Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When in doubt, comment

This comes from talking to a couple of people elsewhere.

Let's say you're considering whether or not to leave a comment.  Leave a comment.

You may wonder if the post is too old.  It isn't, leave a comment.  But, you might be thinking, it was written far back in the mists of ancient history and surely saying something now will be tantamount to necromancy and start the zompocalypse.  Yes, it is very old.  No, it won't destroy the world.  Comment.

If I were being overwhelmed by comment swarms and couldn't keep up with everything and was having to fight off the vicious comments with a can of diced potatoes my grandmother bought out of fear of Y2K, perhaps there would be reason for you to hold back and not comment.  But at the moment I am not worried about the comments overtaking me and gnawing off my leg, so comment already.

Seriously, I like feedback.  I do not get a lot of it.  I appreciate the feedback that I do get, and I don't want to downplay that any, but if you're considering whether or not to speak up, for the love of all that is holy, speak up.


Also you should know that at least two people lost comments to Blogger being jerkish.  So I recommend that when you comment either write it elsewhere and then copy and paste it over (which is how I used to do all of my commenting back in the day) or copying it right before posting just in case (which I still generally do.)

Practices such as these will also serve you well on disqus and typepad.


  1. Wheeeeee!

    No, there wasn't actually a point to that. It just seemed wrong for a post about how people should comment to have no comments.

    (I don't know why Blogger doesn't allow embedded images. Though I think it might if you're the owner of the blog?)

  2. I usually hold off until I have something interesting to say. That way, I hope, people think of me as "that guy who posts interesting things". Well, it's worth a try...

    1. You're the most frequent commenter. I have no objections to how you do it.

      And I'd say you're doing fine.

  3. Well, I wasn't going to have anything to say, but...

    Honestly, I really like people commenting on my blog, even if sometimes my posts aren't the most inspiring in terms of comments. I don't really discuss controversial topics, so I think that makes a difference. I do find it interesting that topics that I've had the most comments on were ones that addressed a bigger cultural phenomena (not necessarily pop culture - one of them was on clothing style in bicycling) and not just my individual personal experience.

  4. Dear Chris the Cynic,
    You are my new favorite person in the whole world. After making my husband sit through a diatribe about Fred Clark's simple-minded attack on creationism (note: I am not a creationist), I went to Clark's page to comment, and discovered that the first comment said exactly what I wanted to say, only better. Squee!

    Thank you!

  5. Well, on that note, I thought of your Mirror's Edge posts when I read this interview with one of the writers of the game. I think the set-up of the writing team she describes goes some way to explaining the issues you pointed out with the narrative.

    (Like Firedrake, I tend to only comment if I feel I have something interesting to add to the conversation. Unlike Firedrake, that happens very rarely.)

    1. It's interesting to hear that developers won't do rewriting for the story, instead just hacking away at stuff.

      I know from following Deus Ex that a lot got cut, some stuff for gameplay reasons (the White House mission was done but what it ended up teaching them was that faithfully recreated real world locations don't make for fun gameplay, so they dropped it) some for engine reasons (a full scale battle in the war torn streets of Austin was outside the engine's abilities) but some major changes were made for story reasons.

      About, if I'm remembering correctly... damn it now I've lost it. 2/3rds or 3/4ths of the way through the development of the game they decided that the story was a terrestrial one. And having a terrestrial story's climax take place on the moon isn't staying true to the story. So the story was rewritten, the space stations and the moon were removed, as was what would have been the driving force of the narrative at that point (you were to go to the moon to stop an AI called Ada, she is not in the final game) and the final game was produced.

      Rewriting the story required new levels, new characters, a lot of new plot, and yet they were, apparently, completely willing to do it.

      If she's right, and I have no reason to doubt her, that's pretty rare.