February 7, 2010

At the Show-Your-Face Café...

DSC_0050

... it would be cool if people who read and never (or almost never) comment would introduce themselves  and tell us something, like why they don't like to join the conversation. This includes people who used to comment and don't comment anymore, including at least one dear commenter whose absence is making us worry that something has happened to him.

119 comments:

sean said...

Changes in the Google sign in process required to comment made the whole thing just a little more trouble, thereby raising the marginal cost of commenting slightly above the point where I found it worthwhile. I still read the blog, but I stopped commenting.

Ron said...

Doc, I almost kicked the bucket last Sept. from Legionnaire's disease...so you almost lost me too! But I didn't so as long as I'm pumpin' oxygen, I gotcha back. What, 6 years and still commentatin'?

Oh, if we only had a commenters pension plan! We could call it a '404K'!

Kylos said...

It's bad enough not being able to stop reading this site. If I started commenting much, I'd be drawn into too many long conversations I don't have time for.

Kathryn51 said...

I made a New Years resolution to actually sign up to comment on Althouse so that if I ever felt like commenting (an event that occurs about once a month), I could do it.

After spending 10 minutes trying to do that silly word verification simply so that I could get into the system, I will now return to my practice of simply reading Althouse. I have been a daily reader since the day the Professor and Amanda M (or whatever her name is) engaged in the boobie dust-up.

One New Year's resolution fulfilled. So many to go.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I leave for two hours to do some grocery shopping and you're already worrying about me? That's so sweet.

Don't worry, I'm fine.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

wv barnal- The knowledge the farmer had of his cow.

Deborah said...

I love Althouse, and it's the one blog I read every single day and even sometime get the nerve to comment but I'm terribly intimidated by the other more knowledgeable commenters. I'm pretty dull by comparison.

rhhardin said...

Path less traveled, shovelled and used for the first time.

PoNyman said...

Hi there...no comment.

sydney said...

Your "leave your comment" instructions demand that we "be interesting!" I am usually not.

k said...

I'm intimidating by your command to be interesting.

Just kidding, sort of, really I only comment when I have something to say that no one else has said or some personal experience. This rarely happens, but this blog is one of the few I still read and love.

John Lawton said...

Deborah expressed exactly what I was going to say: "I am not worthy!" ( bows three times )
But thanks for asking Ann... I am inspired to throw caution to the wind and comment from time to time...

Curtiss said...

Never been a frequent commenter here and I've been totally absent for last few months spending an inordinate amount of time warding off Economic Armageddon. Somehow all spending didn't turn out to be stimulus after all.

Anyway, business has picked up in my little sector so here I am again.

So an introduction. Like at an AA meeting?

Hello, my name is Curtiss and I'm a commenter.

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, I'm going to change that "be interesting" instruction. I think it intimidates some people, but not others.

Also, as for the sign-in and word verification... I need to do that to block spam. I was spending an hour a day deleting spam!

bearing said...

wv: retch!

I try only to comment if I have something new to say. I read daily and usually read the comments. I'm more talkative on smaller blogs.

Julie said...

I read Althouse every day, and love reading the comments. I've commented a few times, under this name and my other identity, Alma Garrett.

I probably would comment more, but that damn sign in thing is really irritating. For some reason I kept having to create the account over and over again. But that's my problem.

I love reading your very smart commentary and that of many of your regulars. I'm not going anywhere!

Iapetus said...

"... it would be cool if people who read and never (or almost never) comment would introduce themselves and tell us something, like why they don't like to join the conversation."

Maybe it's because your comments section can seem so cliquish and off-putting. The banter between your regular commenters is usually enjoyable to read, but leaves the possibly mistaken impression that comments by outsiders will be ignored by an "in-goup" who meet at your site every day instead of at the mall to engage in their own private conversation.

Curtiss said...

I never worried about the "be interesting" instruction.

Every time I try to be interesting, I fail.

Like now, maybe.

Dewb said...

I either have a) nothing interesting to say, b) it's already been said, or, c) more rarely, have a lot to say but don't have the time necessary to distill it down to the high standard of pithiness that's generally on display here.

a) Enumerated lists are boring.
b) Sign-in issues already mentioned upthread.
c) This comment should be about 40 words shorter.

sane_voter said...

