Thursday, December 5, 2013

Erin Manning goes Andrew Sullivan

By which I mean for the duration of Advent her blog will consist only of her posts, without comments.

Now I don't orbit by Erin's blog that often, mostly because the inside baseball Catholic stuff she usually posts about is simply outside my wheelhouse, but when I do, I read it for the comments, to the extent of ordering the posts I read by the number of comments they receive.

Why? Probably that basic human being social animal thing: it's the interaction among people that's the most interesting thing to me, not Erin Manning's sole thoughts in and of themselves (I don't know her, so why would I care what she thinks any more than I care about what anyone else I don't know thinks?) I'm interested in how the only objective measure of what she tried, the grasp and judgement of others, measures her success or failure from the beginning of whether she is even being articulate to the end of whether she has ended up being convincing or not. I'm interested in where her public thoughts fit into the multi-person human world, not in what she and Sullivan are now doing, tight-beaming their special individual mind dumps to Alpha Centauri.

When a blogger blogs without comments it seems to me they're saying a number of different things, either outright or implicitly:

1) I didn't have enough space anywhere at home to keep this private diary, so I'm using this public platform I stumbled across as a last-ditch makeshift workaround. If-ay I-yay ew-nay ig-Pay atin-Lay, I-Yay ould-way even-ay ite-wray it-tay ere-hay in-nay at-thay oo-tay eep-kay it-tay even-ay ore-may ecret-say, but I don't.

2) What I have to say is so important in its own right that it doesn't even matter if anyone reads it, so I don't need to know by way of someone commenting if anyone did read it or what they thought.

3) I already wrote 2) just now. Any comment could only spoil that, don't you agree? Don't answer.

One of the reasons Erin gives for her experiment in isolation is that there is a completely unknowable "depressingly large number of people in the world who feel free to put all sorts of sludge in your comment boxes," which suggests, a bit too facilely it seems to me, that anyone not positively reviewing Erin's output could be suspect of being an inhabitant of that vague and infinitely elastic purgatory.

But Erin is not Andrew Sullivan, so just as with her self-published book output - I think she just finished churning out her fifth or so 50,000 word manuscript in the series, the book(s) her mentor Rod Dreher has yet to even acknowledge exist - what she has effectively done is abandon her blogging now as well to the same sort of private self-publishing for that safely known audience of herself and anyone in her inner circle who considers her special enough that they will phone her or text her or email her personally about it.

This isn't really narcissism, it's more like a self-imposed sort of autism, and it seems to be a way of coping with the internet: people want to be noticed by the public, but only on their own, unilateral terms. So, in between isolated bursts of tight-beaming, they rock to and fro, in self-imposed isolation.

Frankly, it seems to me that a better course for anyone like Erin, even for a raging narcissist like Sullivan who, unlike Barbra, has only achieved first name status in-house, would be to take a closer look at why they are so allergic to the knowable public responses of others to their output.

If the comments Erin actually gets really is disproportionately a depressingly large amount of "sludge", what is she doing to generate those terrible results, and what could she do differently to achieve better ones?

If the problem is feeling rejected at anything short of adoration, that, too, begs for corrective action, action which can only be undertaken and guided in response to the very same feedback that is being preemptively rejected.

In short, a better experiment for Erin might be to explore in more depth why as a public author and blogger she seems to be having trouble getting along with her readers. Solving that social problem might put her further along the path to being a more successful author on top of being a happier blogger.

Yeah, I didn't link to Erin's experiment. Why would I? By her own hand, she's designated it as not really something for public interaction.

[NFP: But I am linking to Ms. Manning's post so I can see if it shows up in her "Links to this post" section. Mwa-ha-ha.]

[NFP2: In this context, NFP stands for Note From Pauli, not "Natural Family Planning". But you all knew that.]


  1. Thanks for providing the link, because I mistakenly thought this was the Erin Manning you were talking about. I had been confused earlier.

  2. Was her blog worth reading to begin with?

    1. Diane, I really couldn't say, because much of her writing involves Catholic esoterica I'm not qualified to evaluate. Which is why I found the give and take with her readers the engaging part for me.

      I do think it's strange that a blogger with aspirations to become a purchased (because she's already self-published) writer exudes the amount of disdain for the ordinary, not already adoring reader that she appears to. A lot of what she wants to avoid or outright fails at is basic coming of age stuff. There are a certain percentage of assholes out there, and when you become a mature adult,if you develop any degree of social skill at all you just learn to politely smile and nod at them along with the good ones. OTOH, she learned blogging at Rod Dreher's knee IIRC, so maybe she's just blindly mimicking him. She seems to have his roundabout, passive-aggressive style of attack down pat.


