29 May, 2009

Comment Moderation

As mentioned a few times previously, any blog that becomes even moderately popular attracts a certain number of, usually anonymous, comments that are rude or spams. The Velo Orange Blog has. I've been deleting comments like that as they come up, but that only seems to encourage some. Several regular commenters have urged me to simply ban anonymous comments. Instead I've turned on the "moderation" feature in Blogger (the blog platform we use).

What this means is that someone at VO has to read and "publish" each comment as it comes in. I've been doing that job, but because I get so many e-mails I noticed today that I've missed a number of comments (they arrive by e-mail) and not published them. Sorry. We'll start using the special "moderation" console instead so we don't miss any more.

Generally, the only comments that get rejected are those that are very rude or that are just an attempt to shill some product that's not related to the post. Critical comments are OK; even stupid comments are fine; and funny comments are most appreciated. There is a good dialog here with many experienced cyclists adding valuable information and new riders getting their questions answered. I'm proud of that and want to keep this little community growing.

The photo is of a canal in France, not a bad place for a bike ride.


Anonymous said...

First post!! woot!
Allan Pollock

Chris Kulczycki said...

See what I mean!

Hal Render said...

It's always sad that you have to moderate posts, but you've done a great job remaining civilized about the whole thing. My hat's off to you.


Yehuda Moon said...

I'm always curious about the Bicycle Quarterly digs (orange handlebar tape improves planing, etc.); they're often funny but kinda mean spirited at the same time... do these comments get deleted?

Speaking of, the Bicycle Quarterly web site has been down for DAYS. What's happened to Saint Jan?!

Anonymous said...

it's still a very fun site. Salut!


Anonymous said...

In regards to anonymous comments; one can't have their cake and eat it too.

Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Out of respect for the 'no commercial postings' issue, too bad I can't tell all of you about my friends who have a sailing barge in France and are currently taking tours--very amenable to a VO-esque mindset (wooden boats, a classic bike with M bars and a Baggins bag, wine, well read, excellent food, reasonably priced...) and are down with bikes on board. However, I will offer Chris a link to their blog if he wants.
M Burdge

Anonymous said...

Thanks for allowing anonymous comments. I'm a frequent reader but rarely feel the need to put in my $0.02; but I never feel the need to go around registering accounts with every web site on which I wish to comment. Hurrah for Velo Orange and for John/Jane Doe! Cheers.


Chris Kulczycki said...

M, That sort of comment, about the barge tours, is fine. It fits the theme here and may be of use to many of us (myself in particular ;-)).

It's the commenters who repeatedly plug their particular brand of bike, or their site, or shop even it though it has little to do with the topic of the post that are the issue. And there are the occasional outright spams for things that have nothing to do with bikes that almost every popular blog gets.

Cycling Gourmet said...

Hi Chris, I noticed that in your earlier entries, you still carry a Leica M3. Are those lovely photos of France taken with the M3? Do you shoot with slides or negatives? The reason I ask is I am contemplating of shooting slides again to rein in my trigger-happy ways with digital cameras.

Steve said...

Chris, here's an idea for your next non-cycling related project.


a Ferrari powered 2CV van. You can tell there's more than just a couple of horses at work here...!

Anonymous said...

Alright, then--see http://www.linquenda.ca/ for information on tours and such. Jon and I met on a sail training trip, from Hawaii to Victoria, and his wife Dianna is a friend of my wife. We set them up, and are excellent people. linquenda is the name of their barge.
M Burdge

Chris Kulczycki said...

Thanks M.

Gourmet, I really don't use the M3 much any more, nor my lovely old Rolleiflex or view camera. They are neat shoot with on occasion, but digital is so much more convenient and the quality is more than acceptable. It's to easy to fret over equipment when we should be concerned with the art.

robatsu said...

A few years ago, I was involved in a startup that revolved around instantaneous web publishing of cell phone pics. As I don't want to be pushing a commercial site, I won't mention the name. But it wouldn't make a difference, one of the findings of this effort was that nobody was going to make any money in that sector.

Another finding was that any widget on the web that accepted pictures without moderation would eventually start receiving naughty images, both from free lance cell phone users and from spam artists.

This was an inexorable truth, and actually was a very significant factor in why such widgets ultimately could only have limited/niche utility-i.e, they required constant moderation, which negated the instantaneous aspect.

In the case of VO blog, it was becoming clear that lack of moderation was degrading the utility of the blog. Users were getting turned off and Chris was having to deal with a bunch of extraneous noise.

Just the way it is. The only way things could remain unmoderated is for VO to be obscure/unknown. Q.E.D.

Freddie said...

It's a shame you have to resort to moderation, no matter how "open minded" you beleive you are there comes a point where one becomes biased not to release a post for reasons beyond bad language (scathing criticism of a product, for instance).

As for Jan Heine, I'll give you my perspective. Jan Heine helps rejuvenate 650B stylisms, the people rejoice, a nice alternative they think.

Jan Heine loves the bikes, yet doesn't fully understand their workings, so rather than go into the physics, he gets all syrupy and starts talking of planing, Beethoven symphonies and such.

Later, he releases a book about such bikes, the writing is rather child like, the grammar is poor, there's very little information about the manufacturers or design of the bikes, the superlatives flow.

In fact, the superlatives flow to such an extent, he states " x bike from 1913, one of the first multi geared bicycles". That there were multi geared bicycles produced in the early 1890's, twenty years earlier, seems to have passed him by, considering he's a member of the Veteran Cycle Club this is NOT acceptable (their magazine, free with subscription, regularly discusses 19th century cycles).

Yet, because he's done "so much for cycling", he becomes god-like enough that most daren't contradict, some even buy wholesale into the diatribe.

We should avoid letting people become untouchable heads of some kind of cycling religion and further, letting ourselves get drawn into such things.

Being critical is always better than burying one's head in the sand, if in doubt, remember the aim of the VCC, to find the truth in cycling.

David said...

Lovely photo of France, and I would love to know the name of the company.

But, I will also send a photo of how I used your city handlebars on a garish 66cm Schwinn Voyager 11.8 in bright red with lime green cables and a bike flag topped with a flaming eyeball from Mooneyes. And Iron Cross pedals. That will surely get me banned from this site!

online earning said...

great photo of France , and great article ..thanks for this