A reminder about comments on this blog. I have to approve them before they show up online. That’s not because I’m going to censor any, but because many spam comments appear, and some, on my blog and others — a number of months ago — almost brought down the ArtsJournal site.
The details of that are a long story. But the upshot is that the captcha process — in which you’d identify words in a graphic, to prove that you’re a human being, not spam-sending software — was defeated by the spammers, and comments have to be approved.
This can lead to a delay before the comments appear. I’m sorry about that, and in most cases I can approve comments once each day, in the morning. But that means that comments posted in the afternoon won’t appear until the next morning. And on a wildly busy day, or when I’m traveling, I might not get to the comments at all, leading for more delay, for which I apologize.
But I’ll never — except maybe if anyone aims any brutal flames at other commenters (people can say anything they like about me) — I’ll post everything that shows up. My approval has nothing to do with content.
I fear, though, that I won’t be able to respond to comments as much as I have in the past. And I regret that. I love the interaction I’ve had with commenters, and the chance to debate more fully points that come up, either in my posts or in comments. But as I get busier out in the world, and more involved in many things online, I find I can’t take as much time as I did to respond. This is a dilemma, with no ideal solution. You do something that people,.bless them, start paying attention to, and out of sheer joy with this process — along with great interest in the people paying attention, and in what they say — you make yourself more and more available. Then more people start paying attention, and the process takes more and more time to maintain. Until, at some point, it starts to be unmaintainable, starts demanding more time than you’ve got.
I’m not bragging about this. I’m mourning it.
I also think I won’t participate so much in online debates. More on that a little later. But the debates take time that I’d rather use for work that really helps classical music, such as my project at the University of Maryland, which I described in my last post. Anyone who’s read me regularly knows that I like both debate and theoretical discussion, but what I like even more is doing work that addresses the problems I talk about here. Work that, with any luck, can make things better.