A weblog I’ve been following forever is Dan Lyke’s Flutterby. Dave Winer pointed out an item at the Weblog User’s online discussion forum where Dan mentions that he’s been having problems with comments lately:
I always thought I wanted a daily readership of 10,000 or so, but recently I and my co-contributors made a few comments about the war, one of which ended up as #2 on a popular Google search, and we’ve attracted some real schmucks to the comment areas, and I’ve gotten more than usual incoherent paranoid and frankly just dumb emails.
Almost every weblog I went to this weekend that had comments enabled had either comment spam, a comment war, or, as Dan calls them a comment from some “real schmuck” included. Junk, junk, junk. Nice junk, bizarre junk, or nasty junk, but junk.
Thanks to the efforts of the warbloggers and those who have pushed weblogging as the Next Great Thing, our intimate circles have been crashed. The digital termites have invaded. The days of thoughtful discussions on-topic within weblogs are over. Long live the flame, the spam, and the hit and run Google searcher who can’t resist a comment form.
Dan wistfully discusses the possibility of sneaking off somewhere and starting a new weblog among a small intimate group of friends. If you do Dan, make sure you turn off Google. And, invite me.
Personally, I’m beginning to think the thing to do is stop weblogging until the war is over, and the warbloggers have moved on. But I’m afraid it’s too late. Weblogging’s personal and intimate side has been lost.