Sunday, December 09, 2007


A quick note to acknowledge that, in the two weeks since I’ve switched my policy on the comments stream, I’ve only rejected two comments, considerably fewer than I had in the 24 hours prior to the change. Overall the average number of comments per blognote has gone up, both genders have been commenting, and the quality of discussion overall has risen markedly. All good things. The stream no longer has the feel of, as one correspondent put it, “a middle school boy’s locker room.” I don’t mind if people are critical of one another so long as it doesn’t descend to name calling, and I don’t mind if you take verbal shots at me.

For what it’s worth, comments and emails about the change have been overwhelmingly positive. Male correspondents favor the change by roughly a two-to-one ratio, female correspondents favor it by a nine-to-one ratio. And that divergence pretty much says it all.

So I’m going to continue with the current regime – the presumption is that any note that doesn’t contribute usefully to the discussion will be rejected. That seems to be enough to keep people on their best behavior, which is something we should strive for always.


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