  3. Hi, Keith!

    By "sludge" I don't mean comments hurting my dewwicate wittwe feewings--haven't got any!--I mean comments telling me to do the anatomically impossible and then die in graphically described ways--that sort of thing. It's weird, but any time I blog about gay "marriage" and associated issues I get a surge in those kinds of comments. They don't make it through my moderation, but those things are the reasons I went to moderated comments in the first place (which I hate, but it's better than having mommy-blogger-readers complain that stuff showed up in the formerly unmoderated combox that scared their eight-year-old who was reading over mommy's shoulder).

    If you don't read many Catholic blogs, though, you might not know that turning off comments and/or not blogging at all during Advent and Lent is a "thing." I haven't done it before, but it seemed like something worth trying, especially since Blogger is seriously annoying me and I'd like to move to WordPress except that when I started playing around with that it was even *more* annoying, which I hadn't thought possible.

    So: no sinister ulterior motives, no narcissistic autism afraid to be challenged or interact with people who disagree, no delusions of grandeur--just a little experiment to see if the Catholic bloggers who shut off comments and/or stop blogging during penitential seasons are on to something of spiritual depth and importance, or if in the end I'll be unimpressed and just as snarky, sarcastic, and short-tempered as I've always been, which is quite likely.

    Oh, and Pauli (NFP! Funny!) I have set the dashboard thing on my blog again and again to SHOW LINKS TO THIS POST. It still doesn't. If you know what I'm doing wrong and can tell me how to fix it, I'd be deeply appreciative, as right now all I've got are Google's frequently X-rated and/or spam "stats" to tell me if somebody's linking to my posts--at least in theory; in practice their stats are mostly useless.

    1. Erin, thanks for your response, but it really addresses some different post you haven't yet written. I think my post here is the only way to make sense of the one you actually wrote. Here's why.

      What is the point of your Advent experiment? To be penitent? To deprive yourself of some normal delight, like chocolate? Not according to anything you wrote. You did coincidentally claim it to be an Advent experiment, but until your comment here that's all it really was, a coincidence.

      The reasons you gave originally were specifically different ones, none mentioning gay marriage. Here's what you wrote.

      Your first reason seems to be that you just want to try something new, like a new hairstyle, to freshen life up a bit:

      As you know, I've been a bit flaky this year with the blogging. I've felt like something needed to change, and I spent quite a bit of time playing around with WordPress to change the look and feel of the blog before deciding I'm just not ready to switch platforms.

      So the Advent experiment of killing comments will determine if no comments leaves you refreshed and less flaky.

      Your next, different reason is that life in general and fiction writing in particular is crowding out blogging itself:

      I've also noticed that life in general and fiction writing in particular is taking up more and more of my time, leaving a bit less time for the blogging.

      So the Advent experiment of killing comments may make more room in your life for blogging, and, judging by the number of posts you threw up immediately after beginning it, it did.

      This would seem to indicate that your dealing with comments themselves, any comments - comments on pink cupcakes - is the land anchor holding back your free writing spirit.

      But your third reason, different still, seems to be the main one and the one which is the point of my post, that the bulk of the comments you receive you generally disapprove of for one reason or another:

      And I've noticed that I don't get all that many comments here anymore--or, rather, I don't get all that many that I can approve and post; there are a depressingly large number of people in the world who feel free to put all sorts of sludge in your comment boxes, and even though I send these straight to the trash it takes time to read them and realize they're trash and send them that way.

      So my Advent experiment is going to be this: I'm going to post more regularly, but for the season of Advent, I'm turning comments off completely.

      I've never tried this before, and have never really wanted to do it. But since comments have been dwindling (at least here; I suppose when people share my posts on Facebook they may comment on them over there, but I never see that), I don't know if it's really necessary for me to keep comments open on my blog. I think the experiment will let me know for sure.



    2. So, both your original post and your comment here summarized:

      - The two leading free blogging platforms, Blogger and WordPress, annoy you and to this day have left you with features you've not been able to cope with.

      - For all the blogging you try to do, you don't get very many comments in response to your efforts to begin with, of those you do get there are very few you approve of, and you're wondering if you can simply dispense with the burden of responding to your commenting readers entirely.

