comments which are nothing more than “I agree”, or “mojo” surfing expeditions only prove such. Have some self-respect. If your diary is worth recommending, it’ll get recommended. If you deserve “mojo”, you’ll receive it. Or maybe not. Be the blog.

Outing another individual who wishes to remain anonymous is considered very bad form. Posting another individual’s personal information is considered extremely very bad form. Cyberstalking is against the law in Missouri. You do not want to cross these lines.

Bad words. You know who they are. Uncritical and excessive use of foul language probably indicates a failure of intellect and/or substance. Depending on the person, there are rare exceptions. Most of you aren’t that person. That being said, Sci-Fi television show euphemisms can make the same point in a pinch.

If you’re a good writer it’s relatively easy to show everyone else that someone is a stupid troglodyte without actually using those two words – and it’s much more fun to watch them slink away in silence after it finally dawns on them that they’ve been mocked into oblivion.

Copyrighted material. Quoting an amount of copyrighted material in excess of that allowable by “fair use” is strictly forbidden. Instead, quote a pertinent paragraph or so and provide a link. Diaries or comments which violate this guideline will be deleted without warning or notice.

No one owes you an explanation about why a diary or comment has been deleted. Depending on traffic volume you may get one. Don’t count on it.

Being a newbie doesn’t quite confer a lower status, just the same, don’t be a jerk – and don’t be defensive about being new. Just be cognizant of the facts that the wheel has already been invented and that maybe, just maybe, others might have some measure of experience or institutional memory.

Wailing about being victimized doesn’t wear well on anyone. It’s laughable when it comes from supposedly self-reliant right wingnuts. Be the rating.

Posting in all caps is the Internets equivalent of shouting. If you do so, you will be unmercifully mocked for not having the ability to understand how the caps lock key works.

The opposition is organized – they come to the progressive blogosphere in mind boggling numbers to disrupt, sow dissension, and lower morale. Not everyone who posts on progressive blogs is who they want to appear to be. Trust us on this one.

Unverifiable grandiose claims and lists of accomplishments don’t impress anyone. Your diaries and comments should speak for themselves. Professional people in politics who really know, don’t talk – people who talk, don’t know. If you really are in the know you probably shouldn’t be spilling the beans about your campaign’s strategery in such a public place.

Trolls and those intent on disruption should be crushed and mocked without mercy – and the management will remove them as soon as possible, leaving their dessicated carcasses as an example for others.

Calling someone else a “troll” just because they disagree with you is considered bad form.

While recipe posting is a brilliant tactic, too much attention to battling trolls distracts the members of the site from other much more important business.

The media reads the blogs. They are lazy. They look for stuff which smells like dissension. You are irredeemably stupid if you uncritically and breathlessly repeat right wingnut talking points, stories, memes, or frames. The media will use such because they are lazy, superficial, and stupid. Did I mention that they were lazy? Everyone say “Hi!” to Steve Kraske. Note to the media: Posting a comment or comments at this site does not make one a representative of this site. Asserting such just shows everyone else how clueless you really are about the Internets.

If you’re here to be a cheerleader for or post drive-by press releases for your particular candidate, don’t bother. That job has already been taken up by the media.

The odds are against any of us being the next great professional political strategist or pundit. Okay, considering the Faux News Channel and the rest of the cable news network talking heads this isn’t our strongest point. Don’t take it personally. Learn to throw an elbow and to take a head butt.

If the progressive blogosphere is to reach its true potential it will take all of us turning the philosophical and theoretical into the practical. If you haven’t already signed on to volunteer for a 2008 [!] local or statewide campaign you’re just occupying space and wasting bandwidth.

If you are irony challenged you probably haven’t understood any of the preceding. If you continue to participate here, eventually you will.

So it has been said, so it is written, so it is done.