Aug 06

The Tragedy of the Comments

FT18 comments • 4,299 views

FT has had an on/off relationship with comments in the past. We’ve had ilx response threads, haloscan’s limited memory comments, and experimented with blogger’s comments a couple of times, but with WordPress, it’s a whole new baffling world. Thankfully I can see wordpress comments as something we can sustain for some time. The volume of spam comments (usually attempts to increase page-ranking via links) was enormous in our first month, but it’s all nicely filtered out, with just the odd false +ve and a couple of the crazier ones getting through temporarily.

Popular has a healthy commuity of commenters, and a couple of posts have garnered some ace random googlers, so who knows what it could lead to.

To safeguard against comment etiquette disasters, i’d like to point the FT contributors (and hey, why not, the readers) to a couple of posts from WordPress guru Lorelle on the do’s and don’t’s of the comment box: Comments on Comments and How Not To Comment on Comments.

Obv, don’t take everything she says as gospel, but it gives some outside perspective on how blogonline journals and their reader community work these days.


  1. 1
    CarsmileSteve on 8 Aug 2006 #

    the simplest rule is still the best:

    compose your message – hover your hand over the send button for 10 seconds – think: “would Cliff Richard or the Dalai Lama send this?” – send if the answer is still “yes”.

  2. 2
    pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør on 8 Aug 2006 #

    great title btw d00d

  3. 3
    alext on 8 Aug 2006 #

    ha ha you can delete my mean-spirited comment on the lily allen thread if you can / want! I should not comment when tired and grumpy…

  4. 4
    Pete Baran on 8 Aug 2006 #

    Dalai Lama’s advice makes your advice easier:

    In one of my previous incarnations I was asked about a reply to a letter sent from a fellow Buddhist in China. His language had been intemperate and rude, and yet his question swas good. To which I said compose an answer, but do not send for at least ten days and consider if Cliff Richard would have sent it.

  5. 5
    Steve Mannion on 8 Aug 2006 #

    I think ‘would I want my mother to read this?’ can often be the best guideline.

  6. 6
    Lorelle on 8 Aug 2006 #

    Not take what I say as gospel! I’m outraged!


    Honestly, I hope people don’t. First, because mine is just another opinion out there. Second, there are no hard, one-way-or-highway rules or laws when it comes to comments. You have to set your own policy. It’s your blog.

    The key is to get people thinking about comments on their blogs and how they comment. The more we talk about it and think about it, the more likely we are to DO something about it.

    And doing something nice about it helps make the world a better, nicer, squeakier cleaner place. Okay, well, at least a little better well-spoken and well-thought.


  7. 7
    Alan on 8 Aug 2006 #

    Got to love those trackback/pings. Hello, there. I was giving our lot something to think about – it’s a new thing. You might find some of the comments on our most googled article funny/depressing. Tho admittedly the article (originally written 5 years ago now) was largely intended to create something like the responses there, it’s only the magic of WP comments that lets us see them

  8. 8
    pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør on 8 Aug 2006 #

    is the timelag bcz everything is bein frisked for mentioning p0k4h?

  9. 9
    Alan on 8 Aug 2006 #

    Well spotted. No. There are timelags listing comments because i’ve set the site to “cache” the front-page quite aggresively. the bit at the foot of posts saying “x comments” only changes every 30 mins or so, and the “recent comments” updates every 5 mins.

    if ppl are bugged by the 30mins lag, i was thinking of doing extra cleverness that un-caches just the number of comments.

  10. 10
    Alan on 8 Aug 2006 #

    Too much info here: State of the Blogosphere, August 2006 – 50 million blogs, 70% of trackback pings are spam, 1.6 Million postings per day (18.6 posts per second)

  11. 11
    titOnertoMe on 1 Dec 2007 #

    It’s great

  12. 12
    TiFfIrrinia on 2 Dec 2007 #


  13. 13
    arretsFut on 3 Dec 2007 #


  14. 14
    CarsmileSteve on 4 Dec 2007 #


  15. 15
    Marcello Carlin on 4 Dec 2007 #


  16. 16
    Lena on 4 Dec 2007 #

    Not be confused with “Moral Kiosk”!

  17. 17
    bloodiece on 6 Dec 2007 #


  18. 18
    Josh on 6 Jul 2008 #

    Just do it: ,

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