Tour Travel, Whatever and Comments
Posted on August 13, 2014 Posted by John Scalzi 16 Comments
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.
I have no comments about the comments.
Will there be a Kowal-esque drinking game involving your travels and/or sightings of gremlins?
Also, the mark of the south appears with an “all y’all.” I think I’m inordinately amused by this.
No comments on the comments, but I just checked the tour dates and found that you’ll be returning to NC. Yay! I attended your signing at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh last year. Figure I’ll mix it up and see you in Chapel Hill this time around. Looking forward to it!
This is about the only site where I read any comments. I will read comments on your more contentious subjects but that is to observe how you handle the mallet. I’m here for your stuff, not your fans or detractors opinions.
So this particular fan isn’t in a panic about the possibility of you turning off the comments. Besides, anyone who reads this site regularly should know you like comments and probably won’t kill them off any time soon.
I’m just disappointed that I will be travelling for work when you come to the Sem Co-op. Would have been nice to see you on the UChicago campus (and also,have you SEEN the new Co-op?).
I like comments when the mallet is in use. Otherwise, not so much.
Since I already have preordered your book so I can get a ticket to the signing at the University Bookstore in Seattle, I really appreciate you making the effort of a signing tour. I know they’re rough, but we’re really looking forward to it. (Even though it’s a 6 hour drive 1 way.)
Wonder how many people turned john down for guest blogger… Any volunteers?
If I wanted volunteers, I would have asked for them.
What’s the best way to make an impression on you during the tour that might lead to a non-negative blog post (e.g. Fans with Sweaty Palms Named and Shamed!)?
good one Stoic Jim :)
I seem to be in a dwindling minority of people who don’t use social media, and I’m curious about how discussing blog entries “somewhere else” works. Having the comments anchored to the entry seems logical to me – how do you find the discussion otherwise? If it’s discussed in several different places, won’t the discussions diverge? Also the moderation of comments here shapes the community of commenters and makes it interesting for me to read and occasionally contribute to (as opposed to some unmoderated places which quickly degenerate into digital swamps full of spam and trolls). I very much appreciate the time and effort which John puts into this. So I’ll be interested to see and hear how this works out as well.
Pictures from hotel room windows? Those ROCK!
I wonder if the result might be a ‘smog’ – a smeared-out blog? :)
Whoa, three events in one day? Should we bring you something to eat? A Coke Zero? A 5-hour Energy shot?
Seeing as this is one of the very few blogs where I enjoy reading the comments, maintaining the quality via personal moderation seems to be most sensible. Have a great trip!
I notice you will be in Atlanta for Labor Day weekend and are scheduled at the Decatur Book Festival. Any chance of you also dropping by Dragon Con the same weekend?