Nobody wants to talk to me’ 12


This site gets ever more readers ‘ I am pretty chuffed about it. But it doesn’t attract dialogue or debate. We have attracted less than a dozen genuine comments in the six months we have been operating.

At first I put this down to the system which required you to sign in before commenting. So we removed this, and found we still didn’t get any comments. What we did get was an incredible amount of spam, adding links to sex sites from the comments slots. The result was a lot of frustrated people who had googled ‘lesbian hot tub’ and ended up here.

Clearing off this spam was a never-ending task, so we are returning to protecting the comments by a registration process. But I do hope people will start to interact on this site. I am getting lonely, and wondering if anyone except me actually cares about this stuff. I lecture all round the country and abroad, and always end up in interesting discussions. The content of this site isn’t uncontroversial. So why do I have to go to Harry’s Place or Registan if I want dialogue? Please, people, talk to me’

Craig


12 thoughts on “Nobody wants to talk to me’

  • Nagging Doubt

    Hi Craig.

    I've only been reading your blog for a few weeks, and I'm not sure I have anything productive to say at the moment – but I won't let that stop me. Your articles on the government's support for torture are what kept me reading – that and the lesbian hot tub pictures.

    It seems to me that the best blogs get the least comments, and the ones that get the most comments tend to get the least interesting comments. I think it's hard to comment when you largely agree with what has been written. Maybe it needs to be written in a cunning way that encourages people to comment, and that doesn't compromise what you have to say. Or just try requesting information/feedback from readers.

    Having just gone through the registration process, I can say that it is irritating. I had to give out my e-mail address (which I don't like doing), enable cookies and javascript in my browser (a security risk), and think up a password that I can remember (and that I don't mind being compromised). Blogger uses a cunning system to prevent spam and allow comments without registration (for more info see http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=1203… ). Maybe you could implement something similar? And judging by the preview of this comment, it doesn't format text into paragraphs. Maybe you should try using Blogger or something like it?

    I care about "this stuff" and so do plenty of other people. So please don't stop writing your blog — and if it gets to be too much, concentrate on quality not quantity.

  • perlmonger

    Having (finally) gone through the hoops of getting a TypeKey ID, I suppose I should at least say something…

    I've been reading you since the last general election campaign; I've not commented because I have very little I could say that wouldn't be yet another expression of despair about the inexorable dismantling of our democracy (and cynical covert support of tyranny elsewhere) by the corruption that is New Labour.

    Please keep up the good work, even if it too often does dangerous things to my blood pressure.

  • Craig

    I just did the signing in bit to reply to you, and it was a pain in the neck. But I am very grateful for the responses to my call for comments. It does make it all feel worthwhile. It is good if the reaction is horrified agreement that leaves little to say.

    Interesting fact – my cri de coeur about the lack of comment, has attracted more links and people to the website, than any of the recent increasingly heavyweight postings. So I will try and do more "chatty" stuff in future.

  • sybariter

    OK, I signed up – it wasn't too hard. I'm afraid the lack of comments is pretty common in blogs, and reflects the more general fact that only a small minority of any group (including rats :-)) are very active. The majority tend to leave things to small minority of more active people (generally about 5%). Also many who come to read you will tend to agree with you.

    Your record shows that you have a lot of guts and integrity (and I don't care whether or not you drank,flirted, etc. :-)) If only more people in gov and civil service – and the media did. Keep up the good work.

  • Pete Jordan

    Hey! A genuine comment or, at any rate, a question:

    Thinking on your experiences as an ex-ambassador and those of Joseph Wilson, is this sort of disjunction between countries' governments/administrations and certain of their ambassadors a sign of our times or has it always been an occasional issue? Do ambassadors and other diplomats depart to spend more time with their families more often than I have been aware?

  • Craig

    No, Pete, I think it is pretty unusual. Elizabeth Wilmshurst, the FCO's number 2 legal adviser, and Carne Ross, First Secretary at the UK Mission to the UN, dealing specifically with Iraq, also left on principle over the Iraq war, but the vast majority of British diplomats grin and take their pay. The US has more of a tradition of "political" diplomats.

    Incidentally, I always did have a liking for a whisky and a fondness for the company of the opposite sex. I still do. But it never affected my work, and it was never a problem until I started questioning US support for Karimov and our use of intelligence obtained under torture.

  • kipling

    Hi,

    Like the blog, and added it to my bloglines a coupla weeks ago. I was very interested in the news about the Commons Committee discussion on whether to allow evidence gained under torture to be allowed in British courts. And the reference to Guy Fawkes made a spiffy ending.

    Actually, one reason why I personally haven't been commenting is that, one of the first postings I read turned out to be written not by Craig at all, as was revealed in a later posting. And even now, in Bloglines, the posts have the byline "by Andrew". So who the hell am I addressing, then? I now pay careful attention, and notice that not all the blog postings are by Craig at all…

  • Craig

    Well, the postings are a mixture of stuff written by me, and interesting articles and info culled from a whole variety of sources. Pretty well nothing is physically posted by me because of my appalling computer skills.

    During the Blackburn campaign a group was formed called London Friends of Craig Murray. This group organised support for me from the capital. Andrew and Richard do the postings for me and also sometimes put up interesting stuff they have found themselves. We are a kind of editorial collective. But the stuff apparently written by me is written by me, even though posted by someone else.

  • Pete Jordan

    A final comment (or perhaps meta-comment) here. Unless you have been expressing a very British self-deprecation this will likely need addressing by Andrew or Richard, but in order to encourage comments and conversation in those comments your blog needs a comments syndication feed.

    You, presumably, get emailed whenever anyone writes anything here; we here in the outer darkness have no such luxury and have to re-visit each page to check for replies from you or any new input. A comments feed would allow us to be notified automatically, and thus encourage participation.

  • Disillusioned kid

    Hey!

    I don't comment often because of the Type Key thing. I registered ages ago but can never remember my password. I preferred the open system you had for a while (when I commented once or twice).

    I also think that reposted articles don't attract comments.

    Third point: try to respond to people's comments, if people think their comments are being ignored they won't bother to comment anymore.

    Oh and get rid of the Webstats4u thing. Turns out they'll stick pop-ups on your site without asking.

    Keep on blogging though. It's definitely appreciated.

  • Den

    Dear Craig,

    Your blog is a vital resource for anyone who wants to help to stop torture.

    Recently I read about the extraordinary rendition flights, torture flights, which land in Scotland to refuel before continuing their journey to third countries where their human cargo is then subjected to torture.

    I was prompted to start a blog of my own. I have invited people to join me in a letter writing campaign to all the elected representatives we can. MSP's, MP's, Euro MP's and Local Councillors. It's hard to judge the effectiveness of the campaign but Scotland is a small place and the word I get is, the campaign is keeping the issue of Scotland's complicity in facilitating the CIA on the political agenda.

    One of my guiding mottos is, If you can't do a lot, do a little.

    Lots of little things like writing a letter can be worthwhile, particularly when you know that other people are doing it too.

    it's good to know Craig, that you are out there. I

    can understand why you may have been thinking that you have been talking to yourself but I assure you, you are not.

    If the use of Glasgow and Prestwick airports for CIA renditions can be stopped, and I believe it can, it makes it just a wee bit harder for the CIA to do their dirty deeds.

    If each country that the CIA uses in this way refused to cooperate their job would be even harder still.

    Together we can put a dent in what at first seems to be the impenetrable security services armour.

    Keep going Craig. There are more people out here fighting the good fight than you think. . And that number is growing.

    My own blog can be found here at Dens Den
    http://densden1.blogspot.com/

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