December 17, 2004

Dear Seth, The First Thing to Know Is to "Enable Comments!"

seth.jpgSeth Godin, a man presumed to be clued, wants your help in listing : The top 1,000 things to know :

What are the one thousand teachable things that every third grader ought to start learning so she'll know them all before before she graduates from high school?
He then scarcely breaks a sweat in doing, well, 20.

I imagine that he hopes the millions of others on the web compelled to make lists will chime in with the other 980. But how? Comments on Seth's site are disabled.

File under: "Wait, wait! Don't tell me."

Seth, you may recall, was on the receiving end of a rocket from Doc Searls concerning Godin's worship at the altar of Adobe PDF's vs. HTML earlier this month. Godin retreated into the cultural redoubt of "Hey, our PDFs are really pretty" in the face of Searls' observation that Godin's fabled great communication skills had failed him on this one.

This looks like another case of "CoolHandLukism" ('What we have here is a failure to communicate'). What gives, Seth? Blogs are only interactive to the extent that "comments" are turned on. They have no other interactivity available. Seems to me that if you ask a question without any means of providing an answer, you're not really asking at all, you're just preening to the converted.

Posted by Vanderleun at December 17, 2004 12:25 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Speaking of comments, the comments for the sidebar are not working for me at the moment. Is it just me, or what?

Posted by: Final Historian at December 17, 2004 12:53 PM

No, on the sidebar there are still technical problems going on from the move last week involving comment spam and other backend link issues. That will be solved, I hope, in the next few days.

Here, however, the default state is -- for now -- open and unmoderated comments.

Comment Spam is something that, at last, MovableType acknowledged as a major issue and has gone to work on with a fix promised real soon now.

This in the last 24 hours.

For real up to date coverage of this see Photodude

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at December 17, 2004 1:14 PM

Thanks Gerard.

Posted by: Final Historian at December 17, 2004 1:55 PM

Apparently the ethereal Seth neither eats, sleeps, nor braves the elements, since his lists don't include such red-state skills as cook dinner, make the bed, or wash your clothes. Are all our thinkers being raised by wolves these days?

Posted by: slimedog at December 17, 2004 1:59 PM

"Blogs are only interactive to the extent that 'comments' are turned on. They have no other interactivity available."

Forgotten about email and trackbacks have you? I don't know who this Seth guy is or if he ever responds to his email, but it seems a legitimate way to have some control over the content of a blog but still remain "interactive". Since he has enabled trackbacks the interactivity spans the blogosphere rather than being limited to a single post.

Posted by: Jack of Clubs at December 17, 2004 4:30 PM

No, Jack, I have not "forgotten" about trackbacks and email, thank you.

But those, you understand, go through the filter of the blog owner who gets to decide what to respond to and what to recognize. He is, in that case, something that can be more than a filter. He is, indeed, a censor.

Comments go on and off on this blog based on whether or not it is under attack by comment spam. That is the ONLY reason.

Comments can be made to disappear if they are so vile or violent that they have no place here. Other than that, they are retained live as much as I possibly can simply because it is "interactive" and enables commenters to interact with each other.

To say that email and trackbacks = interactivity only means that you can interact with me and I can choose what to bring back to the attention of others. Sort of a buzzkill under the best of circumstances.

Posted by: Gerard Van der Leun at December 17, 2004 5:27 PM

* Ski
* Read Latin
* Basic plumbing and electrical repairs
* Play stride piano

Posted by: Grumpy Old Man at December 22, 2004 11:09 AM