I got rid of comments so I could hear the conversation

Posted on October 16th, 2011

This week in Sunday Life I remove comments from my blog. Just for a bit.

Illo by Geoff McFetridge

When I’m feeling a tad on the smug side of my life situation, I find a little visit to the comments section of my blog sets me straight. In the main, comments on my blog are helpful sharings of tips and links. But every now and then a snarky interloper pipes up, like a foul air bubble in the lower intestine, to pull apart the most banal detritus of my existence.

Such as whether I Photoshop out a gap in my teeth.

Or how many times I say “um” in a podcast.

I find it a practice in mindful ego control, mostly. I observe the snarkiness bubble to the surface. Smile. And accept that I put myself out on a limb by having a public blog, ergo I must accept some flack. And then I let the stinky snark float on past, ignoring the urge to pop it with well-crafted comeback. It’s a bit like handling a toddler: acknowledge good behaviour, ignore bad behaviour. With time, I’ve developed a lovely Teflon calm from the process.

I’m lucky, though. I’ve only had to remove two comments in almost two-and-half years of running my blog. But this is not the norm. Monitoring comments has become a laborious chore for many (some bloggers I know remove 40 per cent of contributions daily). So much so, a growing number of the big blogging names have dropped their comments sections altogether, despite the commercial reality that comments are traffic drivers, which, in turn, are monetisation drivers.

This is no trifle issue. It’s dictating news agendas, hurting people in humiliating and irreversible ways and driving some to suicide. Nasty comments can be hate-bombed into the interweb by cowards who hide behind pseudonyms and there’s nothing that can be done to discipline or control them. Unlike a hand-posted letter to the editor of yore, these comments are not carefully and mindfully prepared. And social media commentators argue commenting contradicts the original notion of the social media “conversation”. They’re more akin to an impulsive heckle at a footy match – unaccountable and mostly about me too-ism. As a result, the Australian Press Council last month called for a discussion on online reader comments as part of their broader enquiry into media standards.

Apropos of something, I love the Swedes. They’re so often the first to buck the system, mostly in the nude and incorporating a community garden. Last month they led the way once more when three of the nation’s four newspapers banned anonymous online comments.

All of which has got me thinking: should I take a stand and drop comments on my blog? Those who have often say they did it to streamline their lives, although interestingly they generally took the plunge only once they’d become popular and profitable (a difference as profound as being Bono and stage diving into a crowd and being Saturday night’s act at the local RSL and trying to do the same). Danielle La Porte ditched comments on her White Hot Truth site to “make space for creative credo”. She likens it to “sitting around a campfire, under a big sky. We need room in order to hear, to be with our thoughts. We banter and converse and show up enough “out there, don’t we?”

I would like to have run this as the main pic (by carl johan paulin), but got a grip...

Gala Darling and Zen Habits’ Leo Babauta have done the same. They felt in danger of writing with the commenters’ opinions in mind, rather than creating content they believed in, a phenomena not limited to blogging. Social commentators are increasingly lamenting the way politicians, artists, schools and media outlets knee-jerk to the nagging and fractured opining of the masses, rather than leading from in front. Caring about what the “twits” and “snarkers” think has taken the place of vision and leadership, they say. Too true. And wholly dispiriting.

Anyway, as an experiment this week I did delete my comments section. But I only lasted two days. Perhaps my ego is needier than I make out.

But there’s also this: I think it’s better to be at a dinner table where everyone’s shouting, than at a silent one.

We’ve always needed a space for the over-the-back-fence chat, so we can be challenged and grow. We need this space more than ever. The challenge for anyone providing the meal, then, is to serve up nourishing fare that inspires the masses to shout stuff that moves us forward. Perhaps this is what the APC and lamenters should focus on….

 

 

 

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  • Lexie

    Removing comments from blogs is a bit like taking to wearing earmuffs in public when you pull out your sixties flares and visible bloomers; you know regardless there is going to be an outcry, but do you have the right to block out everyones views? I think all of us get bucketload of opinion on anything we say, wear, eat or write about, and sometimes they make us really doubt our views; but in the end it makes you a stronger (or perhaps just pissed off and antisocial to the rest of the world …) person, either way.
    I’m glad you kept the comments =) One of the best things about blogs is not only reading the post, but seeing what everyone thought about it. Perhaps even including the really grumpy, uncivil ‘anonymous’ cult that seem to come along with blogging and social media. It’s all part of the package deal =)

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  • http://www.creative-culinary.com Barbara | Creative Culinary

    I’ve been fortunate to have only received a couple of nasty comments but really, my blog is about food and sadly nothing I create elicits much beyond, ‘Looks great’ or ‘Sounds good’ that while nice to hear, they don’t really drive much conversation.

