In just under two weeks now I will begin my tour for Lock In, which will take me all over the United States for four weeks, with only a couple of short breaks back home to do laundry and sleep. My schedule for this one is unusually packed at times — there’s one stop where I have three events scheduled for one day — and besides that I will be hopefully seeing friends and otherwise while I am out and about. Naturally this will have some impact on what I post here and the amount of time I have to commit to dealing with it.
In the past I’ve solved this problem by having guest bloggers and/or having a substitute moderator (the ever-fabulous Kate Baker) sit in on the site and wield the Mallet in my absence. This time I think I’ll try something a little different. Primarily:
From August 26 through September 20, I’ll be turning off comments on most posts here.
What posts will have comments off?
1. Posts created before August 26, 2014;
2. Nearly all of my posts from 8/26 – 9/20.
Which posts will have comments on?
1. Big Idea posts (to let the authors discuss stuff with readers/fans);
2. Possible occasional posts I create when I have a few hours free and feel like chatting with all y’all. These will be contingent on schedule and internet availability, and will likely be on only for those times I have the ability to actively sit on the thread, after which I will turn them off.
Why turn comments off at all?
1. So that while I travel I don’t have to daily wade through spam that somehow manages to avoid the automatic filters, which is, alas, considerable;
2. Because I’ve decided that I might want to write about things here while I’m out and about that usually requires thread moderation, which is the thing I know I won’t have time for;
3. Because I’ve never turned off comments here for a considerable amount of time and I’m curious what if any effect it will have on readership, etc;
4. Because Twitter/Facebook/Google +/etc give people the ability to more readily comment on what I write here than they would have had a few years ago, both to me and to each other (assuming they are using social media, which I suspect most people are at this point), and yes, I will probably be on Twitter a lot during the tour;
5. Because point 2 notwithstanding, based on personal experience, if I leave comments on I will be tempted to jump in and participate/moderate, which will distract me from what I really need to do: focus on the tour and the humans who have come to see me on it.
So that’s the plan.
For those of you wondering if this means I might be considering having comments off generally now: No. The site’s had comments for over a decade now, and it’s better for them. Come September 21, the comments will be back on across the whole site.
As for what sort of posts to expect here while I’m traveling, I think a few years of touring has gotten you used to what to expect — posts of events, reminders of where I am going next, scheduled Big Idea posts, and occasional other stuff as time/interest/sleep allows. You know. The usual.
In any event, I’m letting you know all of this now so it won’t comes as a surprise on the day of the tour. You have two weeks to prepare! Should be enough.
Thoughts? Put them — of course! — in the comments.