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It's extremely rare to get an email in response to a blog post, aside from the times I've specifically asked for something in email.

seriously, I may sound like a dinosaur but don't people email you? One actual email is worth a million random comments because it's directed to you personally, it's not a "hey lookit me!" tacked to the bottom of your page.

I'll have to give Piwik and Mastodon a try. Thanks.

I miss how it used to be possible to go to Technorati and see blogs that responded to something you posted. When that was around and commenters were more frequent, blogging was like a distributed, independent social network with a great signal-to-noise ratio.

But it's not all gloom and doom. Manton Reece and Brent Simmons are shaking the dust off the blogosphere with and JSON Feed.

Maybe bloggers can take back some territory from Facebook and Twitter.

Yuck on the spam. As a Blogger refugee, I think I've got everything together to move to Wordpress, but I just can't give a damn anymore. I have my in-exile blog that I throw a rant up every know and then. And then there's Facebook. There's also a mailing list that I rant in.

Where do you get the feedback that lets you know you're not just talking to yourself?

A good question! :-D

Partly the answer is that I wasn't getting a lot of that kind of feedback much through comments lately anyway, so dropping them wasn't too painful. Comments today (on my blog, anyway) were much lower quality than they were 10 years ago. Much less interesting engagement of the kind you describe, much more spam and drive-by "saw this post on Reddit, you suck lol" junk. This kind of broke my heart, since one of the joys of the early blogosphere was the connections you made with people around the world through comments, but I sighed and filed it as one more item in the This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things folder.

The other part of the answer is that I can cobble together a sense of how my stuff is engaging people by collating data from other sources -- site analytics (I use Piwik, which lets you get good Google Analytics-style data while still respecting your users' privacy), Facebook and Twitter searches, discussion threads in places like Hacker News and Reddit, etc. It's not great, but it's better than nothing.

One thing I've been following with interest lately is Mastodon, the new-ish open source social network. I've been using it to engage with readers on an ad-hoc basis on a few posts, and it's worked surprisingly well. Mastodon is built on top of a bunch of standards that came out of the blog world -- things like Atom, PubSubHubBub, and Salmon -- which has had me wondering if there are ways it could be integrated with blog software and CMSes to provide a discussion system with all the engagement pluses of social media but without everything being locked up in a separate silo owned by somebody else. No epiphanies yet, but so far it's a fun line of inquiry.

A while back I turned off comments to posts older than a week, which was like turning them off completely since I posted so infrequently.

I turned them back on because I missed the occasional times when a web searcher found an old post and said something interesting. I got some of the best comments when somebody saw Hernan and Candelaria Zapp, the couple driving across the world in their 1928 Graham Paige Model 610. I had seen their car puttering through my town in 2011.

I can understand why blogs are dropping comments, as you and Manton Reese have done, but it makes me curious about one thing: Where do you get the feedback that lets you know you're not just talking to yourself?

On my blog, I just gave up on comments altogether (post with rationale for why here). Unlike 15 years ago, people these days have lots of places they can go if they want to gripe about the things I write. The utility of keeping up yet another one seemed pretty marginal, especially given the ever-increasing percentage of comments that were just blatant spam.

It's been just under two years since I turned comments off and I can't say I've ever had a reason to regret the decision.

Your book is pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I wonder if anyone knows that the last name used by Robert Drudge is not the last name he was born with. He was adopted by his stepfather whos last name was Drudge.

Thanks. It looks a little weird in Feedly (my current reader) with a headline made out of the first several words.

Your RSS feed is still working!


That was a beautiful testimony to a man made great by being a father. To celebrate his life and his mannerisms with wit and wisdom is a blessing on the crowd mourning the loss of a dear friend. You did an excellent job. Your father, no doubt is looking down on you and smiling.



Allow me to offer my condolences. Your dad sounds like he was a great guy to hang out with and it's obvious he'll be missed.


In my credit report appears that I owe to Mindland funding and that my account is in collection. I contacted them and they told me that they have a judgment against me from 2012. The total amount now is close to 9000 dollars. I asked them about the original creditor and they told me they dont have to give me any information because they have a judgment and if I want some information to contact my local court. The only account that I have in the past 2004-2005 was with City Bank but we settled the account and I paid in full. I even paid taxes in the portion that was settled. At this point I dont know what to do. Any one please help!

Why wasn't Demi added in the Brat Pack list of membership? That is where she was initially noticed, actually. At least by my baby-boomer status. I'd never noticed her (or heard of her) before Less Than Zero.

Any one no if there is any book or literature on shron eyeglasses 40s to 80 vintage shron eyeglasses I been buying aluminum one there great i just started wearing glasses I could still read a map in 2013 I have a pair of modern glasses they suck the first pair of shron I bought where form 1947 exsecutive cut thy are so close to my perspiration the doc said that they will work actually better if u ask me any one no where I can get executive cut lens

Midland Credit LLC contacts me occasionally about a debt I had settled with the original credit card company about 12 years ago. I had lost my job and fell behind so once I got another job I couldn't catch everything up. The credit card company offered me a settlement for half of what they said I owed, after about a year and a half of late fees and extremely high interest charges. So when they offered me the settlement it was right around what I owed in the first place. I jumped at it because they allowed me to make payments on it. Now Midland is trying to collect the other amount that was written off which I even paid taxes on.They waited a few years (probably hoping I have forgotten that I settled it) to contact me. So yeah I think second hand debt collectors are scumbags. I paid my debts and they are trying to collect money that was written off by the original credit card company.

