Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Biblioblog Boors

Expand Messages
  • Michael Grondin
    Recently, I posted a comment to April DeConick s blog entry about the Patterson review, asking whether her translation of creditor in L65 didn t play into
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 24, 2010
      Recently, I posted a comment to April DeConick's blog entry about
      the Patterson review, asking whether her translation of 'creditor'
      in L65 didn't play into the hands of the JSem view of Jesus. No
      response from her yet, but I did get a response from one Geoff
      Hudson, whose comments I had seen on various b-blogs, and who
      informed me in a confident tone of various things that seemed to me
      both irrelevant and false. Essentially he was using my comment to
      present his own theories, which he had already presented several
      times over in response to this one article. I responded tartly, but he
      wasn't deterred. He came back with even more of his theories! The
      last thing I said to him prior to this note was this:

      "... you're like a boorish uncle who button-holes you at a family gathering
      and won't let go until you've heard his theories for the umpteenth time."

      This thought inspired the title of this message. Hudson is not the only
      one, of course. There's a group of b-blog boors, AKA "hobby-horsers"
      so-named for their habit of going around to different b-blogs seeking
      the slightest opportunity to trot out their pet theories (which are almost
      invariably mountains made of mole-hills). Their postings are typically
      either long or numerous, sometimes both - and often have only the
      most tenuous connection to the article or other comment to which they
      purport to be responding. In my view, b-bloggers should do something
      about this blight (if they can), rather than to ignore it and let their
      comments sections become garbage-dumps.

      Mike
    • Bob Schacht
      ... I write from the perspective of an assistant moderator on XTalk, and a participant of that list since 1996. But first, I need to acknowledge that there are
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 24, 2010
        At 12:30 PM 3/24/2010, Michael Grondin wrote:
         

        Recently, I posted a comment to April DeConick's blog entry about
        the Patterson review, asking whether her translation of 'creditor'
        in L65 didn't play into the hands of the JSem view of Jesus. No
        response from her yet, but I did get a response from one Geoff
        Hudson, whose comments I had seen on various b-blogs, and who
        informed me in a confident tone of various things that seemed to me
        both irrelevant and false. Essentially he was using my comment to
        present his own theories, which he had already presented several
        times over in response to this one article. I responded tartly, but he
        wasn't deterred. He came back with even more of his theories! The
        last thing I said to him prior to this note was this:

        "... you're like a boorish uncle who button-holes you at a family gathering
        and won't let go until you've heard his theories for the umpteenth time."

        This thought inspired the title of this message. Hudson is not the only
        one, of course. There's a group of b-blog boors, AKA "hobby-horsers"
        so-named for their habit of going around to different b-blogs seeking
        the slightest opportunity to trot out their pet theories (which are almost
        invariably mountains made of mole-hills). Their postings are typically
        either long or numerous, sometimes both - and often have only the
        most tenuous connection to the article or other comment to which they
        purport to be responding. In my view, b-bloggers should do something
        about this blight (if they can), rather than to ignore it and let their
        comments sections become garbage-dumps.

        Mike

         I write from the perspective of an assistant moderator on XTalk, and a participant of that list since 1996.
        But first, I need to acknowledge that there are differences between e-mail lists like this one, and blogs.
        • First, the best thing to do with such boors is ignore them.  What they want, first and foremost, is attention. They will also never let anyone else get the last word-- they always have a comeback, and responding to them just gives them another excuse to reply.
        • Second, email lists like this make it easy to put members on "moderation" status, meaning that their posts are not automatically posted until approved by a moderator. This makes it easy to screen the work of the boors.
        • XTalk, in providing the moderation function, has published a "protocol" for participants. This public protocol provides justification for any disciplinary action, and removes such discipline from the realm of "personal vendetta"-- which is what  the boors accuse you of, if they face any disciplinary action unless there are clear protocols that they violated. I don't know if blogs have a similar function.
        • That said, it is hard to write a good protocol regarding boorish behavior. However, the boors, when challenged, often resort to ad hominem attacks, which can be forbidden in the protocols for participants.
        Bob Schacht
        Northern Arizona University
      • Judy Redman
        Bob says: * Second, email lists like this make it easy to put members on moderation status, meaning that their posts are not automatically posted until
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 24, 2010

          Bob says:

           

          • Second, email lists like this make it easy to put members on "moderation" status, meaning that their posts are not automatically posted until approved by a moderator. This makes it easy to screen the work of the boors.

          Most blogging software makes it possible to moderate your blog comments, but you have to do it for all posts, which really stops conversations if you aren’t able to check and moderate several times a day. I get very little spam, so I don’t moderate my blog.

           

          I agree with this:

          • First, the best thing to do with such boors is ignore them.  What they want, first and foremost, is attention. They will also never let anyone else get the last word-- they always have a comeback, and responding to them just gives them another excuse to reply.

          It sometimes takes a while, but my experience of lists is that if no-one responds to their posts, they eventually stop posting. One very annoying person on one list I belonged to went through a phase where he would post things like “Hey, isn’t anyone going to comment on my post” and “it’s not fair – people are responding to other people’s posts, why not mine?” and then “You *have* to respond to my posts.” I suspect that at this point the moderator did some behind-the-scenes work and informed him that no, no-one had to respond to his posts and clearly he was the only person on the list wanting to have a conversation on that issue and would have to deal with it. We then didn’t hear from him for a long time. He’s now posting again, but in a far more reasonable fashion.

