Tuesday, January 3, 2012

on comments

I was at lunch a few week's ago with Jon, talking about blogging. He said one of the best things he ever did for his own blog was remove the comments in his posts. He said his blog wasn't a conversation or an argument, it was a place to share his writing and art. He was not going to spend his time defending himself, or reading negativity, or welcoming controversy in a life striving for peace and spirituality.I think he's on to something.

Part of me wants to stop the comments here, but I do not want to lose the open forum of this blog. I have made some great friends, networked with farmers across the country, and have been able to address people's questions and concerns because of the comment section. However, it seems that over the past few months things have gotten combative in that part of the blog. Some anonymous commenters are overly sensitive to the content they read, and overly insensitive about how they respond to it. Thinner skins and angrier words are a dangerous combination.

And not necessarily an unwelcomed one! Here is my solution: You are free to say anything you want on this blog about me. Go right on ahead, but from here on out if you are going to say something in anger, resentment, or complaint you need to do it with your real name and contact information, just as I have. Anyone who has something degrading to say about my views, my reader's views, or the conversation being held here who can't also publicly link back to their real name and email address will be deleted. There is no credibility here behind angry anonymity.

This doesn't mean you all have to share your full name and email address to give advice or say hello or ask questions. No one needs to make a new user name unless they have a bone to pick or hurtful things to say. In that case you need to do it to my face.

93 Comments:

Blogger phaedra96 said...

I hope you can simply overlook a lot of the negativity. What is it about the internet that brings out the vindictive nastiness? There are things you do that I do not agree with but you have to learn your lessons the same way I learned mine; mess up and then find out what you should know. there are going to be those who have nasty things to say no matter what you do simply because they can be nasty, not necessarily because that is what they believe. If you said the sky is blue they would attack you for your lack of vision(theirs). That is life. Sometimes I wonder if that is truly their view or if they are just being petty and mean because they cannot be accountable for the petty nastiness.

January 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

very little of this blog is negative, and i do overlook it. but without fail, 90% of the negative comments come from a hiding place. I have HUGE respect for the people who drive me crazy but use their real name and link back to their contact information.

January 3, 2012 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger ADoC said...

You're the blog author, I think it's totally fair for you to retain control. And if you feel something is inflammatory or derogatory, you should be able to delete it- even *if* there is a name attached.

Your blog, your rules. You wouldn't let them into your house to attack your views, why allow it here?

January 3, 2012 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 3, 2012 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Just wanted to point out that, while Jon Katz does not allow comments on his blog site, he does post his blog entries on Facebook, where comments are allowed.
I'm not sure how I feel about no comments. As an extreme introvert, I have at times found that I have tended to lose my sense of the heartbeat of the rest of the world - not a good thing for a writer. I mean, there has to be some level on which reader and writer make a connection or blogging just turns into a sort of mental masturbation or self-celebration and who wants to read that, right? On the other hand, how useful are comments, really. I mean, usually people comment on your blog to either agree (boring) or disagree (interesting, if done respectfully, in a philosophical sort of way,) or offer you advice (yawn). If comments aren't adding to the general enjoyment, how useful are they? Although, I know from posting my own articles there are some people out there who just read to argue and they aren't nice at all, and you can't do much about them. I'm going to start a blog soon and I have been spending time thinking about this. Interesting topic - thanks for posting.

January 3, 2012 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger About said...

The best way I've seen this issue resolved it to switch to using Facebook comments.

January 3, 2012 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

Amen! Angry anonymous commenters are cowardly.

January 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I don't really like facebook. I don't want to keep checking it. Comments are welcome here, my only issue is mean ones need a face behind them, it's the callowness that I can't stand.

January 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger mandy_farmer said...

Jenna,
You can change your blog settings so no one can leave comments anonomyously. Yes I realize that that is not how it's spelled, I'm 3 cups of coffee low today.)

January 3, 2012 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

I think you have made a well thought out and well-balanced choice as to comments. I think there has been very healthy give and take and sharing of experience and networking going on. You are entirely within your rights to choose to delete some of the non-productive comments I am sure you receive and to expect negative commenters to own their comments and not hide behind anonymity. Thanks for keeping your comments active but edited - a good balance, especially for a writer.
Best to you, your readers and CAF for 2012!