      Erin, the actual experiment for you seems to be blogging itself, beginning with the software and ending with your readers, and it seems, according to your own testimony, that in these fundamental areas, the public blogging software itself and the public at large, you haven't yet been able to escape continuing to do something wrong.

      Maybe blogging just isn't for you. Maybe a private email listserve thingy with the Catholic/mommy readers you get along with would be more appropriate. Of course you would be giving up the occasional bone Rod Dreher tosses to you when he occasionally mentions one of your posts, but, frankly, you'd probably be better off without the humiliation implicit in that welfare dependency. And you wouldn't be giving up having an ad hoc prize named for you on his blog.

      It sounds to me that public interaction - "I keep up with a handful of blogs, but rarely comment on most of them" - is the Kryptonite that's spoiling your true joy, you and your own writing, so why keep struggling with a public internet system that has a much different purpose and ends up continually frustrating your main efforts? At the very least, since you've got years of posts, just take the blog private for that inner circle of readers you already approve of.


  4. I'm with Erin on this. There are more reasons for a blogger to moderate their comments than self-regard, and moderating comments can be time consuming -- even exhausting, depending on the commenters.

    1. Which returns us to my point: if moderating comments to what one writes becomes exhaustingly time consuming in a blogging universe where for literally millions of others it doesn't, that's indicative that the blogger is doing something fundamentally wrong - maybe blogging itself.


    2. "Blogging itself" is not a univocal activity. People write blogs to achieve many different ends, and therefore make use of the blogging tools available in may different ways. When a blogger's end changes -- even temporarily, as for Advent -- it makes sense for the way they use their blogging tools to change.

      As for your claim that Erin "is doing something fundamentally wrong" -- which, first, let's not confuse me saying that moderating comments can be exhausting with Erin saying it is exhausting -- the sludge that she deletes comes her way because of her opinions on marriage. Surely you're not saying that expressing one's opinions on marriage on one's personal blog is fundamentally wrong. So what is she doing that is fundamentally wrong?

      And the "literally millions of others" who have (relatively) open comments on their blogs? How many of those have had more than a handful of comments from trolls, cranks, and the temperamentally enraged?

      Of those blogs that have drawn the attention of commenters outside the blogger's social circle, some are intended to be like Hyde Park, or a bar, or the parking lot of a bar. Some meet their intent by drawing traffic, of whatever kind.

      And some bloggers want reasoned, polite (according to some standard) discussion. The psychology of Internet interactions means that the balance in tone and scope of disagreement won't be maintained as the number of people involved grows, without intervention.

      The idea that it's somehow "fundamentally wrong" to prefer no conversation on your blog to immoderate conversation is based on an unfounded assumption of the nature of blogging, and it can't be established empirically.

    3. Sorry, Tom, my post was based only on what Erin posted, not on the more expansive tangential universe you've just opened, so I stand by what I posted.


    4. That more expansive tangential universe is the one we happen to live in. If you want to stay in the psychological fantasyscape you've constructed, knock yourself out.

    5. Tom, when I referred to your more expansive tangential universe I was referring to your sophistry, such as this

      As for your claim that Erin "is doing something fundamentally wrong" -- which, first, let's not confuse me saying that moderating comments can be exhausting with Erin saying it is exhausting --

      But it was Erin herself who said that dealing with comments was so consuming as to be keeping her from posting as she liked.

      Or this:

      the sludge that she deletes comes her way because of her opinions on marriage.

      If you want to deal in "establish[ing things] empirically", show me the sludge, every comment, and exactly what each one said. Or just say instead that you are siding with Erin emotionally because to take anything she says on faith at face value. Nothing at all wrong with doing that, only with claiming you're standing on some sort of "empirical" Archimedean point when you're not.

      Or this straw man:

      Surely you're not saying that expressing one's opinions on marriage on one's personal blog is fundamentally wrong.

      Or this false choice, falsely stated:

      The idea that it's somehow "fundamentally wrong" to prefer no conversation on your blog to immoderate conversation

      My point, again, from Erin's own writing: when your comments systematically deteriorate to the point that you feel the preponderance of them can't be published - while a majority of others are having nowhere near that problem - it's probably you who is doing something wrong and you should probably reexamine both your expectations and your execution.

      Hell, it sounds like I'm the only one being generous enough to point this out to her. Why doesn't she have friends already doing the same thing?

      Like you, Tom.


