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Recommendations for Good Blogging Software + Hosting Services?

I've much appreciated PowerBlogs, which we've been using for several years, but I'm afraid that Chris Lansdown is shutting PowerBlogs down, and we'll have to move to some other blogging software and some other hosting company. Any suggestions, especially as to blogging software? We're looking for reliability, easy of use, and a good feature set. We'd naturally prefer if it wasn't very expensive, but if it costs some money to do this right, we'll likely be happy to spend it.

If you have recommendations, positive, negative, or (especially) comparative, please post them, or e-mail me at volokh at law.ucla.edu. Many thanks!

Mogden (mail):
Use WordPress for the blogging software. If you have access to someone with sysadmin skills, then run the blog on a VPS like slicehost.com. It will cost around $40 a month for a decent size blog, but the performance will be sweet, and it is very reliable.
5.30.2009 5:27pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
I definitely support the recommendation for WordPress.

I've also been happy for the past five years with Blogs-About hosting, out of Wisconsin. It runs me $270/yr. There are certainly cheaper, but that's not my prime criterion. Hosts who will fix things fast is.
5.30.2009 5:34pm
CDU (mail) (www):
I'll second Wordpress. It has a very nice feature set and is quite easy to use.
5.30.2009 5:34pm
BitterB (mail) (www):
I also suggest WordPress. In addition to the features included with the cord download, there are so many plugins that give great options to make the software do everything you want.
5.30.2009 5:42pm
Law Shucks (mail) (www):
Yet another vote for WordPress (free) plus any reliable host. We use GoDaddy for like $5/mo. I also recommend the Intense Debate plugin for comments, which allows persistent identities across blogs and a bunch of other cool features.
5.30.2009 5:52pm
steve (www):
Yeah, we're using WordPress at RadioViceOnline, and have implemented the WordPress Cache plug in (could not get SuperCache working properly).

We're using ApolloHosting and have pretty good luck, but there are some important, frequently unused "tweaks" that you can make to the templates to speed up your site and reduce the number of requests to the database.

I'd love to move to a managed dedicated server - too much money for our budget.

For templates, we went with a theme from StudioPress.com that I have slightly customized.

Good luck! Any questions - feel free to contact me.
5.30.2009 6:04pm
Wonderduck (mail) (www):
I'd be surprised if Pixy at http://ai.mee.nu/ wouldn't love to have you...
5.30.2009 6:07pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
I would vote for Wordpress at the moment.

Also if you are trying to do something fancier, I would recommend using hub.org as a hosting service. The hosting is top-notch, reasonably low price, etc, and it is easy to upgrade the hosting requirements if needed.
5.30.2009 6:10pm
HappySlicehostAndWordpressCustomer:
I can also vouch for Wordpress and Slicehost. The Slicehost team is incredibly responsive, and the features and functionality are excellent. It does require a bit more help from a sysadmin, however, as it's a full virtual private server instance (e.g., it's as if you had your own box sitting in a datacenter). If you go this route, make sure to set up and test an automated data backup solution, so you can recover the blog in case something happens.

The self-installed version of Wordpress is a great platform as well, though it may require a bit of customization to set up. I've used it to power several blogs/other websites, and there's a large and helpful community of folks out there who can help you pretty inexpensively.

If you don't want to deal with hosting issues at all, you might consider Typepad.com, which is SixApart's blog hosting service. I don't have religion about either Typepad or Wordpress, but you will likely hear different from folks with more experience one way or the other.

One other word of advice: try not to change the existing URL structure, if at all possible. Search engines like to see content and URLs stay in one place, otherwise all of the inbound links to them depreciate in value. If you must change the URLs, make sure to do a 301 ("permanent") redirect on the old URLs to the new URLs, so the search position you've earned over the years is maintained. You will likely need to use mod_rewrite to accomplish this, if you host your own blog.
5.30.2009 6:27pm
Mike Innes (mail) (www):
We use Squarespace, which offers a pretty holistic package of hosted features. Costs a little, but not much, and I found it to be worth the time savings.
5.30.2009 6:36pm
o:
Look at jaguarpc.com for a good hosting company.
5.30.2009 6:47pm
Stan Kjar (mail):
Just to echo everyone else. Wordpress is great. Either hosted by a webhost such as Bluehost (which I like) or at wordpress.com.
5.30.2009 6:48pm
CrimLawStudent:
+1 for WordPress.

