I've been engaged in a blog "Tune-Up" with Typepad staff that is leading to some appearance and content changes. For example, a Navigation bar has been added at the top of the page.
So I figure I might as well make a long-considered change to my commenting policy.
Well, it isn't really a change, since I've always asked visitors to this blog to keep comments related to the subject of a post, with off-topic comments going either in an Open Thread or in a post related to whatever the commenter wants to talk about.
Since this request has been widely ignored, starting next Wednesday, September 11, I'm going to stop approving comments that aren't related to the subject of a blog post. That gives a two day (secular) grace period for people to adjust to this new policy.
Remember: there are still two ways to say what you want on this blog, so long as a comment isn't excessively critical of another person, insulting, or profane.
(1) Leave a comment in an Open Thread. These free speech posts can be found either by looking in the Recent Posts section in the sidebar, or by clicking on the Open Threads category in the sidebar.
(2) Search for a post related to what you want to say. This can be done via the Google search box at the top of the sidebar. Since 2004 I've written about a great many spiritual, religious, philosophical, and scientific subjects. Most likely someone will be able to find a post related to whatever they'd like to share in a comment.
I'm cracking down on off-topic comments because I find them annoying. I read a lot of news stories online, and regularly visit blogs and web sites with information I'm interested in.
When I click on a "comments" link, I want to read what other people think about the subject of the article or story. When there's a bunch of off-topic comments, that makes it difficult to find the comments that actually relate to what I care about.
A relatively small number of commenters on this blog have been using it as a sort of message board where they engage in personal discussions, debates, criticisms, and such unrelated to the subject of the post the comments are appearing in.
That's fine in an Open Thread from now on, because an Open Thread has no subject.
However, as noted above, on September 11 my time (Pacific Coast of United States), I won't be approving comments outside of an Open Thread that don't relate to the subject of the blog post the comment has been left on.