I've been reading the journals of people who aren't on my friends
list quite a bit recently. The reason I mostly post friends-only is
not so much for privacy (I generally use filter groups for that) but
to keep out the idiots. (Yes, I know about the setting that lets you
only let friends comment. I like doing it like this. Also, the fact that you're
not on my friends list yet doesn't mean I think you're an idiot. It means
you're not on my friends list yet.) This thought
led to me writing down some things I do and don't like about comments
left in my journal. And now I've written it down, I shall post it.
Comments on whether I've managed to communicate my thoughts clearly are welcome. No, comments are solicited. Help
me get this into decent shape, and I'll link to it in my userinfo.
It's a public post and will stay that way. Edited to add: I think we're covering the "don't post like this" parts adequately; has anyone got anything to say about the "do post this" parts?
If you cause tedium in my journal I will ask you to stop doing that,
and if you don't stop after I've asked you lots of times then I'll
defriend you. There will be no "final warning" because I find
policing discussions tedious in itself. This has never had to happen
yet, and I hope it never does. My definition of tedium is the only
one that counts for this purpose.
I get very, very bored by short back-and-forth arguments with no time
taken to ponder and re-ponder in between commenting. Take your time,
think about what the other person said, consider the possibility
that you have nothing to add to the discussion beyond the things
you've already said. Conversely, give the other person space
to think about your point; immediately jumping in with a reply to
every new comment they make is a very good way of failing to do this.
I get even more bored by repetition of points that someone made
perfectly well the first time (I have no problem with thinking out
loud, and I positively love it when someone says something like "hmm,
I said X earlier but now I'm starting to think Y is more accurate", or
"I've changed my mind"). I like people who understand the difference
between clarifying a point and trying to make someone else accept it
by reiterating it twenty times.
Single comments are never tedious, even if they're relatively
content-free. Obviously-non-hostile comments are rarely tedious (the
definition of "obvious" is "obvious to Kake"). Social grooming
comments (that is, content-free comments used to reinforce social relationships)
are not tedious unless excessive. I have no objection to *hugs* comments, but
if I've not asked for comfort or hugs then I probably don't need them.
I hate the way that livejournal switches to a horrible UI when a post
gets over 50 comments. If a discussion is approaching this limit, I'd
prefer that social grooming comments and other less-relevant comments
are taken elsewhere ("elsewhere" includes other posts on my journal),
or at least postponed. Once we've hit the limit we're screwed anyway,
so anything goes after that.
I love it when I get a comment on a six-month-old post. I love it so
much that if it's substantive I'm quite likely to make a new, brief
post pointing people at the old one, so your efforts are not wasted. I like
comments that say "yes, that makes sense" and nothing
more; they let me know that you've read what I had to say.
I like comments that disagree with me intelligently. My definition of
"intelligently" is the one that counts; it includes things like being
coherent, and showing evidence of having put a lot of thought into the
matter. I also like comments that acknowledge ignorance and request