Adventures in Ethics and Science

On the post where I asked you what made you feel welcome to comment on blogs and polled you on what would make you unlikely to comment on a post, friend of the blog Eva notes in a comment:

One of the bloggers at nature network is currently polling (silent) readers about what makes them not comment. Registration requirements are in first place at the moment, followed by the mysterious “another reason”, so I’m curious to hear what the other reasons were, and whether they overlap with anything from your poll!

So, in the interests of sharing the information gathered by my (decidedly unscientific) poll of my readers, here are the responses people who picked “other” in my poll typed into that text box:

the content is boring

The tone ot the comments are highly partisan, hateful, snarky, or unfair.

snark gets more positive reaction than substance.

several. will post

irrational moderation

On moderation: I don’t even bother at (say) Age of Autism — dissent is not tol

the blagger is itching for a fight

Registration required

I’ll get lost among the hordes. where the commenters act like junior high kids in cliques

I like to see a comments policy that’s consistent and reasonable.

I usually only respond to a direct request for feedback. I have to register.

yet another registration service

The topic at hand that the discussion is engaging the topic

Commenting requires registration (PITA); >50% of commenters are illiterate

Many of the comments are abusive or dismissive.

any comment at all is complimentary; blogger rejects comment, I reject blogger.

re: moderation, less likely but only slightly

registration is required.

the anti-science to pro-science ratio is too large

This box is too small

Registration is required

Feel free to discuss these and other impediments to your participation in the comments. And, if you’re so inclined, you might click over and respond to that other poll Eva linked.

Comments

  1. #1 Anon
    February 16, 2010

    I am perhaps not the target for this question, because I *do* tend to comment, on the blogs I read. Some more often than others, certainly, and there it is because I am reading (blog and comment) to learn, not always to speak. I may (with one or two exceptions) read scores of posts for every one to which I comment (the exceptions are blogs I do not merely read, but frequent, where I comment more often). There are a handful of blogs on which I would love to comment more, but I am not going to comment without a point, and I too often don’t have one.

    More typically, I don’t comment on a blog because I don’t particularly care to read it in the first place–something about the author rubs me the wrong way–often the way they treat their commenters, but also in their writing. This is rare, but there are two blogs I tend not to read here unless it looks like it will be an exceptional post… and I find my self wrong more often than not, and adjust my alpha level accordingly.

    It has nothing to do (that I am aware of, anyway) with the commenters; I can be in agreement or disagreement or out in left field and be fine. It is true that registration is a definite turn-off, both for annoyance reasons and principled reasons; I am a firm believer that comments and ballot-boxes are more honest and less subject to intimidation when the curtain can be closed. I will not comment at any site where I must give my real name–blog, news site, forum, I don’t care. They have not earned my trust; they don’t deserve my information. I have sufficient self-esteem to feel that this is a greater loss for them than it is for me, but not so much ego that I cannot admit I am wrong, and I have often learned from disagreement.

    I post under two pseudonyms–one fairly well known, the other, the one I am using now. I know that the bloggers here have access to my email addy, which I do not change. I am not trying to fool them (or anyone); I just have two different reasons for posting, and no reason *not* to reflect that in my name. From blogger and commenter feedback, I know that the comments left in both personas has been appreciated… but I do not kid myself; I would not be missed if I left. Someone who insists on real names will have that insistence rewarded, and someone who does not will have that lenience rewarded; from what I have seen, evaluations about which path is better are primarily an exercise in confirmation, rather than anything more.

  2. #2 becca
    February 16, 2010

    Compulsive commenting is curtailed by culmination of cruel cads commanding civility.

  3. #3 Comrade PhysioProf
    February 16, 2010

    “This box is too small” cracked me the fuck up! I wonder if they realize that if you keep typing when you reach the bottom of the box, the box keeps accepting more text?

  4. #4 Onkel Bob
    February 17, 2010

    Far be from me to correct the illustrious CCP, but perhaps the the initial size of the HTML frame is what is annoying to the poster. Some blogs (not all blogs are on SciBlogs) use rather small frames, and reading the text within is difficult. Not all know enough to write in a text editor and copy & paste into the window.

  5. #5 Eric Lund
    February 17, 2010

    Agree with CPP on “This box is too small”.

    I’m also a bit confused by “I like to see a comments policy that’s consistent and reasonable”–how do they know it’s consistent and reasonable (and who defines these terms) until they’ve been around and tried it? Of course, someone who has determined through experience that a site’s moderation policy isn’t consistent and reasonable has good reason for not posting. I’ve never had reason to visit AoA, the specific example named above, but I have seen others complain about their moderation policies.

    The registration thing is a genuine concern. So is a blog conversation that degenerates into junior high school level name calling.

  6. #6 brand0con
    February 17, 2010

    I think we’re still missing something here. I often don’t feel like I have a whole lot to add to the conversation which is usually well established by the time I arrive. Either the author or one of the commenters have covered most or all the bases I’d want to express in a more elegant way. It feels useless to add a comment to second someone’s take. I’d be more inclined to up vote their comment much like you can on a reddit thread.

  7. #7 Grant
    February 17, 2010

    For those that have “text box too small” issues, some web browsers allow you to re-size textboxes. Safari does, for example.

  8. #8 Jim Thomerson
    February 17, 2010

    I’m registered on several hobby forums, but I don’t care to register on a blog, so those which demand registration miss out on my cogent comments.