           

          I think that on a blog the fact that the author/owner doesn’t respond is more powerful than it is when the listowner doesn’t respond on an email list.  However, I think it is helpful if, at some stage someone names the input as problematic, so sometimes if the owner ignores problematic people and other people occasionally comment that the contributions are not coherent etc, that might work, but you don’t really want a flame war in the comments section of your blog.

           

          Blogs are trickier than email lists, but one thing you can do is to delete posts after they’ve gone up. I only ever delete spam, but I haven’t had anyone post anything really problematic.

           

          The problem of course, is that when you support the right to freedom of speech, it’s very difficult to decide when letting someone exercise that right interferes with the freedoms of others to the point where they need to be stopped. L

           

          Judy

          --

          Judy Redman
          PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
          University of New England
          Armidale 2351 Australia
          ph:  +61 2 6773 3401
          mob: 0437 044 579
          web: 
           http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
          email: 
           jredman2@...
           

        • Bob Schacht
          ... To add to this, a bit of email-list history: The XTalk list originated as CrossTalk , a list hosted by HarperCollins in 1996 on the occasion of the Jesus
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 24, 2010
            At 03:22 PM 3/24/2010, Judy Redman wrote:
             

            Bob says:

             
            • Second, email lists like this make it easy to put members on "moderation" status, meaning that their posts are not automatically posted until approved by a moderator. This makes it easy to screen the work of the boors.

            Most blogging software makes it possible to moderate your blog comments, but you have to do it for all posts, which really stops conversations if you aren’t able to check and moderate several times a day. I get very little spam, so I don’t moderate my blog.

             

            I agree with this:
            • First, the best thing to do with such boors is ignore them.  What they want, first and foremost, is attention. They will also never let anyone else get the last word-- they always have a comeback, and responding to them just gives them another excuse to reply.

            It sometimes takes a while, but my experience of lists is that if no-one responds to their posts, they eventually stop posting. One very annoying person on one list I belonged to went through a phase where he would post things like “Hey, isn’t anyone going to comment on my post” and “it’s not fair – people are responding to other people’s posts, why not mine?” and then “You *have* to respond to my posts.” I suspect that at this point the moderator did some behind-the-scenes work and informed him that no, no-one had to respond to his posts and clearly he was the only person on the list wanting to have a conversation on that issue and would have to deal with it. We then didn’t hear from him for a long time. He’s now posting again, but in a far more reasonable fashion. ...

            To add to this, a bit of email-list history:
            The XTalk list originated as "CrossTalk", a list hosted by HarperCollins in 1996 on the occasion of the "Jesus at 2000" seminar (get it? Jesus was actually born 4 B.C. by current reckoning, so....) It was only supposed to last for 6 weeks, but the list became so popular, and there was such public angst at the prospect of the list being shut down, that HarperCollins allowed the list to continue. However, it was essentially unmoderated. The only thing the list moderator would do, on occasion, was to post information about new HarperCollins publications.

            After about a year, the % of boors, cranks, and oddballs rose to an unacceptable level. Essentially, the cranks were hijacking the list, and we were losing the kind of academics that we wanted to keep. That was when Jeffrey Gibson, aided by Mark Goodacre, me, and a few others, decided to move the list to another server. We negotiated with HarperCollins, and made arrangements to transfer the entire list, eventually to its present yahoo server, where Jeffrey accepted the onerous task of moderator, along with a team of assistants who acted as an advisory board  when it became necessary to discipline members. Over the years, we've had to deal with a number of cranks and oddballs, both academic and not academic.  The list protocols have been a constant help. This GThomas list was essentially a spin-off of XTalk, and under Mike's guidance, has been well moderated.

            Bob Schacht
            Northern Arizona University

          • Michael Grondin
            Hi Bob and Judy, Thanks for your comments. I had really intended to focus on biblioblogs, and the reader responses posted thereto. From what Judy says, I get
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 25, 2010
              Hi Bob and Judy,

              Thanks for your comments. I had really intended to focus on
              biblioblogs, and the reader responses posted thereto. From
              what Judy says, I get the impression that her software doesn't
              allow her to block out comments from specific individuals or
              addresses. I don't know whether this is generally true for all
              the major blogging programs, but it seems a shame if that's
              the case.

              Mike
            • Bob Schacht
              ... WordPress, at least, seems to offer the kind of tools you are seeking. The example I have in mind is a political blog, and while the bloggers I queried are
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 27, 2010
                At 12:29 PM 3/25/2010, Michael Grondin wrote:
                 

                Hi Bob and Judy,

                Thanks for your comments. I had really intended to focus on
                biblioblogs, and the reader responses posted thereto. From
                what Judy says, I get the impression that her software doesn't
                allow her to block out comments from specific individuals or
                addresses. I don't know whether this is generally true for all
                the major blogging programs, but it seems a shame if that's
                the case.

                WordPress, at least, seems to offer the kind of tools you are seeking.
                The example I have in mind is a political blog, and while the bloggers I queried are reluctant to go into details, for fear of making it easier for miscreants to game the system, they indicate that the main tool that WordPress offers is apparently a filtering capability. Apparently, filters can be established using certain key words, and it is possible to filter the IDs of commentors as well as words in their comments. In this way it is possible to allow miscreants to read, but not to comment. On this particular political blog, they have a number of volunteer "lurking moderators" who do this stuff in the background, and they really do a nice job of keeping the comments relevant and appropriate on a busy blog that generates hundreds of comments per day.

                Bob Schacht
                Northern Arizona University
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.