Sounds like more of a description of Hillary Clinton. Sarah Palin is a nice lady, she is strong but not aggressive. Do these Liberals have any idea what a warmonger Hillary Clinton is. I thought they were anti war, but it looks like their Liberal domestic agenda, is more important than Syrian, Russian, Libyan, Iraqi, Iranian, Lebanese lives. Yeah we know, abortion 'rights' are their main certain.

Funny how you're reading an article, then some informative comments. Then all the posts are computer generated ID thieves that don't even realize we aren't trying to get a loan. Hilarious.

Anyway, to the debt collectors posting in 2011. It's been 5 years since that 22 year old snot nosed debt collector posted. My guess, is he now receives debt collection calls. Karma. Enjoy sweet cakes.

My story: Someone used my identity not only for credit but also when committing a crime. They spent a year in jail. So now my credit is messed up with charges I don't owe and I can't get a job because I don't pass a background check.

This woman in the story is lucky as she was able to obtain a lawyer. I'm broke and can't afford a lawyer.

In addition to the Identity theft, I get calls all the time for Stephanie Foust and Kylie Foust. FRAUD. These people rack up credit and use my address and phone numbers. I actually googled Riley. He got arrested in Big Bear for selling Meth. Great. Never met this jerk yet I'm constantly harassed. I inform the creditors that they have the wrong number they don't believe me. I change the number yet they somehow get the new number.

Hello Roger!

You should activate moderation or spam check on your blog cause it seems that spammers are getting through.

Best regards,
a reader.

Please tell me no one falls for these FAKE loans? first of all none of these people are Americans. Uhh we know you can here the accent just in the grammar. Yahoo and gmail accounts seriously?
These people are trying to collect information to steal identities. The one mentioning internet scams was especially creative...LOL

I won't tell you how we give our names and locations however that is also obvious.

There was a lot of good information in this thread. It is appreciated. One of my relatives with a learning disability ( a form of Tourettes) got ripped off by Midland funding. Not only was he garnished, the debt was still showing as owed and a lien was still on his house 6 years later. The bank has totally taken advantage of his fear and ignorance about financial matters. He pays exorbitant interest on everything due to poor credit he didn't really create until these junk collectors garnished him so he could no longer pay his mortgage!!! . It wasn't even his debt. It was his mothers who got extremely ill, lost everything including her home. It went to the state when she could no longer afford the medical bills. He went through a period where he wasn't talking to anyone in the family. I wouldn't have allowed this. I'm still cleaning things up & learning. The fact that these things can affect your FICO score is sick and wrong. Through this process I've learned that these credit services are consumer education scores. It is a "trade secret" with how the Actual FICO scores are calculated. Collections knock several points off. I hope they make it illegal for them to report these. Especially the ones that don't report 20 years of good faith payments like utilities, medical and cell phones. You don't have your score increased by paying on time for years on end but the second someone hits a rough patch they are sold to the junk debt collectors.

He wasn't responsible for it. He had 3 separate judgements and almost lost his home due to garnishments. He gets really agitated and doesn't really understand cause and effect. He took ownership of the debts over the phone. Her name wasn't even the same. The tactics used were out right unethical. He is very principled and thought he must have owed the money or why would they be able to come after him? I appreciate this information. He doesn't owe anything else but it is difficult to get refinanced with the negatives on his credit report. Some have been quite helpful while others could care less.

Contract law 101:
In order for a valid contract to exist two things must be in place.
First and foremost you must have two HUMAN BEINGS in agreement.
Since junk debt buyers don't have this they have to resort to grey area legalities to obtain an unlawful judgements to extort money they did not earn. Second equal consideration (exchange of value).
Whatever they paid for your file will be pennies on the dollar.
The $5000 they might want from you probably cost them maybe $300-500.
Does this sound like equality to you?

Your original creditor whom may have your wet signature on a valid contract is the ONLY entity that you are lawfully obligated to pay.
If they decide to write it off then that's on them.
It's only out of pure ignorance that these junk debt buyers are still in business. Ignorance on our part, get educated on the real law.
I paid Doan Law firm $2500 for a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Then I learned they weren't telling me the whole story.
I did not need them...
I never filed...

And to you junk buying creditors who believe you are entitled.
Get a real job and stop extorting money from humans!
Vultures the lot of you, don't you know our money is created by our signature?
The banks do not loan their money, it's created by us!

I do not condone irresponsible financial behavior however no matter what you do not follow the law as well as FDCPA codes. This is why JBC's are losing millions in courts! Karma is a bitch isn't it? The actual contract holders are the ONLY lawful creditor to have a say in how we must repay our debts.

Every day judges around the country are becoming wise to JBC's tactics.
They are not trained to discern between JBC's and real creditors.
It's up to us to get educated and in doing so also allows us to educate court personnel.

Just remember real creditor= real debt

Secondary or Junk debt buying creditor = extortion

999 times out of 1000 they do not follow the law because frankly they cannot.

Recently I made a supervisor from Midland Credit admit on the phone they had no claim or way to collect said debt.
This was after I let her know she as well was being recorded.

Don't be a sheep, be a lion... What happens when you corner a lion?
They bite!
Good luck fellow humans!

SoftLayer is still ripping you off. Try Digital Ocean. $20 / month buys a good server these days.

I got a call from a collection agency trying to collect for a $3000 debt on a Citibank card. I have never owned a Citibank card or a card from any of their affiliated companies. There are debt scammers out there that will file A wrongful suit against you to get money. I watch my credit report like a Hawk. A lot of people assumed she owed the debt but too many of these debt collectors and debt buyers prey on the misfortunes of others. They will go as far as lying about serving you notice of a suit to win a default judgement in court. What a lot of people don't know is that you can vacate that judgement and sue for damages.