Friday, April 13, 2007

Two Halves

I see the conspiracy theorists are in full swing this afternoon over something that I didn't write on someone else's weblog.

It's all a bit pathetic and occurs to me that the only way that some people can drag traffic along to their own weblogs, is to write a story involving Thanet Life. In some ways it's similar to having Victoria Beckham or Princess Diana on the cover of women's magazines as a sure fire way of boosting circulation.

There was I having a quiet day posting stories about seals and all of a sudden, bang! "Moores ate my Hamster."

Mind you, I have to admit that some of the comments I read - quite obviously from a TL supporter - were quite amusing and it makes a change to see someone else getting some harsh 'stick' from anonymous readers, complaining about their anonymity!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are right. It is funny! ECR and One Voice deserve each other

DrMoores said...

I might be wrong about a circulation increase as I only count six hits from the story in question. Seems that everyone else out there is as cynical as I am about this latest manufactured outrage!

Anonymous said...

As I observed on my own blog earlier, Doctor, had the offensive comments lodged there by (according to you) one of your readers been directed against you on your blog, you would unquestionably have deleted them and banned the contributor. Assuming, that is, you were applying your “house policy” consistently. It is a shame that, as the beneficiary – if not the architect - of the slurs, your response is instead to brand them “amusing”.


ONEVOICEINTHANET

DrMoores said...

I think OVIT, it's important that you have your say here in the public interest as you are being polite.

What readers leave on other people's weblogs is not my concern and as you know full well, I work hard to ensure that the conversations remain civil and would encourage the same elsewhere.

While I don't endorse the author's comments, I have to admit that at least two of the quips, I found funny; neither of which were related in any way to the subject of raincoats, which you seem to be implying and which was in language which I couldn't support here or anywhere else.

Unless there's something else you wish to allege I hope that clarifies the issue and we can move on?

For heaven's sake man, thousands of people may come through this weblog each week and there's room for more than one crank out of a quarter of a million impressions to date!

DrMoores said...

The story has just overtaken "No frills" in terms of readers scanning the comments section but it's still pretty much a non-event in contrast with others this week, according to the activity log!

Anonymous said...

What else haven't you done that we should know about Doc?

Anonymous said...

Now he's back, you should let him stay if he follows the rules as it would be a pity if you had to turn comment control on again

DrMoores said...

I have no problem as long as we don't see a repeat of the long personal rants. All polite and intelligent debate is welcome here regardless of political affiliation.

DrMoores said...

Interesting interview with Tim O'Reilly on this whole subject of moderation in Wired News:

"WN: You've been blogging about civility and your bloggers' code of conduct. Do you expect that will be a topic of discussion at the conference? Or do you think it will change the tone of discussions there?

O'Reilly: Well, you know, people at a conference would not tolerate the kind of conversations that happen in the comment threads on many blogs. If somebody started standing up and shouting obscenities, you'd throw them out. My point is, most bloggers are way too tolerant of abusive behavior on their blogs.

I've come to think the call for a code of conduct was a bit misguided. A lot of sites have their own terms of service that are a lot like what I proposed for the code of conduct. And I was just saying, let's get the best of the breed, let's figure it out, so somebody who wants to have one of these doesn't have to think it all up for themselves.

People have interpreted that as a call for some kind of MPAA ratings system or something. That's not at all what I was proposing. I was proposing a modular set of terms of service, so somebody could say, "I don't want this kind of behavior." Now, a lot of people already do that, so it's really much ado about nothing.

The problem, as I've really wrestled with it, is that right now your options in terms of enforcing civility are pretty binary. You have the ability to delete someone's comments (on your own blog), or to let them stand.

There are some fairly sophisticated moderation systems out there. Of course, Slashdot is full of people who make terribly uncivil comments. But it's possible because they have a good moderation system, where good comments are voted up. You can set your moderation threshold, you can say, "I only want to see the good comments." So you're exposed to a hundred useful comments, and the 900 comments that have generally been considered drivel or that haven't been voted up, you don't even see them. If you want to read them all, though, more power to you.

