On a blog post about ‘blog discussions’, Judith Curry bumped off a comment from me that included the sentence “ATTP does not belong in the climate debate”. Curry’s post claims ATTP’s ‘warm blog’ has a magic touch and is heavily commented. Sure.
What is the “magic touch” for a warmie blog? First, you write about the topics running on well-trafficked skeptical blogs. This brings two advantages (i) you don’t have to scratch you head thinking about what to write, (ii) you draw commenters from the well-trafficked blogs. Second, you practice blatant one-sided censorship. This announces and consolidates your partisan status, and earns a stable of commenters who need protection to thrive. Ta da – ‘magic touch’.
The formula is clear: you can examine almost any climate consensus blog – they don’t survive and grow without the golden combination of borrowed skeptic points and censorship.
The opposite does happen. If you go back, there was Bart Verheggen’s blog which hosted, among others, a remarkable discussion thread that ran for thousands of comments with participants of all stripes. Then Keith Kloor’s Collide-a-scape became the venue for interesting discussions. In both the spark lasted as long as the hosts held back, allowing emergent conversation to flow.
Others think it is pesky commenters that destroy good discussion. Marcel Crok’s Climatedialogue and Michael Quircke’s Climate Change National Forum (CCNF) marshaled original climate content and catastrophist Michael Tobis made a hermit of himself at the gated community Planet 3.0. All appear to be motivated by a sense of dread about the barbarians (i.e, commenters). Climatedialogue and CCNF cordoned commenters into a separate second-class area whereas Planet 3.0 required vetted registration. As far as I can see no ‘magic’ happened. It is no one’s fault but just confirmation of the formula.
Curry now declares she will ensure ‘stricter moderation’ on her blog. Her blog flourished because there was a groundswell of support for someone from the orthodoxy willing to state unpalatable truths. It is unique for the torrent of comments that would put legions of online marketing pundits to shame. It is sad she’s decided to go hunting to remove critical comments.