    I’ve railed against the ‘first responders’ – those who comment only to build up their supply of link backs to further their blog ranking so I think they’re now gone (well, not entirely but from MY blog!) and I know in the food blogging arena it would certainly be considered untoward if I removed the ability to comment. But it’s tempting…the time element of responding on top of all of the other social media aspects of blogging start to add up…my paying clients for my ‘real’ job just aren’t going to care if I had to tweet, RT, comment and Pin are they? :)

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  • http://oneaprilmorning.net Laura

    I’m glad you didn’t delete the comments. But I totally understand the urge to do it. Comments are the ugly, shameful underbelly of the blogging world, don’t you think?

    Like you, I’m so lucky to have been blessed with lovely readers and commenters, but being the overly sensitive type that I am, even a well-meaning suggestion pushes me over the edge onto “I’m crap!” “What am I doing?” So I admire your “ego control”. And your calm, convincing responses.

    I have read some incredibly heart-warming comments on here, as well as a few sour, nasty ones that make me scoff aloud. I hope that the good overrides the bad (it surely does in volume) and you can hold onto the truth (as corny as it sounds)… that the snark says more about the commenter than it says about you.

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  • Miss Jodi

    Hello. Well, a few things start to drift through my mind after reading this. Some relevant thoughts and others that go off on a tangent. Firstly, I associate Sunday mornings with this blog. I have for about a year now. Before then it was the paper with your column, Sarah. Which is how I found this.
    One of the great things about this journal is the online audience and it’s one of the few places I feel i can belong. I find a lot of similar views to mine here, a few more that challenge me and your subject matter is always expanded further through the comment portal. I think it’s very relevant. If this website didn’t exist I think I would be flitting around online trying to find something that fits me.
    I work for myself and alone so I have no workmates and I lots of time to think about stuff. Probably much, really. There’s not much out there with a lot of substance. I dont know about likening omitting comments from a blog to a campfire under the stars. I know it’s probably hard to do in the urban merry-go-round. People seem to be too attached to their Facebook updates and twittering to even be bothered trying to find some tinder let alone a spot to make the fire under the stars. It’s a nice romantic idea though.
    As for social commentators are concerned, I am not sure about them
    Lamenting about artists. Politicians and media outlets, sure. But you don’t read much about artists these days. Hardly ever. Not in mainstream media, unless it’s about who won the Archibald or the Doug Moran Prize. Hardly anyone would even know what the latter is anyway.
    I have contributed to one other blog, and then stopped after I wrote a long letter to the woman who is the main person associated with it. It was about a common issue that is currenty doing the rounds but about body image but there was a big gap that i felt was really relevant and everyone kept missing. I didn’t receive any kind of response. The letter had my full name, address and email on it. I emailed her as well. Still no response.
    Not only that, I attentined the same letter to several other media outlets and
    magazines, as well as Kate Ellis, minister for the status of women. Nothing. I spent a lot of time and thought and effort into this letter and no one even bothered acknowledging even receiving it. I took it as a sign of the times. It’s so easy to get online. Anonymous or not and have an opinion. Everyone wants to be heard and relevant but without any effort attached to it. Thus cometh twitter. 140 characters or less. Done. Move on to the next interesting (or not) comment from the current object of voyeurism. Once upon a time not long ago if you wrote a letter to somewhere or someone in a ‘leadership’ position relation to an issue that affects you, normally you could expect an answer. Not anymore it seems.
    The difference with this blog, Sarah is that you put everything on here, it’s all real and I don’t feel you play the same game as many who are in the media spotlight play. You don’t seem to jump on any bandwagon going around. I like that there is room here for me, whether I comment or not. I feel right.
    Oh, and I love the picture of the chick with the embroidered thing. It’s gold.

    [Reply]

    Isabella Reply:

    Sorry but comment is a comment not an article

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    Bella Reply:

    Jodi,

    Do you maybe think that blogger gets inundated with a lot of mail. Not everyone can reply to everyone.

    Also, your comment reads slightly manic, so it may not have been well recieved by the blogger

    [Reply]

    Miss Jodi Reply:

    It’s a fine line, yes. Slightly manic, slightly passionate, but a common sign of genius nonetheless. Interesting of you to pick up on that, I didn’t think anything of the sort but that’s what this whole issue is about really. Just making the point that no one writes letters anymore. Have you lately :D ?

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Thanks Miss Jodi…I’m touched that people like this “space”…it’s a side of blogging that has emerged as a pleasant surprise.x

    [Reply]

  • http://Www.realitychick.com.au reality chick

    Hasn’t been so bad over at our blog – you’d think it would be for an advice blog, but the worst thing people say is they don’t agree with us or they feel we missed a salient point, then they proceed to give THEIR advice to the letter-writer, which we love and wish there was more of actually! There has been very little snark but we’re not that well known so that’s no doubt why.
    Love the Teflon zen approach! Even after years and years of being a writer i’ve found the old proverbial thick skin rather hard to grow :-)

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    It takes discipline and a fairly arrogant dose of “wow they must be a little sad” deflection!

