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You will find all the posts, comments, and reading lists (old and some new ones I just published) here:

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Flophouse Policy on Comments (Help Needed)

When I set up the Flophouse, I had decisions to make about comments.  That's one I had to think about  very seriously because while I'm not into control and I love it when people speak their mind, sometimes people comment not because they want to join a discussion, but for other reasons. I'm talking about the trolls and the salesmen/women.  

I derive no income from this blog.  I've turned down all advertising.  I don't even use the Amazon widgets anymore.  The blog is not even meant to kick start a book or anything like that.  It is pure fun for me and I hope for you too.

A Troll is someone who stops by and leaves comments that aren't meant to further a discussion, they are just meant to piss people off to no purpose whatsoever except the amusement of the person doing the trolling.  That violates my rule about this blog being fun and/or interesting.  Trolls are neither.  They are boring and I don't see why any of us should have to suffer through that kind of nonsense.

The second category of "problem child" is the salesmen.  Since I write a lot about immigration, I get comments that have no content other than to steer people to some website that offers immigration/emigration services.  I don't know these people, I've never used their services and have no idea if they are reputable or not.  I'm not selling anything on this blog and I don't see why I should let anyone else do so either.

After a few years of moderating and approving the comments before they could be published, I stopped.  There wasn't any need for it.  I am one of the luckiest bloggers around because Flophouse readers are polite, interested, and often a lot smarter than I am. And to be clear a person who is passionate or very direct in his/her comments is not a troll, even if I or others have an equally passionate response to her point of view.  

I will never take down a post because I or others don't like what you have to say.  I don't have a problem with being wrong.  I do my best to check my sources but I'm not perfect and I don't mind anyone pointing that out.  

As for opinions, I'm not and never will be the last word on anything.  I say what I think and do my best to come up an argument that makes sense.  Anyone who comes here is free to disagree and to say so in no uncertain terms.

I stopped comment approval but I still read and try to answer each and every comment.  You take the time to pen something in response to a post (and I am deeply grateful every day that you do) and I try to show my respect for that by reading and engaging with what you had to say.

The issues (and they are big ones to me) is that sometimes readers post comments to older posts and I miss them.  The other is that Blogger seems to be randomly dumping some posts in the spam filter and I only see them after a few days.

This will not do.   

On my side I commit to checking that spam box at least once a day.  I should have started doing that earlier and I apologize.  I also commit to paying closer attention to older posts.

On your side, I would ask two things:

The first is I would like to know if it would be better if I posted every other day instead of every day.  That gives you more time to read, reflect, and then comment if you wish.    I sense that the posting rhythm isn't conducive to your participation here.  Please let me know.

The second is that if you don't get a response from me within a couple of days either mention it in a comment to a more recent post or email me at 

In fact, feel free to email me in any case.  Perhaps you have something to say that you would prefer not to have published on an open forum.  Or maybe you'd just like to introduce yourself and start a conversation.  I also like to hear suggestions for future blog posts - some of the material I use here comes from people like Tim who pass along links or who recommend books.   

The sun is shining here in Osaka.  Time to stop tickling the keys and get out of the house.

Bon weekend, everyone.



Donna said...

Hi, Victoria--thank you for your kind post. For my part, it would be great to have a bit more time between posts; on the occasions when I might have something to add based on my own experience (migration from the US to the UK and then to Ireland), I do need to think before I type! In the meantime, please let me say how much I enjoy, and learn from, your writing and research--I've been following your blog for over three years now, and it's superb. Thank you!

Sauve said...

Good afternoon Victoria!

I've been following your blog for only a couple of years I think. I like your blog just the way it is. I don't expect you to respond to a post I make on your blog unless you want to start a conversation. Recently, since Feb actually, we have been having quite a bit of trouble with our internet. One day it was dropped 86 times. That's the record. It's averaging somewhere between 40-50 times a day. Orange has been out 8 times! So I seldom attempt a post anywhere anymore because of nagging problem but I do read every post you make. Your blog is one of the few that I can say that about. I feel I've learned quite a bit from you and much of it is about topics or subjects that I either didn't know anything about or that I never thought to learn more of. Then there is just the well written musing that I enjoy too. I suppose I'm trying to say that you don't rant and your subject matter is diverse so visiting it is a pleasure.

As long as you write, whenever you write, I imagine I will be reading blog. Til the internet is more reliable I can't commit to posting anything really. I try but... eh, who knows?

Andrew said...

My default settings is that I have to approve the first time someone makes a comment but after that there is automatic posting. But I receive few comments and Wordpress filters out most of the ads.

I think you should continue to post with the frequency that works best for you. Your posts are detailed and so no expectation for daily posts. But if you feel the need or urge, not an issue.

Those of us who follow your blog will respond similarly when we feel the need.


LarryC said...

I feel it is ultra-important to allow free-flow of blog comments and articles. I run a technical blog, and occasionally post articles thru LinkedIn. IN my opinion, if I hold or constrain the flow of articles then I've changed my thinking and creativity to the consent of others. Not a bad thing...but I'd rather allow folks the leisure to read as they will, and post comments afterwards.

Trolls...lurking on Craig's List or underneath bridges. They even infiltrate blogs for kitten webcams and foodies. But like fleas and other parasites, there must be some purpose for them. That purpose remains elusive to me.

Inaka Nezumi said...

I agree you should post as frequently or infrequently you feel like. It is your site!

Victoria FERAUGE said...

Thank you all for giving me your thoughts. I really appreciate the feedback. I am so pleased that you enjoy the Flophouse and I am so grateful to have you as readers.

What I will try to do is to put some space around the denser longer posts. Some of those could use to sit for a day as a first draft before I post. And after they appear I think it would be good to not put another dense post the following day. I will still post daily if I am inspired to - and I almost always am because I have a long backlist of topics in my head.

Donna, Thank you! I am a think while I write person. I have a notepad next to my PC where I keep notes on things I am interested in and my kindle is filled with highlighted passages from the books I read. It starts with a tickle in my brain and then at some point I look at the notes and I just HAVE to start writing it up. What I am not so good at is restraining my desire once I'm done to post ASAP. So I post and go do something else. And when I return THEN I start rereading and editing. :-)

Sauve, I have missed you! I'm so sorry to hear about your Internet problems. I've had problems like that at the Versailles house and it was very frustrating. Good to see you and I hope it gets fixed soonest.

Andrew, Every day I watch for your posts in my inbox and I find inspiration in them. Thank you.

Larry, I'm with you. I can't for the life of me figure out what the trolls want to accomplish.

Nezumi-san, Yes, It's my site but it would be a much poorer place without you and others in it.