Please get one that has threaded and rated comments! :)
5.30.2009 7:20pm
Cato The Elder (mail):
WORDPRESS - Clean and professional and constantly updated.
5.30.2009 7:31pm
BZ:
I use WordPress as well, and it is free with web hosting on 1and1.com. Feature set is somewhat limited, however, with the free service. The limited set has all the basic features, but e.g., not rated comments. Note that techsupport is from India and it can take some time to get them to understand your problem.
5.30.2009 7:37pm
BZ:
Oh, and for comparative, I really didn't like GoDaddy, either as a host, for features, or for service, plus they ALWAYS spam for services and more sales. But, of course, Danica Patrick is very nice to look at.
5.30.2009 7:39pm
chird:
+1 for squarespace (both hosting and software). I recently moved my website to it and it works great. Very easy to use.
5.30.2009 7:47pm
Oren:
I vote for threaded comments as well.
5.30.2009 8:00pm
Jerry Mimsy (www):
I'll also recommend WordPress. If you're looking for something a bit more geeky, though, you could look into a framework such as Django. Given the relative simplicity of the Conspiracy, if you felt like doing it yourself, you certainly could, and of course there are apps that implement blogging functionality.

(I only mention this because I know you've enjoyed programming in the past. WordPress is definitely a good choice if you don't enjoy it/have the time for it now.)

I've found that Django makes it very easy to implement very flexible, extendable, blog-like sites.

http://www.djangoproject.com/
http://byteflow.su/
5.30.2009 8:15pm
Tracy Johnson (www):
OpenMPE is using hostway, but we have problems with invoice notices asking for zero dollars and zero cents.
5.30.2009 8:21pm
Gabriel McCall (mail):
Yet another vote for Wordpress. I use WP on Anhosting sites and have been very pleased with their responsiveness and reliability, although nothing I've run has anywhere close to your traffic levels.
5.30.2009 8:24pm
Pyrrhus (mail) (www):
All the cool kids use WordPress... the downloaded kind, not the kind they set up for your.

http://wordpress.org/download/
5.30.2009 9:30pm
Bobo Linq (mail):
WordPress is certainly a good choice (Language Log uses it). So is Drupal. They both require quite a bit of customization if you host them yourself. (This is true of WordPress despite its having been designed for blogging. For instance, you will need to install both a caching plugin and a spam-blocking plugin, even though you would expect these features to be part of the core software installation.)

As for hosting, I like nearlyfreespech.net, which is cheap but also scalable. I'd be surprised if you really need a virtual private server (VPS) as some commenters suggest.

But you might be better off just paying for a premium hosted account through WordPress.com, MovableType.com, or TypePad.com. Then you don't really need to worry either about hosting or about installing and customizing the software.
5.30.2009 9:48pm
jed (www):
Eric S. Raymond report difficulties with the Intense Debate plugin:
- http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=947
- http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=949

While I can't imagine running the Conspiracy using WordPress in a shared hosting environment — I assume you need more horsepower — should you investigate that route, always ask each potential hosting provider how they accomplish privilege domain separation. If you get anything other than that they run su_php, mpm_itk, or something along those lines, stay far away. IIRC, it was Blues Host where the "tech" I spoke to initially didn't understand the question, talked to a "senior" tech, and then came back with something about a dedicated IP address and a non-std port assignment. Other hosting companies have told me to chmod 777 the WordPress upload directory (so that WP, running as the Apache user, could write to it). You want your WordPress scripts to run as your account, not the Apache account. With VPS, you won't have this trouble.

