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Comment guidelines. - I know it's wonky and I don't care [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Comment guidelines. [Jan. 31st, 2006|03:29 pm]

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?

Here goes!

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 elucidation.


[User Picture]From: tiquetoque
2006-01-31 07:02 pm (UTC)
I'm not likely to invite someone onto my friends list unless I've seen something of them elsewhere

If I may be so bold, I will interpret this as you having been impressed with them elsewhere, and shall name this interpretation Bob. It suits my next point. ;)

Making it clear up-front what I find acceptable lets me offer people who enjoy being argumentative the option of deciding whether they'd like to participate in this space that I have some control over, or not.

Ah, this is probably the nub of it, and I think it's a clear difference of opinion, and one I'm willing to accept now you've explained it :)

You see, Bob, above, is also the criteria for my friends list. It carries with it the perpetual (until further notice) acceptance that they can read my friends-only posts and comment what they like. My journal is not read-only, even slightly. Anyone can say anything they like while they have permission to do so (as implied by the usages and customs of the community my journal is a part of), and until this is abused, I see no reason to limit it - as you are now doing, or using LJ's built-in features.

Having thought about it, this is probably because I have not felt inflamed or threatened by anything anyone has posted, which may be due to the inane and rather arbitrary drivel I tend to post, as opposed to your occasionally intensely personal and perhaps controversial offerings. However, my point stands :) We differ in how we approach and tolerate our "friends".

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[User Picture]From: whit_merule
2006-01-31 08:19 pm (UTC)
And so do we, clearly .:) I'd never have the nerve to tell people what to write and what not to write, but I don't have a problem with "please don't be rude" or "please consider other people's feelings when you post here". Although I'd probably not say "please don't be boring", it falls under the same category.
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