Please Remove Ski Mask Before Entering Bank

Q: What the best thing is about getting beaten up with a baseball bat?

A: How good it feels when it stops. And that is how I feel about the end of anonymous comments on Strobist. As of this past weekend, they are a thing of the past.

Fortunately, it is free and very easy to comment using any of a number of different kinds of accounts. Please click through to this or any other post's comment section to see how to do it.

While you're at it, please take a look at the commenting guidelines. And don't forget to grab a name tag.



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Blogger Dave said...

That's Mr Anonymous to you!

The anonymous commenters have always been a PITA. A lot of sites required you to have one of their log ins to comment. This seems like a good balance.

Love the site, has taught me so much and continues to do so. Thanks

August 24, 2009 10:39 PM  
Blogger canuckistani said...

Yeah, Anonymous comments sure are a pain. Thank goodness they're in the past! It's about time these intertubes got a good cleaning!

August 24, 2009 10:39 PM  
Blogger hobbs said...

I fail to see how letting people post with any arbitrary OpenID as an identifier is any less "anonymous" than anonymous. :)

August 24, 2009 10:47 PM  
Blogger Simon Higgs said...

I've been rading this blog for the last year, but have now got the flash and wireless triggers....and now a name.
no ski masks for me

August 24, 2009 11:14 PM  
Blogger Simon Higgs said...

i've been reading this blog for the last year and have now afforded to pick up a flash and wireless triggers....

and a name, no ski mask for me.

August 24, 2009 11:16 PM  
Blogger Ranger 9 said...

You do realize that this means you'll also be missing out on fascinating comments in non-roman languages and opportunities to buy clomid online... I get dozens per day on my anonymous snark blog, so you must get thousands!

[This comment is mostly to make sure my account works, so feel free to delete it.]

August 24, 2009 11:51 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Anyone with a comment should be willing to leave their name on it. I'm glad to hear that you are requiring identification.

August 24, 2009 11:58 PM  
Blogger Steve said...


August 25, 2009 12:48 AM  
Blogger Will said...

And here I never even noticed that you could post comments anonymously. Hopefully now there'll be less beating you around the head and shoulders with anonymous baseball gear, eh?

August 25, 2009 1:43 AM  
Blogger Photobby said...

Frankly David, I'm surprised you put up with the anonymous flogging for as long as you did. It has made me wonder about you.... FWIW I've always had a hard time respecting snipers...

August 25, 2009 1:57 AM  
Blogger MindStorm said...

Just created a Google account so I could comment. Testing it out here.

BTW, I'm surprised you waited this long to eliminate anonymous comments. It seems that an awful lot of people will say things under that banner they would never say to your face...

Excellent blog, and one that I always read as soon as your RSS says something new is posted!

August 25, 2009 2:22 AM  
Blogger Picture Infinity Studios said...

Thanks for cleaning up the comments. Even for those who don't regularly write, we do read a lot and it gets tiresome from this side as well. Good choice.

August 25, 2009 2:38 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

Nice analagy!

August 25, 2009 4:24 AM  
Blogger Offensive Monkey said...

Thank goodness, some sanity at last. How sad I find it that within 3 or 4 posts a slanging match occurs (usual over troll like arguments) and the initial critique or useful info is lost.
I appreciate your site and the opportunity to learn so Ive taken off my ski mask.

Regards Bazza

August 25, 2009 6:14 AM  
Blogger Ruwan Randeniya said...

What and this got no comment... Wow. It did sure cut down on the clutter... I guess this means that the trick worked.

August 25, 2009 7:29 AM  
Blogger Brendan said...

Liskula Cohen would approve. And so would I.

August 25, 2009 7:44 AM  
OpenID punchphoto said...

Wouldn't it be cool if we could authorize our comments through our twitter streams?

August 25, 2009 7:55 AM  
Blogger ...number88 said...

Yep, sounds like good sense to me!

August 25, 2009 8:38 AM  
Blogger JS said...

Ahhhhh.... beautiful. Smell that troll-free air.

August 25, 2009 8:52 AM  
OpenID riddellucm said...

This site rocks.

August 25, 2009 10:34 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

This seems like such a knee-jerk reaction to me.

David is shutting off so many opportunities to enlarge his ****, , purchase V14Gr4 cheap, or meat hot foreign brides who want to meet HIM!

August 25, 2009 10:41 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

I'm on the internet and I approve of this.

