January 15, 2013

Tiny House Blog Comments

small sad house

Update: I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to respond. I have decided to keep comments up but will set up a policy that states what will be deleted, etc. I will also start reading every comment before giving it the ok, some of which has been automated to this point. I am also looking into Disqus that will allow everyone to help in this issue. If I can’t keep up with it I will ask for volunteers to help in the process. I was extremely frustrated when the builder yesterday asked me to remove the post and said he was quitting the tiny house construction business. Sad!

Due to negativity, hateful, and critical comments on the Tiny House Blog, I am forced to rethink comments and how they will be seen in future posts. I am in a real quandary as to if I will turn off comments completely or have to police and delete comments in the future. The Tiny House Blog commenters are driving long standing readers of the blog away, making people afraid to share their tiny house stories, and as of today driven a builder away from the idea of building tiny houses due to mean comments and nasty phone calls.

In the last year there has developed a hateful and mean element in our ranks and I really have had a hard time dealing with them. My goal as editor of the blog has been to keep comments open to allow both sides to  share their opinions. I think times have changed and it may be time to shut down comments.

I want to hear your opinions on this prospect in the comment section below, but future posts may very well have comments turned off. I am really sorry to see this happen! -Kent Griswold editor of the Tiny House Blog

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REGINA UMHOLTZ - January 15, 2013 Reply

I don’t think it would be a great loss to shut off the comment section but please do not stop posting the pictures of the houses and the builders stories. I would like to build one of these in the future…just not sure what type of design and this gives me lots to choose from. Thank you.

Carolyn B - January 15, 2013 Reply

Mr Griswold, I’ve seen on another blog which I can’t remember where now BUT….
their comments weren’t allowed to be posted for public view until & unless moderated first. Do you have the capacity, manpower & time-wise, to consider this possibility?

I really like the comments and learn just as much from them as the articles. Thanks for giving us time to brainstorm ideas to keep comments.

    Newton - January 15, 2013 Reply

    That’s a good idea. Just knowing their comment will be moderated in advance will discourage some of the more negative, trollish comments.

    I like reading the comments, especially when the diarists answer follow-up questions. Being able to participate adds a lot to the forum. Hopefully Kent can find a way to continue allowing comments.

    Kirsten - January 15, 2013 Reply

    I agree. If you have the capacity or the desire to moderate (it’s sad that it even comes to this), that would be great as I have learned a lot from people’s posts and the links they’ve shared. And honestly, I had stopped visiting as much as I had in the past because some days the negative, nasty, mean, and downright hateful posts were so bad that they actually affected me, even though they weren’t directed at me personally. I don’t know if some or most of those negative people are trolls who post things like that for pleasure (or something – I can’t see what the allure is for being like that.)

    Anyway, I do love your blog, and whichever way you proceed, you have my support.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Julie - January 15, 2013 Reply

    I also like the idea of comments being OKed by the moderator before being publicly posted. It works.

chuck - January 15, 2013 Reply

I think you should leave the comments open and block all of the people who post negative comments. The comments are very useful in a lot of cases, and they also provide valuable on topic information that adds to the post.

Michelle - January 15, 2013 Reply

why would anyone be so negative? I don’t get it…

Karin P - January 15, 2013 Reply

I’m sorry trolls have hit. I have been seeing a lot of sites experience this of late, and I just don’t know what has gotten into people! Comments are a valuable part of a larger conversation on blogs, I really believe. But you have to do what you have to do to keep the trolls away.

Perhaps shut comments down for a period of time to allow trolls and other disrupters to get bored, leave, and then turn them on in a trial?