I read everyday and have commented a handful of times. I don't feel the need to comment often since most of the time someone has already said what I was thinking, and there is little added value to "ditto".

Note to those having trouble signing in, I use a google mail account and have never had a problem posting.

Trooper York said...

I would love to see a Super Bowl thread as I just got a new book by Doris Kearns Goodwin about the NFL and I hate to thread jack. Hee.

Oh and don't worry about hdhouse. He isn't sick. But his home care attendant staps him in his bed now so he won't wander away and expose himself at the playground anymore.

cremes said...

Every day I read Althouse, DailyPundit and a few other choice blogs.

I like Althouse because I really appreciate her unique (and sometimes skewed) perspective. I think she is very smart and has interesting things to say (like my other blog choices).

I, on the other hand, prefer to stay in the shadows. I have to manage my time very carefully, so I avoid making comments and joining the conversation.

Mary Martha said...

I have been reading for years and love the blog but I have only commented a handful of times.

I read the blog on Google reader and only come over to read comments on maybe half the posts.

By the time I get here here is usually a great conversation going and I figure my contribution would be superfluous.

The regulars can be a tad intimidating. Like at a party when there is a crowd of really witty fun people and one is a bit nervous to jump in. It's great just to stand by and watch the fun.

Amy said...

I echo Deborah's words re intimidation. Also I am just finishing up cancer treatment (with great results!) but have very disrupted sleep. So I often read a post and all the comments on my Blackberry - an updated version of reading in bed with a flashlight under the covers. Too hard to comment on the Blackberry. But the reading is very enjoyable.

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, I changed the comments instruction. I hope that helps!

Forgive me for keeping the sign-in stuff the same. Understand that I would need to spend a huge amount of time every day pruning spam if I didn't have that.

lohwoman said...

I read, therefore I am. I used to seek out Sipp's stuff. Now if a post triggers an rhhardin comment, that's good enough for me.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Well its been said so often already it feels like a 'me too' comment, but I read your blog everyday and comment when I feel I have something different to say and I have the time to say it.

Like today; we're semi-snowed in blog cruisin' is now accpetabel activity to the significant other.

Yeah it's true. I can only do this blog things on te weekends when the wife lets me.

WV: fizate- staring to long at a glass of activated Alka-Seltzer will cause you to fizate on it.

Irene said...

@sane voter, ditto here.

@Iapetus, yes, sometimes I feel the same way, too. I worry about being a "thread killer."

@Amy, me too!

Thomas said...

I'm a long-time reader (really, from the very beginning) but rarely comment. Two reasons for that:

I like to disagree when people are wrong. And Ann is so very rarely wrong!

Actually, I disagree with Ann a fair amount, and so I probably think she's wrong a fair amount, but she comes across as fair, self-aware, and doesn't typically engage in polemics. Which, really, takes all the fun out of disagreeing.

And the commenters are good, but it seems like those of us who don't comment and who don't always even read the comments (horrors!) would be intruding. And I don't want to intrude. (Today I was specially invited.)

JM Hanes said...

You have to scroll through too much white noise to get to the comment box.

Negotiating the separate blogger composition page, with its lumbering preview/edit/publish function, topped off with both a Google login and an irritating word verification loop (fear the typo!) seriously up the wasted time factor.

Diane Wilson said...

Daily reader (or at least scanner), rare commenter. I rarely comment anywhere, usually because I read blogs in short "attention breaks". Always enjoy the photography; my compliments, Ann.

Interesting? Let's see. I just bought an iPod touch, and will now carry both the touch and my classic iPod. As much as I like the touch interface, the classic is much better for use in the car. For instance, I can pause a song or podcast by feel with one click on the classic. Can't do that with the touch.

wv: geought, where my geo-location says I ought to be

t-man said...

For anyone who didn't know, I commented here as Wurly, went a little crazy during the past election, then changed my name to Henry Buck for about a year. I think I'll stick with my current name.

As for showing my face, it is now plainly visible, if 40 years out of date.

kevin said...