August 25, 2009 10:51 AM  
Blogger Paul Reinheimer said...

My problem with the required registration is that google is doing it in a fundamentally bad way.

By requiring us to log in with one account ( on a seperate domain ( they're essentially training us to be phished. You may be aware that Google owns blogger, but are all your readers?

August 25, 2009 11:40 AM  
Blogger Miserere said...

It's a shame that a bunch of trolls spoil ease-of-use for the rest of us. I have separate personal and photography Google accounts, and I'm generally signed in to my personal one. When I leave comments on blogs, I just fill out the name, e-mail and website fields with a form-filling Firefox extension. Now, if I want to leave a comment here I will have to log out of my personal Google account, log into my photography one, leave the comment, log out of my photography account and log back into my personal one. All that, and my name and website will still not appear correctly in the comments.

I understand why you had to do it, Dave, but I will be reluctant to leave any comments from now on unless they are REALLY pressing. But maybe that's a good thing :-)

Did I mention how much I hate trolls who spoil the fun for the rest of us?

August 25, 2009 11:44 AM  
Blogger David said...

@hobbs -

Yes, but then it is easy to follow serial antagonists because they will do so with the same, made-up name. My response would be to raise the quality bar needed to get one of their comments published. A self-correcting problem, if you will.


Not surprisingly, many of he "increase your mansize" comment bots have accounts! Yay!


Did you even *read* the comment guidelines? You can comment through any one of several accounts, including non-Google accounts. The tinfoil hat is not warranted in this case . . .


Understood. But understand that *quantity* of the comments is not a problem, but rather *quality* of a certain segment of comments. And trust me, you should see the archived stream of anonymous comments that I have chosen not to publish.

What we lose in quantity, I suspect will more than be made up for in quality of discussion.


August 25, 2009 12:16 PM  
Blogger Jack McGinnis said...

I see no reason for anyone to complain. I have never put a comment on the web without my name attached. If you are ashamed of your comment then don't make it.

August 25, 2009 12:27 PM  
Blogger chris said...

Great stuff , love the monochrome bathroom shot with the lilies. Greetings from a flyspeck town on the edge of the Namib Desert

August 25, 2009 1:22 PM  
Blogger phil said...

in case folks didn't get the Liskula Cohen reference above.

i think a way to really elevate the quality of comments would be to charge readers to post. maybe the price of a stamp? i know i'd be more likely to read long comment threads if i knew that people were paying for their play...

August 25, 2009 1:27 PM  
Blogger the Doug said...

I'm sorry you had to take such action. Please feel encouraged in your task. You have educated countless people and inspired more. Your blog is valuable because of how much it contributes to others.

A fan and pupil,

August 25, 2009 1:28 PM  
Blogger Matt Haines Photography said...

I can't believe you've got this many comments on a blog post about comments. It defies belief.

Aw crap, now I've done it too.

August 25, 2009 2:15 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

I thought I would chime in, since everyone else has decided to create accounts and test them. I just bought your DVD set, and am looking forward to trying out some techniques when I shoot the rehearsal dinner for my brother's wedding.

Thanks again for all your great advice, and keep up the good work!

August 25, 2009 4:11 PM  
Blogger David said...

Very cute, Jeff. And I'll publish a non-anonymous comment from a Google account called, "Anonymous".

Just this once.


August 25, 2009 5:02 PM  
Blogger CrashLee said...

First comment. I love your blog. Happy to be known.

August 25, 2009 6:57 PM  
Blogger jesshave said...

No problem David. Keep up the good work!

August 25, 2009 7:08 PM  
Blogger Jason Quibilan said...

I love this sight and I've been coming back for more! I'm so into it and im glad the strobist way is making itself down to Manila!:)

August 26, 2009 3:10 AM  
Blogger Spikey24 said...

Great site !

Keep up the high standards and excellent resource.

Anonymouse or otherwise,

August 26, 2009 4:32 AM  
Blogger Bryan LYnn said...

I've been reading this blog for just over a year and you have opened my eyes up to a world of creative ideas. I really like the Boot Camp series (although I missed assignment III while out of the country). I understand your situation with comments from anonymous users. As a web developer we get tons of flamming comments about our sites from folks who often simply don't understand how things work or they are just having a bad day and need somone to whoop on. As for me I say "Long Live the Strobist!!"

August 26, 2009 8:01 AM  
Blogger AllStar Photography said...