Most blogging platforms don't have that kind of control. I want to get an attempt together to get some good moderation plugins on all the major blogging platforms, so people have other options than simply deleting.

The whole (code of conduct) was a reaction to Chris Locke's original statement, you know, "I didn't say that so I have no responsibility." And I'm going, "Wait a minute, yeah, you do. You're the manager of a site that was getting progressively nastier, and you let it happen." It really started with a reaction to this idea that a site owner can and should disclaim comments on their blog.

WN: He did take the blog down.

O'Reilly: Yeah, he did, but that's actually a terrible outcome, because now nobody knows what really was said. There's a lot of he said, she said, with a lot of people who were involved saying "Well, it wasn't really so bad, it wasn't really a misogynistic, nasty site, it was just funny." Well, how do we know? We can't see. It's gone.

WN: So would you put an "anything goes" button or badge on your own website?

O'Reilly: No, what I'd really like, and what I'm going to work for, is to get some better moderation mechanisms. One of the things Slashdot says is to focus on moderating up, not moderating down. Promote the good (comments), because they're often really useful, thought-provoking comments and you want those. If we can give people good mechanisms, that's probably actually better than promulgating any one policy."

Anonymous said...

Glad to see One Voice over on the North side of the Isle. I assume the clag today kept you grounded, Ed, so you had some spare time to look at Thanetonian! Heartily agree with sane policy on Thanetlife in terms of polite debate and argument. Your blog is a pleasure to visit.

Anonymous said...

My last contribution a couple of weeks ago was entirely polite, Doctor, but you chose to delete it, because you were unwilling to address the challenges it presented. And of course you then used it as an excuse to introduce comment moderation. There is no point in debating this, however, as I realise we will never reach anything close to an agreement. And as you regularly point out, this is your blog.

No other “allegations” at this time, to answer your question, but I do hope that “crank” in your 725 comment is not directed at me. It would be a shame if in a “polite” exchange you were to err into waspishness and use defamatory language.


ONEVOICEINTHANET

Anonymous said...

Agreed 11:03 from a local view it is the difference between reading The Times. the Sunday Sport or the Socialist Worker. I know which I prefer.

DrMoores said...

As a fine example of the exaggerated stupidity you can find elsewhere on local weblogs, here's one comment to share:

Where I wonder did "endorsing bashing paedophiles" appear in the mythology?

"I see Tory Boy is now desperately rowing back from on his blog from his previous position of endorsing bashing paedophiles into a coma which is probably wise as even the conservatives might wince a bit at him espousing that sort of policy."

3:20 PM

Anonymous said...

Put it to the vote?

Anonymous said...

In your 725 comment, Doctor, you said that "what readers leave on other people's weblogs is not my concern". Why then, are you still perpetuating this strand? Why are you concerned with this latest contribution on another site?

The Anonymous 1403 contributor to my blog inferred, through his/her comment, that another Thanet blogger is a paedophile. That is the sort of behaviour to which you claim to be strongly opposed - when it comes to your blog.

Perhaps if you had been rather more positive in your condemnation of the comments - as you would have been had anyone attempted to post them on your blog - further comments of the kind you have just repeated would not have been generated.

Yesterday, despite the nature of the comments posted elsewhere, you wanted to move on. Today, because someone has criticised you, you are joining battle again. Isn't it time you "moved on".


ONEVOICEINTHANET

DrMoores said...

I find myself losing patience. It's not really for me to condemn or approve of comments on someone else's website when they involve imaginary or anonymous characters. It does occur to me however that the subject has generated a disproportionate response.

Isn't this the same as accusing Homer Simpson (Who I'm sure must have a weblog) of some heinous crime?

Anonymous said...

I see you have removed your contribution in which you referred to a "dripping tap". Pity, because I had a whole load of plumbing "jokes" to offer.

I have lost patience too. I have tried polite and constructive comments, and have played exactly by your "rules", but have secured the same result, meeting the same and usual brick wall of double standards and hypocrisy.

Nowt more to be said.


ONEVOICEINTHANET

Anonymous said...

and then you woke up!!!!