So! Comments! I love ’em. I truly, truly do. Please, if you read this, feel free to yak away in that comment box whether or not it’s remotely relevant to my entry. I love knowing that people read this (and judging by my stats, there are indeed more readers than commenters) and I love hearing your thoughts.
This isn’t to say that I only want comments that agree with me. I’ve been writing online in one form or another for more than a decade. From that (and my experience as a member of the MetaFilter community, which is nothing if not contentious) I’ve learned how to handle people who disagree with me without taking it personally. I’m totally happy to discuss where I’m coming from and how I came to form my tiny little opinions. I, obviously, prefer to do so in a constructive manner and not just “YOU’RE DOING IT RONG” though if that’s your opinion, I’m down with that. There are certainly people in the world I disagree with, and while I prefer just skipping over their blogs rather than commenting, I understand that there are those out there who really want to get their dissenting views heard. That’s cool with me.
I’m going to require that if you do so, you provide me with a valid email address. Actually, I’m going to require a valid email address even for comments that tell me I’m amazing.
The reason for this isn’t so that I can track you down and harass you (I won’t). I simply want to have the option to follow up privately if I don’t feel like my blog comments are the right place for a discussion. Also, without providing a valid email address, there’s no way I can tell that you’ll even come back to read my follow-up at all, seeing as how you won’t be notified of future comments.
I’m putting this out there as I have indeed started getting comments taking issue with some of my views, and it doesn’t seem coincidental to me that they haven’t included valid emails. A lot of times, it feels safer to say something disagreeing with a person if you can do so anonymously. I understand that, but this being my blog, I want to be able to respond and have a conversation.
Thus, say whatever you like, but it’s not going to be approved unless you provide a valid email address. (If you don’t want to provide your own, it takes five seconds to sign up for gmail – a throwaway account is totally reasonable for this kind of thing. I simply need to be able to respond, I don’t need to know any identifying information if you don’t want to share it.)