I’ve been noticing an increasing incidence of people going into comment threads and writing something like this: “Hey, I know this doesn’t have anything to do with what this thread is about, but…” and then posting about something that is, true to advertising, completely unrelated.
Don’t do this. I find it more than a little annoying. And if you read the comment policy, you’ll it’s one of the things that inspires me to moderate posts (i.e., expunge them from the site). The reason for it is that while most of you mean well, it’s really an attempted hijacking of a comment thread, and that’s kind of a discourteous thing to do. Unless it’s a stated open thread, comments in a thread should have some relation to what’s being discussed in the original entry.
Here’s a hint: if you find yourself writing (or, really, even thinking) “this isn’t really related to the discussion at hand” — don’t post it. Because it’s just as socially clueless as walking up to a conversation in progress among a group of people, on a particular subject, and then saying “hey, shut up about whatever you’re talking about and start talking about what I want to talk about.” And I know you wouldn’t do that. Because you’re not a dick.
If you want to have a discussion about a particular topic on Whatever, either wait for an open thread or send me an e-mail and ask me if I might be willing to post on the topic. If I’m not wallowing at the moment in a massive deadline (as I did, for example, last week), there’s a reasonable possibility I’ll post about it. Saves me from having to think of something myself.
Alternately, sign up for Whateveresque, the Whatever’s bulletin board, and post to your heart’s content there on whatever topic you like without having me as a mediating presence. That’s right, you can stick it to the man, the man being, of course, me.
But otherwise, keep comments here at least somewhat related to the topic of the entry. Saves me from being annoyed, and also from having to moderate your ass. And that makes everyone happy. Thanks.