Time for an experiment. Thanks to the diligence of our commenters, the comment count on my post about Rodney Hide’s appalling lapse of judgement on the reality of climate change has rocketed up to over 500. The WordPress blog system isn’t really designed to deal with comment threads that long (though there improvements coming in the next update), and you can’t, as Roger Dewhurst has noted, post images or attachments in-line. I have therefore installed and configured a forum/bulletin board system (phpBB3, for the techies) here. It’s embryonic – I’d like suggestions for forum categories and so on – but the most important thing is to see if it attracts good comment and debate.
Here are the rules:
The Hot Topic forum is intended as a place where climate issues can be discussed freely and without heavy moderation. Using forum software allows many features not (yet) available in Hot Topic’s comment system (including posting pictures and file attachments). Users can create their own topics for discussion, post their own ideas, without waiting for the blog to have a relevant post.
The forum does not replace blog comments – it’s an extension, and a complement. As a rule of thumb, if your comment is directly related to the content of a blog post, post it at the blog, but if it’s off-topic take it to the forum and either join an existing topic, or create a new one.
As with the comment policy at the Hot Topic blog, robust debate is welcomed, but I require all users to be reasonably polite. Anything that might contravene laws of libel will be removed. My decision is final. Consider it a benign dictatorship…
Head on over and give it a try. All feedback gratefully received.