Blog When I began my blog just under two years ago (August 17th, 2007), I had a number of experienced bloggers advise me to not allow any comments. They had chosen to close off their blogs from any comments or to only allow approved comments to be published. Why? Because in each case, their blog had been somewhat hijacked by a few individuals who tended to dominate the conversations and/or who bullied other people.

I heard their advice but decided to go with open comments on my blog. So far, it's gone pretty well with just under 2,864 comments on the 514 posts I have made. To this point I have only had to delete a few comments due to their profanity. Overall, the dialogue and interaction has been helpful and informative. None of us have the full perspective on any topic and I believe that we learn best by interacting respectfully and in a spirit of humility with those who have different points of view.

Unfortunately, with the recent blog post on the topic of 'Homosexuality', the commenting section degenerated to a point where it became un-constructive. This really disappointed me. 

As a result I have created some new guidelines for commenting on this blog. Here they are:

All visitors are welcome to post their own personal comments on the majority of my blog posts. However, there are a few basic guidelines (these are also now displayed on the upper left hand side of the blog):

1. I reserve the right refuse comments that are inappropriate, that use offensive language, or that are a personal attack on myself or other people.

2. Comments should be brief (preferably under 100 words), polite, constructive, and relative to the topic.

3. You must state your real full name to have your comments posted.

4. I will continue to read all comments posted but, as previously, will not be able to respond to each one of them.

If you are happy to abide by these simple guidelines, then I welcome your comments.

Mark Conner

P.S. You can now Search this entire blog for any content. Simply type a word or topic in the upper right hand corner search box and hit Enter or click Search. I also hope you like the new graphics design. Enjoy!


17 thoughts on “New Blog Commenting Guidelines

  1. If people have to post under their real name (as I usually do) this will mean you will need to approve each post yeah?

  2. I receive an email of each post with the commenter’s name, as well as their email address. If their name is not real (like yours), I will delete it … in future 🙂

  3. I like what you said ‘None of us have the full perspective on any topic…we learn best by interacting respectfully and in a spirit of humility with those who have different points of view.’
    “knowledge puffs up, love builds up”. Knowledge does not touch lives unless it’s applied in a context of long-suffering patience and kindness.
    As for posting under real names… well if we’re afraid of being rejected/attacked due to what we expressed here, then obviously our “convictions” are not worth dying for! 🙂
    I love this blog, and the new guidelines are cool. Thank you Mark for keeping it up.

  4. Sounds fair game. Would it be “unconstructive” if I said I prefer your previous colour scheme???

  5. Sorry Mark. I have to agree with John. This colour scheme is very straining on the eyes 🙂 Otherwise it looks good.

  6. It’s taken me years to build my alias into ‘brand name’ and I have only been kicked off two blogs in the past – can I comment as ‘Richard the Lionfish’…?

  7. You are prepared to share your thoughts on various topics with us Mark (some quite personal), and we know who you are! It’s fair and appropriate that we should do the same. If I wasn’t prepared to put my name in I wouldn’t make a comment, what is there to hide? Thanks for your topical and thought provoking blog!

  8. Mark,
    Seriously, I welcome the new policy.
    I believe I know who may have advised you NOT to keep your comments open – however I have seen blogs comments ‘turned-off’ by Pastors (under the pretense of the reasons that you have described), when people start asking honest but hard questions about theology (eg. tithing), accountability, church governance etc.
    This smacks of weak, cult-like leadership.
    I welcome your decision to keep the comments open – and think it wise to introduce fair principles for commenting as you have done.

  9. Sure Richard, happy for you to keep Lionfish somnewhere in there!
    I agree, closed blogs don’t encourage constructive dialogue, especially on the tough issues.

  10. New graphics … I realise that the colours are quite bright but I really like the contrast. It seems to make it sharper and clearer to read. We’ll gve it a while and see how it goes 🙂

  11. HI Mark….I think this is a good policy. I have been seriously involved on the net for some time now and have several blogs.
    I was involved for a short time in a forum called signposts a couple of years ago. I left because it was a toxic environment and gave a space to people who seemed to have some serious issues….possibly even needing some professional help. It seems some people from that forum sort to use your space to highjack an important conversation. Personally…I think engaging with people like that is essentially counter-productive for the intelligent and respectful dialogue we need to have on the issue of sexuality. I know I can use our precious time more effectively….and I’m sure you can as well.
    thanks for being willing to ask some important questions though. It was a shame some peoples contributions took the discussions into what appeared to be quite hurtful and damaging.
    I welcome differences of opinion on my blogs…but there are limits.

  12. Dear Pastor Conner,
    I attended Senior Pastor Kevin Conner’s seminar in Indonesia, held in Sidoarjo, Surabaya, 3 weeks ago. It was a very awesome moment for me, as I am just beginning my sermon as a pastor with my husband in Indonesia.
    I have a huge desire to learn more about the bible, and I have learnt that these days the words from the bible are not so deep be told anymore.
    I am so eager to learn directly from Pastor Kevin or you. May I know if I can learn distant learning as I live in Indonesia?
    Thank you Pastor, and Jesus bless…

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