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  • Ian

    Thanks Sarah for persisting with comments. I believe you’ve created a community that yes, wouldn’t exist if it were not for your daily posts, but I think would be weakened without the comments.

    The fact you’ve only had 2 troublemakers is a reflection of the quality of this community.

    I love your analogy with the over-the-back-fence chat as that’s what you do each day. You pop out the back, one day, tending to your vegie patch, on another, hanging the washing on the line, then another, cooking on the barbie – and there we are doing our thing in our backyards and some of us hang over the fence to have a chat. Not just with you but the others who have wandered over to listen and sometimes contribute.

    Hooray…

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  • Gretta

    Comments or not, I’m still a loyal reader!

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  • http://www.lifewithlily.com Lily

    Hello Sarah … you turn off the Comments for a couple of days and one of the first you read on your return is one from a cat! A one-eyed opinionated cat wanting to wean her human off sugar. I hope you weren’t scarred for life. Thank you for allowing me to become an Affiliate for your book. xoxoxo

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  • Alex

    Sarah, the points you made are all very valid but I am so glad you kept comments. I think the commenters on your blog are 95% fantastic. I have got so many helpful ideas, recipes, and inspiration from them. The eco-cosmetic ones I have bookmarked because there is so much good stuff in there! And if I ever made a podcast I would manage to stick ‘like’ into almost every sentence. Terrible gen y habit!!

    [Reply]

    Adam Cordner Reply:

    Agreed! Make podcasts Sarah!

    [Reply]

  • http://mypeartreehouse.blogspot.com Jane

    Sarah come on! 99% of your comments are interesting and stimulating. And informative.

    Much more thought provoking than the ‘love those curtains’ you get on many blogs. Having said that, I do love those blogs where everyone is warm and supportive. That is the good side of humanity.

    I am lucky to never have had negative comments or even emails. But I don’t canvas the issues you do. And I moderate all my comments.

    I am daily astounded by the bitter vitriol that is poured out on websites like even the Age or SMH. Reading some of those comments makes me feel almost dirty! Would I like to stand around at a drinks party listening to those kinds of comments? No, so I therefore don’t like to read them.

    I think the anonymity is a really critical issue. If you are permitted to say things without being held to account certain people will use that as an opportunity to say really horrible things. I am surprised that more news websites in particular don’t require proper identification and names . Then people would be much much more careful about what they say.

    A related issue is that one of the aspects of today’s society is that everyone thinks that it is their right and entitlement to comment \ critique absolutely everything. It has gone from being a genuine conversation to a kind of ‘all in’ ‘ad hoc’ open slather thing, which you need to sift through so laboriously.

    ps I had something super profound and interesting to say in response to your post earlier this week but I couldn’t comment and now it’s gone from my brain!

    [Reply]

    Ruby Wildflower Reply:

    I agree with you that Sarah’s blog comments are interesting and informative. For me, the comments comprise a major part of the blog one of the main purposes of a blog is to be interactive – which can be done via the comments. I’ve learnt A HEAP from your commenters Sarah – it’s like having a whole gang of Mike Lindeds (what I call like-mindeds). <3

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  • http://www.mikewilde.com mike wilde

    Hi Sarah
    I’m glad that you acknowledge your own ego in this process.
    You didn’t have to .. so props to you.
    I think you have to be a little careful about ‘toddler’ analogies.
    Having someone ‘acknowledge’ my ‘good behaviour’ doesn’t necessarily
    mean that they are open to what I have to contribute.
    And there are a lot of caring souls out there who probably feel a genuine connection to you. They don’t see themselves as ‘comments.’
    So what is it that you would be ‘ taking a stand ‘ against ??
    The two comments that you had to delete ?
    Or the ‘ Noise’ ?
    If it’s the “Noise,’ then I get it and fully expect that once you publish you will move on ..
    probably to the US.
    Am surprised that you haven’t already.
    By then the sheer volume of contributors and well-wishers will be too much to personally handle and you will have a good excuse.

    p.s. The ‘chick’ in the 2nd photo is Regina Lund if I’m not mistaken.
    She’s a talented Actress, a bit of a tearaway and has recorded a couple of Albums to boot.

    [Reply]

    Isabella Reply:

    Ahhhhh bizarrely enough I agreed with some of this comment It hadn’t been deleted for a start says a lot about the column.

    I also found it weird that there was an article complaining about negative feedback when all feedback on this site was positive???

