A Comment on Comments

English: Groucho Marx & anonymous blogging

Dear Readers,

I’m on vacation for the moment, just checking periodically to clean up spam comments.  I’ve noticed a trend on my blog of people leaving comments that have nothing to do with the topic of the blog entry. They’re basically using the comment section as a little soapbox. Some opinions I agree with, some I don’t. Some are expressed rudely. Some have such poor spelling and grammar it takes a major effort to figure out what they are saying and even then, it’s a puzzle.  Thank goodness, wordpress does a nice job of weeding out the commercial comments before they even hit the board.

Today I went through and un-approved the rude comments, the totally off-topic comments, and the unreadable comments, and it occurs to me that perhaps I should articulate a policy about comments, since now I’m deleting some things.

Here’s the deal:

1.  I love a good discussion.  Feel free to disagree in the comments, or to question what I’ve written.  That is the best possible use for comments.

2. I don’t love off topic rants.  If you want to reach a wide number of people with your soapbox, go build your own blog and build your readership the hard way. Comment on the topic at hand. If there’s a topic you wish I’d address, put that request in the comments – that’s fine. But don’t just post an essay out of the clear blue sky, because it’s wasted effort – I’ll delete it. I do this not because I disagree (or agree) with you, but because I want to be respectful of my readers’ time and interest.

3. If you are rude, talk about “idiots,” or attack another person or group of persons with your words, I will delete the comment the moment I see it. Do that stuff somewhere else, please. Doesn’t matter if we agree or not, it’s gone.

4. Not everyone is a ba’al hadikduk [master of grammar] but please do try to make your message intelligible. If English is not your first language, just do your best and that’s OK – I do understand. However, if I can’t make it out at all, I’ll delete the message whether English is your mother tongue or not.

5. Finally, if you’ve made it this far, don’t let this fussy post of mine prevent you from commenting and questioning my posts.  I really do love a good discussion, and we can only get there with a comment.  Disagree, question my assumptions, ask questions, whatever – mazal tov!  I love that stuff.

As 2012 comes to an end, thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate the readers who follow me regularly, and the people who follow tweets and other breadcrumbs to come check me out. In the coming year, I will try to post more essays and “tips for beginners” of interest, and make the time you spend reading my blog worthwhile.

Blessings to you in the secular New Year!

– Rabbi Ruth Adar

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