FWIW, HostICan gave a correct answer to the privilege question. I haven't yet set up an account with them, so can't comment on how well they operate. I've had difficulties in the past with 1&1, DreamHost, and Midphase (AN Hosting).

I was the webmaster for Colorado Linux Users &Enthusiasts for several years. We've been having no trouble at all with VPS from Spry.net.

A VPS running Ubuntu server under Xen would be nice. But you'd have to do things such as configure Postfix yourself (for e-mail) and other sysadmin stuff, as others have mentioned, including keeping an eye on the various logs, watching for cracking attempts, etc.
5.30.2009 9:49pm
J. Aldridge:
Use Movable Type because of the amount of traffic you have. Go look at the Houghton Post, that is Movable Type. Static pages are wonderful when it comes to handling 100,000 hits a day.
5.30.2009 9:57pm
Ray Campbell:
If what you want is the standard issue blog - posts with comments - then WordPress is the standard. There are a lot of advantages to going with a standard.

If you were going after something more involved, with community features and social media options and so on, Drupal is great. It's not the best choice for a standard blog, though, because it can be complicated and it's not a blog centric concept.

For a site this size, I wouldn't go on an old school shared server, but neither would I want to add managing a dedicated server and protecting it against hackers to my list of responsibilities. I would look at a cloud hosting service like Mosso, which can scale pretty seamlessly if you get a traffic spike.
5.30.2009 9:59pm
Bonze Saunders (mail):
I'd like to put in a word against threaded comments, and a strong word against rated comments. Keeping up with new comments when they're threaded is difficult, and ratings are... pretty much worthless.

I keep up with postings on Slashdot, but lord, it is a pain... the comments interface on Slashdot is the most ill-conceived hunk'o'junk on the web. Please do not emulate Slashdot!

Please do keep the comments, though. Although I'm sure it's a trial sometimes policing them, they often add valuable insights to the postings.
5.30.2009 10:05pm
Cato The Elder (mail):
Echo Bonze in arguing strongly against rated comments. First of all what happens is that people only read the rated comments, which turns many of them into either explicitly partisan rants or mushy diatribes to appeal to the median commenter. Second of all most people only rate the most striking of comments, best and worst - most videos on Youtube is either 4, 4.5, or 5 stars or 1 star. Worst of all the system attracts attention-seeking posts because we all instinctively want to be esteemed by our peers.

NO RATED COMMENTS.
5.30.2009 10:11pm
jed (www):
Forgot to mention that whatever you figure out, I hope you'll be able to replicate the "chain post" feature -- one of the best things about how Powerblogs operates.

Also, I'll recant slightly. It might well be possible to find a shared hosting package to suit your needs, but I'm pretty sure it won't be the basic level $3.95 or $5.95/mo. How well shared hosting might work for you will depend a great deal on how well your provider manages server loads and tuning.
5.30.2009 10:12pm
Rich James (mail):
I recommend WordPress and LunarPages. Supposedly, for even the basic service, you get unlimited space and bandwidth, although I would read the fine print.
5.30.2009 11:38pm
Barrister's Handshake (mail) (www):
I like what Opinio Juris did when they moved from Powerblogs to whatever they're doing now.
5.31.2009 12:08am
Rich James (mail):
Oh, and if you have any concerns about the level of traffic that WordPress can handle, Malkin's site is on wordpress. Scroll to the very bottom to see the tag.
5.31.2009 12:13am
Reasoner:
I'm shocked at the posters who oppose rated comments. Rated comments are what make Slashdot great. There is no way I can spend the time to go through the large numbers of posts at Slashdot or usually even the smaller number of posts on stories I'm interested in here at VC. Ratings are the difference between being overwhelmed by garbage and being able to find the valuable insights and knowledge. I'm also less likely to spend time to compose informative comments for VC because I figure so few people are going to read down past the first hundred comments.

Ratings have to be done right though. The ratings on sites like dig and Youtube are of little value. The system Slashdot uses makes it work. Slashdot's software seems to be buggy though. The only way I can get it to actually filter out all the comments below 3 and to include all the comments 3 and above is to turn Javascript off and use the classic discussion system in nested mode. And I haven't yet found a way to get it to show only the most recent comments, even in flat mode, sorted newest or oldest first. The new comments get mixed in with the old.