January 3, 2012 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

when I say anonymous, i mean they have a username that means nothing, and when you click on it it goes to a private profile or blank page.

January 3, 2012 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

When people stopped talking face to face over the fence or at the family table, that's when humanity lost some of their ability to truly communicate. How can you know if someone is having a bad day without seeing the sad in their eyes or the angry blush on their cheeks? How can you know if someone is truly funning you if you can't see the twinkle in their eyes or the smirk on their lips? Or the serious concern in the furrow of their brow when commenting on a topic that disturbs or gives pause? Without these physical attributes to fully round out a conversation, we fall back on raw words whose definition can be determined only by reading them in the dictionary and smoothed out by punctuation.

It is difficult for most people to translate into a sentence or small paragraph the import in which they truly want to convey their message. We are cut off at the knees by the internet. For behind every comment, there is a person who would like to communicate, but is limited by the lack of physical expression necessary to fully get their point across.

January 3, 2012 at 1:22 PM  
OpenID barntalkblog said...

If I see something negative, I pass it on. On my blog, I moderate comments, so I can watch what gets put out there. I tell myself that if swears and general un-constructive criticism shows up, it gets deleted. I guess that's a part of blogging, but it's obvious here that the amount of positive commenters (and the commenters that have constructive criticism) is much larger than any negative amount.

-Autumn

January 3, 2012 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Misty Meadows said...

Jenna

I enjoy your blog. You have inspired me when I read your book. I skipped many parts of it. Well because I had been raising chickens for 20 years. But you inspired me to get off of the dreaming sofa and actually put my hands on those dreams and help them to become reality! I have made a few bent willow furniture, soap, country wine, etc.

It is easier to say, just ignore the negative comments. Although I haven't had any mean comments left at my wee blog, but I have heard them verbally. (another story) But for whatever infinite wisdom the keyboard god had, he did create the delete key.

Just saying.

Keep your chin up. You are doing an awesome job. Forget the nay-sayers sweetie!!

January 3, 2012 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger crashdown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 3, 2012 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Witchy Mom's Homeschool and Organic Gardens said...

I'm sorry to hear people are not respectful with comments. I think making comments needing approval helps (although admittedly does require more maintenance of your blog).

Here's to a more positive year. I love the exchange of info on your blog, so I hope you do not stop allowing all comments.

January 3, 2012 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger crashdown said...

Interesting. I assume you feel that I'm one of the negative anonymous posters. I've been "crashdown" on the Internet for 20 years, and I'm not going to change that. I also don't feel that anything I've said has been overly negative, even if I occasionally challenge what you write. On my own blogs, I welcome the content of posts and could care less about the identity. What's an identity, anyway? Would the name "Randall McPherson" make what I have to say more cogent? (And in the spirit of to-correct-or-not, I feel the need to point out that "callowness" does not mean "cowardice." It means "inexperience.")

January 3, 2012 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

That's a terrific solution, Jenna. The newspaper industry has been wrestling with this issue since blogs began, and a lot of them have started to adopt your solution, and for the same reason - to keep the conversation on a higher plane and discourage commenters from anonymously attacking other readers. I enjoy learning from your readers about their experiences with homesteading, just as I learn from your experiences.

January 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

callous*

and if you, or anyone, say something mean or judgemental without a link back to your email and real name, yes, it will be deleted. Identity matters here.

January 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I think you are totally within your right no have ID'ed posts, I've never had it any other way on my blog. Because people tend to be more thoughtful and say only what they can stand behind when they're representing their true self and not just 'anonymous.'

That said, I find blogs with no comments sections pretty irritating and don't tend to follow them. I'm not really a blog reader in the sense that I want to read someone's diary, I enjoy the chance to connect with people. To me, honestly, no comments says "I'm not really interested in what you have to say or think about this." It just feels like a totally one sided conversation and that's not appealing to me as a reader. So I (humbly and sweetly) say, keep the comments! But I have no problem with asking people to identify themselves.

