I took this blog private in mid-December 2014. It was a tough decision, because while I don’t have a huge number of readers, I have a lot of repeat visitors and a great community of commenters. In addition, there are some pretty faithful lurkers, which makes me very happy (I started on the internet as a Major Lurker and still do that in several venues).
I’ve tried to give access to just about everyone who asked, but except for a handful of cases I didn’t initiate contact with readers. It seemed weird to me to send an email to someone saying, “here, let me enable you to read my blog!” TheHusband pointed out that some people wouldn’t feel comfortable asking, and I tried to anticipate who might want an invite, but I still erred on the side of non-solicitation.
My stats plummeted when I went private, of course, but we have had some excellent discussions and that is what matters most to me, so the numbers weren’t a big deal. I didn’t have to worry about drive-by commenters on blog posts that were primarily me musing about things of interest, or having those posts picked up and whacked about in other venues. That was a relief.
There have been a couple of major downsides, though. Regular readers can’t easily get updates on new blog posts, and my erratic posting schedule means they generally have to visit more often than I blog, which is a waste of their time. And second, lurkers have to reveal themselves in order to ask for access, which defeats the whole lurking thing and can be inhibiting.
At this point the benefits of being private don’t seem to outweigh the disadvantages. So I’m going to make VM publicly accessible again. I’m going to keep the posts and pages about the December stuff private, but everything else will be readable, linkable, and available for comment. However, I’m going to close comments on posts that are older than 30 days, as Keishon suggested in a different conversation (that makes the drive-by commenting less likely), and I’m going to have less tolerance for vituperative and personal comments. You want to tell me or some other commenter their argument is full of shit? Go for it. You want to tell me or some other commenter I or they are full of shit? Meet the Mallet of Disemvowelment. There are many, many places on the internet to enjoy making personal comments about people. This isn’t one of them.
Other than that, things will proceed more or less as usual. This blog will continue not to have a theme, I will continue to post less often than I wish I did, and there will be recipes. Thanks for reading, commenting, and lurking.
[Clip art via.]