I think that with the large and intelligent user base you have here at VC, a good rating system like Slashdot could make VC the most influential web site in the world.
5.31.2009 12:17am
Steve P. (mail):
I don't have a strong recommendation, although I recently set up a Wordpress installation for my company that went beautifully (and imported four years of MT blog posts). I'll also third the recommendation for Slicehost, partly because it's been great for me, and partly because I work for their parent company. There were a few things I had to manually modify in their code because of how we handle load-balancing, but it was really pretty smooth.

Just think about something that's scalable, easy to import into, and easy to work with. Do a test installation on a private site that you can hit to make sure it's working fine before you set up redirects. I have no doubt that with his background, Prof Volokh will be able to set up the new site fine.
5.31.2009 12:24am
DG:
Slicehost, as Steve mentioned is very good (owned by Rackspace). For blogging, though, its tough to do better than Voxel, which hosts a bunch of political blogs and is capable of handling large amount of incoming "flash" traffic. They sort of specialize in this area.
5.31.2009 12:35am
Donna B. (mail) (www):
From a users point of view, I'd caution against Typepad because so many of their sites load very slowly. I don't have that problem with Wordpress sites unless the blogger has loaded it down with lots of flashy stuff. I know you won't do that!

Also, the last time I visited a drupal site, it asked me to download some software to view it - that could be a problem with only that one site. I didn't want to go there bad enough to find out.

GoDaddy works fine for me, but my readership in a days time doesn't even equal yours in a minute. Not even close.

The one host service you absolutely never ever want to go near is ThinkHost. I doubt you would, but thought I'd warn you anyway.

I hate rated comments. I'm also not too fond of nested comments that only nest two or three deep. That's relative useless too.

The PowerBlogs related post tool is really nice and I hope you can keep that.
5.31.2009 12:36am
Jon D. (www):
Well, before giving recommendations, I'd like to know whether you feel comfortable setting up lots of stuff yourself or expected something prepackaged.

You should also pin down how much traffic you're getting now... views &bandwidth... and how much you're willing to spend.
5.31.2009 1:46am
PaulTX (mail) (www):
I'd suggest Movable Type (great feature set). And for hosting, I'd suggest Hosting Matters. They're always up, their prices are reasonable, and their service is fast and friendly. (Instapundit uses them.)
5.31.2009 2:19am
CrimLawStudent:
1. How do you know who is reading what comments? How do you know that people only read the positively rated comments?

2. The audience here at the VC is a much different audience than youtube.com, so I don't think that is a fair comparison. I am confident that VCers can make accurate and fair assessments of comments and can rate them accordingly.

3. Additionally, are there rated comments where the moderators can change the rating? E.g., could the moderator find a comment he/she likes and change the rating to a positive or high one?

4. Threaded comments are useful because you can see who is replying to what. These sequential comment boards are very confusing, as I have to keep in my mind 5-6 different conversations at once while reading them sequentially.
5.31.2009 4:06am
CrimLawStudent:

Worst of all the system attracts attention-seeking posts because we all instinctively want to be esteemed by our peers.


An "attention-seeking post" could be one that is (1) inflammatory and obnoxious or (2) well thought out and written.

In the former case, presumably that will be rated poorly. In the latter case, isn't that what we want to accomplish by using a rating system?

Also, don't you think there are ALREADY incentives to post attention-seeking comments... why else do you think we post here in the first place?!

Thus, this argument against rated comments make no sense.
5.31.2009 4:13am
CrimLawStudent:

explicitly partisan rants or mushy diatribes to appeal to the median commenter.

"Explicitly partisan rants" happen here pretty much all the time. See OK's recent post.

I don't know what you mean by "mushy diatribes." I don't see why a "diatribe" would appeal to the median commentator (assuming the median commentator is a moderate.)