I follow you through Facebook and know I can leave comments there, too. Those can be monitored more easily, perhaps…

I’m so sorry this wonderful site is having to go through this particular growing pain. 🙁


Allison - January 15, 2013 Reply

Can you set the comments to where you moderate them before they’re published? Lots of blogs do that, and it might be a good middle ground.

hillbilleter - January 15, 2013 Reply

I think you could ban the hostile people from posting. As long as people know they will be accountable for their words, and will lose access to a wonderful place to exchange ideas and experiences, it might influence the majority of ill-tempered posters to be more constructive. There will always be trolls, and banning their access to comments would be a relief for everyone. I hope the builder you mentioned will change his mind. The pride and sanctuary of owning your own home, no matter the size, is worth putting up with a few twits. Maybe if he gets a lot of positive comments, he will shrug off the few hateful ones.

Melissa Faulkner - January 15, 2013 Reply

Keep the comments open but remove any that are disrespectful or vulgar.

Deirdre - January 15, 2013 Reply

What a shame that you’d have to consider shutting down comments! Ugh! Don’t let those black clouds bring you down. It’s such an upbeat, positive message you send…and the blog is so inspiring. To heck with the poo-poo-ers… keep up the good work! Love it!

Stacie Skelley - January 15, 2013 Reply


I’ve had your blog on my Google Reader for ever. Don’t let the haters dictate the blogs future. However, recommend requiring Discus for discussion board and the use of real names.

Thanks for a great site

Michelle - January 15, 2013 Reply

why would anyone be so negative? I don’t get what why.

steve - January 15, 2013 Reply

I would like to see comments stay. But if people can’t grow up and not say mean or stupid things, then you may have no choice. It’s a great way to network and find answers and meet like minded people. Is there a way to block someone once they say something that shouldn’t be said?

Anne Lambert - January 15, 2013 Reply

I have been following this website, lurking actually, for a while now, but have not paid much attention to the comments. However, I have had prior experience with that type of experience with other groups I was a member of. As you require the names and email addresses of the participants, you should also be able to block them. Make a list of rules and regulations (Do not shout, do not use indiscreet commentary or you will be blocked from commenting in the future. Make it stick. If you do not know how to do this I have someone who could assist you.

Patricia - January 15, 2013 Reply

Well, for heaven’s sake. I love your blog and what, why would it be necessary to be hateful/critical/negative on this most beautiful little subject/blog. I certainly cannot understand.

John B - January 15, 2013 Reply

Love your blog–Carolyn B has a good point re: moderating the site and only posting publicly after evaluation. At worst case, banning or blocking some may be necessary. Keep the comments… 🙂

Michael - January 15, 2013 Reply

I like the idea of having a moderated site. By now you know the people in this community that are respectful, trustworthy and fair. Allow them to help you police the comments. I too have noticed the hatred, criticism and misinformation being spewed in the comments. Its sickening. The sad thing is that even though much of it is from outsiders, there are even those within our tiny home community that are guilty of this. I am thankful that you’re mindful of our reputation and that you realize that we all have a responsibility to represent our community with integrity, and interact with each other respectfully.

    Crystal JT - January 15, 2013 Reply

    I like the suggestion made by you, Michael – refereeing the posts are way too much work for you, Kent – you have to know some of the regulars that contribute quality posts – see if any of them are willing to help share the moderating. Comments are very informative and I am concerned that if it is a read-only site, valuable contributors may leave – or worse yet – you might leave us by closing the site!

Nancy - January 15, 2013 Reply

Sorry to hear about the negative comments. I think you should state your posting policy (simply) and delete negative comments. Most folks get that they are simply trolls. Keep you blog and your comments going! Luv Tiny Houses and since I am in Sonoma County I’m eager to hear bout your planned community.

Bob - January 15, 2013 Reply

I agree with holding the comments until they are read by you are someone on your end. I am new here and I am very interested in these beautiful tiny houses.

Jennifer - January 15, 2013 Reply

I’m really sad to hear this. I enjoy the blog very much and will one day have a tiny house because of the wonderful things I have read here.

Most people have to police their blogs because of crazies and the just plain mean. So do what works best for you. I’ll keep reading.