January 3, 2012 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

That's perfectly reasonable, Jenna. If folks don't like what you're doing, they can easily move on to another blog!

January 3, 2012 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

This sounds like a wise plan. Wishing you an amazing 2012

January 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

I hope you find this a workable solution, because I really enjoy reading your comments section! And I have seen you and your readers learn from each other in your comments, so I sure hope you don't follow Jon's example. (I'm also glad to know he has comments available on his Facebook page--see, I just learned something from your commenters! :) )

January 3, 2012 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 3, 2012 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

Jenna, this post is very interesting because I’ve recently noticed many more negative comments on your blog than in the past and wondered how you stomach it all. I certainly couldn’t. And while I comment on occasion, I’ve often wondered why you (or any blogger) have a comments section. I’ve also wondered why so many people make negative comments about anyone else’s blog when the whole purpose of a blog is to express the blogger’s opinion. After all, I read the Cold Antler farm blog to see what Jenna Woginrich has to say. I don’t always agree with what you say but I keep coming back because more often than not I find the posts to be of value, to be interesting, and many, many times to be very poignant and heartfelt. And I often learn something new. It’s your blog, your opinion and if the negative commentators want to say something they should get their own blog. Meanwhile, you’re developing mighty tough skin! Happy New Year to you!

January 3, 2012 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Sounds like a plan. :)

Personally, I like to leave comments, and I like it when people leave comments on my own blog! I see it as a way to encourage one another, not to pull down. Sometimes I can think of something brilliant to say, but that's not often. Usually, I just like to give folks a thumbs-up and encourage them on their personal journey.

January 3, 2012 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Great solution Jenna. I have to say besides a DIY, Photography, Life blog I read daily your blog is the blog I visit the most. Because you are a great writer, talk about interesting things, and I do enjoy the comments. In fact your blog has an AMAZING amount of people who comment on a regular basis which adds to the enjoyment.

Sometimes I blog and wonder if anyone is out there (because we so rarely get comments)... anyway. Your blog is a great conversation. Let the anonymous show their faces if they are voicing their opinions or go away. We had an experience on our blog were anonymous people commented meanly about Heifer International but didn't leave contact information or ever visit the blog again. It is disappointing they had to leave their bad spirit behind.

January 3, 2012 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger unhappybirthday said...

Facebook comments is an atrocious system. Not everyone has a Facebook.

Jenna,

It would be awesome to leave something besides "a username that means nothing, and when you click on it it goes to a private profile or blank page", but there are ZERO options to leave my REAL name and a link to my website. My only options are google account and OpenID. Both options annoy the dickens out of me (especially OpenID) because both assume you have either a Google account or a LiveJournal or a WordPress Account or a TypePad account....etc, etc. What I have is my real name and a link to my blog and even an email address...all of which I am willing to share, but I am not given that option. Please don't think that all of the "anonymous" commenters are purposely commenting anonymously. More like constrained by limited commenter options. That said, I take it my comments about the toxicity of bleach and the alternatives must have annoyed you since I was only able to comment under my "anonymous" username. Let's see if I can fix that -

My name is Rebekah. I sent you a handmade Christmas card recently. And to further blow away the anonymity, my husband and I blog at http://www.liberatedfamily.com

Btw, I was reading a book about Grapefruit Seed Extract recently, and it said that GSE is MORE powerful than bleach. Just thought I'd share ;)

January 3, 2012 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Chuck & Bonita said...

Small minds will always attack a person. Great minds will always attack an idea for the opportunity to learn.

January 3, 2012 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

Well done, Jenna! Great idea! Your blog, your rules!

January 3, 2012 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Catcoco said...

I recently had to deal with a "liker" - on FB - that questioned my motives for writing my New Year's wishes both in English and French as we are located in QC. She felt that English was not necessary. I felt otherwise and wanted all of our fans to feel included. The fact that her identity was clear did not make her easier to deal with... I hope this solution works for you and the CAF blog :)

January 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger unhappybirthday said...

Apparently my comment was deleted. I am rather shocked since absolutely NOTHING in it was negative or hateful. Pointing out that your blog's comment system allows for no way to leave a real name or blog link is wrong? I guess my kind aren't welcome around here. After reading your blog and buying your books for 3 yrs. that is a hurtful thing for me to learn. Guess this is goodbye.