    In the year or so I have read online and in print I hac never heard a peep against Sarah.

    Unless about bike fashion without helmets which doesn’t really count.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    There’s been a few…and not all directed at me…most have been directed at other readers. The criticism I get is that I’m not being authentic for some reason.

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  • Ross H

    I really do not understand the need some people have to only make their presence felt by being nasty. It is one thing to dispute what someone else is saying, but another thing entirely to just being an a-hole for the sake of being an a-hole. I am yet to see anything in this blog to justify people having a go at her.

    I hope you do continue to retain comments Sarah as some very interesting continuing discussion and sharing goes on.

    [Reply]

  • http://Www.WoogsWorld.com Mrs Woog

    Hi Sarah,

    Read your article in the paper and came for a visit!

    I am a blogger and have managed to touch a nerve only a few times to the point that I had a negative comment. I am sure there should be more.

    I am glad you are keeping this open as it is an imperative tool for you to continue to build your community.

    Love Mrs Woog
    Xx

    [Reply]

  • Trish

    I love reading your blog but it wouldn’t the same without the comments or the abilty to comment. I wouldn’t stop me from popping in to read on a regular basis but I don’t think I would be as enriched by the experience. I really love and get a lot out of the comments that are posted on here and take the time to read each and every one of them.
    I would be more than willing to provide my full name and address when posting on the site (visible to blog owner) and agree to “ownership” of my comments to remove the issue of anonymity if it became necessary to do so.

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  • ssisme

    I also have gained a lot from the sharing of information, opinions, recommendations and so on that I’ve found in the comments section here, but I really find the mean/ignorant/overly personal component very dispiriting. Is there a way to confront the anonymity issue? Or does it just mutate into false names and email addresses? And I suppose anonymity is valid on some occasions. I admire your ability to be able to see it for what it is though, Sarah. I don’t think I’d be able to do the same. I’d like to say though that I would still read your blog regularly if comments was dropped. It wouldn’t bother me at all. Thanks :)

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  • Andrew Witney

    Blog and forum responses can sometimes resemble road rage. Like when driving in a car, you are in your own private world but also in a public space, and for some this conflict brings out their worst qualities. For that reason, making people more accountable is probably a good idea, as it removes this sense of being comfortably ensconsed in one’s own living room. It might also encourage people to be more considered with what they write, instead of falling pray to emotional thinking and ‘playing the man rather than the ball’.

    Then there is the phenomenon of ‘astroturfing’, where individuals, often representing organisations, attempt to create the impression of a grass-roots movement by posting the same message using multiple usernames. This is something I suspect the Liberal Party engages in quite regularly in our online newspapers, much like stacking their stacking of the public gallery in last week’s carbon tax vote. For this reason alone I would support a Swedish style system in Australia. (And I agree with your sentiments regarding the Swedes/Norway: oh for Australia to be as enlightened.)

    Of course policing all of this becomes a much more difficult. You could use people’s IP address but what happens when, like me, you live in a share-household with like minded people who occasionally post on the same forum (eg, I have introduced a couple of my friends to this page for example)? Would be interested to hear how the Swedes are managing this one.

    In lieu of this, I think one of the best things people can do is use their real name, dispensing with rather childish usernames and avatars like which seem better suited to the early days of the internet. I mean the authors aren’t anonymous; why then should the respondents be? Having said this, I have only ever used my first name, but figure from now on, it is better to be up-front.

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    Isabella Reply:

    Or stop web surfing to spew beliefs.

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  • Heather

    Taking criticism from the right people can lead you out of mediocrity.
    In the blogosphere you must question why you are blogging if you do not feel a little uncomfortable as your mouse hovers over the publish button.
    When you put yourself ‘out there’ and say what you really think then you have to accept what comes back at you in the comments section.
    I think sometimes that’s easier said than done.
    For example it’s easy to accept nice, supportive comments because then you know that you have reached readers who are a good fit for you.
    Unfortunately nice supportive comments can feel a bit stale after a while. By stale I mean tedious from familiarity, boring and static. I believe that blogging by consensus will not move you forward. So I say keep the comments and step back from those you have a reaction to and ask yourself why?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Either way, it’s a toggle with the ego, hey!

    [Reply]

    Heather Reply:

    Yes :( and reason enough to remove the comments…or not

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  • http://www.stylingyou.com.au Nikki @ Styling You

    As a blogger who moderates hundreds of comments every week, taking this off is the last thing on my mind.

    Without comments – a community – you don’t have a blog – just a broadcasting website. I come from mainstream print media where I operated in a bubble with the odd letter to the editor or email (often cranky) to burst that bubble.

    Blogging is a breath of fresh air in comparison.

