A few pet blogging peeves – please educate yourself with these issues

Running this blog is a lot of work. The comment moderation is the biggest portion of it and it is becoming oppressive. A lot of our volunteer moderators simply don’t have the time to keep up with it all. I find I keep running into the same things over and over again, answering the same questions over and over again. So….I’ve decided to make a post in hopes that I can reach enough people with some do’s and don’ts to make a difference in the moderation workload.

Here’s a few things I hope you’ll read and heed:

1. No, for the ten gazillionth time, I cannot install wordpress plugins on this blog to get feature “X” that somebody wants.

The reason: This blog is hosted on wordpress.com for free, and they don’t allow plugins like you can get on self hosted wordpress installs. Why free? see item #10

Here’s why I use wordpress.com instead of running my own private server:

“We run hundreds of servers in three datacenters (Chicago, Dallas, San Antonio) with instant copies of all your data and uploads in each. This allows us to serve your blog very quickly, and also if something catastrophic were to happen, like Chicago falling into Lake Michigan or Dallas being hit by a meteor, your blog would be okay.”

Longtime readers may recall that when Climategate broke in late November 2009, so did Climate Audit, who was on a single server box that simply could not handle the load. WUWT stayed running, thanks to wordpress.com “hundreds of servers” and distributed processing. After ClimateGate, Mr. Pete, JohnA, and I got CA migrated to wordpress.com so this won’t ever happen again. I’ll take uptime and reliability over features any day.

If you want comment preview/editing, see this post on how to do so. Use the Test page to practice.

2. Lucia has a great self hosted wordpress blog install -and has all sorts of nifty plugins, but:

Blog out last night. ’nuff said

3. When writing a comment, you do NOT need to use HTML tags, just put in the URL and WordPress will auto-link it for you – like this http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

4. If you are writing sarcasm, end it with /sarc so that everybody KNOWS it is sarcasm. Don’t make extra work for moderators by making a flame up.

5. Please, don’t think that declaring “Off topic but…see this” will make your comment OK. I’m going to start wholesale deleting these because they end up steering threads all over the place.

6. Pursuant to #5 we have a Tips and Notes page for things you want to bring to attention…yes we see them all.

7. Pursuant to #6 Please don’t leave blind links, tell us WHY we should click on it. Otherwise each moderator has to look at it to decide if it takes you someplace we don’t want to promote or is a link that goes someplace bad. Please add a short description as to why you think this link is worth visiting.

8. If you are leaving a tip, be sure to check the front page of WUWT first and use the SCROLL BAR to look at previous stories. About a third of our Tips and Notes are things we’ve already covered.

9. Please don’t ask WUWT to research things for you. Do it yourself, add to the conversation. If you can’t use Google you don’t belong here.

10. Why free hosting? Simply put, I like my freedom. Freedom works best for this venue. Unlike Joe Romm at Climate Progress (Sponsor – Center for American Progress $28 million income declaration here) and Marc Morano Climate Depot (Sponsor – CFACT $3 million income declaration here) this blog isn’t paid for by any organization, nor sponsored, nor under anyone’s external control. There’s no data quotas to watch, no demands to carry diktats, no steering committee, no server maintenance. It’s all done by wordpress.com free hosting, volunteers who moderate and contribute essays, and bit of occasional help from the Google ad clicks and some kind folks that find the donation button. Compared to the organizations above, it isn’t even chump change. “Big Oil” doesn’t shop here.

And yet we still beat the pants off the whole sponsored climate blog pack:

Stats from Alexa.com Learn more about Alexa Traffic Stats

So please, read and heed, help our moderation team, and be thankful I’m not burned out yet like poor Jeff Id who recently closed The Air Vent.

Thanks for your consideration – Anthony

[ADDENDUM] I trust that Anthony will allow me to add a few more items, as some one who endures this stuff daily.

11. Quote the exact words of the person with whom you are disagreeing. I write as clearly as I know how, and yet I am often misunderstood. That’s life, we have to live with that. But if you quote what I said, then I know where the misunderstanding may lie. And if there is no misunderstanding, I know exactly what you are referring to.

12. Speculations and personal attacks as to someone’s motives, honesty, credibility, education, publishing record, and ancestry all have negative weight in a scientific discussion. In other words, doing any of those will detract from your argument, and make it less likely to be believed, despite the fact that it may be valid. Those kinds of attacks are simultaneously bad tactics, bad strategy, and give the attacker a bad odor of desperation. Please avoid them. Me, I bite back at that kind of stuff, so definitely avoid them on my threads. I’m human, and like anyone else, I make mistakes, but I’m doing my honest best.

13. Be as specific as you can. Numbers are preferable to words. Code is preferable to a description of the method. Observations are infinitely preferable to model results. If you are using data, link to either your data or where the data was obtained. Details are often vital. Citations should indicate page numbers and paragraphs; waving the IPCC Report like a demented fundamentalist preacher and saying “the answer’s in there” doesn’t help anyone.

14. Civility roolz. Like the song says, “I’m just a fool whose intentions are good”, and I assume the same about others. The less aggro the tone is, the more people will participate.

