I have made an executive decision involving rules for comments on the blog.  I have received complaints from blog users about some of the comments.  I think we all (the thousands of us!) are doing well when it comes to being polite and reasonably generous with one another, unlike a lot of other sites.   But some of the comments are distracting, either because there are so many of them from one person or because they are excessively long.

The comment section of the blog was never intended to be a forum for people to develop at great length their personal views about something – that is, it was never to be a blog for other people who have always wanted their own blog.  It was meant to be a place where people could interact with fair concision both with me directly and with one another, where people could be open to new ideas and thought, where people could express themselves succinctly and to the point and give and gain new ideas.

I don’t want users of the blog to be turned off by the fact that some comments read more like dissertations, or that some people feel impelled to make many many comments every day.  That turns some people off, and discourages *them* from participating in the comment section.

And so, my executive decision.   From now on, every blog member is allowed to make only three comments per day, and comments need to be 400 words or less.

That is still a generous amount, but it can help bring control to the blog.   Comments longer than 400 words I simply won’t approve and post; and once someone has made three, I won’t approve and post any of the others.   My hope is with these limits on the comments, everyone who makes one will be forced to choose their spots carefully, to say what is most important to them, and to say it at a length that will encourage others to read and thoughtfully consider them.

Let me stress that I do NOT want to restrict your ability to interact even more extensively with one another, should you want to do so.  And so I strongly recommend that for those of you who are interested in even more engagement, you utilize the very handy Forum.  I do not monitor usage there, although I do see all the posts.  And I am happy to intervene even there if I receive complaints, especially about anyone who is not following our blog policy of politeness.  No verbal attacks – even there!   But otherwise, you are free to post to your heart’s content.

If you have any questions about this new comment policy, please let me know, either in a comment or via email.  My hope is that the policy will make the blog even more helpful and useful to all of you who have paid good money to be on it.

If there are other improvements I can make, please do let me know.