    A blog is built on content but sustained via a community. Glad you put your’s back on.

    [Reply]

    mel Reply:

    i agree. this blog is all about the conversation and i have learnt just as much from commenters as i have from sarah. food and fashion blogs i have read all seem to just have a very basic feedback which is appropriate. i mean how fired up about a bad cake can u get! However when talking about issues sarah does it can be sensitive and who wants to agree all the time. And sometimes the little spats between commented do make me laugh to be honest and at times hits the nail on the head.

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  • http://www.sacredself.com.au Michelle McGrath

    hi there Sarah, yes to comment or not to comment? It’s certainly an interesting topic.

    Surely you moderate them and so can just not publish any that are inappropriate or offensive? I’ve just changed my site to WP and so that it’s more interactive rather than just having the ability to comment on my FB page alone. I have had to delete some comments and block a few users on FB – but only a minute percentage. I have the policy that if it’s not of a constructive or inspiring nature for anyone reading it then I remove it – it’s a negativity-free zone. I do feel the ability to comment is much more engaging and real for all involved – to not have this ability would detract something I feel.

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  • Isabella

    Hi,

    I religiously read this site, Mia’s site and a few others that request comments and feedback.

    Please STOP reading, or taking noticE of, the obviously inflammatory commenters.

    You are achieving what you set out to achieve (mamamia & sarahwilson) ….. I intentionally reference you…. Comments, conversation, thought,controversy and argument.

    The
    Difference,if I may guess, is that you (both) didn’t expect the argument/negativity/ and personal insults

    . And they are absolutely NOT on.

    But perhaps you can practice the art that I am practicing …………. Listen to everything except if it is constructive.

    Everything else is destructive.

    Don’t want to hear it??????

    DON’T READ IT!!!!

    [Reply]

    annemarie Reply:

    wow, you don’t read things you don’t want to hear? that’s awesome. i wonder what your personal relationships and politics are like…

    what is wrong with occasional negativity and argument? people like Sarah Wilson are not so precious and fragile that they can’t handle an occasional arm wrestle.

    SELF-AWARENESS IS NOT WON BY DEVELOPING ALLERGIES TO OTHER PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW. Do that, and you’ll just grow your already sizable ego.

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  • http://eatingplansforweightloss.info/category/jans-weight-loss-blog/ jan

    Hi Sara
    It’s very sad that there are some ignorant people who have to comment on you rather than the post, some people are too ignorant to realise how hurtful some comments can be.

    I do think it would be a terrible pity to take the comments off. You have a very eclectic and interesting community on your blog and I often see people posting stuff in relation to your blog and others in the community writing back to give help and ideas and it would be very sad to lose this component.

    I like some of the controversy that develops on blogs from differing opinions but rude is rude and my favourite comedian Miranda, she just looks at the camera and says “rude” with a big smile.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Rude, with a big smile. Yes!

    [Reply]

  • Jess

    Hi Sarah.

    I’m on radio sometimes, and I’ve made a habit of reading out your column so I figured I’d check out the blog.

    I don’t think you should get rid of comments. If it serves as a mood-booster, there are dozens of positive comments for every two or three petty ones (even if it’s the negatives we remember a bit too clearly).

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  • Terry

    Well done, Sarah.

    Sure takes lots of courage(from where I’m sitting anyway) to keep the comments section, & to resist swatting the odd malicious comment (as opposed to constructive, well argued comment).

    Much like resisting the urge to pop that annoying pimple eh? :)

    Just remember in any given population, there’s always a small percentage that represents the lunatic fringe (like that mass murderer Swedish gunman from a few weeks ago). Only diff is the ones on the comments use words instead of bullets….

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  • annemarie

    i never leave random “omg, u r so awesome” blather. i think that if you go to the trouble to set up a blog on which to air your opinions with the world, then some part of you already thinks you are pretty awesome.

    i tend to only leave a comment when i want to join a conversation. so some of my comments are, i suppose, critical, and perhaps some might even call them “snarky” though I don’t think of them that way (and i also refuse to believe that “snarky” is even a real word).

    still, i have formed pretty extraordinary friendships with people who like my comments simply because they like to banter and don’t mind if i sometimes disagree with what they’re saying.

    and for most of my daily reads (like this one), i like what happens in the comments section as much as i like the blog posts.

    so basically, i support keeping the comments section.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    And for exactly those reasons, they’re staying!