Greeting from New Hampshire!
So many people with interesting things to say. You don't really need me.

HelenParr said...

Can you leave the 'Be interesting' sign tacked to the headboard?

brer rabbit said...

[warning: not interesting]

I think it's fun to post comments and have them ignored as lame and stupid. Which they are, but still it's fun!

Diane Wilson said...

About that "interesting" thing: Remember what Jerry Lee Lewis said. "Either be hot or cold. If you are lukewarm, the Lord will spew you forth from His mouth."

michaele said...

First time I noticed the "Be interesting " command was only a few weeks ago. My first reaction was to take it personally and feel a little admonished. I tend to be a bit wordy and worry that I over stay my welcome. I admire the pithy wit of many of your commenters.

shana said...

I too am a daily reader--this is the only blog I know of where both the postings and the comments are really interesting.

I'm on a different time zone, though, and so by the time I read Althouse, most of what I want to say has already been said.

I also work for a large media corporation, and I feel pretty constrained in what I can and can't say. I have some opinions that my coworkers and supervisors would find, um, unfashionable, and I don't want them publicized.

Thank you so much for writing a great blog and fostering a unique community.

rhhardin said...

Compromise with "Share your toys."

Trooper York said...

Wait, shana, are you really Ugly Betty?

Irene said...

Or, "play nicely with others."

Diane Wilson said...

I prefer "run with scissors."

shana said...

Trooper, I haven't been cancelled yet!

ALP said...

I've followed this blog for years; like Ann, I have an artsy background and I used to work in a legal environment as a paralegal. I don't comment due to Google sign in issues - though if this posts I guess they have improved the system! However, I can get way too involved with on line stuff - getting into a debate on this blog is not the best use of my time, despite being unemployed. Having said that - I think some of the best, most informative comments I have ever read come from this blog.

shana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nacofo said...

Kylos said it all. You are in less than a handful of stops I can't miss. Love your post about the law and analysis of SCOTUS decisions. As often as I can read the comments, any ideas I have are already presented more eloquently. So I don't comment, but I do push the paypal button.

April said...

I read you because you're intelligent, insightful and post more than what makes you look good/validates your stated opinions. I don't comment because I don't have time to engage in the complete conversation. But I love eavesdropping!

Matt said...

I read regularly but have only commented a handful of times (as Mateo). This is my practice with all the blogs I read, as I generally don't have time to engage in extended comment conversations.

I live in Western North Carolina, near Asheville, and the only week last summer I wasn't reading Althouse is when you were down this way. It would've been fun to bump into y'all at 12 Bones barbecue.

I especially enjoyed the photos from Craggy Pinnacle, since that's a favorite spot for our family. We've taken an annual picture of our kids up there for 17 straight years.

Ironically, the reason I missed the blog while you were here: We were on vacation in Wisconsin!

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse:

I think Bissage is from out my way. Any way I can help to find out if he is OK, let me know. Iassume you meant Bissage.

If you meant Trooper, he is OK,but he ain't right if you know what I mean Heh.

Kelly from Georgia said...

Thanks for the invitation to introduce myself. I've been reading your blog for maybe four years or more. I don't think I've ever commented, mainly because I think there are some real jerks on your comments. That makes for interesting reading but I'm not interested in personally arguing with jerks.

I love your posts and I love the comments.

About me...I'm a special education teacher in North Georgia. I'm very active in my local GOP. In my spare time, I ride my motorcycle in the mountains.

Thanks for this blog.

TerriW said...

I comment very, very rarely, probably less than 10 times in the last many years. Hmm. How many has it been? I think I was pregnant with my first child when I started reading here, and now she is 6.

However, one of those comments was pulled to the front page, so it's kind of like my first time ice fishing: I caught a 5 1/2 lb. Walleye and got my picture up on a bait shop wall. I never went ice fishing again, because it'd only be downhill from there.

No, but seriously, I am one of "those" women who were socialized to fear and cringe at being called horrible things, even by anonymous chuckleheads on the interweb. So I don't often throw my hat in the ring. (I don't actually feel like I'm missing out, though. If I did, I'd just eat the fear and do it anyways. And occasionally, I do!)

