Saturday, 11 December 2010

Note to Comment Posters [Updated]


I welcome your comments but you do so as my guest. Please note that I will exercise my property rights to make sure that Portable Antiquities Collecting and Heritage Issues  remains a safe and attractive place for everyone. I expect comments to be matter-of-fact, on-topic and free of sarcasm, innuendo and ad personam arguments. 

Despite what collectors are suggesting, very few sent comments are rejected. Main reasons for rejections are:

1) you seem to be a spambot advertising something, or
2) you are a dealer offering your own artefacts for sale (100% rejection rate), or
3) your comment is totally unrelated to the post it is supposedly commenting on and deflects discussion away from the topic;
4) While robust debate is acceptable, use of an overly aggressive tone and foul language intended to offend is not;
5) You are simply writing how much you hate me and my blog, and that I am an arrogant, evil extremist - and what you'd do if you met me in the street. This adds nothing to any discussion;
6) You are convinced you have good advice for me how to win hearts and minds, by being nice to artefact hunters and collectors (this bog is about them, not for them).
7) You are clearly a sock puppet (anonymous profile, hidden details for example) or impersonating somebody else, simply out to make trouble and waste time;
8) You are using the blog as a means to contact me with information or with questions, or asking me to remove something, and specifically ask me NOT to publish the comment (which I always honour);
9) Your comment deliberately or unintentionally gives away information which I suspect, or know from other sources, is sensitive (e.g., relates to something under investigation for potential criminal activity).
10) Although my own replies to comments may on occasion be somewhat brusque or rough, I'd like to ask other commentators not to use the comments section of my blog to attack another guest here. I will not post what I see as personal attacks by third parties on other commentators. I have developed quite firm views on that due to my own experiences as a commentator on other people's blogs. Disagree with what was said by a commentator by all means, but ad hominem remarks addressed to a third party (or me) will most likely get your post rejected, take them elsewhere. Racist, sexist and otherwise discriminatory comments will be deleted.

I prefer to know who I am talking to, if you have something to say that you think fit and proper to air in public, why not give your real name at the bottom? I write under my real name and frankly I do not see any reason, if they don't fall in the categories above, why others cannot do myself and my readers the same courtesy. If its worth saying, and you have nothing to hide, you can sign it with your real name.

When comments come to me the return address is "no reply", so I cannot contact posters to tell them that I'd post their remarks if they'd consider changing the bit where there is an email address or some other detail from an otherwise acceptable contribution to the discussion. All I can do in situations like this is reject the whole comment. I am prevented by the Blogger software from myself editing even a single word in a comment sent here, neither by somebody else, nor - annoyingly when there's a spelling mistake right in the middle - myself. The order in which comments appear under the post is the order when they are initially sent and not the order in which they were approved by the blog owner.

I tend to write very long posts, and some commentators reciprocate with equally long reactions. There is however apparently a word-limit to the comments, but I have never bothered to find out what it is. So long comments are best written in a separate document (Word for example) and copied and pasted into the comments box. That way if the system rejects it, you have a copy of the hard work writing a polite coherent argument and can try to repost it, split into several smaller chunks. But try posting it all in one go first.

[This seems not still to be the case, but I'll leave it here in case the problem recurs: There does at the moment seem to be a gremlin in the system which when you press "send" fills the window with a message that the "URL is too long" and your message has not been sent or saved. I'm not clear what the first part means, but the second is not always true. If you try to post a comment and get this message, right-click and use the "back" ("undo") and you will probably find that the comment has in fact been sent (you'll get a message that it has been sent and will be approved). If in any doubt, try sending it a second time, but please then add a bit at the top to say this is what you are doing, so I know whether I am to allow both posts or just the first (or second) attempt to post the same text].

If I am home and the notification system is working, comments usually go up within an hour or so of sending. [update June 2018, there seem to be problems with the latter at present and I only find out that a comment was sent when I visit a separate administrator's section of the blog, which I do not do regularly, I hope blogger fix this] If however I feel the urge to write an answer (and, be warned, I often do), the comment does not get posted ('accepted') until the answer is ready. This is because if another reader comments on your comment while I am still writing, because of the way Blogger organizes them, their reply would then separate the original from my response to it and it gets complicated.

Finally I should say that this blog is all about freedom of expression, I have my opinions on a number of things dealt with here and since I live in a country where free speech is allowed, I therefore say what I think. Sometimes I make generalisations, sometimes I use specific cases to illustrate a point. In the latter situation it is only fair that the person or group mentioned ALWAYS have the right to answer and contest what I said - though I'd prefer them to do it in accordance with the 'house rules' set out above.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I look forward to hearing from you.



Alfredo De La Fe said...

Not true Paul, I stopped commenting on your dribble after you either "edited" or rejected my comments outright.

Paul Barford said...

I think you will find that the word you are looking for is "drivel".

I rejected comments from you that fell into category 3, getting right off the topic of the post, and so no longer a comment on it. The place for that is a discussion forum, this is not a discussion forum.

Alfredo De La Fe said...

No, dribble as in drool. But drivel works as well. Also, your selective editing of my comments had nothing to do with them being off topic. In either case, this is your sand box and you can decide who is invited to "play" or not.

Paul Barford said...

Well, I will leave it up to the reader to decide whether a US coin dealer who regards excessive salivation as a form of communication is the best judge of what I should regard as on-topic and off-topic on my own blog.

I assume Mr De La Fe is referring to his attempts to get his story right in the case of a report of domestic violence which he had earlier brought into the coiney debate:

It was already off topic and I used it to illustrate the kind of junk logic these people use to defend their opposition to restricting the import of illegally exported artefacts . In the context of what I wrote, whether or not what happened in that case was closer to the first or second version of events which De La Fe "reported" really is no concern of any of us.

Mr De La Fe has his own coiney blog and he can write there about the ins and outs of alleged domestic violence cases in which his colleagues are or are not involved if he thinks it on-topic on a coiney blog.

Robert Matthews said...

Hello Paul,

Good to be able to access your blog again. I have been feeling deprived not beening able to get a daily dose. Although I do not always agree with you blunt debate with out spilling over into name calling is to be welcome.

Robert Matthews

Paul Barford said...

Not agreeing with me is what the "comments" sections are for. I welcome debate as long as it does not spill over into pointless name calling too. After all, putting all this stuff down on 'paper' is to help me get the ideas sorted out in my head, any constructive help with that would be gratefully accepted.

Paul Barford said...

Vanda jakabova, I am afraid I do not have a copy of ths text here in Poland, I think however if you write to the Institute of Archaeology (UC London), they were publishing copies of the dissertations on PDFs, I assume they still do. Good luck, and please let me know how you get on -if you post me your email address I'd like to hear what you are doing, I am intrigued.

Unknown said...

Hi Paul - do you have an email address so I can send you something? Cheers Harry

Paul Barford said...

Hmm, "Harry", well, yes I do. See point 8 above?

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