- an overturned, empty soap box on a street corner
- a visit to a bar to get good and oiled before holding forth
- self-published pamphlets with oddly-place Captial letters decrying Tyranny of the Publick
The thing is, once you got up on that box, or that barstool, you had to pay a small price - people got to talk back. They could shout you down, or leave, or disagree, or what have you. The web (WORLD-WIDE, lest we forget) is the same thing. Sure, you can close the comments and put up screeching hissy fits about not liking the replies, but that doesn't stop anything. Anyone can say what they like on their own space, and they can link back to you to show the original, just as a person's words can be quoted from a pamphlet. Heck, if you litter the park with your little missives, someone could even take it home and write a reply. You can tell them not to, I suppose, but if you didn't want people to have them, why did you print them?
This post from the ISB demonstrates a fine example of this silliness, WWW style, in the form of a comic blogger named James Meeley. He was quoted from time to time, in various places, for things he'd written on his brand-new blog. Five posts, total, it was, and he was getting links, which is a nice little intro. Many bloggers work a lot longer for little or no notice. But he didn't like that people linked him without his permission and went about complaining about it everywhere.
Here's the thing - on his front page, he had a Technorati link labelled "Links to This Blog." If you really don't want them, why advertise them?
I'd show you, but, well - see for yourself. The gentleman in question took his blog and went home - sort of funny, since that's where a blog usually comes from in the first place. I couldn't even find a cache image for you.