I admit: not all comments are crap

This very week in meatspace, I claimed that adding a commenting facility to a website is like handing out marker pens to everyone who enters a public toilet. The results are obvious, and with very rare exceptions, don't really improve anything for anyone.

Here's a rare exception. Ross Anderson (who I've mentioned before, and whose book should be required reading) used comments on his group's blog to liveblog a security conference. There's more quality in these eight comments than all the other comments I've read this year: Ross Anderson's Security and Human Behavior 2010 liveblog.

Of course, since it took me days to find the time to read these, I question the value of a liveblog. And using the comments rather than updating the post means that anyone using Google Reader (or similar tools) to read the blog won't necessarily have understood that the the trivial snippet they saw was merely the gravestone for the body that lay buried beneath. So although I still don't think that comments are the right way to do things, but if this is how he chooses to present the information and my choice is take it or leave it, I look forward to 2011's comments.

(Although I value this kind of work -- Cliff Click provides a similar service for VM-related conferences -- I'd kill to have links to PDFs of the corresponding papers, where they exist.)