Saturday, July 31, 2010

On Vacation


I'm on vacation and heading out to Wyoming and Idaho to visit family and do some tromping around in the hills. Here's a photo I took last year when we were in the same place. It shows the remains of what we referred to as "the bunkhouse" at my grandparent's old ranch.

It did, at one time, serve as a bunkhouse for the cowboys who worked on the ranch at branding time but was actually the original house built when my grandfather homesteaded this area with his brothers and fathers. Very much looking forward to seeing the old place!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Comment Policy Question

I have tried to keep an open forum on Complexity Simplified, to not discourage the free-flow of discussion, and for the most part I have not had any problem with allowing comments even from anonymous users. There has been a small amount of spam, mostly from those selling things that may or may not be legal, but nothing too overwhelming, so I have allowed anonymous users to keep on posting comments.

Unfortunately, though, I have noticed an increasing number of comments from anonymous users who I would like to engage in conversation, but who do not identify themselves. It seems that if you have a very specific point to make about my blog post, especially one that is based on a misperception or incorrect assumptions, you should identify yourself instead of lobbing unsubstantiated charges and statements from behind a wall of anonymity. After all, I sign my posts with my name, so why shouldn't those who comment have to do so as well?

So, to encourage people to sign their names, or at least their user handles, when they comment on my posts, I've now changed the settings to allow comments only from registered users. Okay, you're right: "encourage" is not the right word here. What I am doing is now "requiring" people to sign their names--and making this change has raised a lot of questions in my mind about what a blog's comment policy should be.

My question for more experienced bloggers: how do you handle comments on your blog? Do you moderate each comment? Do you allow free and open commenting? Or do you choose a middle ground, and, if so, how have you chosen that midpoint?

In this age of free-flowing information, when people anywhere in the world can post anything they want, including leaked classified information as was recently done by
WikiLeaks, the comment policy of my little blog may seem a minor issue. But, of course, it's important to me, so I'm curious about how other bloggers handle this. Please add your advice below! And, yes, you have to be a registered user now to do so...sorry about that, but see above for my reasoning.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Announcing a New Partnership

I am thrilled to announce that I recently signed an agreement with literary agent Loretta Barrett to represent me as I pursue publication of my forthcoming book on spirituality and the science of complex systems. Loretta represents a long list of accomplished authors in both the fiction and non-fiction areas and I am honored and excited to be included in such an esteemed group.

Loretta is the former Editor-in-Chief of Anchor Books and was Vice President and Executive Editor at Doubleday & Company before starting her literary agency twenty years ago. She has extensive contacts in the publishing world and her experience and long list of accomplishments were more than enough to persuade me that she was the right agent for me.

I couldn't be happier with our new partnership and I look forward to announcing more exciting news as we move forward with our efforts to seek a publisher for this book.