PS – way cool photo, Anthony, and many thanks for the blog.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pamela Gray
February 2, 2011 7:37 pm

That is the cutest damned puppy I have ever seen. What kind is it?
REPLY: A tired grouchy one, read the post 😉 – A

February 2, 2011 7:48 pm
February 2, 2011 7:51 pm

Yes. I self host. I also decline many suggestions for certain types of plugins. Plugins suck memory and cpu. I suspect that’s why WordPress doesn’t permit people on free hosting to use every nifty new plugin out there.
As it happens, my blog being down was my fault. I turned off caching.

February 2, 2011 7:52 pm

You Can’t tell me what to do! /sarc D’oh!

February 2, 2011 7:53 pm

I think that is a Welsh Corgi. And thanks for the note about hyper links. I hadn’t realized that. Typing this in now I see just below the box is a helpful list of things you can include in a post. I have no clue how I have missed that all this time.
And Oroville’s weather was just as nice today. 🙂

February 2, 2011 7:53 pm

this is a bit OT, but you need to see this.. you should use wordpress plugins. Also, can you research why freehosting is better? /sarc
REPLY: http://tinyurl.com/yd3mpo8

Brian H
February 2, 2011 7:54 pm

Hm, by eyeballing of that graph your traffic is greater than the sum of all those others put together!

February 2, 2011 7:57 pm

You run one of the great sites on the web. Thanks for your work. So many of us who almost never comment read and profit from your efforts.

February 2, 2011 7:58 pm

I am glad to hear about #5 as that gets REALLY annoying.
Regarding comment preview, I am disappointed to see WordPress not implement a feature (without plugins) Blogger has had for over seven years and has been in all major forum software for over a decade.
Just an FYI, it is impossible for any site without topic comments (Climate Depot, IceCap) to match the traffic of those with them. Ridiculously censored sites (RealClimate, ClimateProgress) also fail because of this. Just something to keep in mind.

Dr. Dave
February 2, 2011 7:58 pm

I have quick workarounds. First, I never use any formatting. There is really seldom any need. I don’t link to anything that I have not described. Once in a while I have been known to preface a comment with “Slightly O/T…” but the comment is always in some way relevant to the topic at hand. Finally, I avoid bad language and name calling so the moderators don’t have to [snip] anything.
I my opinion WUWT is the BEST moderated site on the web and I’ll do my level best not to muck up the works.

February 2, 2011 8:07 pm

Sure Anthony’s stats look better. He’s showing raw data. /sarc

February 2, 2011 8:08 pm

Please read & heed Anthony’s points. They’re not hard to follow or understand. WUWT has been the leader in the fight against the catastrophic AGW crowd. And despite Romm’s George Soros $millions… We’re winning!
Scientific truth, as distilled through the scientific method, is our sword. The alarmist crowd ignores the scientific method, relying instead on scare tactics. That worked in the short term. But as the general public has heard the cries of “Wolf!” too often. It is fast becoming jaded. In the end, the CAGW scare will be seen for what it is: deliberately alarming the populace in order to keep their grant gravy train on track.
As the truth gradually percolates out – that nothing out of the ordinary is happening, despite all the alarmisim – the public is beginning to see that the climate scare is only based on conniving self-interest.
I am supporting Anthony 100% on these issues. And if we keep the pressure on, the opposition will eventually collapse like a house of cards.

February 2, 2011 8:12 pm

All I can say is thank you soooooo much for this site and don’t let the trolls win – what happens here is important.

February 2, 2011 8:19 pm

Anthony and Moderators,
Thank you for keeping up the good work on this site. It has been a great source of information and education for me and I appreciate all your hard work. I have no idea how you pull this off day in, day out. Please don’t get too frustrated with all the madness.

February 2, 2011 8:23 pm

I think I’ve broken (stupidly) 3 (and accidentally, 8; I swear I thought I looked first). I apologize, and thank you and your incredible mods for running a darned fine site.

Amino Acids in Meteorites
February 2, 2011 8:25 pm

So Romm is made rich from global warming propaganda. Unbelievable. What a world!
REPLY: I don’t know that, his parent organization gets $28 mil, I have no idea how much he gets – Anthony

February 2, 2011 8:30 pm

I feel your pain, Anthony.
I run two forums and allow “basic” URL and HTTP codes for “quotes” and such. Nothing fancy.
No editing or preview. You compose offline, then post. If your post comes out like garbage, so be it. Folks will learn fast to “skip” or scroll down.
Screw the fancy features and such.
Screw the off-topic stuff and sarcasm. Ain’t worth the time to edit, especially yours.
Sorry to vent, but I have read the blog every day fro over two years, and it is the most informative and balanced one I can find.

Amino Acids in Meteorites
February 2, 2011 8:33 pm

What the heck is going on in Egypt?

Amino Acids in Meteorites
February 2, 2011 8:35 pm

REPLY: I don’t know that, his parent organization gets $28 mil, I have no idea how much he gets – Anthony
He’s probably doing very well. I’m sure he doesn’t have a day job.

February 2, 2011 8:39 pm

That`s a dog…..not a blog.

February 2, 2011 8:49 pm

Some may wish to copy you Anthony but you will not be duplicated!

