Months ago, I put these questions to the commenters on this site:
Do you want this blog to shut its doors?
Or do you want it to continue?
It seemed from some of the responses that the blog should continue. However, after a short spell the blog switched back to its normal pace. By October, there was a serious consideration to closing the blog as the interest in it was limited to just a few commenters. Instead of making the decision, I decided to put the question offline to the regulars. There were two reasons for it. I wanted feedback from those who do come here to post comments. Also, the previous time when I put the question out on the blog we ended up with trolls trying to get in.
Before I proceed, let me clarify this. All costs for running this blog are paid. There is No requirement for Donations, Tip Jars or Ads on the blog. The work involved in the back-end admin of the site is also taken care of.
In our offline discussions, I received some feedback which I shared with the email group as I had permission from the responders to do so. There were also some private discussions with some that I did not pass on to the group as I did not have permission to share it.
Now, it is the end of the year so what happens next? I am back to the situation where I have to make a decision on this blog. It is a dilemma for me as I can see both sides of the issue.
1. If the blog is not required or serving a purpose there is no reason to keep it running.
2. On the other hand, I have also received feedback from some who would like the blog to continue as this is the site that they prefer to visit and comment.
TBH, I do not want to be the one to make the decision on whether the blog continues or closes. I am hoping that the posters here will be the ones who decide.
Trolls and d**kheads bring traffic to a blog because there are people who enjoy controversy and the back and forth abuse and ridicule, especially of others. It adds “spice” to a blog. It is passed off as “free speech”. But there is a difference between free speech and d**khead speech. This blog policy is to keep the site free from trolls and d**kheads. It may reduce the commenting and site traffic but it works well for those who are busy and come to the site to read and post.
Commenters and posters here may think that there are not many people coming to this blog and reading what is posted. That is not true. There is a silent traffic lurking here to read every day. So, posters and commenters, don’t be put off by the “silence” – what you post is getting read.
So, for those who still value the blog, it will continue. At least, for the coming months. If it turns out that commenters are no longer interested in posting on the site, it will be time to re-evaluate. It is a site open to all. The only requirement is to follow the blog rules. The most important one is to treat the blog and other commenters here with respect. You don’t have to like or agree with all those who post here – but on this site treat others with civility and, as mentioned previously, don’t turn it into a garbage pit.
If there is some comment that has broken the rules, click the Report comment link. BTW, the Report link also gets clicked accidentally sometimes – don’t worry about it. I can work out where there is a problem being reported and when it is a mistake.
Also try not to post anything that could cause legal hassles for the blog.
Other than that, it is a free speech platform. It is not an echo chamber – you can agree or disagree, debate or discuss, choose the comments you want to read or scroll or ignore. You don’t have to stick to the topics being posted by others – you can post anything, within reason, of course.
Those who post here regularly are busy people with their own schedules and lives. Nobody lives here 24/7 with all the time in the world to keep posting comments. The blog has evolved into its own unique type with its own pace. Sometimes it may go quiet and seem dead when everyone is busy with their other lives: family, work and other commitments. Other times, there will be commenting taking place. If you want to take part, you have this space. If you want to say or share something you can come in whenever you want, post it and leave it here for others to read. When they can, they come in, read and add whatever they want to the blog.
There will be an Open Thread each week for general discussion. If anyone would like to write a Post for the blog, email me.
For the past few months, Admin has pretty much been unnecessary and not required. The blog has been running with no need for any Admin input. Most of the time commenters are moderating themselves and following the rules.
As Admin on this blog, being “Unrequired” is good. I like it that way. 🙂
If anyone has any suggestions or feedback you can post them in this thread or any other time on the Open Threads. You can also contact Admin via email.
Thanks to all the regulars who come in daily or most days. Some have been making an extra effort to help keep this show on the road. And there are other commenters who come in sometimes and add to the variety of comments here.
To this blog family:
All who have been a part of this blog this year with your contributions. And the silent blog visitors who come in to read what is posted. Thank you.