Brandy - January 15, 2013 Reply

While I don’t comment often, it is very useful to comment and get feedback from the builders and others in this community of smal house lovers. Please don’t let the negative people effect all the positive, wonderful things that this bog offers! I think the negative comments should be deleted and those making them should be banned. I do like the idea of moderating comments before they are posted, although that would require more time and perhaps some help. I would be willing to help if needed. I love this little group!

Ken - January 15, 2013 Reply

One suggestion is to make people register before posting. That will deter some, then maybe make a week long waiting period.

That will keep the regulars coming back and the negative folks bored.

Dee - January 15, 2013 Reply

Do you have a few trusted individuals you can unleash to moderate your comments so that you only see those that are conducive to the conversation and the spirit of the website?

I trust you’re already using the WordPress plugin Akismet. I’d also suggest Disqus to clamp down on the spam part–I’ve found that the noise ratio is much less using Disqus than using basic comments.

I’d love to volunteer to moderate so that you only see the productive and useful comments. It would be unfortunate to stop allowing like-minds to offer opinions, feedback, and new sources for the tiny house movement. 🙂

    Kent Griswold - January 15, 2013 Reply

    I use Askimet and will check out Disqus, I’ve tried to do most everything myself to keep operations small but may well consider help with this issue as it is very time consuming and hard to decide what is good and bad at times. Thank you for volunteering and I will keep your generous offer in mind. I really do not want to shut down comments!

Cheryl - January 15, 2013 Reply

I think the comments are helpful & don’t understand ppl but think if you can monitor like was suggested most will stop as if they don’t think it will be posted they won’t take time to be negative. We can hope. Thanks for your site!!

Kathy - January 15, 2013 Reply

I too can’t imagine what one could hate about a tiny house… I know there have been all kinds of things going on at a tiny house FB page due to a lot of sudden posting by the builder regarding the Sandy Hook “conspiracy”… I just want to learn about and see houses. Any post and comment about the subject are welcome by this reader.

    Galen - January 15, 2013 Reply

    Kathy, THAT situation is just crazy and a little scary. It’s a shame, too, because I liked the houses there.

George - January 15, 2013 Reply

I run a bunch of blogs myself and I love comments but non of my sites post comments right away all are moderated because there is to much junk out there that I don’t want in my comments (like link spammers and things like that).

Good luck with your decision but it would be a shame if there where no comments

Bunny - January 15, 2013 Reply

Kent, please don’t stop comments. If it is possible to moderate them and only let positive ones thru please consider it. I agree with Chuck, we learn from the comments too. So sorry to know there are such negative people that can’t keep the hate to themselves. Don’t let this get you down.

Jeremy - January 15, 2013 Reply

Since you’re using WordPress for this site I’d suggest installing the Disqus comment plugin, this allows you to whitelist and blacklist users. It integrates excellent with WordPress.

    Kent Griswold - January 15, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Jeremy, I will look into Disqus it I really do not want to shut comments off!

      Jeremy - January 17, 2013 Reply

      Not only can you whitelist/blacklist/moderate with Disqus, but you can import your existing comments so nothing is lost.

      I just did a complete site makeover for a friends’ site I maintain, and as soon as I got it back online it got hammered with spam comments. Now that Disqus is back it’s free & clear.

      Along with Akismet and Disqus I’d suggest one more thing for your site, and that’s ZB Block. It’s an excellent website/forum/blog/CMS anti spam and hacking script.

Heather - January 15, 2013 Reply

To be honest I do not read the comments and did not know there was an issue until I saw your post on facebook. I read the posts and bookmark favorites and ideas. I personally do not need to speak to a community to make that happen. I will support whatever happens.

Troy Micah - January 15, 2013 Reply

I have never commented here before but would like to say that it is a shame that people must act so hideously. While I haven’t contributed till now the blog has brought me much pleasure and the tiny house movement has helped me rethink my life in ways that I am truly thankful for over the past few years. Thank you for all you’ve done.

