Saturday, December 17, 2011

The forum

It might not be immediately apparent, but one of the most difficult parts of running a blog is managing an active comments section/forum. On this blog, we have elected for the latter.

It was not an easy decision closing it off, making registration mandatory, and thereby limiting access. But the spammers really made that decision for us, and I think the forum has benefited from it. We really do not want these huge comment rolls, where the focus is very quickly lost, you get repetitive posts, and a large number of destructive trolls.

It must also be appreciated that the forum requires a considerable investment of my time, not only in the basic management, but in responding to the very many, welcome and intelligent posts (and the critical ones as well, which are just as welcome). Thus, for me, the number on the forum is about right – a manageable level which avoids being too narrow or claustrophobic.

However, in hosting a discussion on the future of euroscepticism, I have had a number of people applying to join, and it would be churlish and self-defeating not to open the forum to them. Accordingly, I am going to open it up for new membership today, and keep it open for a week, with an announcement each day, to remind people that it is open.

Before registering, if that is your intention, please do read the instructions, and then follow them or nothing will happen. And, if you do join, you have one week to lodge your first comment. That is your only commitment. People who join and then do not register at least one comment will be deleted.