Here’s something for y’all to discuss….
I’ve felt pretty good about the way things have gone on the blog since instituting the latest civility regime. As you’ll recall, I threw out some bad actors, and just went to a zero-tolerance policy on overt hostility and ad hominem stuff. And according to the feedback I’ve gotten, people really, really like the result. So do I. People feel free to be themselves without being harassed off the site, and that’s a good thing.
But then, a couple of weeks ago after Rotary, I got into a long conversation with Kathryn Fenner and Hal Stevenson, and they both urged me to go the next step and allow only comments from folks who sign their real, full names. (At least, that’s the way I remember it. I know Hal was pushing the idea, and I seem to recall Kathryn supporting the idea. Correct me if I’m wrong.) Kathryn was speaking as a regular contributor; Hal was speaking as a person who won’t comment unless I DO go to such a system.
I’ve seriously considered it. On the one hand, I don’t want to shut out loyal regulars like bud. On the other hand — most of my regulars have (at my persistent urging) gone to using their real, full names. Which I deeply appreciate. Maybe I should put my policy where my appreciation is. Maybe it would bring out some other people and enrich the conversations here. Then again, maybe it would chase away more people than it attracts. But the main question is, is it the right thing to do? The blogosphere is different from Letters to the Editor in the paper. Yet I have in some ways deliberately run counter to the conventions of the blogosphere (such as aggressively differentiating this site from the hyperpartisan ranters that dominate the medium), and I’ve been pleased with the result.
Anyway, I had meant to pose this question at the time, and forgot. My recent exchanges with one Walter, who is one irritating little poke away from being banned, have brought it back to mind for me.
What do y’all think? And I particularly am interested in the thoughts of my regulars, as well as folks who have held back because I DON’T have such a policy.
Let me hear from you. And if you don’t want to say it in front of everybody, my e-mail is email@example.com.