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RE: [GTh] Biblioblog Boors

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  • 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 1 of 6 , Mar 24 3:22 PM
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      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
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    • 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 2 of 6 , Mar 24 4:43 PM
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        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 3 of 6 , Mar 25 12:29 PM
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          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 4 of 6 , Mar 27 7:41 AM
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            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
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