As for the "partisan rants," a rated comments system would help solve this problem. Assume we have a even ideological split, 40-20-40 (conservative-moderate-liberal). I assert that the people on the ends of the ideological spectrum +rate the agreeable partisan rants, and -rate the disagreeable partisan rants, and thus the overall result would be a wash. Ultimately, then, the "rating" would be determined by the median, e.g. the moderates, who may be willing to be swayed by the logical force of the argument instead of the heated rhetoric.

I suppose that's a somewhat simplistic model (I'm pretty sure there have been studies on this sort of phenomenon in democratic elections), but I think it holds in this particular case.

Cheers.
5.31.2009 4:37am
CrimLawStudent:
Most importantly though, the comments section won't be dominated by the fringes.

Currently, you are mostly likely to get a response from other people (which I assume is a goal of the commentators) by posting something that contains controversial language or heated rhetoric. This is because people become indignant and feel as though they need to respond.

However, with a ratings system, the more controversial or "out on the fringes" you are, the more likely you will be -rated by people, even including those who share your ideology. As a recent example, see Republican Senator Cornyn "rebuking" Limbaugh and Gingrich's recent comments on Sotomayor.

That way, instead of feeling the need to response to every "fringe" post that angers you, you can just -rate them and move on. Eventually, once such a post reaches a certain threshold (e.g. a net -10 rating), that post becomes "collapsed" so that you have to click on it in order to uncollapse it and read it.
5.31.2009 4:51am
J. Aldridge:
>I'm shocked at the posters who oppose rated comments.

My local newspaper has comment rating at its news site and 80% of the posters give a thumbs down by who the poster is rather than based on what he/she says. Best if someone really disagrees with what is posted is to simply say so and why.
5.31.2009 8:23am
J. Aldridge:
Additionally, what really needs addressing above all is comment pagination.
5.31.2009 8:25am
devil's advocate (mail):
an appeal for simplicity and editting plug-in

I actually think the current engine one of the better blog comments vehicles out there. Easy to read, easy to comment, easy to post links, easy to quote

The only shortcoming is a lack of an editting plug-in. It drives me nuts that I inevitably make syntax, spelling, typos and the like and then can't fix them. Obviously this might be open to abuse by the unscrupulous who would remove ill conceived arguments or change the meaning of their posts to undercut later comments. I don't know if there are editting plug-ins that retain a copy of the original, so you can keep the process honest.

A better search engine would be great. I have an easier time finding old threads I'm looking for by leaving the site and going to google than using the included pico-search.

Is this software/engine going away? I'm a little out of the loop, although I can infer a bit from context, how much of this is about hosting and how much is about the comments engine itself -- and or some intermediary administrative and appearance functions.

I personally wouldn't favor threaded or nested comments (unless you can easily unthread and even then I'm not sure). It is not so hard to keep track of a few different themes or codecils of discourse within a thread. So maybe I'm chiming in for all us ADD commentors who like a discussion that bounces around alot.

I don't favor ratings. The way to diminish rants, partisan or otherwise, is not to respond to them (admittedly it hasn't deterred me, and I may have set the record for closeout posts on threads where I write a novel -- not exactly rants but generally more than the brief pointed quips that inspire conversation). And should a certain post evoke a lot of that without much useful discussion inbetween, I think it is pretty much self correcting. I go look for another post to comment on, or wait for another thread on that topic. So the phenomenon is moderately self limiting.

A few final asides: there has been virtually no spam on here but I've never had to fight with one of those clunky anti-spam tools. And it is very reliable in terms of signing in and posting comments.

I do like the PM format of forums where you can send a private message to another commentor. I keep my e-mail link posted so folks can e-mail me, but I can understand a reluctance for everyone to do that, whereas receiving a PM doesn't divulge your base e-mail address and you can decide whether to respond, or even whether to bother looking at it.

I like being notified when there are comments posted. Obviously not important on a busy thread, you just know to go back. And, of course, it is is not threaed or nested, it wouldn't necessarily be clear that responses were to a particular comment, so it might not be feasible. Or maybe if users could set some kind of numerical threshold, i.e. when 10 responses come in to a thread, or ???

