Tuesday, 16 November 2010

An Open Or Shut Case?

Since day one of this blog, the privilege to post comments has been open to anyone, including Anonymous commenters. I guess in the early days, there was a desire to know whether anyone out there was actually reading my posts, and there was no reason to discourage anyone from commenting.

With an average of around 300 hits a day, that concern is no longer, and I need to decide whether leaving the door open for anyone to post comments is the right decision. Overwhelmingly it seems that Anonymous comments are negative in tone, not always, and on rare occasion they do add value to a debate, but in general they do not contribute anything positive. As you can see from the list of quotes below, it’s generally accepted that allowing negative comments detracts from a blog, and perhaps it is time that I stop allowing them.

One of the problems with Anonymous comments is that it can be hard to distinguish between them. There are well-meaning and decent Anonymice out there, but one individual in particular (same IP address anyway) keeps returning to this blog, (which is curious since he claims to think I’m clueless in regard to betting – “Time after time you show you don't understand some fairly basic points of gambling”), yet never has anything good to say. It’s one thing to insult me, but it’s another to insult other readers, who, although I have never met them in person, come across as decent, well-intentioned and basically friendly individuals.

That Anonymous has issues with the success of others is obvious from his incessantly negative tone. Contrast a successful, well-balanced individual who does not need to hide behind anonymity and make snide remarks. He is confident, pleasant, and not in the least jealous of the success of others – or if he is, he keeps it to himself and uses it as motivation to improve as a trader / bettor.

As you can see from the list below, it’s generally accepted that allowing negative comments detracts from a blog. Here are a few comments from other bloggers who have had similar problems.

Individuals who provide relevant and helpful comments don't disguise who they are.
Anonymous commenters don't have the integrity to be held accountable for their behavior or their questionable facts. People who form opinions based on research or direct experience with an issue don't need to hide who they are.
Blogs that allow anonymous bullies drive away participation by reasonable people. This hurts the blog's credibility. Blogs that refuse anonymous comments are more credible, because they have set a standard that commenters must be willing to stand behind what they say.
I used to read it regularly when it first launched last Spring. I occasionally posted a comment. But as the tone of the discussion went downhill, I stopped participating. Soon, I stopped reading.
If you want the discussion on your blog to be interesting and civil, the solution is simple. Don't Allow Anonymous Comments.
And this lengthier post on the subject:
I've yet to find a reason for why so many blog writers keep allowing comments without even requiring a name/handle. It is just as good as, or better than an open invitation to spam your website. Maybe it's the default setting on your blog software that allows anonymous comments. Maybe you are new to blogging and feel that commenting should be encouraged in every way possible and that anonymous comments might encourage more people to freely express their opinions. All I can say to that is I've found that respectable bloggers and commenters do not try to hide or run away after leaving behind their opinions. People who post credible information do not hide behind a nonsense handle or an invalid e-mail ID. It's those who leave behind a trail of crap who're too scared to let their identities come out in the open. And don't fall for that "Freedom of Speech" nonsense. Freedom of Speech does not include pissing on private property, anonymously or not. Since anybody with a half-decent internet connection has the freedom create their own blogs (hint: http://www.blogger.com/start :roll: ) and even remain completely anonymous in the process, the "freedom" point is moot and doesn't hold water in this context. Point is, there are plenty of legitimate opportunities to express one's opinions, no matter how idiotic they might be. Anonymous hate-mongering on other blogs' commenting areas is not one of them.

I, for one, do not allow anonymous comments on my blog. My definition of anonymous commenters in this context is
1. People who leave behind no e-mail ID and/or website URL and
2. In my judgment, are merely trying to bait me or my readers for their pleasure.

