Comment added to blog leads to inclusion in the Wall Street Journal

If you’ve been reading my Intuitive Life Business Blog, you already know that it’s become a hotbed of discussion about the lawsuit that Traffic Power sent to Aaron Wall, and its implications about our responsibility as bloggers for comments left on our blog. That article is Aaron Wall sued over comments on his weblog. As it happens, I also just wrote about how adding comments on other people’s blogs should be a cornerstone of your own blogging strategy too: How do i get more traffic to my blog?
But lawyer Daniel Perry has the best testimonial I’ve seen yet about why commenting on other blogs is such a good strategy. In less than a week he went from adding comments on my blog to being quoted in the Wall Street Journal.
I’ll let Daniel explain what happened…


Dave, The recent media attention to a series of comments I posted on your Intuitive Life blog is almost unbelievable.�
I first read your blog entry on the lawsuit against Aaron Wall on�August 26, 2005. I posted my first lengthy comment the next evening.
Two days�later I was contacted by Wall Street Journal technology reporter David Kesmodel for input.
Two�days after that I am quoted in the Wall Street Journal article on the lawsuit. [Blogger Faces Lawsuit Over Comments Posted by Readers] In less than six�days I am quoted in a national newspaper because I’ve gotten involved with the discussion happening in the blogosphere.
This is exactly why�professionals (and others) should blog – and more importantly,�comment on other blogs. I know lawyers who have hired expensive public relations representatives who have not been able to generate that much attention that quickly.�
To be fair, this requires some genuine effort by a blogging professional. I deliberately made the decision to not simply post an offhand comment but rather to research and carefully write my comment. It went through several drafts before you read it. The lesson of this story is that if you are willing to learn from other smarter persons and contribute something of value to the conversation you can carve out a place at the table for yourself.


Thanks for sharing that great sequence of events, Daniel. All I can say is that I agree completely: get involved in the discussion, be thoughtful with your comments, and who knows where you’ll go.

9 comments on “Comment added to blog leads to inclusion in the Wall Street Journal

  1. Daniel Perry: congratulations. Your blog comments are very well written and insightful.
    I also advocate enabling comments on your blog, and posting comments on the blogs of others.
    A blog without comments function is not a real blog, it’s a link log or a sermon pulpit.
    A link log, like Robot Wisdom, is an early form of blog.
    A sermon pulpit, where readers are supposed to shut up and passively absorb the exalted wisdom of an arrogant pundit…this is a Pseudo Blog, or just a fool who has no desire to form candid two-way communications with an audience.
    Unilateral communications, the old dilapidated command and control systems, are doomed. Blogs and other interactive platforms are the future, they represent the uprising of individual voice vs. corporate-religious-government information hegemony.

  2. P.S.
    The Wall Street Journal should have linked to Mr. Perry’s remarks. This is the internet etiquette, and it adds credibility to embed a hypertext link directly to the remark of a cited source.
    I’m disappointed that the WSJ article did not link to Mr. Perry’s website or blog, or to this one.
    :^(

  3. What is striking is that someone at the Wall Street Journal was reading/assessing the Intuitive Life blog. There are a limited number of blogs you can monitor. Time being the great decider of how many. Those blogs have to be of high value. Clearly, the discussion and comment on Intuitive Life were. Both were responding to Aaron’s (and all of us who run a blog) interesting and/or painful dilemna. Not all blogs will have the calibre of either the initial contribution, or subsequent comment to pique a WSJ interest. And fascinating way for the point to be made that WSJ and blogs like Intuitive Life have complimentary roles in the new information age.

  4. Look, it is really this simple: the argument that editing the posts to your blog changes you from a ‘common carrier’ to someone responsible for concent [the essential difference between the telephone company and the radio broadcasting business] is irrefutable — it is a definite difference in kind.
    There is no way, however, as a blogger, that I can check the accuracy of every comment to ensure it is not legally actionable — so I am vulnerable if I check content at all. At the same time, the blogspamming scum have made it *necessary* to check content — it is a lose-lose situation all the way for the small blogger.
    I don’t currently blog, but were I to do so, I would NOT allow comments, simply on the above grounds. Pace Mr. Streight, a blog without comments certainly IS a real blog — the original idea was to allow people to publish their Web experiences with commented links — commentary is simply something added on.
    Even if blogs became nothing more than ‘bully pulpits’, they would still have the inestimable advantage of allowing a multitude of voices to be heard that otherwise would not see the light of day.
    Furthermore, if someone *really* wants to comment, they could e-mail me, I could read their comment, and then post it myself, so if there were to be any legal hassle, I would be taking it on with my eyes open, while still preserving some aspect of a blog’s potential for interactive comment.
    The comment, however, is the tail, the actual content is the dog — and we all know which should wag what!

  5. It is a mistake to get caught up in the definition of common carrier. Courts have moved beyond that distinction.
    But it is correct to say that posted comments are yours and your responsibility. No court requires you to monitor comments every second of every day to avoid “actionable” language. But you need to follow a reasonable policy of responding. For example, if you monitor and/or moderate every other day and find actionable comments then exercise your editorial discretion to remove them as soon as possible. But don’t allow the offensive comments to remain for six months and then try to cloak yourself in the First Amendment.
    There is no requirement for you to check the accuracy of every comment. But if you are notified of the comment’s inaccuracy (or other offensive or improper nature) then do something about it. Perhaps you could contact the commenter and tell them that a serious question has been raised and ask if they wish to respond.You could tell the commenter that if they have not responded to the inquiry within 48 hours that you will remove the posted comment. Finally, consider the possibility of cc’ing a copy of your email to the commenter to the inquiring person.
    Frankly, I view comments differently. What I have to say is not nearly as important as the “thoughtful opinions” (thanks, Dave, for the language) of the commenters. I can easily state that as a soon-to-be blogger I hope my content becomes all the better for the comments (and questions) posted by many persons smarter than myself. In short, I see the comments as the dog wagging my content tail.

  6. I think Daniel Perry’s story is as much about quality of posting as it is about the fact that he did. Any time you post something on the internet (or elsewhere), it’s archived and saved, and read by an unknown number of people. Thus, there can be no such thing as a casual comment. Daniel wrote several drafts of his comment before he posted; he treated it like any other publication. Which is at least as important as the fact that he posted at all.

  7. hmmm…very insightful comments. Nonetheless, the fact remains that “small fish” bloggers will remain at the “mercy” of “shark” bloggers. The way of the world as we see it daily.

  8. I think Daniel Perry’s story is as much about quality of posting as it is about the fact that he did. Any time you post something on the internet (or elsewhere), it’s archived and saved, and read by an unknown number of people. Thus, there can be no such thing as a casual comment. Daniel wrote several drafts of his comment before he posted; he treated it like any other publication. Which is at least as important as the fact that he posted at all.

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