-Rebekah
unhappybirthdayATymailDOTcom

January 3, 2012 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Yvette said...

As has been attributed to both Aristotle and Theodore Roosevelt:

“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”

I greatly appreciate (and admire and enjoy!) Jon Katz. He's one of my favorite people whom I do not know. In addition, Jon's been the target of some flagrantly deplorable and unfair commentary online, so I'm sure he understands the soul-sucking aspect of public criticism better than most. But there are some big differences between the way you interact with your audiences, and your "accessibility" is a lovely and attractive thing that I hope never goes away.

I hope you moderate your comments in a way that allows you to be more comfortable with your experience, Jenna.

January 3, 2012 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Sprite said...

I love your writing and your stories. I'll continue reading if you decide to disable comments. You have enough to deal with. No need for extra negativity when you're just telling your story. Some people are just haters.

January 3, 2012 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Katie Swanberg said...

Kudos to you for not allowing bad behavior to continue. I ruthlessly delete comments on my blog that aren't in the spirit of good living, no apologies. My blog, my playground. You're not alone either. Two of my favorite bloggers have removed comments from their blogs entirely and are testing out Google+ as a place to have civilized conversations. I'm glad to report it's working! Good people getting fed up with bad behavior is leading to creative ways to circumvent it. Keep up the good work!

January 3, 2012 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I did not delete a single comment on this thread, unhappybiirthday if a post hs not shown up, it either didn't publish or the comment author deleted it.

January 3, 2012 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Lorlee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 3, 2012 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

P.S. folks, if I ever remove a comment it says "removed by blog administrator" if it says "removed by author" it means the writer of the comment deleted it. It's confusing because I am also an author!

January 3, 2012 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger crashdown said...

Perhaps it would be helpful for you to post examples of what you consider "mean" and "judgmental," because such matters are in the eye of the beholder.

January 3, 2012 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Lee's Bees said...

I'll say something about your blog. I simply... love it! Thanks so much for sharing both your prideful moments and pitfalls, as it gives me a realistic vision of what to expect when I take the leap of faith and try to be self-sustaining. 2013. Big year for us - keep the blog posts a-comin!

January 3, 2012 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Here is an example that stands out from a pig butchering post.

"Obscene, obscene, obscene. I don't know what is worse--your utter inability to comprehend difficult agricultural and ethical ideas or the throng of blind yapping that supports your destructive and selfish choice. Your cycle of life bullshit is so offensive--when do you take your own turn under the butcher's knife? Yeah, I didn't think so. Rot in hell, you nasty, worthless human being."

January 3, 2012 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

Jenna- You and Jon are different people. He thrives on sharing intimate emotional details of his life, you, well, you are more farmer-ish and down to earth, at least from where I stand. It takes courage to accept comments. That said, it's your sand box, do whatever lifts you up and feels right!

January 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I think it's a reasonable solution. There is nothing wrong with a polite healthy exchange of ideas and opinions, but it definitely does not need to be done in a hateful manner. Personally I don't always see eye to eye with what Jenna or other commentators have to say. Yet if I wanted to hear nothing but my very own thoughts and ideas, I wouldn't turn on the computer.

January 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger MB said...

right on girl!

January 3, 2012 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger crashdown said...

:-) :-) :-) Well, I certainly wouldn't defend the "obscene, obscene, obscene" comment as a piece of rational discourse. If that's your yardstick, we certainly won't have a problem! Hah!

January 3, 2012 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Pat Woginrich said...

HI

January 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Pat Woginrich said...

HI

January 3, 2012 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger Kyler and Sylvia said...

On a completely different note, I really like the photo of the man, horse and plow you used for the start of this post.

January 3, 2012 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Bovey Belle said...

What a hideous comment someone made. Good grief, I'd be horrified if I got hate mail like that. I'm not surprised you're wondering what the best move is. Trouble is, people can hide behind an identity (or not have that direct link to themselves) and be as nasty as they like. Perhaps in real life they are feeble weebles who wouldn't say boo to a goose, but have this alter ego on line where they are incredibly rude and judgemental. Or perhaps they're just plain nasty . . .

