Only a quick post today as I'm in an extremely busy part of my life at the moment.
Reading the comments on my last post reminded me that I haven't really commented on comments. Here is a rough FAQ.
- I like reading comments, it lets me know that people are reading this site as I don't pay much attention to site statistics any more.
- I value almost every single comment.
- All comments, no matter how far back into the archives they stretch get emailed to me. I read every single one.
- I delete all spam, just as a matter of principle.
- I don't delete comments with three exceptions – If the person who wrote the comment emails me and asks me, if it breaches patient confidentiality, or if they are nothing but abuse.
- Feel free to disagree with me in the comments, I like having to change my mind about something I've written or having to defend myself. It gets what tiny spark of academia I still have burning again. Just try to be polite and if you can bring evidence to the discussion I'll thank you for teaching me something. (See my post on Home births for example). I may completely disagree with you, but we can still be civil. So far I am so incredibly happy and proud that almost every comment thread has been reasoned and calm, even when discussing quite controversial subjects.
- If you write utter twoddle then other commenters will stamp on you. I tend to ignore the trolls but others won't. The verbal beating you get will make me laugh.
- You cannot insult me in the comments, nor upset me, nor cause me harm. I spend my day job being verbally and physically abused. Words on a website do not bother me in the least. If I have a sleepless night it won't be because of something you've written. I have no dark secrets in my past that you can bring to light and embarrass me. If you are a fool I will laugh at you.
- I may use comments as inspiration for further posts. Sometimes far in the future.
- If comments get silly (like calling other commenters Nazis) I will shut that thread down.
- I try to answer direct questions, if I seem to have forgotten and it's important do feel free to send me an email – I'm awful at answering emails but I will get to it eventually. The timing depends on what shifts I'm working. Likewise if there is a good comment thread I'll get involved, but unfortunately I have little free time so please don't feel I'm ignoring you.
- I love comments, I really do.
- If you want to leave a comment you need to 'create a reader account'. This was put in place to stop the frankly astounding amount of spam I was getting (over 500 a day).
- If you have a long comment to make and a blog of your own, post a précis of it here and direct me to your own site – we can continue the conversation between the two blogs, just like the good old days of blogging. I like getting comments of all sorts, but this means I can send some linky-love your way.
- Keep commenting I really do love it. When I was promoting the book a lot of people asked me my favourite thing about blogging, and each time I answered, “my commenters”. Really, each time I get even the slightest glimmer about packing in this blogging lark it's you folks that keep me going.
Yes, pretty much most of that list can be boiled down to, “I like comments and read them all, but don't be an arse”, but it sometimes needs stating.
All comments gratefully received.
UPDATE: And then I hit my Bloglines subscriptions ands see that Diamond Geezer has posted a much more entertaining view on the same subject.