Larry said...

By the time I see a post there are usually over 100 posts in comments. Don't have time to read them all, and don't post because I figure I'll just be repeating something already said. Love your site though...

Synova said...

I had to see what Althouse had changed "be interesting" to.

I hope that I'm not one of the intimidating ones, though I sort of suspect that I am.

Would it help at all for some of us who simply can't read without commenting, to invite others to comment as well? I'll admit that I don't really understand the ability to read without adding my 2 cents. I can't do it!

But I do think that sometimes people feel like they have to introduce themselves first instead of barging right in because that *feels* rude... but it's not.

And I like to read what different people have to say as well. After all, I already pretty much know what all the "regulars" think about everything. Right?

Bill White said...

I'm as proud as Pompous Pilate to have my very own Althouse label: http://althouse.blogspot.com/search/label/Bill%20White

I read your blog in Google Reader, so I get see new posts within a few minutes, usually. Sometimes a comment comes to mind, then I read through the previous ones and find my brilliance outshined.

I'm one of those mysteriously threatening teabaggers (er, the political kind) who must therefore be a drooling crypto-fascist Klansman with an IQ just above freezing (according to a recent hilarious comment thread on NPR's facebook page), which I guess explains why my current reading includes the Iliad, patristic commentaries on Isaiah, and the Consolation of Boethius.

It's just awesome to see how the left misunderstands tea-party folks. I say let's keep them in the dark til the next election.

Ha! wv: palin

Speaking of She Who, I'd forgotten how grating her voice is.

JM Hanes said...

If this is a duplicate post, I blame George Bush. And the fact that you can't publish from the preview window without filling in the word verification box, which is covered up by.... the preview window. Given an apparent second shot, however, I suppose I might as well revise and extend.

I understand the spam factor, but unless you simplify your firewall -- as most of the rest of the blogosphere seems to have done -- you're unlikely to expand your universe of regulars by much. I'm sure you're losing drop-ins who might stick around and add something new to the conversation, along with folks who might have expertise to offer on an individual item, but don't feel like spending time to sign up for yet another web identity just to post a comment here. How meaningful that problem might be is something only you can decide.


Of course, there's also a point at which the sheer length of threads reaches a point of diminishing returns. That's not something you can really control, but folks looking for content rich discussions and writing substantive posts often just get lost in what has become an increasingly predictable shuffle.

Conserve Liberty said...

+1 What Sean 1:39 02/07 said

Google Login creates a marginal impediment to logging in. I clear all passwords from my browser cache and memory whenever my Browser is closed -

Besides, even I don't like my comments, so I usually don't.

JAL said...

Synova I always read your stuff.

Cope said...

Hmm... I've been reading this blog for awhile but I've only commented once before.

Around the time that Dylan released Chronicles Vol.1 someone at rec.music.dylan posted a link to this blog because you were blogging about the book.

Then I shoved this blog into my bookmarks folder and kept checking in everyday because I have a compulsive personality (but I'm not obsessive-compulsive).

I see that you have specified this blog post for people who read but never comment to finally comment. I was going to leave a comment but then I saw that there were already over 50 replies and I decided against it because no one ever reads down this far.

Mysonabsalom said...

I'm Stephen, a PhD student at The Open University in Milton Keynes, UK. I'm a PhD student: it's should be self-evident why I don't comment.

Like the blog a lot, though. A whole hell of a lot. Keep it up.

And I have written on my hand:
-Mark Papers
-Prepare for lecture
-Read Bakhtin (with Saussure crossed out)
-Beer!

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

Hi. Being on rural dial-up, every click costs time, so don't often go into comments. Lived in San Antonio many years and enjoyed the Austin posts and was going to comment with that Judy Collins line, "Blow you old blue norther, blow my love to me", but a Texan got there first with the phrase.

Became a regular reader of your posts after being sent here so often by Instapundit.

Tea Party at Perrysburg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

I thought the 'be interesting' prescription referred to thread jacks by saying, "if you must, go ahead an jack the thread just please be interesting about it."

Iapetus said...

Like any good teacher, Ann is asking her blog "class" why those students who sit in the back row of the class don't participate in the discussion.

