“The people who come after the blog post?”

Via the Professor.  Some fundamentals about “the Kaboodle” from Betsy Phillips’ blog

The people who come after the blog post? They are commenters. They are not bloggers. Calling them bloggers is like calling everyone on a bus the bus driver. No, there are entertaining people who ride the bus and scary people who ride the bus and annoying people who ride the bus. There are even people who will try to make the bus go some place the driver doesn’t want to take it. But that doesn’t make any of them the bus driver.

Same with commenters. They can be smart, entertaining, scary, annoying, or even hijacking. They do not write the blog. Some blogs don’t even have commenters.

And more importantly in the Internet era, not all commenters comment on blogs. They comment anywhere online someone has given a space for comments, which could be on op-eds written by Mr. Bart or on news stories about Mr. Bart, for example.

Do some online commenters suck? Not any of you guys, of course (well, OK, a few of you), but hell, yes. There are three things all bloggers do when it comes to commenters: 1. brag about the awesome ones; 2. daydream about making out with the attractive ones; and 3. rail against the fuckers.

Just saying…

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  • Aren’t bloggers commenters too, or even commenters on comment? Betsy is just pithing in the wind 🙂

  • Ulick

    Is there a difference between a blogger who like gives us some commentary, analysis or opinion and those who merely post up quotes from a news feed without the aforementioned aspects?

  • Christy Walsh

    Then could it be true that a blogger without commentators is just a sad bastard with a computer?

  • Christy, the emphasis seems to be on commenters rather than commentators.

  • Christy Walsh

    Yes I know I was just excerising my right to ‘come after’ and reverse the bus so to speak.

  • Oracle

    What about those that think the bus service is shit, do we get a taxi

  • Christy Walsh

    By all means please do –I’ll pay.

  • I know this is just a stray insight, Christy, but reversing is hardly the better option when you’re on a roundabout. Sad bastards will have their say. with or without comment, and those with loads of money can squash unwary bloggers in the courts.

  • Pete Baker

    Well, Oracle, you can get off the bus for a start…

  • HeinzGuderian

    Ayee,but where to get off,if the bus driver insists on ignoring certain routes infavour of,shall we say,green tinted Highways ?? 🙂

  • Damian O’Loan

    Look what you find when you follow the links the day after a post on media ‘peace processing’. Courtesy of Dave;

    “Pete, I think that your refusal to engage in media ‘peace processing’ is a fine example of the advantage that the amateurs can have over the processionals. It is why I choose to read blogs like Slugger for a better understanding of NI rather than rely on a media who I know are compromised by agendas. I don’t trust Blogs either, of course. But I do value your posts for the sharp detail and often accurate pointers to what is going on in the background.”

    Pete had commented on his monolectic Baconian history approach, which has indeed verified its assumptions yet continues to offer added value.

    And then from Mick, as long ago as it takes a baby to gestate:

    “That said we are putting a lot of thought into how we can press the standards upwards. That, I think, will require (at least) two things.

    One that we find ways to generate higher value content which is aimed at communities beyond the established commentariat here on Slugger (and remember only about 2% of the readership of any blog actually comment on the site).

    And two we will be developing tools that both incentivise good behaviour (and therefore higher quality comment) and make the punishment clearer and more consistent.”

    Seems reforms in politics and blogs operate on a similar timescale. But I think the first has been achieved. Note, “we will be developing”, not ‘we will develop’.

  • Stephen

    *generic sycophantic comment*

  • Gerard

    quite a few bloggers seem to be copy and pasters

  • Alias

    Good comment from that demure Dave fellow. Being a commenter, I’m biased toward valuing the commenter’s contribution higher than bloggers. Slugger would be relegated to a monthly read for me without them.

  • Big Maggie

    Pasters? And posters too. What’s the difference between a blogger and a poster anyway?

    Me ma always believed I’d grow up to be a poster girl :^)

  • Big Maggie, we’re all posters now – even if we’re directed to ‘submit’ our posts 😉

  • Anon

    There is a nicer skin on the site, but its largely the same content underneath it, and largely the same people here. And as yet, no whizzbang self improvement features, just the suggestion of rating comments in a fashion somethign akin to Vulcan chess.I’d guess if you totted up the name on each thread, you’d see a pretty clear 80/20 rule, if not worse. If the plan has been to get a wider set of commentators, it’s failed spectacularly. That’s a big shame.