David Falkner
February 2, 2011 8:50 pm

I second Poptech. #5 is pretty annoying. I have been guilty of #9, but I have some major temporal issues. I ask other people commenting. 🙂

Douglas DC
February 2, 2011 8:51 pm

Roger, Wilco, Anthony,BTW that is the most irritated buppy dog I have ever seen.

James Sexton
February 2, 2011 8:53 pm

Good luck with the “off topic” control. The issue is too big and everything is related to everything. Context, inferences, references……….
and the “/sarc ” ruins a deadpan delivery. Oh well, c’est la vie.
You guys do great stuff!

John Whitman
February 2, 2011 8:54 pm

Anthony & Mods,
Thanks for providing an educational experience here.

February 2, 2011 8:55 pm

Many times I refer to this site to learn. Perhaps a “frequently asked questions” may be helpful.
As a variant of “FAQ” maybe there should be something like “frequently posted comments”.

Pooh, Dixie
February 2, 2011 9:02 pm

1) Anthony, I think you have a perfectly adequate comment capability.
2) Smokey said: “cries of ‘Wolf!’ too often”. sarc People in the Great Plains are beginning to see Wolf tracks in the snow. Now that is a scary Global Warming report! /sarc

Baa Humbug
February 2, 2011 9:02 pm

It’s all more than fair nuff. Shame Anthony felt the need to post this at all.
Thankyou sincerely Anthony and mods for providing WUWT for our pleasure/experience.
p.s. Anthony the grumpy photo of you is sooooo cuuuuute (said in ever higher pitch voice)
no wonder Mrs WUWT finds you irresistable 🙂

Steve from rockwood
February 2, 2011 9:03 pm

Why not charge $100 every time someone uses ad hominem in a sentence.
Ok, seriously I think more people, like me should donate to this excellent site.
The amount of effort you put in Anthony is staggering.

February 2, 2011 9:08 pm

Ok Ok! Just call the dog off will yah.

February 2, 2011 9:12 pm

Whew….. read that title and for just a moment I thought I was in trouble
again and was going to have to use my “Get Out of Jail Free” card. ☺
Anthony, you’re great and so is WUWT. Have no idea how you do this but your efforts are hugely appreciated by most here and we are all in debt to your persistent efforts. Thank you and moderators all.

stan stendera
February 2, 2011 9:13 pm

You do NOT run one of the best sites on the web, you run one of the best things on the planet Earth!!!!!!

February 2, 2011 9:41 pm

KISS works for me in theory, but sometimes I can’t help myself. My fingers seem to work like Dr. Strangelove’s arm.
Thanks for reminding us that KISS is better for you which means it’s better for WUWT.
I hate ‘/sarc’. The joke is old and has no creativity. I write too much code already. Yes, emoticons are older, however, you can at least convey something personal in them. And there are lots of variations. >:^P % 0 8^B X^* ;^J (• .. •)

anna v
February 2, 2011 9:47 pm

Anthony , thanks for the great job you and the moderators are doing on this blog. It is a great center for weather/climate/interesting information and the intelligence level of people who get through the moderation is high.
More power to you all to keep up the good work.

Hank Hancock
February 2, 2011 9:49 pm

Anthony and Moderators, I read every day and comment only occasionally. I wish to offer my appreciation for the exemplary job you all do and for the great service WUWT does to bring balance and common sense to an otherwise unbalanced message fed to the public by the global warming, er um, climate change, er um, climate disruption, crowd. My hat’s off ta yas. Thanks again!!!

Jeff Alberts
February 2, 2011 9:50 pm

Damn straight on the OT crap. That’s been a pet peeve of mine forever.

Richard Keen
February 2, 2011 9:52 pm

Take your stats graph for 2009 and you have a wholesome hockey stick. Only this one is real!
Keep on truckin !

David Ball
February 2, 2011 9:59 pm

Proud to be deleted on the very rare occasion. Otherwise not guilty of any of the listed crimes ( it is difficult to stay strictly on topic sometimes! ) I think that WUWT? and all that that represents is priceless. I still watch the news to keep abreast, but it is so painfully and obviously tilted to the left (understatement alert). I come here and read as much as I can because it’s like the air at the top of Sunshine in Banff. Makes you feel alive. Hat’s off to all.

David Ball
February 2, 2011 10:01 pm

By the way, in our house we love shmogs ( my sons term ). 8^D

Paul Vaughan
February 2, 2011 10:04 pm

When I ran online courses I cut my workload down to 30% by iteratively condensing & refining a small but strategic set of communication guidelines.

Common Sense
February 2, 2011 10:15 pm

I just want to add my thanks to Anthony, volunteers, and science professionals who post for this site.
I’ve learned tons from all of you about climate and the weather and enjoy the site immensely.
It’s also a refreshing change from the MSM Chicken Little, Globull Warming, The Sky is Falling reporting.

Cassandra King
February 2, 2011 10:17 pm

The most popular science blog on the planet, the finest contributors highlighting the most important news in the most accessible way, a joy to to visit and a joy to contribute to.
No other site comes close to WUWT, its a phenomenon and wonder of the new millennium. Sometimes the little guy can change the world and that is what I see here every day, in a world of darkness WUWT is the little ray of light, we saw the light and we came and we stayed. We need this site, truly we do. All we want is the truth and here that is what we get, its simple and direct and innocent in todays cynical world, just the truth nothing more and nothing less and if the facts change so do the stories, no agenda and no narrative and no ideology just the facts.
God bless you all, all of you out there have made my life a little better each day, given me more of an education than thought possible in the things I thought would always be beyond me, if knowledge is freedom then this blog has helped to set me free.
Cassie K.