I have to say, I would be unhappy if I couldn't comment on here - you write about things which interest - and educate - me.

January 3, 2012 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

This seems totally reasonable to me. Despite my remarks the other day, I really would miss these comments if they were gone. I've virtually "met" many interesting and knowledgeable people here and for that I'm so grateful.

January 3, 2012 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

My first visit here and I love your blog. Matter of fact I could not stop reading your posts. I came back because I forgot to comment. heh. Now I forgot what I was gonnah say. Have a good evening!

January 3, 2012 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Bluebelle Quilts said...

Your blog. Your rules.

The internet is a wonderful communications tool. That said, I think a number of folks leave their sense of common decency behind when they go online.

Difference of opinion is what makes this world interesting. Freedom of speech is a liberty we enjoy. If you have something negative to say, keep it civil. Show that you have some class. I think that's all Jenna's trying to say.

~Teresa in Atlanta

January 3, 2012 at 5:20 PM  
OpenID chickadeeworkshop said...

OMG, Jenna, I couldn't handle the type of post that you used as an example either! I can't imagine how that even made the poster feel like they accomplished anything.

I expect there to be strong opinions on either side of the eating/butchering animals issues, but respect is necessary or we are no higher than the animals ourselves. At the very least, someone owes you the courtesy of giving their identity when they have strong negative opinions. Delete away, I say! Do what you need to do on this very public forum.

January 3, 2012 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Jenna - my PA sister - I'm from your home state...and I just finished Barnheart..I love it - you totally rock - and I'm looking forward to reading more from your blog and other books. Keep the faith and keep on farming! :)

all the best,
Beth
journeybylampelight.blogspot.com

January 3, 2012 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Jenna - my PA sister - I'm from your home state...and I just finished Barnheart..I love it - you totally rock - and I'm looking forward to reading more from your blog and other books. Keep the faith and keep on farming! :)

all the best,
Beth
journeybylampelight.blogspot.com

January 3, 2012 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger the woolen cellar said...

Good for you Jenna! I have never left a comment on your blog until today and I've been following your blog for over 3 years. If viewers don't like what you post then they have the option to not read what you write. While it is not often I might disagree with you, I would never leave a negative comment about it. I wouldn't want to get any negative comments either on my blog. If you can't say anything constructive, shut it up. We all wonder why we can't have world peace. Here is a perfect example of why we don't. What you write about is interesting for me to read and I'm not a farmer. I just enjoy following your life. I just ignore the crap some people write who think their comments will have some big impact. They are meaningless in the scope of all things anyway. Jenna, you just keep up what you are doing, keep moving forward in your life and enjoy what you do because there are a lot more people who read your blog without having to be nasty. I am a 65 year old woman who encourages you to be yourself and always know that you have done far more good with your blogging than bad. At your young age, you have learned so much about life. Don't let anyone get in the way of you living your dream! I'm glad you are deleting comments from the nasty ones. I won't miss seeing those for sure.

January 3, 2012 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Some people must have a lot of time on their hands and hatred in their hearts to write the"obscene" comment you shared. What is the saying? If you do something 50% of the people will love you and 50% will hate you? In your writing, you come across as a very confident person so I don't imagine this will worry you for long. Just know there are a lot of us who love to read your point of view and are grateful you share your life so openly with the world. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough. Let the negativity fall where it will and just keep sailing on! Thanks, Jenna.

January 3, 2012 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger bookkm said...

What you do with the comments section is up to you. BUT I love to scroll down and see how many people are moved to interact with you. That said, I just read one of the examples of negativity and I so understand where you are coming from. Moderating this many comments is a chore and a blessing.

January 3, 2012 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger georgie said...

One reason I stopped reading Jon's blog was not being able to read or contribute comments. You can learn more from the comments of others(i.e. hay vs. straw) As you have seen, I do not write negatively or critically and it is awful that some judgemental inconsiderate yahoos ruin it for all of us.

January 3, 2012 at 6:19 PM  
Blogger becky3086 said...

