I’ve noticed a recent up-tick in Johnny Northside hate spam in the comments of this blog. By this, I mean first-time commenters are dropping links on the comments of stories that are 2+ years old there John’s name happens to be mentioned.
The links often come from people using fake names and email addresses. I often try to reply via email to tell the commenter that their comment won’t go live because it’s off-topic, on a really old post, and nothing but a self-promotional link drop, but the emails generally bounce.
While this type of behavior may fly some places, I built this soapbox, so I set the rules here. Keep things on-topic and relevant. Consider having a point (not required, but it’s a neat concept). Posting under your own name, or at least using your own email address, shows that you’re willing to stand behind your own words (something I appreciate).
Two other things:
1. I read the sites you link-drop spam in my site’s comments. If I read something that I found well-written and interesting enough to talk about, I would link it up here. I love looking at city issues from a variety of perspectives.
2. If you’re going to pretend to be an online newspaper, consider filing your opinion pieces under your Opinion tab rather than the News tab on your site.
3. I commented on this topic at mplsmirror.com (their server is really flakey, so that link may or may not work). My comment was moderated, and I’m not particularly optimistic that it will be approved. (Update: They did publish it.) Here’s what I wrote:
It’s possible that I’m reading this wrong, but it seems like this and previous mplsmirror.com posts about John Hoff have been largely based on false outrage. Writers here seem to be starting from a position of “everything about John Hoff is evil” which is an absolute position that leads to absurd, petty, writing.
I see a great opportunity for debating how to deal with issues like graffiti, shoefiti, deadbeat landlords, city issues, policing, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening here.
To be clear, this isn’t a defense of Hoff. We all know that the guy isn’t perfect. What I haven’t seen here is a decent explanation of who’s hurt by vigilante neighborhood clean-up efforts.
In summary: Stop spamming my site, and write better stuff on your site.