Sometimes when I'm reading other boaty blogs, I feel moved to make a comment. I click on the little button, and a message comes up saying something like: 'Comment moderation has been enabled. Your comment will appear after it has been approved by the blog administrator.' When I see this, I go away without leaving a comment. Why?
Well, the way I see it, in that case it's not me who's posted the comment, but the blogger themself. It takes all the spontanaeity out of it, and it means that the comments that appear may not be a true reflection of those that were left.
Obviously, very occasionally, I have had cause to delete a post. Usually this is when it is obviously spam (I just did delete one such from a few days ago, hence my thoughts turning to the subject); even more rarely it has been to remove a comment that might be hurtful to a third party. If someone disagrees with, criticises or even insults me, I'd sooner respond publicly than try to suppress it. After all, I've still seen it, so the damage (if damage it be) is done.
To be so afraid of comments that you need to scrutinise each and every one before it appears seems somehow to be contrary to the open spirit of blogging. It might be sadly necessary when dealing with very controversial or heated topics, where there is a wider audience reading, or where there is a risk of libel that the blog owner would be responsible for, but - even given the level of vitriol that a post about dangling fenders can cause - on a boating blog? And while unsolicited public compliments are lovely, if you've made the decision to post them yourself, having read them, doesn't it feel a bit like blowing your own trumpet?
So comment away, let everyone see what you have to say, and unless you insult one of my friends or are blatantly advertising, your comment will be there for posterity.
I wish that I knew then what I know now.
5 hours ago