February 2, 2011 10:20 pm

It looks like a Shih Tzu, or “lion” dog. Very fitting.

February 2, 2011 10:28 pm

It looks like a Shih Tzu or shitzu – the lion dog of China
here are some photos to compare. http://www.google.com.au/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&q=+shitzu+puppy+photos
reposting as my other comment seems to have disappeared.

Alex the skeptic
February 2, 2011 10:36 pm

Great Anthony, points taken. Will do. Just don’t get itinto your head to ever think about closing down this great show. Kudos to you and your helpers. God bless you all.
Keep on giving us the science and the truth on the most popular climate website on planet earth.
Is there some filtering software that would direct comments with 4-letter words and other bad mouthings straight to the trash bin without even being looked at by the mods? Just my stupid brain…. thinking aloud..but…

February 2, 2011 10:56 pm

LONG LIVE Watts Up With That.
Only if I had a spare million I would know what to do!

Julian in Wales
February 2, 2011 10:57 pm

Cassie K has got it right; Your work is selfless and your reward is that you have begun to change the world for the better, I hope that you sometimes get time to reflect on and enjoy your acheivements

John Whitman
February 2, 2011 10:58 pm

Anthony & w.
How about adding another two guidelines?
#15 – Troll Feeding Is Not Recommended
#16 – Count to 100 before clicking the ‘Post Comment’ box

John Andrews
February 2, 2011 11:02 pm

You did it again. Funds flung!

Al Gored
February 2, 2011 11:15 pm

You sure picked the perfect photo for this post/no sarc.
Great site, fair rules, so onward and upward.

Capn Jack Walker
February 2, 2011 11:29 pm

are flame on / flame off tags allowed?
Just asking. Not that I would ever be involved in naughty non kool blog manner stuff or get warned.
I’m a nice pirate.

February 2, 2011 11:36 pm

Thanks Anthony.
$100 in the tip jar.

February 3, 2011 12:00 am

A very timely post, Anthony. I have bookmarked it for referral before commenting again, and I urge other readers to do the same.

February 3, 2011 12:09 am

Over on Damian Carrington’s blog, dealing in the usual way with the Oz cyclones, someone posted a link to Watts. Another poster said if you link to Watts you will not be taken seriously here.
The above post and output generally on this blog is superb.
Did I argue with them, no.
Where ignorance is bliss ’tis a folly to be wise.
Anthony I always smile when a poster tries to delegate a task to you but not as much as when they try it on with Steve McIntyre. 🙂
[Reply: Linking to WUWT on oother blogs is one of the most effective means of raising Alexa traffic stats. ~dbs, mod.]

February 3, 2011 12:14 am

TomT says:
February 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm
“I think that is a Welsh Corgi.”
No way, Shih Tzu or some bastardized version thereof.

February 3, 2011 12:28 am

The articles here tend to roll round in a 7/10 day cycle. Can I suggest that this article is fed into the cycle for a couple of months so everyone sees it pop back up to the top again regularly even if they didn’t see the original.
By the way your blog is much appreciated which has reminded me it is time to hit the funds button again.
All the best to you and your family

February 3, 2011 12:30 am

John Whitman xsaid;
#15 – Troll Feeding Is Not Recommended
Definition of troll John? Such people as R Gates may appear to be a troll at first but his views are always well thought out even if I may not agree with them.

February 3, 2011 12:35 am

Antony and free timer’s that Mod the site deserve as much praise as me and we can give them, please keep up the good work and please realise that it may seem like tireless work but you do make a difference on a global scale.

February 3, 2011 12:49 am

Your server sounds very sophistimacated… I always pictured it being something like this one:
Must be the romantic in me…

February 3, 2011 1:33 am

If I were a moderator, I would make item 7 finish by saying “The whole post will be removed if you post a blind link” – saying please never seems to work these days.
[Reply: Good suggestion. ~dbs]

Roger Longstaff
February 3, 2011 1:35 am

A very impressive web traffic graph, but……
Have the data been “adjusted” ?
Have the readings been affected by alcohol or mind-altering substances ?
Have the data been fabricated to prove a pre-conceived outcome ?
Is thesre a consensus ?
Is the science settled ?
Now, what was that sarc comment again ?

Alexander K
February 3, 2011 1:41 am

Thanks Anthony and the mods for the this brilliant blog, which is my major daily information fix.
I am a natural iconoclast, but I follow the rules laid down on WUWT to the best of my ability as I really enjoy and apreciate the thoroughly civil tone that is maintained here and respect that. I do not see the need for any plug-ins and really do understand the freedom of free!

February 3, 2011 2:15 am

This is the best blog I read…an absolute mine of information and an encouragement to all those of us who disbelieve the AGW/CC/GCD scam.
A big thankyou to you Anthony, and your moderators. We owe you so much.