    [Reply]

    Mathew Naismith Reply:

    Annemarie you’re not what Sarah’s talking about, we all make remarks to each other, it’s called being human. We are all individuals with individualistic ideas about life, we can’t & shouldn’t agree on everything, this is how we learn by listening to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism like yours. Love Mat

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  • http://mrmathew1963.blogspot.com Mathew Naismith

    Sarah, you are better than this, don’t allow the bored lonely people annoy you because that’s all there trying to do.
    Do you love your inner self, well let it go at that, you know & so do allot of your readers, laugh at the poor sods who have no civil mortal life of their own & feel sorry for them, always listen to your inner being.
    If some of your readers can’t say anything nice at all don’t say anything, you will only belittle yourself further.

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  • http://mrmathew1963.blogspot.com Mathew Naismith

    Sarah this has nothing to do with this article but my step daughter won the women’s WORLD IPSC shoot in Greece, the yanks didn’t like it, the girls team won 2nd over all, good one girls.

    [Reply]

  • erin

    I don’t know why, but online negative comments really really bother me! Esp those who personally attack the author, which happens a lot when you read articles on The Age or Herald Sun websites. It can be quite shocking.
    However, my lecturer recently held a class on the importance of free speech, and an example he used was negative comments on a blog. He seemed to think that it was vital for public conversation that we use online forums to say what we want, even if its rude or inflammatory (he used 4square as an example).
    Its the very brave who put their writing out for public comment online…

    [Reply]

  • Mia

    I am glad you kept the comments, I have read so many handy health ideas through your website! I love that you have opened up a dialogue on autoimmune disease, health, quitting sugar and other topics. There isn’t really anywhere else you can find those specific things in such candid honesty. You DO have some darling readers which make up the majority, so I am glad I can still read what they have to say here.

    That said, I wouldnt blame you if you had kept the comments locked altogether. You DO get the occasional really dumb one, or – in the case of the disgraceful bitches who comment on your weight – really offensive things. And its not only offensive to you, its offensive for the rest of us to read!

    [Reply]

    Terry Reply:

    Mia, you hit the nail on the head with that one!
    It IS offensive to everyone else when bitchy comments are made that do not add to the topic at hand. There shld be a rule that only comments relevant to the topic be published, & personal slurs or sarcastic remarks be eliminated as no one really wants to read them….

    [Reply]

    Adam Cordner Reply:

    I’m with you Mia

    I have been on the receiving end of bitchiness (I may have instigated) on here, but it is offensive when people just shoot from the hip with rude comments for no reason at all.

    Thankfully there are people like you on here Mia, I know you have stuck up for me before (if you’re the same Mia).

    [Reply]

    Mia Reply:

    Hi Adam, and yes I am. :) I know there are multiple Mias here, which does get confusing… occasionally I call myself Monkey to differentiate but sometimes I forget.

    I know sometimes things get heated on topics which people are passionate about, which is at least understandable. But for people to NOT comment on the article in any way and just make snarky comments on the author’s weight or physical appearance? Or just start shooting off insults? That’s low. It upsets me to read. Sarah probably just shrugs it off but maybe Im overly sensitive to it!

    [Reply]

    Adam Cordner Reply:

    Are we homies now?

    Mia Reply:

    Sure why not! Mostly because I love that you used the word homies. I feel like we should high-five in Fresh Prince of Belair era pants, or something else equally 90′s-fabulous.

    Adam Cordner Reply:

    You wear happy-pants and I’ll get a flat-top, that should constitute an epic high five.

  • Ava

    Yeah, I feel like your blog is unique from others’. Instead of only expressing your thoughts, findings, tips etc, you offer a welcome invitation for conversation and it makes people feel involved. Your posts always teach me something new but also allow me to reflect in some way on my life. Other blogs I can sit back and appreciate their beautiful images or lovely thoughts, but I don’t have the same sense of belonging.

    …That is why you are the first (and sometimes only) blog I go to. I love all the commentators here!! I understand if you cannot laugh at the snarky ones, but do try to. Reside in the understanding that your message will be delivered to where it is meant to go.

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  • http://adamcordner.com Adam Cordner

    Hey Sarah

    I like the comments, and as you know, I have on occasion created some friction in your some of your posts (I have been a good boy lately).

    I get a lot out of the comments section; I was recommend a book not long ago (and I you a owe a review of it, not good tho), I was inspired to try cooking, I’ve learnt that I can’t understand how women think and to just give up trying, I have been made aware of my “online arrogance” and to change it because of the name calling I received, and finally, I find that your readers on the whole have a lot of good things to say and (I’m tearing up) seem to care a lot about the people who read your blog.

    There are some haters out there and I will hunt them all down and make them say sorry or extort money out of them to fund my up coming attempt at the work record for the largest sombrero ever made (and worn).

    Maybe you should invite Danny Katz to comment on the questionable comments for the humour factor alone. When I grow up I want to be Danny Katz (or a Ninja).

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    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Adam, right there, you say it all!

