I’m not going to write anything complicated, because does anyone read these things? It’s really just common sense. However, if you really want to know …
Content of comments
As you should be aware by now, this is a blog which reviews plays that are good. If I don’t like a play, it normally won’t be reviewed at all. However, I’m more relaxed about comments. Negative comments about plays I’ve reviewed are allowed, provided they are constructive. As a rule of the thumb, if you didn’t like the play you should at least give some idea of what could have been done better. How strictly I enforce this will depend on how big the company in question is. Big professional companies ought to be able to deal with flak when they disappoint their audiences, but the same amount of sniping directed at small amateur company will be looked on dimly.
No personal attacks, please. Any comments who direct their criticism at people rather than their work on stage will be deleted on sight. In particular, I strongly believe in the right of actors, writers and directors to respond to any criticism, either from me or other comments. If you berate someone simply for exercising the right of reply, I may block you.
Try to keep comments concise. In the words of the great Ben Goldacre, if your comment is over 1,000 words long, you are officially a loser. Please keep comments relevant to the topic of the blog post. If you want to comment on a play I’ve not written about, find another blog.
Moderation and trackbacks
This uses the default WordPress settings: your first post is moderated, and, if approved, subsequent posts are allowed automatically. Please help me keep it this way by refraining from posting crap after I’ve approved your first comment.
If your comment doesn’t appear, and you weren’t breaking any of the rules, there’s a chance your comment has been eaten by the spam filter. I try to check the spam bin, but with so much spam in there I might let the odd bona fide comment pass me by. Drop me a line and I’ll fish the comment out for you.
Trackbacks are enabled, which means that any other WordPress blog posts that link to this (or any other blog that supports this) will appear in the comments section as a trackback, subject to moderation. I will normally approve trackbacks unless it’s a blatant spam exercise (i.e. a blog that links to mine for no apparent reason except to draw attention to their own blog).
I reserve the right to close off trackbacks if there’s a discussion going on and the trackbacks might swamp the comments. Not expecting to need to do this any time soon, but you never know.
I’m not a fan of internet anonymity. I tolerate it because 1) it’s more trouble than it’s worth to do anything else, and 2) there is, very occasionally, a valid reason for doing so. But I do not encourage it and I don’t tolerate abuse of anonymity.
In particular, I have no time for people who think internet anonymity is some sort of god-given right to snipe away with impunity. There’s always a grey area between valid criticism and personal attacks, but I will not give the benefit of the doubt to people who doesn’t have the guts to use their own names.
If I find out you’re hiding something – such as posting under multiple identities, praising a play whilst hiding the fact you’re in the cast, or making anonymous attacks against a rival company – I will expose you. I get to see your IP addresses and I’m not afraid to use it to rumble you. My blog, my rules, and anyone who doesn’t like it can go to Reddit instead.
Comments on play reviews will generally close about one month after the end of the season it’s in (that’s Febuary for autumn/winter, June for winter/spring, October for summer). Comments on news and opinion articles will normally remain open until a more recent article on the same topic appears.
Occasionally I may have to close comments on a post early because of spam. If this stops you commenting on a topic you wanted to reply to, contact me and I’ll re-open it.
And I think that’s everything. Happy commenting.