    6. Hell, it sounds like I'm the only one being generous enough to point this out to her.

      Yes, it does sound like no one is buying what you're selling.

      It's probably you who is doing something wrong. You should probably reexamine both your expectations and your execution.

  5. Keith, obviously you are not well-versed in the Catholic blogosphere. There is a time-honored tradition of celebrated catholic bloggers banning commenters that make the bloggers look silly. See especially Anchoress and Mark Shea. Ms. Manning's stated reasons for banning comments, if true (and I will assume they are) are infinitely more honorable.

    1. Obviously I'd include Dreher in that celebrity pantheon if he were still catholic

    2. I guess I'm missing your logic here, Kathleen. The only reason any of the other bloggers you mention give for banning comments is only to prevent what each considers incivility (::cough::). Of course, there's no way to know what a non-existent comment actually said, or even if it ever existed at all (which is why moderating/banning comments is such a great marketing technique: it subliminally prompts every commenter to see if his precious jewel will be worthier than that other unwashed gravel of being selected for publication). But even so, all the people you mentioned still publish comments.

      But my point was not even about moderating immoderate comments. It was that if - as Erin claimed - 1) both versions of the software you tried still annoy you, 2) you don't get much public feedback on them anyway and 3) most of what you get you don't like anyway and end up deleting, why are you using these annoying tools to blog publicly at all? Pure exhibitionism? Or if not, what is it that you are doing wrong that yields these results?

      Maybe there's just something about seeing yourself in print somewhere other than your own computer that some people just enjoy or need in and of itself, whether or not anybody reads you and, when you don't allow comments at all, even when you've taken deliberate steps to ensure you don't know what they think even if they do.

      Added all together, this to me smacks of unaddressed low-self esteem looking for a self-dealing workaround: you want to feel you're important enough to be published, ie, publicly read, but then you don't want to hazard any reviews of whatever you imagine you've achieved.

      Me, I guess I just don't get it.


    3. My logic is based on the fact that I've been banned from commenting at Shea and Anchoress blogs for challenging them intellectually, not for telling them to go f&*( themselves. do you see the difference?

    4. Kathleen, I do.

      Of course, that's your story, and I have no reason to doubt it, just as we have no reason to doubt that Erin has never banned people for challenging her intellectually, only for whatever nasty thing she has claimed they have attempted to do.

      What makes Erin's situation unfortunate, though, is that according to her there has been such an overwhelming, statistically disproportionate number of people telling her to go f&*( herself rather than engaging in any other sort of comment - so many, so disproportionately that freeing herself of the burden of commenters entirely has finally allowed her new posts to fly off the shelves like fresh pies.



  6. Hi again, Keith! Let me try again.

    You're right in that I didn't say "I'm turning off comments for Advent in order to do penitential stuff." That's because I have always found that sort of statement slightly obnoxious, as if all the *other* bloggers who keep blogging and/or keep comments open during penitential seasons are not somehow doing the right spiritual stuff.

    I've been blogging since 2007, and I really like doing it. But blogging has changed a lot in those years, and it would be silly to expect what worked in 2007 to work in 2013. In 2007, for instance, I allowed anonymous comments and had no moderation at all. I also had a handful of regular readers and was lucky to get a hundred hits in a week, and the couple of trolls who showed up that first year were easily dealt with.

    Now--well, things are different. The Internet generally is different. Lots of news websites as well as blogs (even small ones) have stopped permitting comments or are using things like Disqus or Facebook for commenting, because they would get flooded with those really ugly comments (say, a news story about a family tragically losing a child would result in the family being attacked below with insults and obscenities in the comments section). Behind the scenes, so to speak, I've had readers tell me that I should move my blog to Facebook because that's the only place they read blogs or comment on them anymore.

    That won't be happening, because I hate Facebook. I'd rather have a tiny handful of regular readers who will actually go to my blog than have to deal with that privacy-deleting-time-suck; tried it once, won't make that mistake again. But as you noted, I am trying to figure out where to go from here.

    Right now, though, I don't have a tiny handful of readers. I don't have vast hordes, either, but enough that a listserv or similar platform probably wouldn't work or would be cumbersome.