February 3, 2011 2:20 am

Paul Vaughan says: February 2, 2011 at 10:04 pm

When I ran online courses I cut my workload down to 30% by iteratively condensing & refining a small but strategic set of communication guidelines.

Suggestions Anthony:
(1) add this page to somewhere along your top bar
(2) clump some more of your stuff together eg “Resources” “Glossary” “Posting Tips”
(3) put a page up there for “Blog Improvement Suggestions” with of course the caveat to read this page etc first.
Anthony I often think about you and the extraordinary service you are rendering for us all and humankind. What would happen if you were not here. Think in terms of moving towards being able to make yourself redundant, if you chose or if circumstances forced. Like Moses needed to delegate eventually (when even having his arms propped up by two volunteers was not enough).
My thoughts go always towards DISTILLING and ORGANIZING the extraordinary material we have, and making always accessible beginner’s study material. That was the original objective of my own “Primer” but I stand on giants’ shoulders. It is still in my “Climate Wiki” vision – but I am still struggling to manage what I already do, let alone take on more – yet I want to see a building-up of prime resource material like Smokey and you always have to hand. A “permanent” page of yours devoted to “education” would be great. Start perhaps with Bob Carter’s classic piece (4 parts U-tube) “Climate Change – is CO2 the cause?

Harold Pierce Jr
February 3, 2011 2:35 am

You should put a limit on the number words in a comment. Some comments ramble on, don’t say much of anyting new, and are too time consumming to read.
This would make the mods’ work much less tedious and mind numbing.

February 3, 2011 2:42 am

Please be encouraged to keep up your excellent work Anthony. This is probably one of the worlds top blogs and much appreciated. I ran my own blog for a few months but had to give in – I know just how difficult it is to find time to make daily postings and check what others have written – I can’t imagine how you do this on WattsUp with so many postings and so many commenters.
You’re a hero dude!

Alan the Brit
February 3, 2011 2:52 am

Duly noted. The British sense of humour is often based on sarcasm, & one tends to rather arrogantly forget that sarcasm is not always noted by others!
BTW awesome blog, moderators, I salute you all, you are fair & we all err from time to time. Well done to you all.

Sam Bailey
February 3, 2011 2:54 am

Does this mean I can not castigate and or otherwise mock openly the Algorites.. If so I am gonna hold my breath till Anthony recants ..(whilst lowering my carbon footprint in the short term).?
On a serious note, this iwswhere I send many people to see that science .. true science.. can be passionately presented .. with the gravitas of it in the FACTS.. not in the bias to support cause or ideal(political)

Bernd Felsche
February 3, 2011 3:16 am

Many of the points being made are in line with established “Netiquette” – RFC-1855
These things don’t need re-invention. Perhaps a little re-interpretation.
Section 3 applies for one-to-many communications; 3.1.1 General Guidelines for mailing lists and NetNews is a reasonable fit for weblogs with open comments. And 3.1.3 NetNews Guidelines follows.
Because it’s people poking their fingers into and at the machines, the nature of the machinery doesn’t matter. People adapt their (mis)behaviour to new technologies.

Mike Haseler
February 3, 2011 3:32 am

disagreeing you are with whom the exact words Quote
but we can change the order?
But seriously, well done all of you!

Viv Evans
February 3, 2011 3:41 am

Firstly, I join my thanks to all the others, to you, Anthony, and to all you tireless mods.
Secondly, thanks for the reminder – even if one thinks one’s above all that, some of the points made will still catch one out. It’s similar to not engaging brain before speaking.
Thirdly – it looks as if there’s still one bit of space on the masthead, on the far right. Perhaps this post could go there, under ‘RULES’.
Then the mods only need to delete the offending posts, with the tag ‘rule offense’
Finally – I will be a good girl and keep the rules!
I couldn’t bear to lose this outstanding blog which has evolved into a private university course, certainly for me, perhaps for many others as well.

John R. Walker
February 3, 2011 3:51 am

On /sarc – any chance you can specify /sarc at the beginning instead of at the end? /please!
Then we don’t have to waste time reading most of it before we find out it’s largely pointless! Life is too short for most of it…

Pressed Rat
February 3, 2011 4:12 am

God Bless You, Anthony. And God Bless all of you for not succumbing to corrupted government lies and propaganda. Sempre Avanti!!

John Whitman
February 3, 2011 4:19 am

tonyb says:
February 3, 2011 at 12:30 am

John Whitman xsaid;
#15 – Troll Feeding Is Not Recommended

Definition of troll John? Such people as R Gates may appear to be a troll at first but his views are always well thought out even if I may not agree with them.

Thanks for you comment.
I have observed there are some commentors whose behavior after a quite a few comments on a thread indicates clear evidence they purposely disrupt civil discourse on the subject of thread. It is those I would start to consider as troll-like. Trollness does NOT apply, in my view, to a commentor who is in radical vehement disagreement with virtually everyone else (including the blog host) on a thread but who is nominally civil and not aggressively disruptive.
It is not so effective to define troll as it is to go back to some old WUWT posts and pick an individual behavior of a commentor as a clear example of trollness. If I have time when I get back to my desktop computer (on my BB right now) maybe I can find a good example to post here. I am sure the moderators have some salient examples fresh in their memories. : )
I do not understand why you mentioned R Gates? Is there some previous discussion involving him/her? Sorry I am unaware.