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  • Terry

    Was just wondering if snarky contributors are the adult version of the Child Bully, who feel left out bcos they are not able to contribute positively in group play, eg building a meccano building, & therefore proceeds to tear down the group project as that is the only way they are able to feel significant?

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  • Katy @ http://katyrunner.blogspot.com/

    I like the comments too.

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  • http://sweatlikeapig.com Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    My blog is very honest and straight forward, and I have received a number of comments I’ve had to delete. I think when you tell people things they don’t want to hear they can get aggressive – especially beyond the anonymous cloak of the internet. But I know that it’s a risk I take with the way I write :)

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  • fred

    ohh, poor sarah. a few critical comments and she cries ‘poor me’. what about all the shit she has dished out to others over the years? she seems to have a very short memory!

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    Adam Cordner Reply:

    Hey Fred, did Sarah put you up to this? It’s way to convenient that you personify what she is articulating.

    I hope you like worms

    I think Sarah sums it up with this

    “But there’s also this: I think it’s better to be at a dinner table where everyone’s shouting, than at a silent one.”

    She shouts too

    I have been cautioned by Sarah before and I will probably get more before I finally grow up. But that is exactly what I would expect from friend, my mates serve it up if I’m outta line and so do folks on here.

    Dishing out shit where shit is due is the Australian way, just like I’m about to demonstrate by saying “tuck your manners back in Fred” and in the fine words of my mother “if you don’t have anything nice to say, pull your head in”

    Any way Fred, I hope the rest of your day was pleasant, sure was nice out, I went to the markets and bought sourdough bread only to discover later that it wasn’t very sour, I was expecting sometime like the warhead lollies, remember them? Nowadays that same sensation of saliva glands activating is reserved for those moments where I have drunk to much. What I don’t understand about markets is why would you bring your dog, there are so many dogs there but no dog related stalls, it’s like bringing your bike to the pool, unless you’re going to build a ramp to jump the bike into the pool. I used to do that back in Canberra with my buddies, did I mention I grew up in Canberra? Oh Fred you woulda loved it, we also had great parties, although we didn’t know many girls, but I was a dj for weddings so I played all the hits from YMCA to Mmmm bop. I wonder where Hanson are now, I bet their Scientologists. Well Fred I have to go, I’m about to watch Carlitos Way again, it’s a man movie, have you seen it? Makes me want to be a gangster so I can say cool things like “I’m Benny Blanco from Bronx” so cool, I’m cool bit that’s because I collect Star Wars memorabilia, do you have any Star Wars memorabilia? Oh Fred if you do please let me know, I’m particularly fond of Ewoks, man could those guys party!

    Let’s be friends Fred, I don’t know any Freds, I knew a Fred in Germany but he wasn’t very nice, not because he was German but because he was a security guard at the brewery I used to try and sneak into, mmmmm beer (I’ve had a few already, can you tell?)

    I love you all (except Tim Bailey)

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    Miss Jodi Reply:

    Gold. Talk about entertaining. All the talk about markets is making me hungry. Mmm gozleme. I used to have some star wars figures. Two, actually. Han Solo and the Millenium Falcon. I had Chewbacca too but my sister pulled his arms off because I buried her R2D2 and C3P0 in the sand. Don’t mind Timmy but it’s just that fake tan…..

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    Adam Cordner Reply:

    Gozleme! Just say it out loud, Goz-lemmmm-eehhh!

    Mia Reply:

    Why must you say gozleme? Now I’M hungry. And I just ate heaps of kangaroo so should not bn hubgry, and now I’m drinking milk from the carton because I’m single and I can so there.

    Nothing I love more than a drunken soliloquy. I write myself letters when I’m drunk, and give myself very sound advise which I come to laugh at in the morning. I once wrote myself an email when I was drinking at home alone, and sent it to my work address, but it got stuck in my spam folder so I didn’t laugh about it until a month later. What is it with markets? I wish I wasn’t allergic to beer. I used to have C3PO and R2D2 figurines and also a plastic Chewbacca. Dont you think if R2D2 and C3PO had sex it would sound like dupstep? I’m more of a Star Trek fan now but still it holds a special place in my heart. (Star Wars, not dubstep. I hate dubstep.)

    I think I remember reading somewhere that Hanson all got married, even that middle one who everyone thought was the sister, and they all had lots of babies the end.

    Adam Cordner Reply:

    Mia = Rad

    Fred Reply:

    Just for the record, my comment was based on personal experience.

    So Adam, fuck off. Go spread your love to someone who cares.

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    Adam Cordner Reply:

    Cheers!

    Love a good “fuck off” , respect.

