Saturday, February 11, 2017

My Comments Section

I want to share a few thoughts about my blog. In particular, I want to talk about my comments section and what it has grown into. On multiple occasions in the past, I have written about how wonderful the book blogging community is and how grateful I am for all the folks who come here and comment on this site. What my comments section has grown into is something truly special.

People come to this blog and leave many comments. Many if these comments are detailed. Many folks clearly think about my posts and put thought into their responses to them. Many introduce a diversity of ideas that surprise me at times. Sometimes folks will come back and continue conversations. 

There are several regular commenters who visit and will challenge my ideas. They will occasionally disagree with me, or they will present ideas counter to mine. As I alluded to above, some come back multiple times and continue to discuss these issues. I not only am fine with this, I am delighted that this goes on. Echo chambers are bad. They foster a form of closed mindedness and are often an impediment to truth and wisdom. I always wanted my blog to be about the exchange of ideas. Any productive exchange must include the questioning and examination of ideas. I will at times delve into controversial subjects.  I am not afraid to express my opinions. I welcome comments that also delve into controversial areas and that express divergent opinions. 

That civility and politeness are keys to good discussion goes without saying.  You all have been extremely civil and polite. This is true even when there is disagreement. This is true even when we have delved into controversial or sensitive subjects. I do not think that there has been a single instance of a regular commenter here issuing an uncivil comment or impolite remark. 

So one again, I want to thank everyone who has ever commented on this blog. I appreciate and value each and everyone who has done so. As I spelled out above, the level of comments and discussion here has been intelligent, reasoned and thought provoking. I look forward to great discussions in the future. 



42 comments:

CyberKitten said...

When you find an interesting Blog with a good number of people who comment and, more importantly, do so in a civilized manner it is a great find. Civility seems to be a scarce resource especially on-line. It's good to find it anywhere but I'm really glad I found it on a BOOK Blog [grin]

Keep up the good work and let the civil conversations (about books - yeah!) continue.

Suko said...

A post about comments is--comment worthy! Your thoughtful posts invite thoughtful comments. I enjoy the comments my blog gets as well.

R. T. (Tim) Davis said...

Three cheers for challenging conversations rather than ho-hum backslapping!

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Cyber Kitten - Though we talk about books here we dig into controversial issue. That makes the civility all the more special.

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks Suko - You comment is great :)

Brian Joseph said...

Hi R.T. - Lively conversation is the way to go!

Mudpuddle said...

you get back what you give out... DT is about to find that out, i hope... besides, unless we use freedom of speech, the government will take it away... or maybe they will anyway...

Jillian said...

I agree with Mudpuddle. You're always so friendly and civil, when you visit blogs, Brian. You foster civility. :)

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks Mudpuddle - I always hope that nefarious people like Trump will get some of it back. It seems like sometimes they do, sometimes they do not.

Freedom of speech is indeed a wonderful thing to have. We must always fight to maintain it.

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks so much Jillian. Civility is always important. I think that is especially true when dealing with controversial topics.

Parrish Lantern said...

As usual thoughtful, concise & as important humane. Keep up the good work

Lory said...

I am also so grateful for the many thoughtful, courteous commenters on my blog (including yourself). It's not an exaggeration to say this gives me hope for the future of humanity. Keep it up, everybody!

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks so much Parish.

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks Lory. If only all discourse on the web and out in the world were at the level usually practiced by book bloggers.

Sharon Henning said...

I feel funny commenting about a comments section but I do appreciate the fact that you respond to my comments with courtesy. I'm glad that your blog is refreshingly troll-free. I am also jealous of how many comments you receive for your posts. Of course I can see why. Your reviews are so well-written and interesting.

Take care and have a good week!

Carol said...

I agree with all the above sentiments :)

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks so mich Sharon. And thank you consistently leaving intelligent and thought provoking comments!

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks so much Carol.

Caroline said...

It's wonderful to be able to host that kind of discussion. I used to have this kind of comment section but for some reason that's over.
That said - I'm happy for you. And I also find it wonderful that people are so polite and thoughtful.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Caroline-It is a nice thing to have a comment section like this.

Hopefully yours picks up. There does seem to be a circular pattern to it.

HKatz said...

Civility, yes. I miss it in many discussions, including increasingly offline (during election 2016 it became more difficult to talk to some people I know, even in a civil way, about their POV, because of how quickly they became angry and loud). I'm glad you have a space here where people can share their thoughts without having to go for each other's throats over every small thing.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Hila - Indeed this election led to things spiraling out of control. I see the worst of it on Facebook. There are friends and relatives of mine hurling personal insults at everyone they disagree with.

CyberKitten said...

With you guys it was the recent election... With us it was Brexit. It all got VERY heated very quickly as soon as the topic was raised. Tempers still flare even 8 months later. Civility is (often) nowhere to be seen...

