Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

comments: to close or not to close?

A strange blog-effect I've noticed has been happening more often recently is that, if comments are left open on archived entries, people that arrive to the entry much, much later (either through a search engine, or through an old link on another weblog) will add their comments as if the topic was still ongoing. This is a problem, not only because they might check back waiting for a reply that will almost certainly never come, but also because as the number of entries with topic that could elicit discussion grows, it can easily become a burden for me to monitor them and, for example, make sure that the comments are not posting advertising or something like that.

Sometimes the comments are a note of appreciation for information given on an entry, or clearly made by people who know they probably won't get an answer since the discussion is not ongoing, but just want to add some more information. Other times though, those that post the comments almost certainly don't understand that this is a weblog, and as such it's personal. Some comments have asked more questions about the topic, others have criticized that more information isn't available on a given topic (!), others have at times asked for pricing information or wanted to purchase a device outright(!!), and so on.

One thing is for sure though: I have to think about a "comments policy", particularly for those that arrive here and don't know what a weblog is.
But policy aside, what to do? Close the comments after a period of, say, seven days? Stop using the comments altoghether and leave trackbacks? Any semi-automated scripts that anyone knows about for MovableType that can deal with this (since I'd have to begin closing the comments on more than a thousand entries)?


And, yes, yes: comments welcome :)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on July 16 2003 at 11:11 AM

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