Thursday, January 24, 2013

Re-Post: Regarding Comments

I posted these thoughts about comments in one of my Captain's bLogs a while back, but based on what I've been seeing lately, they bear repeating:

This may sound cranky or curmudgeonly, but as I close in on my half-century mark, I think I'm entitled to a bit of, uh, curmudgeoness. Anyway, I'm trying to be more selective about which comments I approve for publication on this blog. Over the last two and a half years, the reader comments posted to this blog have overwhelmingly been in line with my intentions for the site: enthusiastic, celebratory, nostalgic and, generally, upbeat. We've also remained virtually troll-free. But recently, I'm finding myself slightly less happy with the "interactive" aspect of this blog.

Perhaps it's inevitable that as readership grows, I'm going to see more comments show up in my e-mail box for moderation that I'm uncomfortable with or that, frankly, just irritate me. I'm even thinking about disallowing "Anonymous" posting entirely, as most (though not all) of the comments that bug me are posted without a name attached. I haven't taken that step yet, but I'm considering it.

So, for the record, here are the types of comments I'm not likely to approve:
People selling something. That's not what this site is about. Try ebay. Related: people trying to find out what their memorabilia is worth. Again, that's not what this site is about. There are hundreds of other places online that are more appropriate for that kind of question. Use Google. That's what it's for.

Linking to illegal downloads/bootleg merchandise. I've actually addressed this before. Comments that link to torrent sites or unauthorized video dealers will not be approved. No moral judgement here; I just don't want to have this site hosting those sort of links. This includes links to full-length shows & films on sites like YouTube - those are copyrighted works and usually not authorized.

Non sequiturs. Okay, this is the one that's really driving me nuts lately. I've been seeing a lot of comments recently that I simply cannot make any sense of whatsoever. I understand that this site can be accessed all over the world, and English isn't everyone's first language - but I can usually tell when that is the problem. Far more often, I get comments that simply repeat the information I wrote about in the post (as if the commenter only looked at the headline and/or illustration before clicking the comment tab, feeling compelled to show off his knowledge of the subject) or utterly nonsensical comments that, well, indicate serious weaknesses in reading comprehension. If you're going to take the time and make the effort to comment on something I've posted here, please think about it a bit, and make it worthwhile.

 • Negativity. You know, I understand that not everyone likes the movies and television shows and other stuff I write about on this blog; some people outright hate them. Others think they're "cheesy" (a word that really bugs me and automatically raises my defensive shields), "lame," or just trash. And yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But this blog isn't the place to tell the world how crappy you think The Starlost is, or for expressing your ironic sense of post-modern snark. In the header at the top of this page, I use the word "celebrate," and that's what this blog is about. If you think the original Battlestar Galactica is lame, or that Starcrash is the Worst Movie Ever, write about it on your own site, or go find an appropriate message board somewhere. This is a blog, and, more to the point, it's my blog, and I'm not going to stand for people coming in and being jerks in my house.

This doesn't mean we can't have some good-natured fun with these shows, or acknowledge their flaws and amusing defects, but the key words there are "good-natured." (And don't send me angry comments about me not respecting your freedom of speech, or me being too cowardly to hear differing opinions. A. This isn't a public forum, and B. I really don't particularly care about the opinions of anonymous strangers.)
Please do keep sharing your own Star Kid memories in the comments, or passing on cool behind-the-scenes information, and politely correcting factual errors I make. And please, have fun with (and make fun of) these shows and movies. Just try and keep it... affectionate. That's the word I'm looking for, I guess.

I'm also not saying that people can't disagree with my opinions. That's cool. Just be polite about it, okay?



  1. Any public board that allows anonymous posting is going to eventually be overrun with spam and trolls. There's really no way around it.

  2. Chris,

    I have been an avid fan of your site for a couple of years now. I myself am 44 years old and consider myself a big time Star kid. As I get older, I find myself looking back to my youth (don't we all?) and just thinking about how awesome it really was to grow up in that era. I have three children (25,19 and 5) and enjoy sharing my passion for such things as Star Trek, POTA, Star Wars and all other things 70's and 80's. In my opinion it was more fun to be a kid then than it is now. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate the time you devote to this site, and totally agree with your comments. I enjoy reading the comments and sharing the memories and opinions of the other Starkids, not to read about someone making fun of the things we love.

    -Texas Ranger

  3. Christopher I enjoy Space:1970 because my '70s boyhood memories thrive here.


  4. Same here! I grew up in the 70s and early 80s and almost every post evokes a fond memory of those times. Sorry you're hit with these issues but Space1970 is one of my favorites! Please keep up the great work!

  5. I think that's absolutely fair. Inviting public comment is one thing, but it doesn't mean you have to engage with everything that's submitted. I especially agree about the negative opinions, I love enthusiasts pages and they don't need to be filled with comments from people who moaning and groaning. As you said, they can start their own page and whinge away - the rest of us can choose not to read it. The point of a site like this is to talk about the stuff that interests you and the readers. It's also fun!

  6. I have just recently found this site and I love it. And bravo for defining your space on the web. Those of us who choose to post need to comport ourselves as guests in your house!