Thanks for asking for input on this important change.

Brian
5.31.2009 8:46am
John Burgess (mail) (www):
For what it's worth, I'd vote against both nested and rated comments. I can, quickly enough, scroll by the flamers. And frankly, I don't trust you guys (commenters) to rate things the way I would!
5.31.2009 9:16am
Fedya (www):
If you go with WordPress, turn off the pop-up thumbnails on links. The minute I get one of those, I immediately close the page. It's right up there with forced use of Flash for things that irritate me on the Internet.
5.31.2009 10:27am
Oren:

If you go with WordPress, turn off the pop-up thumbnails on links. The minute I get one of those, I immediately close the page. It's right up there with forced use of Flash for things that irritate me on the Internet.

Use Greasemonkey to strip them out -- it works much better than complaining like a petulant child.
5.31.2009 10:37am
Oren:

And frankly, I don't trust you guys (commenters) to rate things the way I would!

You don't have to give the ratings any weight if you don't want.
5.31.2009 10:56am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
I think one of the key things which should be kept in mind is that an open source solution like Wordpress on a decent hosting platform like hub.org provides not only substantial out-of-the-box capability but also the ability to add features to the blogs as needed.

FWIW, I actually think rated comments would be problematic on this forum. Instead what I have always suggested is that there are "deputy moderators" appointed by the bloggers who have the power to hide posts from the public when they are genuinely uncivil. This might take some custom development, but not a whole lot.

One other thing I would highly recommend as features go would be threaded comments. Wordpress has a plugin for this. Threaded comments would make it easier to track who is responding to whom, especially on long conversations.
5.31.2009 11:57am
Don Cruse (www):
Have you explored what options Powerblogs supports for exporting (or that other platforms offer for importing or migrating from Powerblogs blogs)?

That may limit your choice of blogging platform, unless you want to devote some real time/money/attention to figuring out a custom way to move your posts &comments to their new home.

With that in mind:

+1 for Slicehost, if you want a pure hosting solution. I've had good experiences with them, and their how-to articles are really excellent if you have a little technical background to start. For an extra fee, they'll do a regular (daily, hourly) snapshot of your server for you.

+1 for Wordpress as a platform.

-1/+1 for Squarespace. It's really pretty, and it has reasonable import options, but I found the range of motion pretty limited. They do have a free trial. And it would be a good solution for handling traffic spikes, if that's a concern. The cost can be comparable to hosting a Wordpress blog yourself. The biggest Squarespace package is $50/mo. A mid-sized slice on Slicehost, with backup images turned on, is $48/mo.

+1 for Feedburner, to lighten the server load from your RSS feeds, give people the option of email subscriptions without you having to maintain a mail server, etc.
5.31.2009 12:56pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Just a note as to why I think rated comments would fail in this case.

Rated comments work well when people come to a blog in the spirit of mutual search and debate and where there is a general respect for opposition. This exists in some threads on this forum but it is not universal.

In other threads, I would expect the namecalling to carry over into ratings. This would exacerbate the civility issues rather than help to solve them. Basically I came to the conclusion that if it were my blog, there would only be a small subset of users I would trust to fairly moderate.

An alternative would be for the Conspirators to be able to control WHO can rate comments if folks go that way.
5.31.2009 1:10pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Also, the last time I visited a drupal site, it asked me to download some software to view it - that could be a problem with only that one site. I didn't want to go there bad enough to find out.

There's nothing in Drupal that requires a special download; the standard installation doesn't even use Flash. It, of course, uses Flash to display Youtube movies, etc.

There are probably around 1000 to 2000 add-ons for it (drupal.org/project/modules) and there are plenty of people available to write custom ones if necessary.

I use it for several of my sites, including the one linked under "www". That uses stock add-ons for most features: views, CCK, a lightbox module, etc. A little custom JS and PHP does the rest.

