I'm thinking of requiring folks to register (either via a Google account or OpenID) in order to comment on the blog. It seems like a reasonable enough policy -- accounts are free and easy to set up (and can even be done with a fair amount of anonymity), so it shouldn't be much of a barrier to entry. And lots of folks have been doing it in order to raise the quality of their comment sections and deter trolling. I'm not sure how effective it is at that, but I've been less-than-thrilled at the quality of the commentariat for some time now, and I know I'm not the only one. I also know several former commenters whose contributions I did generally enjoy who have left precisely because they don't like the direction the section has gone in, and that bothers me, a lot.
On the other hand, I do sort of like the ability of a random reader with no connection to the blogosphere being able to pop in and leave thoughts without having to go through any hoops. It feels very democratic. But how often does that actually happen?
The (very few) blogs I know of that have comments sections that I consider "value-added" to the blog itself are ones that take an extremely aggressive moderating posture -- far more than I've ever done here. I don't think Blogger's comment moderations software is robust enough to let me do that even if I wanted to. But perhaps this is a small step.
In any event, consider this a notice-and-comment period. I have some unaccounted (heh) commenters who post here regularly. How would this affect your posting? What do you think of the possible change? And I also especially want to here from lurkers and former-commenters who have been quiet for awhile -- come out from the shadows for a moment and give me your perspective too.