I don't think I could live without comments on my blog. I want peoples advice and I want to hear what they think and what they are doing. I have really enjoyed reading the comments here because I have found some really good blogs by seeing people who think like I do and clicking on their names. I think sometimes people post anonymously because they want their opinion known but they don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Some people just really think they know what they are doing and like to tell others how and that is useful as well(because sometimes they really do know what they are doing). If you really listen (and I am not saying that you don't!) to what they are saying.

January 3, 2012 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

Thank you for this post Jenna. I agree. I've been here following your journey since 2007 and honestly, lately for the first time, I've been feeling like I don't want to read it as often 'because of' the mean-spirited replies, especially when readers start calling each other mean names. Peace and love to you and Cold Antler Farm and all it's creatures.

January 3, 2012 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger georgie said...

I don't like Facebook, nor do I have a blog. The reason I use my dog's name for i.d. is that that is the way the Google account is set up.

martina

January 3, 2012 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I just wanted to chime in that if you do decide to get rid of comments, it will make no difference whatsoever to me. I don't read this blog because of the comments, I read it in order to read your pieces. You're a good writer, and that's what I enjoy. Write your pieces, publish them here, and then go have a life. And we'll enjoy your writing and then get back to ours. That seems to honor the traditional writer/reader relationship just fine.

January 3, 2012 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Andrews Seed said...

Hi Jenna,
I have never posted before but have read your blog and all of your books. They have been an absolute joy to my daughters and I. We live in Eastern Oregon and own one of the last NON-GMO seed companies in the states. I understand your pain with the anonymous comments and encourage you to delete them post haste! We have a blog and have had to do the same with people that will not come out from behind the "curtain".
Our company name is Andrew's Seed. We have been in business since 1917 and hope to hang on with the shift in the seed market. If you have the time to check out our website you might like the "old school" way that we still do business.
Sincerely,
Susan Kurth
andrewsseed.com

January 3, 2012 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I really hope you don't change the format of your blog. I find the simplicity very easy to read and comment on. I'm sorry that you have to put up with some who are abusively negative but you know that you have a lot of friends too.

January 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

sorry things have gotten so negative lately, but I'm glad you're keeping the comments open. I don't comment often, but every once in a while, I like to add my $.02 to a discussion. and I would gladly leave my name:)

January 3, 2012 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

I also enjoy the comments because of the additional info that is often brought up.

On a separate note, since I just read that you don't check Facebook often I thought I'd mention again that I just saw a youtube trailer for book you might like called "The Girl Hunter" (I think it is, anyway). It supposedly is a young woman's journey from becoming a chef to finding out just where our food comes from by means of traveling and learning to hunt. I thought it might be right up your alley. :)

January 3, 2012 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I agree with several of the previous posters about the recent negative turn in the comments. It left me disinterested in reading. I have recently had a situation where my husband and I received a wonderful gift in the wake of a terrible event. There were others who did not think we were deserving of the gift. The things that were written on public FB pages as well as in the local media were awful and took all pleasure away from the gift. We even had our home vandalized because of it. There are small people everywhere and being a public figure makes things worse as does the Internet with its veil of anonymity. I will read regardless of what you do with your comments. Perhaps people who really want to comment, can get in touch via email. I have done that a few times and you were very prompt in responding. It would also let you post those comments, if you wish, for your readers if they contained valuable or interesting information.

Jennifer

January 3, 2012 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I agree with several of the previous posters about the recent negative turn in the comments. It left me disinterested in reading. I have recently had a situation where my husband and I received a wonderful gift in the wake of a terrible event. There were others who did not think we were deserving of the gift. The things that were written on public FB pages as well as in the local media were awful and took all pleasure away from the gift. We even had our home vandalized because of it. There are small people everywhere and being a public figure makes things worse as does the Internet with its veil of anonymity. I will read regardless of what you do with your comments. Perhaps people who really want to comment, can get in touch via email. I have done that a few times and you were very prompt in responding. It would also let you post those comments, if you wish, for your readers if they contained valuable or interesting information.

Jennifer

January 3, 2012 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Rusty in Miami said...

