All I want in 2013.... is more anonymous commentsAdmittedly that title is a little bit deceptive. I don't want the anonymous comments to be rude, indeed I'd much prefer if the commenters had names and faces. I'd really love to have the debates in person over a beer or three. But beggars can't be choosers (or such).
What I'm asking for more of in 2013 is something that blogs/online journals/wine review websites/anything with a comments field really needs more of - the anonymous critical comments. Those (ideally) well written questions that are posed by people who, freed from the need to actually put a face behind their comments, feel like they can have a spray at the publisher of the post/article. Those 'your (sic) wrong because' type comments that can be rude, accusatory and plain wrong, yet can also be brutally, deservedly accurate.
The reason for this request is simple really. I need it. Wine writing need it. The whole point of democratising (or whatever you want to call it) wine writing is that we want to remove the boundaries that have existed in traditional media. To encourage a more honest, more critical and more circumspect approach to what constitutes a good/bad wine by forcing us wine writers to justify our opinions and acknowledge our bias. More transparency, more honesty, more often. Less wankers.
Naturally asking for more anonymous comments is like asking to be attacked by bees more often. Grammar Nazi's and trolls live and breathe by anonymous comments, and I'm anything but the most fastidious editor. But the more I think about it the more I think that anonymous comments are what makes discussions happen.
For an example of the sort of comment I'm talking about, this accusatory little paragraph popped up a few weeks ago:
As you can see by my reply I was a little annoyed by the accusations. The more I think about the comment however, the more I realise I needed to flesh out my relationships and make my scoring more transparent. I needed that kick in the head so I could question my own potential bias and confirm whether I've gone too far.
Ultimately we all need a jab to the ribs on occasion, if purely to build up our defences (and fend it off next time). Bring on the jabs I say...