It seems like half of my little corner of Blogland has been falling apart. Bobvis went dark after the New Year, which was definitely a blow. I’ll need to retrieve my posts from there and put them up… somewhere. Maybe here (with closed comments).

Also, Half Sigma has become a shell of its former self. HS has turned on comment moderation. At first I thought that this might not be such a bad thing since my previous problem with going there was the comment section that managed to turn any and every subject into a referendum on Non-Asian Minorities. The result, though, has been that conversation becomes stilted by lag-times of hours or more and subject-drift is as bad as ever.

Case-and-point, in the comment section of a post about the ethics of pirating eBooks, a comment makes an indirect reference to “those ‘poor’ people that live in the city” (being unable to read) gets through. Then, to make sure that we know who exactly he is referring to, he comes back to mention that calculus textbooks are NAM (Non-Asian Minority) repellent, which in his view makes carrying such books “a great idea”. If those are the comments getting through, what kinds of comments is he not letting through?

To anyone that wonders why I restrict subject-matter of comments around here, that’s why.

On the upshot, if I’m not in Half Sigma’s corner of things anymore, maybe I won’t have to worry about his readers causing subject-drift to the inferiority of minorities and can make a clean break*. Anyone have any suggestions of new blogs that I can read?

* – None of this is to suggest that I do not want HS readers here. Bleedover from HS (and from HS by way of Bobvis) has contributed significantly to Hit Coffee. For that I will always be grateful. Especially since those that have come over have, for the most part, respected my wishes.

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7 Responses to Turning Out The Lights

  1. Kirk says:

    I meandered over to Involution and posted a few times. I’m not sure if I’m really welcome over there though. I noticed that whenever guys start commenting on a woman’s blog, that blog generally shuts down after awhile. And when I go there, I do feel like I’m walking in on a slumber-party.

    “Al Fin” wouldn’t be a bad blog, but it has an air of “this is important stuff,” sort of like National Review Online. Also, iirc, he’s also written about NAM’s, which I find a turnoff.

    Thank God my own blog is so awesome. I’m the only thing keeping the blogosphere afloat!

  2. Peter says:

    Comment moderation can work okay if submissions get approved (or denied) quickly enough that a give-and-take is not precluded. 2Blowhards is an excellent example. In most cases comments go up within an hour or so, in contrast to the better part of a day at Half Sigma. True, Siggy’s schedule may be such that he isn’t able to review submissions in a more timely manner, but if that’s the case he really should reconsider whether comment moderation is really necessary.

    In any event, it wasn’t so much comment moderation that caused Siggy’s decline, as it was his Sarah Palin fetish. His racial stuff didn’t help either, though in most instances the more bigoted remarks came from comments rather than the posts themselves. HS is not racist, but he is somewhat naive for failing to realize that even relatively mild posts that involve racial issues can very easily turn into Stormfront-lite comment fests (I know, this sounds like I’m supporting comment moderation).

    As for blog suggestions, one that I’ve gotten to like is Inductivist. It’s like the “old” Half Sigma, with posts analyzing social survey data and ruminating on what the results mean for us. Another suggestion is Randy McDonald, a gay man from Canada who writes very intelligent things about politics and demographics.

  3. trumwill says:

    I enjoy Involution, though I get a similar sense of it as you do. Not that I’m not welcome, but that I am not a part of the community of that site. Which is fine, I still enjoy it as a consumer.

    Two Blowhards… now that’s a site I’ve long intended to visit a lot more often!

    HS’s Sarah Palin obsession, while infuriating on one level, didn’t really repel me. Except for the frustrations, it’s really kind of funny. But it gets tiring after a while. The reason I kept going back to HS was the comment section. The signal-to-noise ratio was never good (and it never ceased to amaze me how oblivious HS seemed to it) with a lot of racists, but it was still worth it for SFG, JewishAtheist, Vim, Turambar, The Engineer, and others.

    I’ll check out the other sides mentioned (Al Fin, Inductivist, and Randy McDonald).

  4. Peter says:

    One comment-related practice I find strange is the way some people write endlessly long comments, mini-essays really, on high-traffic blogs where their screeds are certain to be buried among dozens or even hundreds of other comments. You’ll see this most often on … we’ll just call it a notorious sex-related blog, though it also happens on some of the political blogs I occasionally visit. I just cannot see the point to spending what must be over an hour in many cases writing a very long comment that no one will read.

  5. Larry Ayers says:

    I’ve seen many blogs arise and eventually “go dark” — after two or three years many bloggers burn out.

    As for comments, I’ve been lucky to have attracted mostly civil comments, including those from you and from Peter, writer of the comment above this one.

  6. B. Mac says:

    I generally think it’s a good idea to steer comments heavily, and depending on the age and education level of your readers, editing the comments heavily may be necessary. (I’ve got a few suggestions here).

    But reader education really matters. If you were writing a superhero-writing advice site for young adults (ahem!), you might get some comments like “how cn i get publshd i rly wnt 2 gt publshd y wnt ne1 publsh me iz it cuz my heros r 2 tuf?” (Hmm… I’ve got another theory).

    It got so bad that I tried auto-holding any comment that included the word “y” until I discovered that WordPress was holding EVERY comment that included the letter Y, even as part of another word. Oof.

  7. trumwill says:

    Interesting comment moderation tips. If I ever get to the point that I have more than a dozen or so commenters, I might have to start doing that. Thus far I only remove objectionable material. Had a commenter who doesn’t come around much any more that used to turn every post into a discussion on the appopriateness of sexual Age of Consent laws as well as having bad things sometimes happen when I bring up a subject remotely connected with race, immigration, or Barack Obama.

    Fortunately, none of my readers write in texting-speak. I don’t know what I’ll do if that ever happens. It’s really a pet peeve of mine that people feel the need to contract 3 and 2-letter words to a single letter. If you learn to actually type, it’s faster to type the words out than to figure out whether and when it’s appropriate to abbreviate.

    That’s funny about “y” filter. It’s frustrating how these sorts of filters work sometimes.

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