February 3, 2011 4:21 am

I suppose this means that freehosting allows you the report the truly important things in life, such as how to get a Pokeman character into a Pinewood Derby car, or something like that…
Oh yeah – you done that. Second place in a car’s first race is an accomplishment.
Feel free to do it again. Some of us enjoy the ‘real life’ stories that provide leavening to the hard work and reporting of you and your trusty moderators.

Jimmy Haigh
February 3, 2011 4:27 am

Fantastic puppy. Never see one with such attitude before.

February 3, 2011 4:34 am

John Whitman
I only mentioned R Gates because he appeared relatively recently and was at first accused by some of being a troll because he did not agree with the mainstrream view here.
I would agree that there appear to be some hit and run merchants who in hind sight were not here to learn but to cause disruption. I guess as this blog is increasingly being targetted by those with no intention of hearing other views we will get more trolls.

Jimmy Haigh
February 3, 2011 4:37 am

John Whitman says:
February 3, 2011 at 4:19 am

I do not understand why you mentioned R Gates? Is there some previous discussion involving him/her? Sorry I am unaware.”
R. Gates is very welcome here in that he/she is one of the few on the AGW side who will stay around and have an intelligent conversation.

Anthony Hanwell
February 3, 2011 4:49 am

I am sure that many climate watchers only read the blogs that support their opinion. However, any neutral observer or anyone looking into AGW for the first time that looks at both sides, cannot help but notice how your blog and and that of Bishop Hill handle the rare contributions from the other side. It is in stark contrast to heavy handed censorship of such as the Guardian (CIF) and Gavin Schmidt. Keep up the good work and grateful thanks from this regular visitor.

February 3, 2011 5:06 am

First off, thanks for running this site. It’s a breath of fresh air in today’s hyper-polemicised web milieu. Any rules/posting guidelines needed to keep it informative, interesting and readable are welcome.
Secondly, you and your mods do a fantastic job. I frequent some political blogs which frankly make this site look like a church picnic on a warm sunny summer afternoon in comparison. Bless you for that. I’m old enough to remember when civility was the rule, not the exception.
Thirdly, your WP installation allows for the most frequently need HTML tags, with the possible exception of and . If you can’t produce an intelligible, interesting and expressive comment with the tools available, it’s likely that you either don’t know what you’re doing or you’re foisting the blame for your own shortcomings onto others.
Fourthly, your success with this site is no accident or fluke. A lot of work and care is self-evident in the design, content and management of the site. Again, when comparing this with many other sites, the quality is very apparent.

Steve C
February 3, 2011 5:08 am

A few well made points, and mostly not for the first time. Perhaps a ‘Guidelines for Comments’ link on the front page? No, make that ‘Absolute Rules for Comments Unless You Want the Order of the Boot’.
Congratulations and respect to everyone involved in WUWT.

February 3, 2011 5:25 am

Anthony – you and your moderators have set a standard for the industry and spoiled me for less. Now when I visit a blog (or an article with comments) in supposedly respectable journals like The Economist or Science News etc. and find a topic that begs intelligent comments and all we see is infantile name calling, I have to let them know in no uncertain terms that they have lost my business. And of course, referring them to WUWT for a positive example of how it is done right.
In fact, it’s probably time to make a donation…

John Whitman
February 3, 2011 5:55 am

Jimmy Haigh says:
February 3, 2011 at 4:37 am

John Whitman says:
February 3, 2011 at 4:19 am

I do not understand why you mentioned R Gates? Is there some previous discussion involving him/her? Sorry I am unaware.”

R. Gates is very welcome here in that he/she is one of the few on the AGW side who will stay around and have an intelligent conversation.

Jimmy Haigh,
Yes, well said! And it is due to Anthony’s kind presence that all are welcome here.

February 3, 2011 5:58 am

[Reply: Linking to WUWT on oother blogs is one of the most effective means of raising Alexa traffic stats. ~dbs, mod.]
Thank you Mr Moderator,
I used to provide links, but in more recent times I have just stated Watts Up With That, thinking you are so famous the link is not required. In future I will provide the link.
I am so glad that you are maintaining the integrity of the site by not offerring me the coin of the realm.
The Guardener banned me three or four times for linking to Watts and CA.
On my shoulder is a little devil at the moment:-
Badme “Go on mention the spell checker, you did before and the international clock”
Goodme” You must be joking haven’t you seen what he said above”
Badme ” Don’t worry I’m sure you’ll be alright? Go on ask him to do something?

February 3, 2011 6:04 am

GregO says:
February 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm
Anthony and Moderators,
Thank you for keeping up the good work on this site. It has been a great source of information and education for me and I appreciate all your hard work. I have no idea how you pull this off day in, day out. Please don’t get too frustrated with all the madness.
I couldn’t agree more !!!
Best of web !!

John Whitman
February 3, 2011 6:06 am

tonyb says:
February 3, 2011 at 4:34 am
John Whitman
I only mentioned R Gates because he appeared relatively recently and was at first accused by some of being a troll because he did not agree with the mainstrream view here.