    The one thing that confuses me about your post and follow-up comments is this: you seem to be assuming that I don't like criticism, review, thoughtful debate, etc. Actually, I do love that stuff, and miss it on my blog. I think a lot of people I used to debate with got turned off by the whole "moderated comments" thing. And that frustrates me no end, because either I deal with the loss of those comments, or I open my comments box up to the ugly stuff. And, again, by "ugly stuff" I don't mean comments that simply disagree with me; I mean comments wishing bodily harm to me or members of my family. Having a blog doesn't mean giving people open license to dump stuff like that, in my opinion.

    1. Erin, the first question anyone would obviously ask is, are you doing something peculiar, even unwittingly, to make yourself the sort of extremely unusual target for the wrath of strangers that you seem to be describing? In my experience, people don't wish harm on strangers' families on a casual drive-by basis, even on intensely argumentative blogs.

      Anyway, this guy seems to be able to blog intensely on any number of provocative Catholic topics with what looks like totally open comments without any problem at all.

      Maybe you could ask him what he's doing that makes that possible for him but not for you for whatever reason it isn't now. I see he's also on WordPress, so maybe he could help you out there too.


    2. The operative words, above, Keith, are "in my experience." Everyone's experience is different.

      The gentleman you link to has been blogging since 2012--so, not quite two years. In my experience, you have to be blogging a bit longer than that before the mud-slinging really gets going.

      Also in my experience, people seem to find it easier to bash someone who has put his or her real name out there. I blogged under the "Red Cardigan" pseudonym at first before switching to my real name. The advantage of blogging under your real name is a kind of honesty which I appreciate from other bloggers who do the same. The disadvantage is that people whom I don't even know feel free to criticize me for anything they like. I mean, obviously you, Keith, whom I don't know and have not met, feel quite comfortable making all sorts of psychoanalytical guesses about me based on nothing more than my blog postings, so let me as you: why is that? Why do you feel comfortable deciding that I must be autistic or have self-esteem problems or "daddy issues," when you don't know me at all and by your own admission above you don't even follow my "inside baseball" Catholic blog all that much?

      I mean, it's a bit rude to decide that a woman you are completely unacquainted with has the problems you've "diagnosed" me with based on the merest casual and occasional reading of her blog, don't you think? But according to you, the fact that you can jump to those totally random and unjustified opinions about me is somehow my fault, since other bloggers you know don't have people willing to assume so much based on nothing at all. Do I have that right?

    3. Keith, you are being ridiculous.

    4. Erin, this may come as a rude awakening to you, but the person you put out there on your public blog is you, period. End of story.

      If for some reason you don't like the way people perceive it or react to it, either change it or don't put it out there. Whining about how someone doesn't know the "real", hidden you will only leave you disappointed: you can never be more than you appear to be to others.

      Obviously that applies to anybody in your situation, Modestinus, Shea, Dreher, and me here.


    5. Well, then I feel compelled to tell you that the "real" you comes across as a boorish under-30 who is blogging from his mother's basement.

      I mean, all's fair...


  7. Apropos of whatever, and my 2 cents: some people don't distinguish between witty criticism and nastiness. If someone engages in true nastiness, e.g., racist or ethnic slurs, threats of violence, (real) calumny, (real) personal attacks then I would delete their comment in a heartbeat.

    But, in my experience, usually comments get deleted from Dreher's, Shea's or the Anchoress's site because someone made them appear stupid. In my experience, I repeat.

    Here's an example of something which is not a personal attack. Say I wrote a post about my idea to sell a product called Pauli's Kosher Bacon. Someone comments "That's the stupidest idea I've heard in 3 weeks. Bacon isn't kosher, period." Some people think that's an example of a "personal attack" because it contains the word stupid. But it's not; I put the idea out there and so I asked for it. Personal attacks almost always contain irrelevant information. Whether the language is strong or polite is beside the point.

    If someone comments "Pauli's wrong; he has six kids" that's a personal attack. But I'd probably leave it there because it would make the commenter look lame and ridiculous rather than say anything about me. In several instances people have deleted their own comments over here, tacitly conceding my point.

    I have seen the personal attack/libel accusation dragged out time and again and 9 times out of 10 it is used to squelch dissenting opinion.

    1. Pauli, I generally agree with you, with one slight difference I've applied in my comment boxes.

      When one commenter says to another commenter (or to me) "Your idea is stupid, and here's why:" that's fine, even if the second commenter (or I) still disagree and we argue or agree to disagree, etc.

      However, if the first commenter says to the second (or to me, though to be honest I've tended to let this stuff go when it's directed at me personally): "You are a stupid bleeping idiot for saying what you just said, and here's why.." then I usually ask them to repeat their comment without the personal note if they want to get it approved.

