As time went by, comments on Olympic performances and anecdotes about running down my car battery gave way to political commentary and observations on the political struggles within The Episcopal Church. My “quick takes” sometimes became long and elaborately formatted. My blog, like my Web site, remains a kind of farrago, and some takes are still quick. I do think of myself as an Episcopal blogger these days, though, rather than simply a blogger. (I hope no one thinks I should be ordained before I can call myself an Episcopal blogger.)
In these changed circumstances, the initial decision not to support comments on my blog seems increasingly dysfunctional. When I write something that invites discussion, that discussion can only occur through private e-mail or through comments on someone else’s blog. I have, in fact, been accused of not being interested in dialogue because visitors have not been able to leave comments. That has never been true. The evolving character of Lionel Deimel’s Web Log has finally convinced me to support comments on my blog.
This decision was more troublesome than I expected, as my blog template was not easily modified for comments. I finally decided to drop it in favor of a new template that needed fewer customizations. As a result, Lionel Deimel’s Web Log looks a bit different today than yesterday. Well, change is good.
Since I have not hitherto run a blog that supports comments, please bear with me if it takes me a while to fall into a comfortable mode of dealing with them. (The look of the blog may require a few more tweaks, too.) My main reason for not implementing comments earlier had been fear of being overwhelmed with the management of them. I still harbor that fear, but I am trying to minimize the problems that comments might create.
At least for now, here are my guidelines for comments:
- Comments cannot be anonymous. I cannot force people to use real names, but some name is required, if only to identify multiple comments as coming from the same writer. My preference is that people leaving comments will use their real names, along with any other identification they think may be useful. I won’t insist on this.
- Comments will not be pre-screened, and I don’t even promise to read all of them, though I will try to do so. I have a high tolerance for language, but gratuitous profanity or libelous statements will not knowingly be tolerated. Send me e-mail if you think a particular comment inappropriate.
- I appreciate discussion, but I reserve the right to limit discussion that goes wildly off-topic. (We’ll have to see what this means in practice.)
- I reserve the right to remove comments that violate the above guidelines.