Two weeks ago I turned the comments facility on this site off. I’d had enough of the abuse: I’d had enough of the time wasting comments were causing. Most people whose opinion I trust still think this was the right thing to do.
Traffic data suggest they’re right. Page views were 12,627 the week I turned comments off. They were 10,558 last week but I did not blog for well over two days and it was half term. Unique visitors were 7,630 the first week, 7,210 last week. In both cases RSS feeds tend to add 1,000 or so reads a day. Average reads a month are a bit over 50,000 page views and 20,000 RSS reads at present. Comments seem to make little difference to this – certainly comments pages make up 10% or less of traffic, even when things were out of control.
So why turn things back on? I only do so reluctantly – but last week I got dragged into discussion on another blog. If I’m going to waste time on comments I’ve concluded I might as well do it here – certainly engaging on the site in question was a real waste of time. Debate with neoliberal ex-City traders on financial transaction taxes was always going to be fruitless, and was. When their moderation policy allows abuse I have no time left for them.
So, comments are allowed here again, but subject to the comments policy noted here. And please note, I will be ruthless in deleting comments I think do not comply. So please don’t waste your time submitting material I am bound to reject: hitting the delete button takes seconds – you’ll waste a lot more time constructing your comment that will be heading straight for the bin.