Thank you for your explanation.
Happy Lunar New Year from Taipei . . . Its the Rabbit year.

February 3, 2011 6:19 am

Self-moderation requests only really work on less popular boards. Anthony, I fear with the popularity of your blog you may never satisfactorily cut down on moderation work. 🙁
If free-hosted WordPress has any features that require registration before posting, you might consider using them. It would cut down on the comments, sure, but would make your job much easier. Ideally you’d have a tiered system wherein those who register must behave or lose their registration but get their comments up quicker *and* posting anonymously would still be possible, but may take longer to get posted. Not sure if wp.com can do this, would be nice if it could.

February 3, 2011 6:27 am

what #
Cassandra King says:
February 2, 2011 at 10:17 pm
she says:-)
hugely appreciate your site and the effort.
I dont want the fiddly bits, cant figure em out anyway.
I love having somewhere sane and rational to send people for great info.

February 3, 2011 7:04 am

Long live MoTown music.
WUWT is an incredible enterprise. There known guidelines for how to move from a ‘1 man with help’ entrepreneurial outfit to a ‘tightly controlled privately held enterprise’. Very few businesses manage to make the transition, but those that do, control the marketplace (Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc).
Anyone know any good young MBAs that could offer WUWT a transition plan?

February 3, 2011 7:18 am

Thanks for the timely reminder and for all your (and of course the mods’) hard work.
You’re a star.

February 3, 2011 7:18 am

I make it my #1 mission not to require snipping. I take it as a personal failure if I make any comment that requires moderation. Besides, a clever and well thought out evisceration carries much more weight than a mindless personal insult. As skeptics, we already have the moral and scientific high ground by default. That’s why Trenberth is trying to change the rules.
Cheers for putting in the time and effort to all involved!

February 3, 2011 7:21 am

And if you do not like to hear the truth you can always visit Charles Johnson. He has gone bonkers lately. /sarc

Ken Harvey
February 3, 2011 7:23 am

I predict that in due course WUWT will achieve case study status, not merely in climate study terms which may be almost incidental, but as the epitome of how any form of serious discussion should be handled on the web. I hail the good ship and all who sail in her.

Craig Moore
February 3, 2011 7:26 am

Anthony, you are the hostess with the mostest. /sarc/snort/
Thank you.

Craig S
February 3, 2011 7:29 am

Good on ya and keep it up.

February 3, 2011 7:58 am

What everyone else said.
This blog is the gold standard. 🙂
As anyone who has tried to keep a ‘swan’ gliding smoothly through the water day after day knows, there is a heck of a lot of paddling and poop under the water. But what we see is awesome, and consistently so.
Love the pup pic. Is it now the WUWT mascot?

February 3, 2011 8:23 am

Extremely interesting post! It is so impressive to see how “the WUWT way” defeats more traditional ways. As I have said several times before, WUWT is writing mankind history showing how to defeat the falsehoods and lies that mainstream academia & media fed us for milleniums. I will look for funds to DONATE to this history making blog. I promise. Our freedom and prosperity depends on WE THE PEOPLE being able to debunk the lies and falsehoods by mainstream academia, media & bureaucracy.

Scott in VA
February 3, 2011 8:29 am

TomT says:
February 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm
“I think that is a Welsh Corgi.”
No way, Shih Tzu or some bastardized version thereof.
Nope, looks like a Japanese Chin pup to me – although the mix of black with the red/white is very unusual. Here is a picture for comparison

Ken Hall
February 3, 2011 8:33 am

To Anthony and the moderators. This is one of the finest blogs online. Without your sterling efforts and infinite patience, hundreds of thousands of people would find every day that little bit poorer.
Thank you so much for what you do.
As a serial offender of rule 5, I shall endeavour to obey these rules far more strictly from now on.

February 3, 2011 8:35 am

First, thank you Anthony and moderators for a job well done. You are *very* much appreciated.

Harold Pierce Jr says:
February 3, 2011 at 2:35 am
You should put a limit on the number words in a comment. Some comments ramble on, don’t say much of anyting new, and are too time consumming to read.
This would make the mods’ work much less tedious and mind numbing.

I completely disagree with this idea. While it is true that some long comments are not worth reading through, it is easy enough to scroll past it. However, the responses from many scientists and other knowledgeable contributors to some articles are often long, but extremely valuable. An arbitrary word cap would stifle the debate, not enhance it.
Frankly, I find the short sniping comments to be more distracting then the long comments. Those short remarks are almost always worthless to read. If we followed Willis’ great idea for rules 12 and 14, we could eliminate most of the one liner snide remarks.

George E. Smith
February 3, 2011 9:37 am

Anthony, there are times that I wish I could “do this” or “do that”, for example, cut and paste graphs of data from textbooks or the like.
BUT, I also know how that sort of thing can go totally wild.
I’m very happy with the way you have it; and agree with your edict “MY way or the Hiway !” I believe I basically adhere to your rules; and if I haven’t been, my abject apologies; and I will shape up in future.
And I guess, that the times you post some imbecile comments by some well known imbecile; we could lower the case load, by simply chuckling at what you put up, and perhaps pass on the smart alec comments which we all do.
But if you detect some odd rumbling up there in Chico, it might just be me cursing out loud at at some megaimbecile; my workmates will have to deal with the din.
Remember that Coca Cola Bottling Company thought they could come up with an improved recipe; and nobody liked it, so they went back to the old (they say) BUT, the imbeciles renamed it “Classic Coke”; and if it was now “Classic Coke” it sure as hell couldn’t also be “Coke” or why the tandem names ?
So now, we don’t know what the hell they make, and we don’t like any of them even if we liked the original.
So don’t make their mistake; WUWT is what it is; and if it evolves; it should evolve per your whims. NOT SOME CONCENSUS !!

