The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
The End of an Era: Comments Are Closed

After almost three years and well more than 40,000 published reader comments (and half a million spam comments that either we or our spam filter managed to identify and trash), Via Meadia is joining the ranks of non-comment blogs. We’re grateful to readers over those years who have shared their reactions to what they read here, and hope to develop new ways to interact with readers even as we continue to benefit from their thoughts and responses, but the traditional comments section no longer seems like the right way to go. To make the comments section work in its present form we would have to edit and curate much more aggressively than we do now and in our current judgment the effort needed to do that is better spent improving other features of the blog.

As of today, September 1, we are disabling comments on the site and no more will be posted. Readers can still contact us directly at Viameadia@the-american-interest.com (and we especially appreciate story suggestions, thoughtful reflections on themes addressed in our posts whether ‘pro’ or ‘con’, and messages pointing out errors of grammar or fact that we need to correct). We will be thinking about appropriate ways to integrate reader input into the site (in different ways both Instapundit and The Daily Dish do this very well) and eventually we may publish “letters to the editor” that we think are of general interest and that reflect a variety of voices and points of view.  For now we will be putting our effort into improving our content rather than curating reactions to it. We will continue to display comments that have already been posted at least for a while, but readers who want to keep a record of their comments would be advised to copy and archive their comments, or they may discover at some future date that past comments are no longer available on the site.

We apologize to the readers who participated in or valued the comments section on the blog, and especially to the well mannered and thoughtful contributors who never tried to hog the microphone, launch flame wars, smuggle hate speech into the comment page, rant about personal pet peeves repeatedly and predictably, let partisan or ideological animus run wild or otherwise abuse what at its best was a forum for reflection and thoughtful debate. To such belongs the Kingdom of Heaven, and your insights were appreciated, your praise cherished and your thoughtful censure was a cause for reflection. You know who you are, and this would be a much poorer world without you.

For the rest, we wish you well, and are confident that you will find many opportunities both in cyberspace and in the meat world for the kind of exchanges and conversations you seek. Thankfully this remains a free country where all of us can pursue happiness along whatever paths look promising; enjoy the pursuit and may we all find our heart’s deepest desire at the end of the road.

Published on September 1, 2012 9:00 am