A GTP housekeeping reader poll

As much as I prefer the freewheeling nature of the comments section here at the blog, I have to admit that I’m getting tired of being GTP‘s cop on the beat.  I find that I spend way more time than I’d like going through comments to make sure I’m not being played by posters employing sockpuppets to reinforce their point of view.  (I’m also getting tired of a couple of very clever spammers who’ve figured out how to get around WP’s antispam stuff.)  Judging from the steady flow of e-mails I receive, there are quite a few of you who are also unhappy about the sockpuppetry.

A lot of you make very clever use of monikers and I’d hate to lose that, but I’m not sure I’m willing to pay the price for that any longer.  WordPress gives me some options:  I can require that commenters have to register first before they can comment and I can also set things up so that no comments can appear without either my prior approval of the poster or ongoing approval of each comment.  (The last seems like even more trouble than what I’m already doing, to be honest.)

Anyway, I haven’t decided what to do yet, and in any event, I wanted input from you guys before I did something.  So I’ve embedded a poll to get your opinion on my options.  Please give me as much feedback on it and in the comments as you can.

It’s worth saying at this point that I appreciate all my readers and commenters.  You make GTP what it is.  And thanks for your help with this.


Filed under GTP Stuff

98 responses to “A GTP housekeeping reader poll

  1. Spike

    Senator, it is your world. We are just passing through it. Do what you think is best. We will adapt, improvise and overcome.

  2. Lrgk9

    You lead, we’ll follow…

  3. frowertr

    Go with the username registration, Senator. You are not going to want to police every single comment made. Seems like that would be MORE work, not less.

  4. godawg

    Senator, I love your blog but don’t comment often. However I would not mind registering to do so. Death to trolls!

  5. Sanford222view

    I voted for registration as well. Don’t hassle yourself with having to approve each comment.

    Sad to see it haw come to this.

  6. charlottedawg

    I voted commenter registration but do what you think is best Senator. I’m sure every regular wants to keep the comments section as “troll-less” as possible. The intelligent and witty banter is part of what makes this the best Georgia blog hands down.

  7. Puffdawg

    Despite being one of the people concerned with sock puppetry, I voted status quo. Whilethe quality of comments has noticably declined and the trolls have noticably increased over the last two years, and even more so over the last couple of months (I actually nearly made a comment yesterday congratulating SB on being the new AJC), it’s still one of the most informed and witty comment bases out there. For every idiot Skeptic Dog on this blog you have three Macallanlovers. Leave it alone. Very frustrating when I try to chime in on other prominent UGA blogs and I have to log in. Don’t worry about tracking comments. I don’t think you should worry as your loyal readers and commenters usually can see right through the dipshits.


    • Mayor of Dawgtown


    • I’m going to have to agree with Puffdawg. The fact that regular commenters can contribute under witty names when appropriate is something I’d hate to see left behind. Besides, I always enjoy reading your smackdowns of trolls.

      • Junkyard Dawg '00

        Secondeded or is it Fourthededed ????!!!! No blood has been spilled yet, I wouldn’t change the beauty of this blog, Senator.

  8. wnc dawg

    I went with “Commenter registration.” I’d only ask it not be routed through facebook or some other social media site. I don’t use those, and would prefer to not have to start (but I would). Plus, you’d break my families heart if I finally got on facebook just so I could comment on GTP once a week after they’ve been hounding me to join without success for years!

  9. simpl_matter

    I don’t read your blog for the comments, though there are some entertaining & informed regular commentators. The good ones will stick around through any registration requirement.

  10. Rebar

    I don’t comment that often but I read this blog everyday and have asked friends to take a look at it too. Whatever you think is best will work, and thanks for all the work that you do!

  11. DawgPhan

    I say less regulation is better..get the senator out of my posting life..

    If it is becoming too much work, do what you have to do. I dont mind or notice the extra handles or whatever so I guess I dont pay that much attention.

  12. Hogbody Spradlin

    Terminology question: Is a poster employing a sockpuppet someone who makes it look like you posting?

    • DawgPhan

      I think that it would be when someone posts under several different names in order to repeat a point…the typical ones are Thomas Brown, Will Trane, and a handful of others that are just copy and paste bullet points for the most part that cover every negative nellie talking point about UGA football.

      • DawgFaithful

        Yes, I’ve run into this Thomas Brown at other blogs as well. He is a definite Troll. I read daily but almost never comment unless it’s a “I blame Bobo” piece. Sometime I just feel like ripping into one of these idiots. I wouldn’t mind having to register first at all. Do what you have to do Senator.

    • mp

      No, it’s somebody who posts a comment reinforcing their original comment, but using a different name.

