Open or Closed Blog?

Something interesting happened today: some random stranger submitted a comment to one of our posts (either that, or a classmate posted a comment using a false name). It’s in my moderation queue, and I’m not sure what to do with it, so I thought I would ask the class.

Your choices are:

(a) Keep the blog closed, and do not accept comments from anyone else. That’s not very bloggy, but this isn’t a typical blog, and we don’t want the pressure of dealing with what people outside the class might say.

(b) Open the blog up to outsider comments. That’s the bloggy thing to do, and we welcome public commentary (as long as it’s not abusive and generally constructive, even if critical or negative).

I can go either way, so let me know what you all think!

About jeffreybardzell

Jeffrey Bardzell is Professor of Informatics and Director of the HCI/Design program in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University - Bloomington. His research foci include critical design, interaction criticism, research through design, and digital creativity, which he approaches from a perspective that reflects his background in the humanities.
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19 Responses to Open or Closed Blog?

  1. wodom says:

    I say keep it open for all of the super nerdy nerd students that couldn’t take the class, but want to keep up with everything that’s going on in it–and possibly might post a comment or two from time to time. I of course implicate myself in none of this–except perhaps the nerdiness 😉

  2. I decided to let wodom though, which I guess makes him an honorary member of the class, at least temporarily.

  3. Kevin Makice says:

    Transparency is the key to happiness. Put your ideas out in the world and welcome the critique. Write in your moleskines if you want to keep your thoughts private.

    If you close down commenting or access to these cognitive dumps on interaction design, you are, as a professor of mine once kept saying, dead to me.

    (P.S. If you really want to give individual authors the opt-out to keep their words of wisdom off the radar, there are different levels of publication in WordPress. Experiment with “private” or password protected, and see if that meets your Web 1.0 needs.)

  4. houssian says:

    @kevin lol
    @wodom nice wodom!

    I think we should keep it open. Keep the information free even if the net isn’t anymore.

  5. Tyler Pace says:

    I agree that the blog should remain open for the prying eyes of the Interwebs and search bots. Our discussions on this blog are thoughtful, critical and should be seen around the world by those inclined to share our general lack of understanding of interaction culture. 🙂

  6. Whatever else happens here, I think we can all agree that we don’t need comments from the likes of Kevin Makice. That guy is like bug spray for discourse, the rock in your shoe, and the reason Chicago teams never win the championship.

  7. The question isn’t whether it can remain open to be seen by the public, but whether we should let the public comment, as long as the comments meet minimal standards of discourse (constructive, not abusive, not spam, not derogatory of hockey, etc.)

  8. The preceding is an excellent example of the kind of comments we don’t want on our blog. Shame on jeffreybardzell for saying those things about Kevin Makice.

  9. Adam Shahrani says:

    Let them blog and critique if they have anything intelligible to say. Much to gain and nothing to lose but arrogance and narrow-mindedness.

  10. thismarty says:

    Who is this “wodom” of which you speak?

    And where is his/her comment?

  11. The “wodom” of whom I speak is Will Odom, second year Masters-HCI student, not in this class, and his comment is the inaugural one of this post.

  12. Tyler Pace says:

    We long ago striped wodom of his birth identity and replaced it with a much more convenient username.

  13. thismarty says:

    Hey, Kevin’s not in the class either, right?

    See what kind of riff-raff you have to deal with when you open up the blog?

  14. wodom says:

    Right, so I officially vote to let people post thoughtful comments.
    …and pirate jokes.

  15. chmbrigg says:

    Yes, i think the more open the better. to tyler’s point, we should definitely open ourselves to the webs and interthings, and further (to promote my corporate-type image), we should sell advertising here.

    In my grand master plan, adsense will make us all filthy rich as we drain the coffers of the myriad companies whose target demographic includes folks who view content containing the words “cognitive dump” , “hockey”, “dead to me”, “bug spray” and “i can go either way.”

    ..and if there remain any detractors to the concept of the constructed nature of meaning, they can put this last sentence of montage in their collective pipes and smoke it. 🙂

  16. The poststructuralist concept of “intertextuality” states that a given text is not a wholly new creation, but rather like a quilt of quotations from other texts (here I am referring to Barthes and Kristeva). Thus, meaning is derived not immediately from the intention of the author, but rather from the juxtaposition of prior messages onto each other. The comment just above from Christian is just such a quilt, quoting from numerous other texts, many (but not all) of them somewhere on this blog. Could Christian have even expressed anything like this, if he could not quote other texts?

  17. marty says:

    BTW, I was just kidding above – I think opening the blog is a good idea too.

    As long as we keep Kevin out.

  18. Kevin Makice says:

    [in a high-pitched voice] Yes, keep that Kevin out. No one here but us wodoms.

  19. Pingback: BlogSchmog » Blog Fatigue

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