Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Communication Skills (And a Lack Thereof)


My Comments on Your Blog

Apparently I'm stuck as a No-Reply Blogger.

It wasn't always this way.

When I first got my blog, I carefully included my email address so that other bloggers could reply to me via email. 

Later on, I decided to integrate my blog with Google+. It seemed like another way to connect with readers.

For awhile, this was fine. I still received replies in my inbox from when I commented on other blogs.

But then Casey told me I was a No-Reply Blogger. I did a quick hack--I disconnected from Google+, redid my email settings, and reconnected--and for awhile, it worked.

Alas, I found out from Jess that I'm once again a No-Reply Blogger.

I get a small but steady number of page views from Google+, so I don't want to disconnect my blog from it. Until Blogger and Google+ get their act together, I will continue to be a No-Reply Blogger.

My Comments on My Blog

Most bloggers email replies to the comments left on their blogs. After all, that's how Casey and Jess both realized I was a No-Reply Blogger. They tried to reply to my comments and realized they couldn't.

I prefer to reply to your comments within my blog. I realize that y'all don't get notified of my replies. I realize that if you want to see a reply, you have to check my blog post again. I realize that sometimes I take awhile to reply (or go on vacation and just decide not to reply to the backlog, SORRY), and it's frustrating to check back multiple times.

Blogger has updated the comments recently, so you can opt in to receiving a notification when I reply. I highly recommend this.

I reply to your comments within my blog because I frequently receive the same questions, and I want my answers to be accessible.

I reply to your comments within my blog because my controversial posts create a dialogue, and I want everyone to see the entire conversation.

I reply to your comments within my blog because I'm held accountable to what I say if everyone can read it.

Your Comments on My Blog

I moderate my comments. In my 2+ years of blogging, I have only decided twice not to publish real comments. I receive a ridiculous amount of spam, which was the primary motivation to moderate. However, the increase in hateful, anonymous comments led to my updated policy.

I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea. That's fine. I write stuff that might make you uncomfortable, or even piss you off. I didn't start this blog to make friends, although it's been a lovely side effect. I started this blog to provide a feminist perspective to virginity, which has evolved to include a feminist perspective on pretty much everything. And I'm not going to water down my opinions just to be popular.

I have decided not to publish a comment that technically didn't violate my commenting policy. It's one I received on Hayley's guest post on catcalling. Yes, he used a name rather than remain anonymous, and his comment was more rude than cruel, but I'm not publishing it.

When I have time, I will address it in its own blog post, so I have the chance to explain how he's wrong. But I will not let anyone be abusive to my guest posters. 

Most of my guest bloggers have been very courageous and vulnerable in their posts for me. My blog is supposed to be a safe space for them. Thus I won't tolerate flippant, or dismissive, or abusive, or rude, or cruel comments on their posts, by anyone, named or anonymous.

Your Emails to Me

I read them. Sometimes I read them many times over. But I don't always reply to them. Why? The few emails I have returned took 1-3 hours to compose. I love y'all. My readers are my best. Y'all remind me that no matter how much shit I'm given for my strong stance against sexual assault, that I'm doing the right thing. I'm so incredibly grateful for the reminders that my writing matters to you.

But I've been dealing with some incredibly stressful stuff with my family, like to the point that I've had trouble eating, spent over 24 hours crying hysterically, and uncontrollably fantasized about cutting myself.*

JCP has demanded so much of my time that I put in my two weeks notice. I can no longer handle working such long hours.

Some happy stuff has been going on too, that I can't talk about here, but it's happy stuff that's really really time-consuming.

So as much as I appreciate y'all's emails, I don't have 1-3 hours to reply to each of them.

Do you have a commenting policy? What do you love and hate about your commenting system? How do you feel about my reasons for everything I do?

*I'm pretty sure I have mild OCD, based on a long history of being unable to control images and fantasies in my mind, often of a violent and self-harmful nature. I know I have CSP, which is often related to OCD.


  1. Wooh! I mad a man angry with my guest post. I'm excited to read your explanation. That means we're doing something right, right?

    1. YES! You definitely did something right with your post, and you pissed someone off. He was smart enough to use his name and not write too vile of a comment, but the substance of his comment is still very very wrong. I hope to address it sometime next week.

  2. I was a no reply blogger too, and it frustrates me. Tha'ts why I use disquis on my blog now. Problem solved!

    1. I've thought about switching to Disqus, but I don't want to lose two years worth of comments.

  3. How on earth do you opt-in to receive replies? I had no idea that was even an option, but can't figure out how to do it.

    As for how I reply to comments, I actually e-mail the commenter back then copy my reply and reply in-line in the post too. That way I know they receive it and other people can see it as well. It is kind of a pain, and does seem to take longer, which is why I don't always reply, but I think it's the best way to do it.

    1. It's a new thing. Right now, looking at the comment box that I'm typing, there's a ticky box on the bottom right that says Notify me. I have it checked.

      That's a good idea for replying, except yes, it does sound time-consuming. I'm writing this ten days after you commented, though, so who knows if you're coming back to this post to see my reply?

      Maybe I'll do like a monthly summary email to each commenter...


Thanks for reading and commenting!

Anonymous commenting disabled while my mom is sick.

Comments are moderated because I receive a lot of spam, and I think CAPTCHA is annoying. I reply to most of your comments within the comment section because it inspires discussion between readers. For first-time commenters, I try to reply by email.

Yes, you can comment anonymously. Yes, you can disagree with me. However, as of 05/31/2013, if you are commenting anonymously, and your words are hateful or abusive, I will publish these at my discretion. I like that my blog can be a forum for discussion, but anything that blames or mocks survivors of sexual assault will NOT be tolerated.


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