Dear Reader and Occasional Commenter,

So it’s time I sit down and write about the comments on this website, because I really feel like it’s a conversation that we need to have.

And I thought that maybe I’d go back through my archives and showcase all the hateful and hurtful comments that have been made about me, on my own website, if only to point out that I don’t know of many other places on the internet where a person who runs a personal website has to suffer such massive public vilification in her own comments. I mean, I’ve suffered the threats and judgments of the public in places such as Metafilter and Signals vs. Noise, places I would expect such judgment, but I never thought I would face such venom on my own website.

Do not misunderstand me, I knew that by allowing comments on the site in the first place I would run into a multitude of people who would disagree with many of the things I say and do, and I don’t necessarily mind comments that express an opposing opinion. But it’s hard to abide comments that attack me or other people who make viable comments on this website.

I think many of my readers may not understand what I’m trying to do, and this is very frustrating, especially when they make comments like, “I can’t believe you’re making such a big deal out of this, go make yourself a martini and chill out,” only proving to me and to the other readers who get it that they don’t get it at all. And I’m conflicted, you see, because I rarely go about deleting comments solely on the basis that the commenter obviously doesn’t get what I’m trying to do. But I think the majority of my readers, the ones who come here looking for me to make a big deal out of nothing, who know that my greatest pleasure in life is making a big deal out of nothing, find it annoying that they have to sift through all that noise to get to the comments from people who have something legitimate to say.

So I went back through the archives and was reminded that I have a real appreciation for most of the people who read and comment on this website, that many of you are very funny and sympathetic and wonderfully, refreshingly frank about your own lives. And because of you I don’t want to focus on the negative feedback I get from those 3-4 people a day who can’t wait to tell me how much they hate me. And it’s because of you that I don’t want to remove the comments option from my posts.

And so I guess I should establish some guidelines for commenting on this website, even though I know they will be totally disregarded and that the 13-yr olds in Wisconsin are going to try and break my site like they did on Friday, but maybe things would be better if we all tried the following three things:

1. Please read all of the comments before you make a comment, if only to prevent yourself from repeating something that has already been said. I think I can safely say that we all fucking know that Avril is French for April, please don’t point it out again.

2. Please do not use any HTML tags in your comments, as I have turned that option off and your comments will not look like you thought they would. If you’d like to post a URL, just paste the address into your comment. I’m sorry, but that picture of your sore red anus will not show up if you call an image tag.

3. If you’re going to bash Britney, at least say you’re sorry afterward.

Happy commenting.