    Mathew Naismith Reply:

    Fred it takes a wise man to be civil & diplomatic, it takes a silly man to be course & aggressive….you would do well if you were wiser…..a passive suggestion. Love Mat

    Terry Reply:

    Matthew, agree 100%.
    Just as the person who resorts to physical violence has lost the argument, resorting to foul language not only makes it unpleasant for the rest of us, but shows a person as having lost the argument thru violent language (surely we shld have the ability to respond in kind without coming down to that level)

    Sarah, no one will hold it against you to Delete comments with profanity in them as it doesn’t add to the topic & makes it downright unpleasant!

    Terry Reply:

    Fred, Fred, Fred, You sound like such a sad, angry person….

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    Miss Jodi Reply:

    A big feed of ‘roo…….milk from the carton…..dupstep :?
    Awesome. Takes me back to that movie where it opens
    with Arnie in his apartment, that looks like a bomb hit it,
    wakes up, staggers to the kitchen and throws in anything he can find from
    What’s on the bench into the blender! No fabulous organic noni juice
    Blueberry chia bean punch here, baby. A little bit jillbilly :D

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    Fred Reply:

    No Terry, in fact I’m very happy. Thanks for your concern.

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Fred, I don’t believe I know you. Although I think I’ve replied to you under a Lucy or Linda monika on here before? And possibly a James? All false email addresses. Contact me direct if you have a personal gripe – info@sarahwilson.com.au
    Back off from the personal stuff here.

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Ah, yep. False address again. Fred Smith…I mean, honestly! I think quid pro quo on the transparency thing, no?

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    Adam Cordner Reply:

    “I think quid pro quo on the transparency thing, no?”

    You’re a poet and you didn’t realise you were one.

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    Fred Reply:

    well then you’re stupid for even trying!

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  • Stephanie

    It’s a tough one, I read this blog 50% for the auto immune stuff and have found it fabulous to discover other people as well as yourself have these issues. I see it as a place where people come to share what they know and learn some more because it’s such a work it out as you go thing. Maybe you could selectively turn them on and off depending on the article or how you feel?

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  • http://mrmathew1963.blogspot.com Mathew Naismith

    Ah… Fred they don’t get it, you are perfectly right with your opinion, well put but try to be a little more diplomatic, what the hell just put it the way you feel without consequences!!!! If life was that simple people would understand each other better & that’s what this is all about understanding each other’s views & learning by them. Good one Fred!!! Love Mathew
    PS I am not having ago at you Fred but to those who take life tooo seriously.

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    Fred Reply:

    Thanks Mathew. I wouldn’t waste my time writing if I didn’t have something to share.

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  • Helen

    There are really only 2 kinds of comments I don’t like, those that personally attack the writer (or other commenters) and those sicophantic ones that fawn over the writer and want to be besties. Neither of these usually add any value to the discussion. I like the comments on your blog and often learn just as much from the commenters as I do from your writing. I think to turn the comments off would take alot away from this space.

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    Terry Reply:

    Hear Hear….

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  • http://mrmathew1963.blogspot.com Mathew Naismith

    ONE BIG PAT ON THE BACK
    It’s funny Sarah seeing your blog bring out the worse in some people & the best, of course, in others, this blog is quite informative in so many different ways if we cared to listen & learn, even destructive criticism can teach those who care to listen, not in the message itself but in its manner it was put.

    People are funny creatures they don’t like to feel uncomfortable in any way but I’m sorry to say sometimes that’s the only way to learn, ignorance is bliss until it bites you on the gluteus maximus but in saying this you shouldn’t have to put up with vulgarity in any form….. little people can only hurt you if you allow them too.

    You have hit the nail on the head with this blog Sarah, well done!! Lots of love from Mathew

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  • James

    Wrong vs Right, Black vs White, Good vs Evil, Light vs Darkness, all polar opposites but on the same pole, one doesn’t exist without the other.
    I’m intrigued and surpised that you continue to bring these out of yourself and others Sarah, the ego is truly in struggle and has hold of you at times. Do you still meditate?

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  • Adrian

    I rarely read the commensurate section because all the snarky commensurate get me so worked up…
    I am commenting simply to say that my dad recently rebuilt our family website and cnstructed the comments section so that he had to approve the comments before they posted for all to see. Since it sounds like you are already reading all the comments anyways I thought maybe you might like to look into that. In stead of picking out the ones you want to discard, it might be easier for you to do the opposite and only pick out the helpful ones? Food for thought.
    Ps, I am new to your blog, as in an hour ago, and I love it! :D

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  • Adrian

    Ps autocorrect on my iPad changed comments to commensurate lol…

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  • Ele

    Not sure if you are still checking comments on these older posts, but I just came across this – need to scoot down nearer the bottom to read what she says about some of the comments she has received; just awful. These horrible people are everywhere:

    http://glutenfreegirl.com/warm-brown-rice-and-grilled-vegetable-salad/

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