      Like I said, it's a slight difference, but civility in comment boxes can deteriorate quickly when people feel free to attack each other directly as people, not merely to attack the other person's ideas, thoughts, or opinions.

      That said, I do get tired (as I'm sure you do) of the commenter who uses every discussion to ride his or her own hobby horse, or the one who fills the comment boxes with irrelevant links, or the one who exists only to bait the other commenters, or the one gentleman (I use the term loosely, of course) who would show up when I wrote about the Scandal to talk about priests raping boys (and there was this sort of sick vibe like maybe he was jealous that they got away with it, if you know what I mean). The world is full of people like that, and I've never felt that my job as an unpaid blogger is to give them a forum for that sort of nonsense.

      It would seem, though, that Keith disagrees with me about that, which is why I posted what I did just now to him, above. Hopefully my point is clear: no, we bloggers are *not* responsible by virtue of our posting history for the totally unjustified opinions individual readers may form about who we "really" are.

  8. Erin, I think I see why you may be failing while others are enjoying blogging and the rich interaction that comes from having commenters respond and debate on one's blog - as Pauli is enjoying here. Perhaps a fractured fairy tale will help.

    Your attitude toward commenters is like the woman who adores and wants children, as long as they're the wonderful, imaginary children from the 50's that magically say and do everything she wants and nothing she doesn't, right down to the programming in their DNA.

    But the real life children she actually encounters cough and sneeze and fart and natter on about childish things and - shriek! - occasionally throw up on her doilies and bring home frogs and let the dog walk all over the good white couch in muddy feet and, oh heavens! This must stop!

    So she tells them, patiently at first, then ever more harshly, "Children, when I said I wanted children, I meant I wanted tiny, idealized versions of me to love and reflect positively back on me". But the children, being independent souls in their own rights, just stare at her and keep on being children, some adorable, some funny, some - shriek! - dripping snot on the doilies, but none behaving in the correctly obedient preconfigured way she demands that children behave.

    So she begins measures to achieve that rigorous micro-control that she knows can be the only route to the positive mirroring of herself that was her only reason for wanting children in the first place. First she puts the childen in time out and confines them to their rooms when they do not perform to specification. But the best behaved children feel aggrieved at this and run away to join their friends elsewhere, warning them in turn not to come to the gingerbread house. And so she is left with the more free-spirited children, for whom time out is simply ineffective, and so she resorts to sterner measures, first the tiny willow switch, then the belt. But more free-spirited children also find there are other places to live and play where they won't get switched or beaten just for not being mirrors for the gingerbread house lady, and so they run away too and warn their friends to stay away as well.

    And so, finally, the gingerbread house lady sighs and exclaims, "It's just too bad, but it seems there are just not enough appropriate children in the world to make having children the worthwhile joy I had first imagined them to be. But maybe if I finally concede the failures inherent in children themselves I will have more time to knit more doilies. Why, yes! That is exactly what I shall do!"

    And so the gingerbread house lady brings her full length dressing mirror into the living room, directly opposite her favorite spot on the good white couch where she can see hereself completely, and she begins to knit all those doilies she never had time to knit before when she was having to cope with those - shudder! - unpredictable and uncontrollable children, with their loud voices, and their interminable nattering, and their frogs and dogs and - shriek! - snot!

    And thus the gingerbread house lady finally lived happily ever after, childless, watching herself knit doilies in the full length dressing mirror, in her favorite spot on the good white couch.

    Meanwhile, others less tightly wound living in other houses continue to patiently wipe up the occasional blobs of snot from their plain, laminate tables, help the children catch the frog and round up the dog, while all the while the cacaphony of nattering children's voices filled the air with their noisy music.

    The End.


    1. Keith, maybe you should start your own blog and show us all how it's done.

    2. Kathleen, I thought I did show how it's done right in this post here.

      I advanced a reasoned opinion about the nature of public (as opposed to private; there are untold private blogs) blogging and the custom of entertaining comments to it, using Erin Manning's post and her own words as a specific example to illustrate a broadly general case, and by myself I defended my claims as best I could in the face of any and all comers who utilized a spectrum of different types of rhetoric to respond to me.

      That's how it's done.


  9. I think she is getting rid of comments because no one comments anymore and she's embarassed. IMO of course.

  10. OK, I think Erin's responses here have been extremely gracious, and I feel badly about my original snarky comment.