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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 1, 2007 10:40 AM. The previous post in this blog was Pork on the menu. The next post in this blog is Goin' up. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, June 1, 2007

Next week, no comments

My recent post about hanging up or cutting back on the blogging prompted quite a number of kind and thoughtful e-mail responses, for which I am grateful. One of the points that came up in these exchanges was the reader comment aspect of this site -- one of the attractions for many readers, and the source of many a happy moment for me, but sometimes a chore. Sponsoring a largely uncensored public forum is not necessarily part of why a person like myself decides to get into blogging to begin with. (The fact that so many helpful reader comments came via e-mail, rather than as blog comments, shows that you can still get great feedback, even without public comments.)

One reader said it so well when he wrote, "If I wanted to spend my time arguing with strangers, I'd go back to drinking in taverns." Another friend wrote something to the effect of, "A blog is for the writer, not for the reader. If it's no longer serving the writer's purposes, then it's got to go."

As I brood about these ideas some more, I think it would be a good time to do something that we haven't done on this blog in nearly two years -- turn the comments feature off for a week. No doubt readership will decline a bit as a result, and things won't be nearly as raucous as usual around here, but it's time for a mellower stretch as we ease into summer.

Starting at Sunday midnight, new posts won't have comments enabled. That feature will be re-enabled with the first post on Sunday the 10th. You can always e-mail me here if there's something you want to say to me. And there are still a couple of days now to get your licks in before the silence of the lambs kicks in. But next week, the only person with direct access to this space will be I.

Comments (16)

As a fellow blogger, I support your decision to turn off comments. I've never permitted them on mine as they simply become a huge time-sink to patrol and referee. I come to your blog to read the information YOU post. I could easily live without the comments. There are plenty of other forums (fora?) where written battles can be waged.

a person like myself

Actually, that'd be "a person like me". Just another darn nit-picker, that'd be "myself".

If you do something in your life it should have a purpose. If its something I don't really like but have/need to do I like to be well paid, if it's for fun, educational, a new adventure I ask for a lot less renumeration (usually not money).

If you want to cast your opinions and observations to the wind, a web post (no real feed back-the picture is here, look at it or leave) is certainly an option.
To create a dialog you need feedback, yes it could be simple two way (you post we email you with our reaction or ideas), limited 3rd party (you post we email, you post selected emails).
The last two are an open (strangers can paint whatever on your canvas)or a moderated feedback that is edited (scribbles, wrong colors removed) by you to reflect your own artwork.

I used to enjoy reading feedback on a blog from a new writer, He would get 100-200 comments each posting, after awhile I stopped reading most of the comments because people would want to have him write in a way that they like to read- not the way he like to write. I still enjoy is writing and the posting of those people that shared similar story's and observations (adding there own color depth along side HIS Picture)

To me personally, your blog is a feast of insight of your opinions, your city, your local and state government. You have some trolls, yes, but frequently you have some commenter's that really add to the experience of my reading your blog SEVERAL TIMES A DAY to find what new nuggets you wish to bring us.

Just because you are a real political force in the city, many movers and shakers monitor your postings, newspapers use you as a source for stories, and I don't want to miss out, Please, to they self be true.

Family, children, jobs and hobbies change and so must you.

-d Walla Walla, WA

Fair enough. To make it through the week, I'd like to frontload the comments I would have posted otherwise:

— That's absurd. Get ready for another condo!
— If that's "sustainable" then I'm Kermit the Frog.
— "Kicking the habit" is certainly an appropriate title for that video. No wonder the number of nuns is declining. Ha ha!
— Lol! Talk about the right to bare arms! Unbelievable.
— Hey "anonymous" why don't you try writing something intelligent for once, you ignoramus.
— I love that Stills song. By the way, the new album comes out August 9th. Not in July!!
— Oh right. And most people just hate having the freedom to make their own decisions. Whatever. It's comments like that that got us into Iraq.

right on, Jack. enjoy the week.

The openness of the comment portion is, in my opinion, evidence of bravery and separates your site from the one sided ideological blather found elsewhere.

J. Paul Getty said to one of his wife’s, when she demanded more of his time, “I'm going to miss you".

I hope I can make it through the next few days without a fix.

Whatever your decision I respect it. I cannot e mail you because I don't use Outlook and the page on contact will not display. So if you don't get an e mail from me over time remember I still will read your posts. Unlike others I think of blogging as a two way street of communication. Seldom do I see flaming here..disagreement sure, but that's healthy.

Without comments this blog just won't be the same. I think that may be one of the main reasons I come to this site, to hear the different opinions of local people. I see you as the 'facilitator' of sorts, the one who sets the topic if the discussion. I can go read any number of articles and opinions to which I wouldn't have a chance to leave feedback. I agree, that's what sets this blog apart.

Jack, you do whatever you feel is necessary for your well-being. I know you won't let anyone tell you different.

Two years back, last time you gave the public a break, you wrote: "I guess the comments question goes to the heart of this blog: Who's it for? The public? My friends? Me?"

Speaking for myself, I think that a personal blog should have nothing to do with the public, a little to do with friends, and mostly to do with the blogger.

Your very first post said: "Get ready, world, for the meanderings of my mind."
THAT'S the purpose. An audience followed because you're a good writer. So while the comments can be fun--I like chatting occasionally there--they are, for the most part, tangential to the purpose and importance of the blog.

Enjoy the freedom.

I think the comments add something for us locals. But even if Jack Bog's Blog cut back to once a month, it would be great.

I enjoy the comments. Even when they're argumentative or poorly informed.

It serves to remind us there are qualitative and substantive differences between knee jerk reactionaries (on both sides), and those who are able to become informed before they form an opinion.

Either way, I'll keep reading.

It seems that this is one of the few, if not the only, local forum where really honest discussion is permitted. We so need a place where we can talk about real problems if we want to attempt to solve them. If local media were more savvy,the task wouldn't fall to individuals with consciences. Perhaps there is hope that they can take a cue from people like Jack Bog.

Jack one of the reasons I come back to your site is because of the comments from left and right.

however if yo chose to kill the comments I'll likely still stop in for your point of view.

They'll be back in a week.

You gotta do whatcha gotta do. Enjoy your week!

Oh, and of course people will still read your blog! Comments can be entertaining (I'm always amused to see the GONG! response to people putting words in your mouth) but I'm sure people will find other ways to feed their inner snark.


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