META: Rebuttal-bot idea

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Wed, 12 Feb 1997 15:55:59 -0800 (PST)

In the process of redesigning my Web site to include a number of
small essays, I wanted to create some method for comments and
rebuttals to be included. I have designed a rebuttal-bot system
for this purpose which I will describe here. I solicit comments
and suggestions for improvement.

Current design:
- Each essay has a button-bar at the top leading to commentary
pages. Positive and negative comments are separate (I don't
want to dilute the entertaining rebuttals with me toos).
- On each commentary page, there is a form by which the
reader can enter his own comments.
- All comments, without exception or edition, are displayed on
the comment page for a certain amount of time, after which
they rotate out (only if they become numerous enough to
require it).
- Interesting rebuttals that I think deserve more thorough
treatment are moved to a permanent discussion page. I will
inform the submitter that I have done so, add my counter-
argument, and solicit a counter-rebuttal. The rebutter
always gets the last word.
- The comment pages will also contain links to other pages
with similar ideas (both pro and con), and readers will be
able to suggest links as well. Commentaries themselves can
contain URLs.
- Every piece of text (mine and comments) is headed by date and
author (unless submittor wants to be anonymous, which will be