Hi Jenna, I am a regular reader of your blog, I can see why you would delete negative comments. Those bloggers need to get a life, there is so much negative vibes in the world, who need it in our blogs. Great choice

January 3, 2012 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

In solidarity with your true artistic purpose, I will no longer read the comments, nor write any... :)

January 3, 2012 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

Unfortunately, we're becoming a rude, coarse society - at least here in the US. Is it the times? The economy? It seems like arrests for physical abuse are skyrocketing, at least judging by the news reports where I live. So it probably shouldn't come as a surprise when folks feel they're entitled to be verbally abusive as well - especially when they can hide behind a bogus screen name. Sad. I think it's a sign of the times we're living in.

I've been watching Downton Abbey on PBS recently - oh for the days of such genteel politeness and mutual respect. That's the problem in a nutshell, I think. Lack of respect.

January 3, 2012 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

I'd like to request the CAF Message Board magically come back to life! A better opportunity to communicate ;>)

January 3, 2012 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Hey, getting negative comments is some benchmark of Internet cred and presence, isn't it? ;)

Funny about Jon, I'd wondered why his blog was no comment. I've certainly in the past seen his replies to negative comments of his books on Amazon. Though if he just decided to give that up, I can understand. I don't know if there's a way to make everybody happy.

January 3, 2012 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Jenna, as usual all I can say is I love you. I, too, have been noticing the negativity in the comments. I don't get it! If someone has an issue. . . . .quit reading! This should not be a place to criticize Jenna!! If you don't agree, keep it to yourself or quit reading. This is the only blog I read consistently and I find it informative and interesting. Jenna, my(grown) daughters know you as "my girl"(I'm old enough to be your mom). I can't imagine having to read such horrible words on such a wonderful blog. I vote: censor!!!

January 4, 2012 at 12:06 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

I once posted on another blog while under the influence of some medication. When I realized what I wrote I had the blogger remove it. She was kind enough to say she would protect me from myself. Lesson learned.

January 4, 2012 at 12:47 AM  
Blogger Sue at Sweetgrass Ranch said...

Well said, Jenna. There is no honor in anonymity.

January 4, 2012 at 3:13 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

I used to have a blogger blog but I moved to wordpress with total privacy a couple of years back. My blog isnt findable on the open net and that suits me just fine. I battled a long time, why was I blogging? was it ego? did I feel I had something to say? was it an outlet for me?

When I read your blog Jenna and comment I have to sign in to blogger to leave the comment? so how do folks leave anonymous ones?

Sayng that , as i have no blogger blog now maybe if you click on my name on here nothing comes up? but I assure you I am a decent lady not a horror lol! and I would never leave a nasty comment.
I had some regards killing cockerels once.People are so quick to spout off.Ignore them.

I hope you can find a solution that protects and suits you x Life is too short to be wading through nasty remarks from fools.

GTM x

January 4, 2012 at 3:23 AM  
Blogger JKB said...

Good girl, Jenna. I'm with some of the others - I've never commented until today.

But as a children's author, I had to lay the rules down on my own blog some time ago. (who would have thought that animal books brought out so much anger).

You stick to your guns. Your blog, your rules. Anons are buttheads. (hug)

January 4, 2012 at 4:30 AM  
Blogger Little Terraced House said...

Hiya Sweetheart, for my twopenn'ath - at the end of the day it is YOUR blog - your words, your thoughts, your feeling. We share those with you and if somebody doesnt agree with them, well quite frankly that is tough. We read about your life, we dont LIVE it - you do that. If people cant say nice things, well dont say anything at all, thats my view !

Big hugs Babs

January 4, 2012 at 6:21 AM  
Blogger MIB said...

Hi, Jenna. Just wanted to say that I think moderating comments and removing extremely negative anonymous ones makes quite a bit of sense.

Situations like this always make me think of something that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee said about comments on her blog: that she considers her blog to be like her living room, and that people can disagree with her but she expects comments to be of the same level of civility as if someone were talking to her face in her house. (For those who don't know, Stephanie is a "cult" author herself: she writes knitting humor, and her books have been on the New York Times bestseller list more than once.) I think this is a great metaphor, and one that everyone who comments on a blog should keep in mind. It's okay to disagree, but be respectful: you're in someone else's "house."