A thought on how to change the dynamic of very long discussion threads: stack the comments in reverse order, the earliest ones at the bottom, the latest ones at the top. At least that way latecomers won't have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the thread to find out where his/her comment will be added. That might encourage more of us silent folk to participate.

traditionalguy said...

To all non-commenters....The regular commenters want you to start commenting. They get tired of each other, and want some new people to enliven the kaleidoscope of thoughts. To start just say "nice picture" when you feel the spirit to communicate. Pretty soon you will be adding the missing link back to sanity around here.

Tea Party at Perrysburg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toy said...

I don't comment because I forget my password, and by the time I get a new one, or figure it out, it's too late to get in on the fun. I think I've commented twice. I was going to mention, when you and Meade were tooling around the Ohio River, that Maysville, KY was Justice Stanley F. Reed's home town, as well as Rosemary Clooney's, and they both have really tiny streets named for them. I think my niece and Dadvocate's daughter go to the same school. If they do, they probably know each other. Small world. I'd love to go to Trooper's shop--I've looked at the webpage and they have some nice clothes. I think he'd probably tease me about my alleged accent.

Trooper York said...

I would never tease youse guys who got an accent.

You can pick up the F-train at thirty-thoid street. See ya soon.

(thanks for the kind words)

Freeman Hunt said...

Pretty neat to see a lot of new commenters. Hope this bleeds into other threads.

Freeman Hunt said...

People who read but don't comment here have emailed me before to write that this place is intimidating. I say that if you feel intimidated, you should just force yourself to ignore that feeling and go for it.

Say the absolute worst happens and someone jumps all over what you wrote and you're make to look like a complete fool. No biggie. It's the Internet. No one can see you at your computer, no one knows who you are, and online impressions are fleeting. There's always another thread to jump into anew.

Sarah said...

I love to read the comments here - rarely is there a comment thread that fails to amuse me. However, with work, I hardly find the time to update my own blog (My Dog Has a Camera), let alone get involved in the heated discussions at someone else's blog. So, sadly, until someone offers me a job that pays me to surf the internet, I will probably continue to lurk.

d-ray said...

I'm a daily reader and a first time commenter. Althouse is the only blog whose commentariat I follow. I miss Titus, even though I never got his humor. He added a certain sort of je ne sais quoi to the cacophony of opinions here. I hope he is okay.

As with Kathryn51, I started reading this blog when our lovely host had that dust-up with her commenter (who was a former student, if I remember correctly).

As for being interesting, I've taken a vow of cruel neutrality. Sorry, folks!

Synova said...

"Say the absolute worst happens and someone jumps all over what you wrote and you're make to look like a complete fool. No biggie. It's the Internet."

The most likely thing to happen is that no one responds directly at all and the commenter is left wondering if everyone is being polite.

Which is uncomfortable too. But think of when you (whoever you are) read comment threads. How do you feel about most of the comments? That's a good guess about how most everyone will feel about yours even if they don't say so.

Short is better (note to self!) and every comment is a fresh start.

XoDis! said...

The internet neither needs nor wants my comments. We are all better off for that fact.

And will this stupid game get started already? It was billed as a 6:00 kickoff, east coast time.

raf said...

I have commented a few times, and I find myself checking bback frequently to see if anyone responds. Hardly ever happens. Actions which do not elicit feedback lead to extinction of that action. I suppose it is possible that everyone is just awed by the unanswerable logic of what I say, but I can't shake the feeling that they are all just being too polite to point out the inanity.

wv: essoings. The doings of an extinct gas station chain. Kinda like my comments.

Synova said...

Sarah, cute shoes!

I think your dog is a shoe blogger. ;-)

knox said...

I think the regulars are pretty nice here. I for one always like to see a name I don't recognize.

Honestly there are many comments over the years I regret having made... especially those made when brain-dead or cranky. Who cares? It's worth it to be part of the conversation!

Ah Pooh said...

Freeman Hunt 5:04 "Say the absolute worst happens..."

The first time I commented here (with trepidation) my comment was followed by a response from someone who told me to "Suck them off". That was very liberating, the worst had sort of happened and I just laughed.