February 3, 2011 9:58 am

Anthony and Mods, Thank you for a great blog for all to see and learn as i have. A good example of the trolls that show up here are Lazy teenager and a new one Nameless Cynic, remember they only come to getyour goat and disrupt the inner workings. I find it easier when i have read thier comment to decide if they warrant a comment usually they do not bring anything to the table when they do so then why bother, even guilty my self, i remind them that they are dealing with people here that have considerably more knowledge on the subjects at hand, sometimes works but the mods would know more on that than i would considering the work load they have with the traffic. Again my hats off to this site for a job well done bar none. O/T but but that pup is so cute is that the new family member Anthony, hope wife and family are doing fine.
REPLY: Thanks, all is well, the pup is unrelated to us – A

February 3, 2011 10:11 am

Great puppy!
My favorite is #9. I always have tons of questions when I read your articles and I take those questions straight to Google and I go from there. I learn a lot because I read articles that don’t talk down to me and if there is something I don’t understand then I go look it up. Thank you for that because I really don’t want to be spoon fed. I want to learn and the only way to do that is to look stuff up on my own.

Al Gored
February 3, 2011 11:18 am

johanna says:
February 3, 2011 at 7:58 am
“This blog is the gold standard. 🙂 …
Love the pup pic. Is it now the WUWT mascot?”
Agree. Every day here is a learning experience for me thanks to Anthony and all the commenters. I just wish I had more of substance to contribute.
And that puppy photo would be a great ‘mascot.’ The look in its eyes is WTFisUWT – presumably as it looks at something offered by the AGW gang – yet it is still so cute you want to hug it. Moreover, it looks like it could survive temperature changes of over 1 degree per century.

February 3, 2011 12:01 pm

This might be a good time to link to Emily Postnews: http://www.templetons.com/brad/emily.html
Note to anyone new to this, the whole post there should the “/sarc” tag …

February 3, 2011 1:13 pm

At last I had some funds to donate! I’ve now sent some as a mark of gratitude to you and will try to do so again periodically. Thank you again for this wonderful work.

February 3, 2011 1:53 pm

The dog looks as happy to be here as Al Gore would look.
I hope the dog can forgive me for making the association.
The efforts of the behind the scenes folks at WUWT is appreciated.
Thanks for the blog Anthony.

David Spurgeon
February 3, 2011 2:04 pm

A legend in it’s own lifetime – this blog.
A legend in his own lifetime – this Watts bloke!
The puppy will soon become a legend too.
Thank you, “Professor”.
[Was that O/T?]

February 3, 2011 2:11 pm

The constant stream of bogus, misleading and outright false “news” that floods into my laptop and desktop and iPhone daily can ONLY be swept aside by a swift dose WUWT… Your site is the main cure for this blind dogma from the willfully clueless press and I am grateful for your hard work and dedication.

John from CA
February 3, 2011 4:56 pm

Just a suggestion,
You might want to add the rules to the Test Page — especially the link problem.
Listing the Test page and its purpose below the “Leave a Reply Comment” window might also help.
Great Site!!!

February 3, 2011 5:51 pm

A testament to your discipline Anthony: http://www.walk-wales.org.uk/gsd.html – kitty walking past line of german sheperds

P.G. Sharrow
February 3, 2011 10:48 pm

That pup looks like a very young pekingese. Chinese Fu-dog, generally12 to 16 pound attack guard dog. We have a very large one 2o pounds, she thinks she can take on anything! 300 lb bear no problem. And a mouth full of teeth that would make a shark proud. Bosses all the big dogs that come around. pg

Arizona CJ
February 4, 2011 11:24 am

Thanks for the tips, and above all, thanks Anthony, for all that you and your team do.
In my opinion, this site (Along with climategate, in which WUWT also played an enormous role) has been the core factor is saving us from Cap&tax, and thus saving our economy. In a just world, Anthony Watts, not Al Gore, would be the one with a Nobel prize.
Thank you all, for all that you do.

February 4, 2011 11:07 pm

it would appear that the alexa graph for WUWT exhibits a tipping point….now if time had ceased to trudge along…at one point it even looks like a hockey stick…but it looks like lately someone is over-correcting for UHI /sarc

John Vonderlin
February 20, 2011 2:36 pm

One small suggestion I have is to collaboratively develop a spectrum of non-insulting terms to describe the various shades of opinions on AGW. Or at least a glossary, as the terms used often seem to be more perjorative then informative. I was originally led to this site from RC, because of the frequent use there of the term “deniers,” a word that carries some very ugly baggage, and is as intellectually bankrupt as bringing Hitler or the Nazis into a modern political argument..

Verified by MonsterInsights