    • Scott W.

      Someone with a lot of time on their hands, weak idea and a need for validation from strangers or the appearance of such.

  13. Bubs

    I enjoy the comments section most of the time. I guess I don’t read them enough to be bothered by “sockpuppetry” and whatnot. The biggest problem is spamming. Trolls we can handle, as they are usually pretty easy to spot, but spam is another beast altogether.

    That said, I would register if it came to that. If it allows you to focus more on writing the blog than policing it, Senator, then please do what makes things easier for you. This is one of the 3 blogs I visit every morning and I enjoy its content every visit.

    • Junkyard Dawg '00

      although I’d say that I read the comments with enthusiasm- as much as the articles themselves. The comments on this blog are the best around and even the dissenters and sockpuppets add some spice to it.

  14. tess

    You may end up needing to approve commenters even with registration, since nothing stops people from registering multiple handles with multiple email addresses. Annoying people are not so easily deterred.

    However, I agree with the others that it should be whatever you find easiest to employ, since it’s your blog. I come here first for college football news and analysis, and it’s the closest thing to my old morning routine with the sports section. (/fogey) So I’m for whatever will make you happier with the blog.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      Uhhhh I thought we already were logging our email address? Yep, I can see it below….I don’t understand…are some registered and some not?

      I think you ought to be able to know a poster is “Legit” (although I am not sure exactly what “legit” means in this context.)

      • AthensHomerDawg

        There are so many consigliores that post here… someone will be along directly to explain.

    • You may end up needing to approve commenters even with registration, since nothing stops people from registering multiple handles with multiple email addresses. Annoying people are not so easily deterred.

      That’s true, but at least I’m shifting some of the irritation towards people who deserve it.😉

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Hey look…it is, after all, your arena…whatever you want to do to make life rosier for the guy who lines the field appears to be fine with most of us.

  15. HottCheese

    I rarely comment, but I read this blog almost every day. Having to register would guarantee that I would never comment. I propose that the Senator call out people when they try to game the system and let cojones or dog in fla eviscerate them with the power of written word. Please keep it the same. Having to register would make the site feel too commercial, destroying the organic/grassroots nature of the blog. But whatever, I’ll still show up ever morning.

  16. Gravidy

    Senator, I voted for status quo just because that is my selfish preference, and the sock puppets don’t bother me. I’ve read this blog enough to know whose comments are worth reading and whose aren’t.

    Having said that, I don’t want this blog to become more of a burden on you than it already is. You decide what is best for you and your blog. I’ll gladly register if necessary.

  17. Nate Dawg

    Seems to me a Senator in good standing could hire a cute blonde intern to keep an eye out on the comments section, no? I mean isn’t that what they do in Washington, wink, wink…
    Nah just jokin’ around. Seems to me a registration would be a good filter and the “regulars” wouldn’t mind, I don’t think…But I’m with some of the others, I’d rather it not be through any of the social media sites. But whatever you need to do to make life easier Senator, really enjoy your blog and most of your tastes in music – Pearl Jam rocks! Go Dawgs!

    • Normaltown Mike

      “hire a cute little blonde”

      UT tried that a couple years back and the football program still hasn’t recovered…

    • John Edwards

      Hiring a cute blonde can sometimes have negative results. I recommend that you don’t do it. ( This is the exact type of so-called humorous comment that would also get banned–Doctrine of Unintended Consequences.)

      • Steve Phillips

        I concur. Although mine wasn’t blonde. Or very cute.

        • David St. Hubbins

          “The bigger the waisteband, the deeper the quicksand

          Yeah, that’s what I said!”

          (funny name also a victim of unintended consequences)

  18. Red Blackman

    Whatever works best for the Senator………….

  19. Ben

    One of the best blogs I read doesn’t allow comments because the author “wants to own every pixel on the screen”, and his commenting community lives in the Twitterverse.

    Comment sections are often places where the worst part of our human nature come out, and I don’t typically miss them.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      There is some truth in what you post. Fans are a lot more vociferous from behind the keyboard. The good senator does his homework and the blog is part of my routine and I enjoy the comments as well. Lot of pretty savvy fans post here.

  20. DA man

    I rarely post but I even more rarely start my day without reading your blog. Whatever the Senator wants is just fine with me.

  21. The problem is universal, esteemed Senator. Registration will help but not eliminate the disruptions.

    • I take it you guys require registration. How much would you say it helps?

      • It helps a lot. Big change from when I allowed anon. comments. Now, like you
        they can sign-in with a social media account, however.
        I still have some spam getting through. Spammers have now started signing up and carefully phrasing their comments but they always include the tell-tale link.
        I’ll be happy to discuss it with you via email if you wish.