Brian Joseph said...

Yes, I saw a lot of acrimony in regards to Bretix. At least in the United States, I fear that the situation is only getting worse.

Stefanie said...

You should give yourself some credit too! The host has much to do with the comments, discussion and the civility of it all. So kudos to you!

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks Stefanie.

And thanks for your great comments!

baili said...

your way of writing about books is quite interesting and it invites one to read it till end and share his own thoughts about it .
glad to know your wonderful blog here!

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks Baili - I am glad that U found your blog too!

Literary Feline said...

I was at a conference this past week about the internet and it was brought up by one of the presenters that, like alcohol sometimes does, the internet tends to lower one's inhibitions and a person will often feel free to say something he or she might not have been willing to say to another person face to face. It's sad, but unfortunately very true. On the fortunate side, however, I have been lucky with my blog in that my commenters have been kind and thoughtful as well. I am so glad to hear you have had a similar experience.

Your posts encourage discourse and your tone is always respectful. I think that plays a part in how people respond to you, Brian. You make it easy to talk to you. :-)

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks Literary Feline.

I love the alcohol analogy. There is a lot of truth there.

The civilly is most impressive in that it has gone hand in hand with some disagreement and discourse.

thecuecard said...

You read some complex and thought-provoking books and their ideas are fun commenting about even if I haven't read the books being reviewed. It seems a variety of comments you get. which must make it interesting.

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks Susan.

Sometimes filks will leave comment from a point of view that I never thought about and I am surprised,

Tracy Terry said...

Even if I don't often leave an informed comment, I always come away from your blog having found something thought-provoking.

You are right in comments being so important, the life-blood of blogs that makes us such a wonderful community. Recently I have several blogger buddies who, though they still post, have made the decision to turn off their comments box and whilst I still visit these sites it isn't the same.

Hoping to add an app that allows me to reply to individual bloggers rather than in general. I'm quite happy with Blogger but see it as a failing that they don't at present allow this.

The Reader's Tales said...

Well said Brian.
Yes, it's important to be genuine in our opinions and to be respectful to our readers. It's just a hobby: so lets try to share ideas in a joyful and constructive way.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi Tracy - Your comments are usually well informed. Though you might not have read a particular book, you always have something intelligent to say.

What you are saying about the blogger App is interesting. I am able to reply to specific comments when I am using a mobile device but not on the desktop.

Brian Joseph said...

Hi The Reader' s Tales.

It is indeed just a hobby. With that, I tend to delve into controversial subjects such as religion, politics, racism, sexism, gender issues, violence etc. Some of these issues affect people in real ways. Thus I understand folks getting a little emotional.

Citizen Reader said...

You do have a phenomenal comments section! Congrats to you and your great writing for fostering it. And I agree with whomever said that it is really refreshing to read a great blog AND a lot of thought-worthy comments and discussion about the blog.

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks for the good word Citizen. And thank you for your great comments!

Maria Behar said...

I always enjoy your posts, Brian, and love commenting on them! You present such wonderful, intellectually-stimulating topics and books! Even if a particular book or topic is not really my cup of tea, I still like to comment on your review, as I know my mind will be exposed to new ideas, and I can then ponder them.

I also frequently read other comments on your posts, as I also enjoy the replies left by your other readers. From time to time, I have reflected and commented on these, as well.

In short, your comments section here at Babbling Books has become a thriving intellectual community with a fascinating exchange of ideas! Even more wonderful: all of us commenters are able to interact with you, and each other, without any arguments or rudeness being involved. Everyone remains civil, and ideas are exchanged in a very friendly manner. I'm vert proud to be part of this community!

Thank you for providing a place where topics of intellectual and literary interest, as well as political relevance, can be discussed in an amicable manner. I wish the same would happen in the real world! Lol.

Hope you and your family enjoy a most wonderful weekend!! :) :) :)

Maria Behar said...

P.S. I would like to point out that I left the comment above BEFORE reading any of the other comments. When I started doing so, I was immediately struck by the fact that so many of us referred to the civility of your commenters -- and, of course, yours, as well. I'm glad we're all on the same page! I, too, would like to congratulate you on fostering such a welcome, peaceful, and SAFE haven for the discussion of fascinating books and ideas!! (Sorry for any typos, lol.) :) :) :)

Brian Joseph said...

Thanks so much Maria. And think you for leaving such in depth and thoughtful comments over the years.

The very impressive thing is that we have have fostered discussions that are civil even when the topics are controversial.

Maria Behar said...

You're very welcome, Brian! It seems like only yesterday that we began our blogging friendship. I, too, appreciate your own insightful comments, whether here on your blog, or on mine!

It is indeed impressive, as well as very gratifying, that discussions here have remained civil, even when the topics have been controversial.

Have a great Sunday!! :)