Friday, March 10, 2006


COMMENTS are off for the moment -- and maybe forever -- on account of spam. There was TOO much building up. Also I've been slowly turning over in my mind, my response to the blogging experience in general. The other day, when some young journalist called up to ask questions about "celebrity blogging" these thoughts came to the fore. One of the questions she asked was, "What do you feel about exposing your personal information to the whole wide web?" Of course I had to laugh: my experience has shown me that there's about as much real exposure on a blog as standing naked alone in a desert.

On the few occasions when there IS high traffic, it is nearly always of low consequence. For instance, there was a surge of visits during the performance of my play in California last year. But the calibre of responses consisted almost entirely of emotional garbage that no-one really needed to either read or write. If I'd turned off comments then, the results would certainly have been cooler all around: maybe a few people would have e-mailed me with their furious remarks and I could have chosen which ones to present or not. But the high temperatures that suddenly flared up at the time would simply not have had the easy outlet that they did, and we'd all have had more time to spend on pleasanter pursuits.

Of course it's sad (now, in this commentless atmosphere) not to hear from the few regulars whose responses I welcome here (like Amro and gt, f'rinstance). But the irritants are in greater abundance. The only other time when it was really fun to have a blog was when the SUDOCRITTERS game was in progress. That was cool! And I can see from the traffic stats that SudoCritter continues to be a powerful magnet for one particular search engine in Europe. There is a continuous speckling of hits from France and Holland, every day. However that also means that the relentless spam-parasites (spamasites?) target those posts and fill 'em up with rubbish. I haven't been bothering to remove them, coz it's too much effort. I know about them only because they show up as e-mail.

So ... why do I blog at all? Because it continues to be worthwhile to put out a trickle of news about my patch of turf. It's a bit like sending out a newsletter -- without having to send it out. I know that friends and family visit here in order to confirm that I'm (a) still apparently alive (b) still have the use of my hands and am at least solvent enough to have access to the internet.

I also get to share my most recent amusements. For instance: this mindless-fun game, which I got from Dave Barry's Blog. And one more site, for those who are interested in serial killers ... (sent to me by e-mail by my ComputerVine buddy Chuck aka Slipshod).


Marginalien said...

"I know that friends and family visit here in order to confirm that
I'm (a) still apparently alive (b) still have the use of my hands and
am at least solvent enough to have access to the internet."

That made me laugh out loud. And at 3a.m.

Pity about the comments. You may want to try turning on comment
moderation for a bit. It works simply, from the reader point of view -
adds one slightly irritating step. You've experienced it on my blog,
the typing in of the scrambled letters.

For you, it will mean
a. The automated comment bots get turned away, since the scrambled
letters aren't machine-readable
b. A small bit of a headache approving legit comments. But that works
simply. You don't necessarily have to log in to blogger every day to
approve them. You already get your comments in an email. So now you
get a comment notification with the text of the email. To approve a
comment, you simply hit "reply" to an email with a comment you want to
approve. And delete the emails for the ones that contain spam comments
or sheer rubbish.

Hope that helps.

(sent by ZIGZACKLY)

Marginalien said...

I'm trying something out here -- i.e., posting e-mail that's been sent to me by known entities as COMMENTS. I believe this is kinder to visitors than turning on word verification -- if I want to post the mail as COMMENTS, I can make the effort, whereas the visitor only sends e-mail, which isn't more effort than posting comments.

You can see this is the reasoning of one who is descended from The Sloth ...