  22. Comin' Down The Track

    I like the idea of you pre-approving commenters, but I understand that would be a hassle for you. I wish people would just behave themselves. Alas, in the age of anonymity combined with everyone’s ̶a̶s̶s̶h̶o̶l̶e̶s̶ opinions out there for all to see, that cannot be. Discretion used to be the better part of valor. Used to be. I digress.

    ‘Tis noble of you to ask for our input, but in the end, Senator, you do what is easiest for you, tell us what that is and we’ll do that.

    We just cain’t quit you.

  23. Skeptic Dawg

    I am guilty of such sockpuppetery, and was caught red handed. I do read your blog every day and appreciate your work. Thanks for the tireless efforts. Do as you see fit.

  24. Bullllllllllldawg (not really him, illustrative of a point)

    Everything is fine Senator!

    PS: Washaun Ealey was the greatest RB to ever tote the rock in Athens.

  25. Jrod1229

    I think one of the reasons GSB took such a nose dive (outside of the obvious never posting) was making comments approved by PWD, or etc.. after that good conversation just didn’t happen.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      My fear exactly. We have a synergy on this blog. There may be differences of opinion but for the most part they are honest disagreements. Are there some bad apples? Yes, there are a few but be careful that you do not destroy what is good in an effort to eliminate what is bad.

  26. revdawg

    Same song, verse 27 for me. I read daily (enjoy the witty comments from the Senator on the articles he’s linking). Post rarely. Totally your call, but registering seems the easiest for you.

  27. hassan

    One of the things I like about this blog is that it isn’t overly trolled by flamers. I appreciate the open and relevant discussion in the threads. It seems like most people in this forum have some degree of sense and can can discuss UGA football without overly thick red and black glasses. If registration will protect that, then let’s have at it. The only ask is that freedom to express one’s opinion remains intact (with the caveat that advertisements, completely off topic comments, overly offensive comments, and blatant flamers can be filtered).

    • I have no interest in regulating the speech of others, and, honestly, I’ve never perceived that to be a problem. Behavior, on the other hand…

      • hassan

        I never thought that you would…just stating the obvious. Some blogs however (not this one) will only allow though opinions they agree with. But I agree, make everyone register and cut down on the pseudonym re-postings.

  28. WarD Eagle





  29. What fresh hell is this?

    Love this blog. The only one I read daily, but having to go through FB or some other social media site would be the end for me.

  30. WFdawg

    I’ll be here no matter what you choose. Your good judgment is the reason we keep reading, Senator. I have full faith you’ll apply it to this situation.

  31. AusDawg85

    If there is an option that reduces your administrative burden, then obviously you must choose this to maintain your focus on creating a quality product. I had regrets about yesterday’s call-out of Skeptic Dawg after hitting the “post comment” button. Not because I did not mean what I said, but because I realized it was simply not my place to do your policing. But in reality, I think that’s what makes this one of the better blogs for commentators in Bulldawg Nation…the community policing by regular posters.

    Tough call Senator…some of the temporary monikers folks employ for a humorous response can be priceless (although many fail at times like my own), but with every freedom comes abuse. How you choose to control that is your business.

    Plus, you need training for when they come calling to have you run the Mumme Poll for the playoffs! 😉

    P.S. We should really blame Bobo for this, no?

    • charlottedawg

      Uh, yeah we should blame Bobo, if He, Richt, Murray, whoever the hell I’m forgetting didn’t suck so royally at every aspect of their job we wouldn’t need trolls to reminds us how delusionally optimisitic we are.

    • This was what was great about EDSBS before it blew up a few years ago and became almost unbearable to read the comments. Self-policing communities make things easier on the site administrators and it also gives us a sense of ownership (which is what makes this blog great, IMO). I voted for registering – but I don’t think it should go any further than that since we tend to do a pretty good job of self-policing.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      If you’re having regrets….don’t.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        Well, he had a few, as I recall from the lyric…:)

        • Cosmic Dawg

          Although apparently they were too few to mention. So I shouldn’t have.

          • shane#1

            Yeah. if I had hung out with Vegas showgirls and Dean Martin and drank all the whiskey and married umpteen beautiful women I would have regrets too. But,at my age the memory starts to slip. What were we talking about? BTW, my fave from Old Blue Eyes, “Set’em up Joe”.

  32. BMan

    Senator, do what you see fit. Your posts are the primary reason I come, but the commenters are as good as any blog I have ever read. What I would hate is for your comment section to become like Every Day Should Be Saturday. Registration didn’t seem to stop that, and the comments section at EDSBS is like listening to Jim Rome’s callers (shudder). Either way, I’ll keep coming to your site daily, and if not a total pain in the ass, posting once in a blue moon.

