Elberry, or as he now insists, his Ghost, has taken the unusual step of disabling comments on his blog.
Each to their own, I suppose, but for my money commenters are the essence of blogging. A blog without a merrie band of regular commenters is a sad, emasculated thing.
Most blogreaders don’t comment – I reckon from unscientific but long-term stat monitoring that overall about 1 in 8 TofE readers comments at least occasionally, which is, I think, a relatively high percentage as far as blogs go. Of course I’m grateful for readers – including the voyeurs – but I’m much more grateful to the commenters (even, perhaps especially, the cranks and contrarians) and admire those who cross the Great Divide, who bust the Third Wall to explain why race isn’t an issue in America, or why Hank Williams invented the Beatles.
There are caveats. A blog with too many commenters, all of whom are nasty and cretinous, is unreadable. I’m also not keen on Anonymouses. A moniker is the starting point, because without an entity to hang the comment on, comments are just words in space, and there is no development. Blogs are pubs – you make friends in them, occasionally enemies, often enemies who eventually turn into real friends that you go on to meet in real pubs. And as with real pubs, too big and crowded and no-one can hear anyone else; too quiet and they’re dead.
Of course, the number of comments generated is no great guide to the quality of the post. The best thing ever posted on Think of England (and, by logical extension, on any blog on the internet) garnered but 7 comments, two of which were me and one of which was a misfire. Whereas this pointless inanity yielded 26 stridently argued missives, merely because it hinted at controversy.
It occurs to me that the best way to get lots of comments, therefore, is simply to blog three blank posts entitled: “God”; “Darwin” and “Anthropogenic Global Warming” and watch ‘em roll in.
(Although Darwin is now so 2005. "US Healthcare" would do the trick...)