Your comment held? We are trying to fix that.
Some of you have been posting brilliant comments on this blog and, instead of kudos from grateful readers, getting this chilly message:
Jay Mathews' Education Blog
Thank you for commenting.
Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.
Return to the original entry."
I know this for a fact because I have gotten the same message a couple of times when I tried to post an insightful response to your thoughtful contribution. Needless to say, I am not happy about it. I have appealed to the Post's blog high command, and just heard from someone who actually knows what is going on and tells me we are working to make this better.
The young woman who called me agreed that a message saying the "blog owner" had to approve a comment made it sound like I was the culprit, when in fact I have nothing to do with this process. I protest my innocence. I am very happy with the relationships that have blossomed on this blog, both friendly and contentious, and would never condone killing a comment unless it failed our standards of taste and language. That does not seem to be the problem with the posts that have been held.
They may be too long. They may have too many links. That isn't clear yet. But they are looking at whatever they look at and trying to create a better system. I was told that when someone hits the icon that allows readers to complain about taste and language in a comment, those messages often go nowhere. Nobody is seeing them. We need to fix that too.
I almost wrote please be patient, but I think that is exactly the wrong message. Please continue to be impatient and let me know, via firstname.lastname@example.org, if your comment has been held or some other injustice has occurred. I will look into it.
NEWS FLASH: Within an hour after my conversation with energetic Webmaster Erica Pytlovany, she reported she had deleted that irksome "by the blog owner" language. She said "It's still a bad message and an ugly template that people should not be seeing, but I'll keep working on that one."
LATE BREAKING NEWS FLASH: Pytlovany has located the problem. It is not me, of course. It's you. I like the way she described the situation in an email: "We moderate any posts over 3000 characters and any posts with 4 or more hyperlinks. You have a number of people posting intelligent, well-thought out comments with links to back up their sources, and they are running afoul of those two rules." Pytlovany shares my view that we want you to keep doing that. She said she will see "what we can do to loosen the policies without loosening them so much that we get hit with spam. I’ll keep you updated."
Read Jay's blog every day at http://washingtonpost.com/class-struggle.
Follow all the Post's Education coverage on Twitter, Facebook and our Education web page, http://washingtonpost.com/education
| June 9, 2010; 4:26 PM ET
Categories: Jay on the Web | Tags: Jay is blameless, Post blog high command is working on it, blog comments wrongly held, please continue to be IMpatient
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