September 16th, 2007 | Site Update
Okay, I’m finding myself in a similar state to the one I was in last spring when I suggested the fateful “open thread” idea. Then I framed it as a concern that an in-group atmosphere on the blog might inhibit newcomers. But now I have a more particular take on the matter.
I’m deeply grateful to everyone who comes here and participates in this conversation. I’m very aware that the blog wouldn’t be here without you. And I’m loathe to inhibit anyone’s expression in any way. But I do feel that when some people post frequently and at great length, that can have an inhibiting effect of its own.
I say this as a lifelong quiet person who is easily silenced by people who have stronger opinions than I do, or are more comfortable expressing themselves in public, or more articulate. You might argue that a blog is a perfect place for the quiet people of the world to finally get a word in edgewise, but I’m not so sure this kind of conversation is that different from the verbal ones we have in person. So I’m making a request that folks moderate the length and frequency of their comments here so that they’re not, in effect, dominating the discussion.
What do you think of that? Is that unreasonable? Maybe there are some teachers here who have tips on how to draw out the quiet people without unduly quashing the natural orators? But let me say, I’m not necessarily trying to get more people to comment. I just don’t want the people who aren’t actively engaged in the conversation to tune out.