Blogcritics.org is a popular online blogging magazine.
1) In your opinion, how would you rate the quality of the comments on Blogcritics? How does it compare to other sites?
In general, the quality of comments on Blogcritics is quite good. As with any large community and particularly because the site does not toe any party line but welcomes all points of view - we get a few disruptive elements, but that's why we have a comments editor in the first place. My role is an odd blend of policeman and janitor; I have to restore order when things get ugly and clean the place up if we get offensive comments or spam.
2) Take us through a typical day. How many comments do you read and how long does it take to siphon or overlook them?I do a lot of work online with my own sites and my PPC marketing activities but always make time at the beginning of my day for Blogcritics. We get up to 500 comments every day so it is pretty time-consuming and continuous work that needs to be done all day (and night) long!
3) Are you satisfied with the BC comment community? That is, the number of comments and its quality – or lack thereof in some cases.One of the main things that really bugs me about the commenters is when people are so sure of the rightness of their own position that they sometimes tend to dismiss other people's views, when in fact every worthwhile community has, indeed needs, a broad spectrum of opinions. Sometimes people lose their respect for and tolerance of the positions of people who think differently to them. This seems especially true of contemporary USA, which is unfortunately particularly polarised at the moment.
The other thing that bugs me is when people refuse to adapt or learn when they write things that we are never going to tolerate, such as outright abuse, and keep making the same type of remarks repeatedly. There is a fair bit of pressure in the editorial group to ban such repeat offenders but I prefer to just keep editing and/or deleting such remarks rather than banning people. Why have a comments editor at all if banning is all that is required? Anybody can do that but balancing a myriad of different people and perspectives demands more thought and time.
4) What have you learned since becoming comments editor at Blog critics?Patience is one of the main things!
5) BC has a comments policy that everyone should adhere to. Indeed, not all people will follow it. Does this provide added stress? How can a policy be balanced with the concept of freedom of speech?I like to think of our comments policy as more of a guideline than something that should be handled in a "letter of the law" kind of way. There are always situations that, in the context of an excessively rigid code, would HAVE to be handled in a particular way. Life is frequently too complex or nuanced to be handled like that. I don't really see that as adding stress; stress is handling the never-ending stream of comments individually rather than mechanistically.
Freedom of speech is obviously a very important concept, particularly in the context of governmental or social oppression towards any group. On the other hand, it is not some universal right that allows anybody to say anything to anybody at any place or time. For example, if some hate-motivated speech is made in a public forum, that's just about okay, at least we know who the haters are. However, if I am the target of hateful speech at work or, even more crucially at my home, that simply can not and will not be tolerated. If someone comes to my door and is hating on me and my family, there's going to be trouble!
Christopher's bio: A lifelong fan of Manchester United and a passionate lover of music, I have often been accused of doing too many projects at once. This may be true.
These currently include doing PPC marketing, writing a whole bunch of intermittent blogs covering everything from dieting to robots and I rent a luxury holiday villa in Southern Spain if you're thinking of a holiday!
I am also very delighted and proud to be one of the editorial team for Blogcritics, currently serving as Comments Editor and Admin/Moderator for the new BC Forums.