As you become better known as an author, I think this is an entirely reasonable approach.

January 4, 2012 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger steak and eggs said...

As for me I am glad you are putting your foot down. I read blogs that entertaining, and to learn. I want to walk away from my computer feeling better than I did when I sat down. Even though I am in my mid-60's and been around farming most of my life, I still learn things reading your blog.

The only thing I haven't liked has been some of negative views.
Folks even though Jenna said we could say things about her, lets not. Writing a blog is a lot of work and everyone would like to get up from their computer feeling better.

January 4, 2012 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

This is a great policy!

January 4, 2012 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Jenna, I love your blog I read your comments and love to see people I know write in and even people I know only as a tagname. I hope people see your example of negative comment because it really leaves no grey area.

Take Care

January 4, 2012 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

So glad you'll leave the comments in. I enjoy most of the dialog here, and while I don't have a blog or website , I've found some pretty interesting stuff on other commentators link-backs. Thanks!

January 4, 2012 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Matt_Middleton said...

I hope you can keep the comments open, as I really do enjoy leaving the occasional message. That being said, if you end up needing to close them up, it's totally understandable.

January 4, 2012 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Dream on said...

Way to go Jenna!

January 4, 2012 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Yours is the only non-family or very close friend blog I follow regularly and I really enjoy checking up on what you have to say a few times a week. The comment section has also added insight and it’s been nice hearing from others. When I first found your blog I thought everyone commenting here was a personal friend of yours and hesitated to get into the commenting mix because I didn’t want to intrude! As of late things have seemed to get more impolite/negative though. I like the MIB’s living room analogy. Best wishes.

January 4, 2012 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger Illoura said...

Wow, I'm actually sorry you have to waste time addressing this issue at all. This is your personal space that you're sharing, but because you share your life and thoughts on a publicly viewed place doesn't make you in any way obligated to share or respond to everyone who thinks they have something to say.
Seems to me that people who don't like what they read online are free to leave. That should be good enough.
If I disagree with a viewpoint of blogs I read, I just skip the post (or part I don't like), or quit visiting the blog...
None of us needs exposure to more mean-spirited negativity in our lives.
I thank you for sharing and allowing comments, because like a forum it allows even further input and I learn so much from it.
Besides, it's really nice to be able to say 'thanks'!

January 5, 2012 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger bree said...

Jenna,

I just read that very nasty post that you posted from an anonymous commenter and I think everyone here would be in favor of you deleting those kinds of things. I know it is time consuming but people like that can drag everyone down and ruin a bog/website.

I enjoy your blog so very much. Thank you!!

January 5, 2012 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

When a writer removes comments, that means they are removing the ability of their audience to interact with what they write in a public setting. And that bothers me. It seems to be happening more often lately, and that bothers me too.

January 6, 2012 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger gen said...

Jenna,
I've read about this same issue on other blogs who struggles with the goal of maintaining a community and a desire to limit spiteful comments. I respect all methods and, just as the authors work not to take the comments personally, I (the reader) work not to take the authors decisions personally. As an awareness I thought you might find use in hearing/reading how other authors have decided to approach the issue (like your conversation with your friend). Suzanne McMinn (www.chickensintheroad) decided to allow follows to tag unwanted comments, 3 tags automatically deletes the comment. As author she too can tag a comment, but a quarry is still required to delete it. An interesting way to balance the author/community responsibility.

January 7, 2012 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Kat R said...

Hi Jenna,

I'm a fairly new reader, but I so, so love your blog, and wish you had comments available to converse with you! I feel like we should be blog friends, as I'm a New York City girl currently living in Australia, and heading back to Manhattan. I so want to farm, and I'm working on a blog about how to start homesteading in Harlem (While I attend Columbia - after that, all bents are off and we're headed off to a more rural life style.) Anyway, if you'd like to check out my blog, it's wherethesidewalkends.com. I hope you're happy and filled with joy. Can't wait to read your book, and hopefully drive up for some workshops when we're back in NY!

June 10, 2013 at 6:15 AM  

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