    And once again, cranks give could value. The value is commentators is it helps you sharpen argument and communication. that helps understanding. People don’t have to have great insight or good faith to prompt that.

  • Damian O’Loan

    I’d point to Mack and Moochin Photoman’s regular contributions as very welcome changes, alongside most of the guest appearances. A cartoonist would be good and a religious correspondant too – given the site’s NI culture remit, a strange absence methinks. But back to the commenters’ responsibilities..

  • Oracle

    Aye Pete that’s if I can get on it,

    A bus service has many drivers, some are excellent navigators giving guided tours as they go, others hardly know where the gear stick is off let alone how to steer!

    It’s more fun waiting on your favourite driver and throwing stones through the windows of the drivers you don’t….. maybe hit a few passengers too… 🙂

  • Oracle

    Very generous of you Christy I’m going to Cork… what about the tip 🙂

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The problem is that some bus drivers over-estimate their driving skills. They think of themselves as Michael Schmacher. And they aint.
    Possibly some bloggers over-estimate their journalistic skills. They think they are Jon Snow and they aint.
    Perhaps some Bloggers would prefer if there were no comments and their rather odd and partisan views (masquerading as fact) went unchallenged.
    But seeing as there is a comments box……what Blogger could possibly object to an alternate vision to the one he/she poses?

  • Alias

    Mick was making the point that 98% of those who use the site don’t comment, so commenters only amount to 2% of users. Fair enough, but that 2% probably draws a significant number of that other 98% of users. Bloggers, in their vainer moments, would do well to ponder that.

  • Down South

    For a religious commentator get Gladys Ganiel on board. http://www.gladysganiel.com/

    I think it would add something

  • Michael

    yeah, the latter can be replaced with a few dozen lines of code and no one would be any the wiser.

  • Christy Walsh

    Oracle sometimes it is better not to respond and be thought a fool than post as you have done and remove all doubt.

    Intitially you didn’t like being on the bus now you never got on –do you know what day it is??

  • Oracle

    Perhaps Christy you would do well to know that sometimes one should take notice of his own advice before passing it on.

    Now scroll up the page find were according to you I said “I didn’t want to be on the bus!”

    Now who’s the fool!

  • Granni Trixie

    Its not rocket science. Initially, the blogger has the upper hand ie the power to set out a framework for discussion but after that its anybody’s game (and I do mean game).

    I think the Professor’s comments implied a value for blogger above that of commentor which in the power game is not warrented. A bit like being the person at the school dinners table who doles out the portions – through rules of politeness they can end up with smaller puddings than others (speaking from long ago experience here).

  • Politeness? What sort of wimpish emporium did you attend, Granni Trixie? 🙂

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Blogging is an ego trip.
    Well in my case it is. There is something very Pooterish or Diary of a Nobody about most bloggers and blogs.
    Having inflated an ego by pontificating about say Afghanistan, Global Warming or whatever…..the blogger will naturally feel a little pained if his/her best efforts are spurned by those who cant quite see the bloggers genius.

    The Skibbereen Eagle notably had its eye on the Czar of Russia. How we laughed.
    But thats what Bloggers do.

  • Pete Baker


    The Professor didn’t comment, he merely quoted someone else.

    But it isn’t rocket science. “Awesome” comments are highly valued. Attempted hijackers, not so much…

  • Neil

    We shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously, wha? Like a bit of Charlie Brooker myself:

    Stupid people! Thinking of setting up a Facebook group dedicated to an inflammatory cause? Why not simply scream your views into an empty breadbin instead? All the cathartic release, none of the lingering opprobrium.

    One of the chief joys of the internet is the way it has liberated millions of anonymous hecklers, strikingly few of whom had hitherto risked sharing their coruscating views in public because people tended to yawn, or ask them to shut up, or physically attack them. Suddenly they had an outlet, and before long, a vastly inflated sense of self-worth. They could pop up, courageously tell a blogger that she was fat, and disappear into the night like Raffles the gentleman thief.


  • Pigeon Toes

    Christy, what about bloggers who don’t have contact details either? 😉

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    On an Ulsterbus Mystery Tour, the driver is not required to wear a blindfold. If it were to happen, the passengers would be required to remove his blindfold.
    I think this is the service that commenters do for some bloggers.

  • qwerty12345

    HeinzGuderian says:
    11 August 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Ayee,but where to get off,if the bus driver insists on ignoring certain routes infavour of,shall we say,green tinted Highways ??

    well you should have thought about free will when you saw Robert Saulters was the driver 🙂