Sarah said...

Synova - Thanks! And if the dog loves shoes, she certainly gets it honestly - I haven't actually counted the number of pairs I have, lest I feel the need to stop adding to the collection.

And look, this thread has already led me to comment twice - definitely a record for me!

Toy said...

Thanks for the invitation, Trooper! Also, I'm waving to Amba, DBQ, Freeman, Synova, TD, Sgt and Pogo. And Victoria, if you're hanging around. Oh, shoot, Everybody.

john said...

Sarah - what talent your dog has.

I think your dog should be introduced to Nora the Piano Cat. With their individual skills, no saying how far a relationship could take them.

They wouldn't have kids, of course.

Ann Althouse said...

@AJ Lynch You're right that I'm concerned about Bissage, but I don't know his real name or location. If you do, then, yes, please check on him.

Ann Althouse said...

People who don't like signing in on Google -- doesn't everyone use gmail? -- can use one of the other OpenID methods.

But I can't do anonymous comments. It would be very confusing and would generally dilute things overall.

bg said...

Hello. Thanks for the invite to comment, I read too many boards and never get involved.

I read this blog, mostly linked from instapundit, to see how the right thinks and reacts to events.

I always enjoy reading blogs by people with an expertise, and the legal commentary and responses are sometimes interesting.

However...
I am generally surprised by how vindictive and to me, loony about half of the comments are. Some are not, and I enjoy those, but the internet has gotten very, well, tribal, with very little ability to see across the divide to another argument. Your comments sometimes interest, sometimes just annoy, but i am continually amazed at how some of the really nutty stuff goes unchallenged by you and the other commenters. Makes me genuinely sad and a little disturbed.

Yes, I am a "liberal" in today's environment, though to the right of nixon on so many issues it feels weird

Sarah said...

john - I don't know, there's always adoption. After all, dogs and cats have been living together a long time in healthy relationships (even if they are relationships that are not the sort that all dogs and cats would choose to engage in).

Deborah said...

Look at me, commenting twice in one post. I just wanted to add that this last year this blog and the commenters have kept me sane and probably are the reason I didn't jump off a cliff after the election. I learn a lot by reading this blog, not just from the posts but from the comments. My husband often grills be about what I read on Althouse and what the Commentariat has to say. I tell him to read it himself.

bagoh20 said...

If you post something stupid, everyone will just assume you're drunk, which is highly respected. You can't loose.

Ann Althouse said...

@bg It's free speech. I only respond to some things that interest me. I don't try to keep everything in order, as I would in class. Also, remember some people are being characters or trying to fool around and get a rise out of people.

Trooper York said...

What kind of jerk would do something like that.

Tell them to get a life for crying out loud.

Penny said...

Hello to all the new commenters!

Althouse, I love this post. New "faces" and new "voices" keep things fresh here. More than anything, it minimizes the possibility of "group think", which to my mind, is a blog's kiss of death.

arkie said...

I am Margaret,a long-time Legal Aid lawyer. Your blog is the only one I look at every day. I am intimidated by the clever regulars, and don't want to intrude. Don't know why, as I am not a shy person at all, and would not hesitate going up to strangers and participating in any conversation face-to-face. I could not resist commenting on yesterday's topic about the woman who killed her kids, because I knew of a case just like hers. Thanks for inviting the lurkers.

Freeman Hunt said...

Note: If no one responds to you, that doesn't mean that no one appreciated your comment or laughed at your joke. Just assume people liked it because if they didn't, they'd let you know. (And how! Heh.)

MaryLVK said...

Never miss checking this blog daily to read Ann's take on things, but don't feel I have anything either clever enough or original enough to post!

Earth Girl said...

Oh the pressure to Be Interesting! You see, this is who I am: I went cross-country skiing this afternoon in jeans and not a skirt.

Penny said...

"Note: If no one responds to you, that doesn't mean that no one appreciated your comment or laughed at your joke."

Freeman, that is a great reminder. Frankly, that was the hardest thing for me to get used to with blog commenting. It felt a lot like me talking to myself, because I was more familiar with online chat or with messenger, where there is a back and forth conversation in real time.

