O.K. What to do? Problems:
(1) How to keep threads from descending into irrelevant banter. By that I mean comments which are not pertinent to a particular thread.
(2) How to keep one individual from commandeering the comments?
(3) How to ensure that those who have been faithfully following and contributing to this site are not sidelined?
(4) How to ensure that the “Recent Comments” links – which are meant to direct readers to the comments on various articles of interest – does not degenerate into a consistent stream of comments from one individual hogging the comments?
It’s a difficult situation. New to me. New to Sylvia’s Site. Until this week it was a non issue.
I don’t want to start administering the comments again. Nor do I want to revert to the days when those who blogged were required to log in with a user name and password. I prefer allowing people to have their say in real time, and I prefer not to edit comments unless it is absolutely necessary.
I think I can set things up to block people, and I will if I must, but I truly prefer not having to go that route. I think we are all capable of a degree of self-control, suffice not to post one comment after the other after the other in such fashion that a thread is totally dominated by one individual, and often with information which has little or no relevance at all to the thread.
Certainly there needs to be a degree of flexibility. I have no problem with that. But how to stop one person from dominating the blog and, in the process, driving others away?
And now to the specifics…
A number of people have expressed concerns to me privately over what has been happening on the blog over the past few days. For whatever reason, Larry has been blogging like mad. In short, his activity has not gone unnoticed. It is frustrating me. It is frustrating to many. Several persons are convinced he is intent on sabotaging the site.
I don’t know who Larry is. I don’t know what brought him to Sylvia’s Site. I don’t know what demons, if any, he is fighting. I don’t know if he is lonely. In short, I know nothing about Larry. He may indeed be intent on sabotaging the site. But, I just don’t know. I therefore give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t want to hurt him. However, I can not sit back and watch the site be sabotaged. Whether he does so wilfully or inadvertently, that is in essence what Larry is doing. I can’t let it continue. There are too many victims out there who rely on the site for information and support to allow it to happen.
I sent Larry an email yesterday expressing my concerns. No answer. After much thought I decided I had no choice but to raise the matter publicly.
At this moment in time I see one possible solution.
Barring exchanges of information on a breaking story it is rare that anyone posts more than four comments a day. In fact, most will post only once or twice.
Therefore, to you Larry
Larry, would you please restrict yourself to a maximum of four comments a day, and, before hitting the submit button would please ensure you have said all you want to say.
That said, I am open to suggestions from all as to how to deal with difficult situations such as this. I don’t want to over-control participation. How then to avoid reaching this point? And how to do so without hurting those who may already be in pain?
Enough for now,