It can create a simple blog-style site with minimal setup; has a fairly steep learning curve if you want to do complicated things but it's worth it.
5.31.2009 1:45pm
kimsch (mail) (www):
Wordpress is great. You can use Discus for commenting if you want. Free, and people have to register to comment. Threading and rating can be used with Discus.

If using Wordpress, use the MobilePress plugin too. This will give a really nice smartphone interface so people can read you on the go...

I use 1 and 1 for hosting. Haven't had problems with them in nearly 5 years of using them.

If you choose 1 and 1, make sure you choose Linux hosting for a Wordpress blog.
5.31.2009 2:34pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
bonze:

Keeping up with new comments when they're threaded is difficult


I strongly agree. I really, really don't like threaded comments (as either a reader or commenter).

=================
crim:

Threaded comments are useful because you can see who is replying to what.


True, but that problem can be greatly ameliorated if comment numbers are available and are used.

=================
reasoner:

I'm shocked at the posters who oppose rated comments. Rated comments are what make Slashdot great.


I agree. Ratings there make it easy to find the best content. Same thing at various other places, like digg, WP and NYT. And anyone who doesn't like the idea can simply ignore the ratings. Which is what everyone will do, if the system ends up being a failure, for whatever reason. But it makes sense to at least try it.

There are lots of different ways of doing a rating system, but I think in general they add value.

=================
devil:

I like being notified when there are comments posted.


I would also greatly appreciate seeing that feature.

=================
einhverfr:

I would expect the namecalling to carry over into ratings. This would exacerbate the civility issues rather than help to solve them.


I assume that the set of lurkers is much larger than the set of commenters, so I also assume that most raters would be lurkers (and I also think a reader should be able to rate without logging in or registering). So hopefully there will be a large number of relatively neutral raters, and this would hopefully outweigh the influence of the problem you described.

Also, I think it should be understood that a strong negative rating isn't necessarily a sign of a bad comment. If I visit a given site that usually promotes X, there might be a certain commenter who frequently promotes not-X, and therefore gets negative ratings, even if their comments are valid. But an intelligent reader can read a few comments and figure out that this is what's happening.
5.31.2009 3:01pm
Fedya (www):
Use Greasemonkey to strip them out -- it works much better than complaining like a petulant child.

Not all of us use Firefox.
5.31.2009 3:54pm
Darkmage (mail) (www):
Maybe I'm oversimplifying...but I really don't see why, for how this blog is used, that Blogger from Google couldn't fulfill everything you do with the site for free.

I know this has been a WordPress love-in, with fortunately a couple positive SquareSpace comments thrown in (my second choice), but why buy a Winnebago just to drive back and forth to work? ;)
5.31.2009 8:51pm
kimsch (mail) (www):
Darkmage - Blogger can go down. If a Wordpress.org blog (self hosted) it's generally a host/server issue and only affects one or a few blogs not the whole shebang. That's the main reason I left Blogger in the first place. Also I have much greater control over all aspects my blog using Wordpress than Blogger.
5.31.2009 10:54pm
Sacha (mail):
Software: Definitely WordPress

Hosting:

Warning- Shameless-plug: I provide web hosting on the RackSpace Mosso grid platform. Very reliable, very fast, great support. If you know about how much bandwidth you use, I'd love to create a quote for you.
6.1.2009 1:37pm
Steven Teles:
When I was visiting at Yale Law School, I supervised an excellent paper by Tom Donnelly, which was subsequently published in the Yale Law Journal as a note. It's a little longer than your 40 page limit, but it's an excellent example of how to do something really different in a law review piece (that is, not just a reading of cases). Here you go: http://yalelawjournal.org/118/5/donnelly.html
6.1.2009 6:15pm
Steven Teles:
When I was visiting at Yale Law School, I supervised an excellent paper by Tom Donnelly, which was subsequently published in the Yale Law Journal as a note. It's a little longer than your 40 page limit, but it's an excellent example of how to do something really different in a law review piece (that is, not just a reading of cases). Here you go: http://yalelawjournal.org/118/5/donnelly.html
6.1.2009 6:15pm

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