Jenniferwhatnot said...

I sued to participate under the name mellow-drama, but I don't write that blog any more. and I can't participate now because by the time I get home from work and read the blogs, the conversation has already left me far, far behind. But I still love to read; and usually someone else says what I was thinking anyway (because great minds think alike!).

TerriW said...

Also -- via Althouse, I was happy to discover Trooper York's blog. Come for the stories about life at Lee Lee's Valise (and they are totally worth it), stay for the pictures of women in bathtubs.

(I'm a full-time lurker there.)

Sarah said...

I've commented once or twice before here, I think -- definitely once on a post about the HPV vaccine and once another time.

I don't really know why I don't post more often, as I really do read through the comments of almost every post. I guess what has to be said often is. Or I feel (for some reason) like I'm too young and inexperienced to chime in, despite the fact that that doesn't stop people from running for president, much less commenting on a blog.

I got engaged and then married (to a guy I might online) right around the same time as Althouse, and for some reason that's always been neat to me. It's a digital kinship of sorts! (Sort of.) The best guys are on the internets these days.

Anyway, I enjoy all you folks! Thanks for the good reading!

bagoh20 said...

@bg: "...i am continually amazed at how some of the really nutty stuff goes unchallenged by you and the other commenters. Makes me genuinely sad and a little disturbed."

By all means, challenge it. It really is nobody else's job. That does not mean that anyone will back down, but we see the arguments and maybe learn...maybe.

Keep in mind that the rarest thing you will ever see in political discussion is someone saying: "You're right, I was wrong. I've now changed my mind." It happens, just nobody ever says it.

But seriously, please argue the left point of view here. There are far too few here who do and I, for one, would love to learn that I'm wrong about something, especially if you can get beyond the personal attacks and straw men we usually have to endure.

Nobody wants an echo chamber - that's a waste of time.

Sarah said...

Two Sarahs inspired to post today? Does that require one of us to come up with some other moniker?

Sarah said...

I always take it as a matter of course that I live in a world with millions and millions of Sarahs.

And upon getting married, my last name changed to Chan, so I'm not really getting any more unique here.

I don't feel like poking around in my google account to make it present differently, but I'm happy to sign off a little differently.

-Mrs. Chan

Sarah said...

I feel the same way! I was psyched when I got my new job, as, for the first time in my life, I am the only Sarah at work (or, for that matter, in a class!).

Freeman Hunt said...

@bg: "...i am continually amazed at how some of the really nutty stuff goes unchallenged by you and the other commenters. Makes me genuinely sad and a little disturbed."

I would add that if it really is nutty, most people are probably reading it and thinking, "What a nut!" then scrolling on.

Elliott A said...

@Sarah...which one?

When I started posting I used my sign on "Althouse Too" which I had used to bug my son. (Our last name is Althouse, although no relation to our gracious host) At the request of a couple of commentors,who got confused when scanning for Ann's comments, I changed to "ElliottA" using my first name and initial. There was an Elliott a couple of days ago, but I haven't seen him since. As I am the only Elliott Althouse in North America as far as I have searched. I have not posted under any other names. Sometimes it just feels good to get your two cents in, sometimes you can share a witticism. Sometimes the discussion is over my head and I just read. Hopefully, mine isn't the comment which kills the thread.

Ralph L said...

Earth Girl said...
I went cross-country skiing this afternoon in jeans and not a skirt.

I read that as "shirt". Earthy, indeed.

I think I lurked everywhere the first 2 years I was on-line. The Scooter Libby trail at JOM prompted me to start commenting. I've killed my share of threads, but only got upset the first time someone bitched at me.

traditionalguy said...

Elliott A and Ralph L...the secret to killing a thread is to wait it out like a good sniper does. Then when everyone has started in on the next 200+ Palin post, you carefully insert a profound but boring thought right between the eyes. Just wounding a thread is bad form.

Earth Girl said...

Raph A - Now that would have been interesting!

Leslie said...