  33. BH


    It seems one of your bloggers is posting the same pro regulation commnt under dozens of different handles. They don’t fool us. I’m not sure why you don’t trust your group here to police themselves? You might have control issues. And a few posters challenging some of your ideas, tha’s the different between a blog and a monolgue. I would think if you fear challenge, why have a blog? The more I am regulated, the more determined I become to express my freedom. I usually ramp my efforts up by a factor of 10 when that happens. But that’s just me. Thanks for asking for feedback. I voted to keep the forum open from regulation and excessive control.

    • Dude, one more time: it isn’t about ideas. People are free to express themselves here any damned way they like. People are free to disagree strongly with the management here – and maybe you haven’t noticed, but many do.

      What I’m trying to get a handle on are people voicing the same opinion under different handles to make it seem that their positions are more popular than they are. That’s behavior, not speech. If you care about freedom, you should recognize the difference.

      • Puffdawg

        I read this comment twice. Second time I played God Bless America in the background as I read, picturing Bluto wearing a tri pointed colonial hat with a tattered American flag draped over his shoulders.

        • Comin' Down The Track

          Oh, great. Thanks, Puff. Now I’m crying. At work.

          • Junkyard Dawg '00

            If tomorrow all my Dawgs were gone
            I barked with all my life
            and I had to start again
            with just GTP and my wife
            I’d thank my lucky stars
            to be commenting here today
            Cause this blog still stands for freedom
            and the sock puppets can’t take that awaaayyyy!!!

      • AusDawg85

        “…did we quit when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO!…”

      • Sock Puppet

        I agree completely with the comment above.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      No need to go “Posse Comitatus” on the Senator. He is pretty even handed and patient. What the attraction to this blog is pretty obvious to me. The three important things: college football, rock and roll and sports cars. There was a fourth that Bluto doesn’t cover but I am married with two sons at UGa so that item is no longer of interest.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I did make a passing reference to that fourth thing a day or 2 ago but….maybe that will be banned in the future……

      • Junkyard Dawg '00

        I willing to bet it is to your sons on Thursday nights at Washington St Tavern, or wherever they go to these days!

  34. Just Chuck

    Psychologist Diane Halpern once said “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it as a philosophy means you never make any progress.” Maybe registration is a god idea but there have been “attacks” on at least one of the Tech blogs for requiring registration because it it looks like an attempt to control speech and restrict negative comments. Approval of every comment? Heavens no! We don’t want the Senator getting burned out. This blog has got to continue.
    Sounds like I’m not taking a position here but I’m in favor of no changes for the time being. Guess I hadn’t noticed a problem but the number of comments would suggest this is an issue that ought to be revisited from time to time. Maybe the Senator’s post will serve as a warning that changes may be coming if we don’t watch it when we comment.

  35. Cojones

    Sic’em Senator! It can be part of your beer cure for cynicism we are proposing.

    This column goes well beyond anything I have read on the blogging internet. A signup is little we have to endure to make your blog more pleasurable to you and everyone. We have pushed the envelope several times trying to find the boundaries, but your openness built in to this blog perseveres to warn us where Word Press’s boundaries exist. There is a chain of responsibility that may end in the FCC’s lap someday and we are just as aware on here as we would be in a theater, that freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can yell “Fire!”.

    You have allowed the openness to create a unique opportunity to comment….and to have much fun along with seriousness. Kudos to you and Word Press for holding your fire and your indomitable patience with many of us. There really is an informed appreciation out here.

    I only regret that Lennie Bruce isn’t alive to see his beloved freedom of speech at it’s fruition. The sounds of words can’t hurt anyone. The promotion of bad ideas without weapons of words against them would be a disaster to us all.

    That said, smoke’em if you got’em.

    • I wanna Red Cup

      I voted for registration, then I got high
      I was gonna be a sockpuppett, but I was high
      Now I’m on the fence, and I know why
      cause I got high, cause I got high, cause I got high

      Senator: Do what you think best and what is easiest for you. We’ll follow along. Just keep up the good work and thanks for the excellent blog.

      • Cojones

        I replayed the entire recording after you entered those timely phrases. Fun song. Try it with a group that’s high, especially old farts. It’s hilarious to see an entire group look and sound like One Flew Over the (what bird was that?) Nest.

  36. shane#1

    I regret that I have become a sock puppet Cojones! Get yo’ hand out my ass!

    • Cojones

      That ain’t my hand. It’s my favorite sockpuppet. I wash it afterwards to get the shitty look off it’s face.