If I find such comments, my first instinct is to delete. I don't care if people cry "censorship". The point is: submitting feedback on any website is a privilege, not a right. And I have every right to clean out what I consider spam on my website. If these cowardly anonymous hypocrites don't like it, that's no skin off my nose.
The bottom line is that anonymous insults not only hurt the author, but the other regular readers of a blog as well. They are an unproductive waste of space, add nothing to your blog and you are better off without them. So what if a few well-intentioned, but misguided idealists criticize you for that decision in the name of "censorship" or "Free Speech" and expect you to tolerate insults in order to uphold their principles? :Twisted.
Hard to argue with the above, but if anyone has any good reason why I should continue to allow Anonymous comments, let me know. I’ve added a poll through the end of November, and I’ll leave it as is until then.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, though there’s not much football this week, other than Scotland winning their local derby, there is plenty of NBA action to look at. The SBP had another loss with Dallas Mavericks needing to win by 3 ½ ending up winning by three. Dirk Nowitzki missed the second of two free-throws at the end to cost his clients a win, and the New Orleans Hornets became the last team to lose a game this season.

Incidentally, if there is a tipping service out there that deserves to be treated with contempt, it is this one. It’s a complete scam. A system that can lose 67% of games and yet claim a 100% success rate – now that’s marketing!

As I have written before, if a system doesn’t make profits to level stakes, no staking plan in the world is going to help you. Staking plans can improve profitable systems, but until the laws of mathematics are re-written, no staking plan can make a losing plan profitable.


geoff said...


I too have read the the farcical comments from the anon poster and thought the same as you- if it annoys him so much then why bother reading?

My blog allows comments but only after I have approved them first (not sure if yours has this facility?) and thats a good way of dealing with this poster- he will soon disapear off into cyberspace and be a pain somewhere else. he may even get a life.

Keep up the great work but ideally leave comments as they add to the feel of the blog in my opinion. top blog.

Lay Away said...

I would stop them from posting mate, so called Keyboard Warriors as Stan Colymore likes to call them, cowards in every sense and they are just looking for an argument, sad individuals who probably are not even involved in betting in any way or are 50p punters.

They add nothing to the blog so will not be missed, best let them go and annoy another blogger.



Ben @ Sports Trading Life said...

They do add some comedy element from time to time so just screening and approving which comments you like might be the best way forward?

mouldhouse said...

Let them speak, they provide a good laugh if nothing else. If you can't be bothered to put a name/handle to a comment, don't be surprised when people poke fun at your opinions or don't grace you with a response.

A lot of the blog post just highlights the bitterness that people have towards winning punters, since they are so few and far between. Often ones that do win think they know everything and have giant egos, which, if they don't learn to control them, will eventually destroy them as gamblers (and maybe as human beings as well).

Anonymous said...

Why have a poll? Stop being a drama queen. Stomp some authority, it's your bloody blog.

Anonymous said...

A few direct questions asked of Football Elite and suddenly this?

It's a shame. As I have said before, it's a good blog and it's very well written.

However, because it's well written, people take Cassini's comments, angles and approach to betting as being correct when that is often, not always, far from the case.

Any attempt to educate him and his readers appears to be frowned upon which is a shame. And you only have to look at the comments which then follow from readers to see they take the side of the ill informed without questioning it.

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Anonymous said...

hmmm im not sure i agree that anyone who posts without having set up a username or handle is hiding behind anonymity. a lot of people are casual blog readers and don't feel the need to set up an account. i was the same before i set up my blog.

regardless, the guy who keeps thoughtlessly commenting and insulting the blogger needs to get a grip, and while i dont think the author is always correct, his opinions at least are thought through and intelligent.

SimonM said...

I don't think it should be limited to anonymous comments. Despite leaving a few comments myself in the past I would back a ban on comments on any blog.

Anyone ever read the Guardian's Comment Is Free? Even on their sports blogs (let alone the politics section) when the comments start, the bile begins.

Cassini provides an email address in his profile -- if anyone wants to contact him they can.

Presumably if the comment is worthwhile then Cassini will include it in his next post.

Everyone's a winner.

SimonM said...

I forgot to mention, I'm also scared of the dark and my mummy still wipes my bottom.

SimonM said...

Not scared -- just bored.