I'm a big fan of this blog—especially the photos, though I notice that the fisheye is not nearly so prevalent as it was before the marriage, and I wonder if happiness is the reason why. And I have commented a couple of times, but my threads are not nearly witty enough, I'm afraid, to attract much notice. My problem, no one else's. Anyhoo, I'm a woman and an editor and a lesbian who wishes she could find a girl as fun and attractive and intellectually sound as Althouse.

Mycie said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. I love the eclectic nature of this blog: politics, law, culture, photos.

I've never commented before partly because it seemed like too much trouble to set up a google account just to comment and partly because it always seemed like I would be interrupting a conversation between the regulars.

I don't comment much on the other blogs I read either, which is funny in that I had a CompuServe account in the 80's and commented a lot then when it was much more difficult to do so. Now that it's easy, I don't do it. Not sure what that says about me!

Too many jims said...

I've commented here more than a few times but find myself doing so less and less. Megan McArdle recently posted her Quarterly Plea for Comment Thread Civility and some of the reasons that I don't comment here (I haven't commented on any other sites in years) much are reflected in her observations. I really don't need to subject myself to being called stupid or un-American by strangers. But I do enjoy reading the blog and occasionally the comments.

GaspodeWoof said...

I've been a daily reader for several years - only commented once. Sometimes the comments can be depressingly acrid but also often witty. I'm not amusing enough to add much, but I have favorite, cherished commenters whom I follow almost as faithfully as I do the blogress herself. Thanks, Althouse.

Lynne said...

Hi-
I spent a long time reading without commenting because the sign-in was such a pain in the a$$, like other people have said. But I understand why it's being used.

I have a small blog of my own that Ms. Althouse has kindly linked once or twice, called Deafening Silence.

(Yes, I'm attempting to learn html but I'm not there yet.)

I like this quote:
"Thanks for the invitation to introduce myself. I've been reading your blog for maybe four years or more. I don't think I've ever commented, mainly because I think there are some real jerks on your comments. That makes for interesting reading but I'm not interested in personally arguing with jerks."

I've lurked here long enough to be well aware that there are aspects of myself and my background that would be just like waving a red flag in front of a bull for some of the aggressive commenters here. I've been the object of pile-ons at other blogs-often for perfectly innocuous statements- and it's not something I care to repeat.
That said, most of the folks here seem pretty nice.
I wish Meade chimed in more.

BeckyJ said...

I just got tenure in Sept so now I expect I'll be posting more (had to keep a low profile, or at least felt I had to). Also, I read this blog and others first thing in the morning to get a sense of things before starting my day. If I got too involved in the conversation, I'd never make it to class.

RigelDog said...

I'm a prosecuting attorney who has been attending this salon pretty much every day for a few years now. I've left a few comments and would very much like to comment more frequently.
Sometimes the sign-in defeats me but the main reason I don't comment more often is that the blog moves fast and most of the action takes place during business hours. By the time I can sign on and leave a comment, in the evening, there doesn't seem to be much point in leaving comment #215 on a post which is 8-down from the top.
BTW I am able to comment today because I am home on a personal snow-day.

Synova said...

(Yes, I'm attempting to learn html but I'm not there yet.)

I cheat.

Well, italics are easy, but if I want to put a link in a comment I go to the compose new post on my blog, copy and paste in the link as a link, switch to the view HTML tab and copy the whole thing and then paste it back here.

It's not exactly streamlined, but it works. ;-)

I don't post links often enough to remember the HTML.

SarcastiCarrie said...

I only comment on posts about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting, etc. I'm in the throes of motherhood right now, so it's the only stuff of which I am intelligibly conversant. And I am usually 2 days behind in reading, so I'd be last.

Lynne said...

"Well, italics are easy, but if I want to put a link in a comment I go to the compose new post on my blog, copy and paste in the link as a link, switch to the view HTML tab and copy the whole thing and then paste it back here."

Clever, Synova! I will try that.

Thanks!

Jennifer said...

Interesting to see people come out of the woodwork. I don't comment as much as I used to because schedule changes have shifted my reading from mid-day to evening. By then, most of the threads are long and thorough and I don't feel as compelled to jump in.

I like the new instructions. Very polite and inviting. :)

Jennifer said...

See? Again! I comment 12 hours after the last word. Ah, what's the point...?

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