Comment test, Justin Case. Like many others, I have been lurking for years (I have the Dean Collins set from year one). Many thanks David for making the photo community a cooler place - You rock...

August 26, 2009 8:46 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Finally sick of the BS. Good change.

August 26, 2009 10:30 AM  
Blogger GeoDesigner said...

That's great, Dave. The only sad thing about you changing your Guidelines is that you used to have the best anonimity disclaimer ever (something along the lines of "if you're going to talk smack, sign your name, or a name - anonymous comments just sound wimpy"). I used to love it!

August 26, 2009 2:15 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Just checking my account and, by the way, thanks for setting up this site and sharing with the rest of us. I've been reading it frequently and have learned a lot. Haven't participated in your boot camp yet but I have tried the assignments.

Thanks again from a novice photographer who's learned a lot here.

August 26, 2009 4:40 PM  
Blogger Andy M said...

Haha anonymous-haters unite!

I've been reading Stobist since 2007 and never had a problem with the anonymous comments here, but i know it's a PITA in terms of comment-moderating.

There Will Be Spam, but less of it.

August 26, 2009 5:52 PM  
Blogger David said...

BTW, I get literally dozens of comments like this a day:


I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Sounds innocuous, right? Except if you notice, it has no specificity at all. You could leave this comment anywhere and it would not look inappropriate to the main content.

And there is a link at the bottom, of course.

And it gets a little more obvious when they post the exact, verbatim comment to, say, 20 posts on a given day...


August 26, 2009 8:30 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

"I fail to see how letting people post with any arbitrary OpenID as an identifier is any less "anonymous" than anonymous. :)"

Low hanging fruit, there are some nuts that'll continue to register as many accounts as you'll ban, but the vast majority don't expend the effort.

August 26, 2009 9:33 PM  
Blogger Elysian Photography said...

Good job. I've always felt if someone was going to talk some smack, they should at least do it like a man and throw down the proverbial glove first.

BTW, if it wasn't for your blog, I'd still not know my ISO from my DOF. And, I now know how to turn a white wall black. Thanks always.

August 27, 2009 1:51 PM  
Blogger Elysian Photography said...

Good job. I've always felt if someone was going to talk some smack, they should at least do it like a man and throw down the proverbial glove first.

BTW, if it wasn't for your blog, I'd still not know my ISO from my DOF. And, I now know how to turn a white wall black. Thanks always.

August 27, 2009 1:52 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Having been beaten by a baseball bat - at length - I can assure you that it actually doesn't feel as good as you'd think when it stops. :-)
I've been reading here for months and I can't thank you enough for this site. Inspiration and education (and lets not forget the entertainment). I'm now officially on the enLIGHTENED path of the Strobist. 3 flashes and a wireless(and this ashtray...and this remote...and that's all I need...).

August 27, 2009 2:49 PM  
Blogger Jason Anderson said...

Someone said it upthread, but bears repeating again - if you have something to say, then attach your name to it - otherwise, button it!

Like many others, I can't tell you how much I've learned here. While I've started taking photography questions on my blog, whenever anyone asks me a lighting question I tell them "Go to David Hobby's Strobist site. It's on my top ten list every year for a reason."

Thanks for raising the bar - maybe it will start a trend! :)

August 28, 2009 3:15 AM  
Blogger Plant said...

Be kind to me, I am new here and about to post my first ever comment on a blog - primrily to see what name I appear as!

So I suppose I must also include an apology for the content not really being on topic but, at least, I hope NOT to be anonymous.


August 28, 2009 1:00 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

In the electronic gaming arena, there are those who choose to sometimes play under an alternate name. A process known as 'smurfing.' It's ironic because we already play under our own gamer names, callsigns, what have you. People usually play under a 'smurf' name just to harass someone without worrying about retaliation.

Personally, I don't smurf because I want people to know exactly who is kicking their @$$. :)

I've been reading this blog for about 9 or 10 months. My photography has improved dramatically and I enjoy it more and more. Can't wait to see what the next ten months will bring. Anonymous posters FTL! (The jerky ones anyway.)

August 29, 2009 12:48 PM  
Blogger Sheri said...

Yeah, so it is your blog and you have every right to control how it works. I commend you for taking control over it and eliminating problems. Thank you for everything you do!

September 02, 2009 9:03 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

Ok, so you're responsible for getting me a google account....


September 07, 2009 7:50 AM  

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