Julia - January 15, 2013 Reply

I’m would be sad to see the comments go. Perhaps if moderating them is too time consuming there may be trusted volunteers willing to help with this? I learn a lot from the comments especially when someone asks a question and the home owner is able to answer. Just last night I re-read the comments on Diana Lorence’s first piece on Innermost House which is still my favourite. She answered many questions through the comments which was wonderful. Keep up the wonderful work!

Em - January 15, 2013 Reply

I like having comments available, as people often ask good questions (especially to builders) about the various options.

As to truly nasty comments/haters: that’s the internet. I moderate comments on my site and I never have a problem with the haters. It’s not worth it because they know the comments won’t get published. It takes a little time, (although I am not as popular as this blog, so I have fewer comments), but it is worth it because I love the comments from the people who are cool and hang out at my blog.

And I’ve been wanting to say this for awhile, so I’ll say it now. Thank you for this site. You have educated me and given me an incredible amount of food for thought. And even structures I didn’t like at all helped to see them. (And some of that was a matter of taste or functionality that would work for me, not a question of quality of the space in general.) Anyway,I just want to thank you for your blog and thank those who contribute to it as well. Tiny houses are extremely cool and you’ve provided me with plenty of material to dream on!

Andrew Okey - January 15, 2013 Reply

Policing the posts sounds like the best option. The exchange of ideas is important for learning and improving and growing. I would volunteer to help screen post for negativity or out right bulling. Let me know if I can help. Thanks for a Great blog! AJO

Cindy - January 15, 2013 Reply

I don’t always read comments, but on our blog we do have the “let me okay it first” box checked so we can weed out bad comments. I agree that people should get to give their opinions even if they’re negative, but rude, hateful comments are just not to be tolerated. Why do people like that even want to comment? Just nothing constructive to do, I suppose.
Before I buy anything these days, though, I like to read reviews so I can make an informed decision. If a negative review is well-put, I take that into consideration; it may cause me to decide against an item even when there are a lot more favorable ones. But as a blog owner, if you get lots of comments, it’s pretty time-consuming to have to read them all first. So I understand your dilemma and hope you can figure out what to do.

Betty - January 15, 2013 Reply

I agree about the comments! Many good ideas. Put a stern warning on your site and don’t let postings occur until they are moderated. Is it possible to ban offending posters? If so, I would do that too. Your site is amazing! Thanks for all your great work.

Margaret - January 15, 2013 Reply

I am sad to hear of the negative comments. I can’t figure out why someone would be negative about building a home.
They need new hobbies.
Moderating the post is a good idea.
I will keep reading your blog. I really enjoy it. All the ways people build are not my style, but that does not mean I don’t appreciate the hard work they put into what they build. And if they are happy with what they built, I am happy for them. I certainly don’t expect anyone to agree with me 100%.

Aaron - January 15, 2013 Reply

I’ve been going through some of the archives again, and I’ve been a long time reader of your blog. I’ve noticed that more and more foul language and super negative comments have been surfacing. It has actually reduced the number of times that I that I visit and it has also reduced the amount of time that I spend, since I’m not reading the comments anymore. I used to learn as much from the comments as the posts. I see two options depending on how much time you can devote. Either kill comments entirely which turns the blog into a purely informative, here’s what you get format; or publish comments only after you or another admin allow them to pass.

Mary - January 15, 2013 Reply

Moderation seems like a good idea to me, too.

Some “negative” comments are ok. They express difficulties and/or frustrations in a professional manner. I’ve appreciated some of those comments. Seeing a differing view is good when expressed correctly. However, there is an improper way to express, and I gather that has been done recently on some of the blogs here. I haven’t been watching the site much in the last week or two, but have never noticed any comments that were hateful, cruel or harassing. Those should be moderated.

I use wordpress. It’s easy to moderate comments, but once a person comments, future comments are not moderated. That makes moderation a bit more difficult.

    Mary - January 15, 2013 Reply

    *I haven’t been around much lately because of personal matters, not because of comments on the blog. Thought I should clarify that.

    Em - January 15, 2013 Reply

    I have to admit, I have no problem with critical comments, especially if someone is trying to sell a product. That’s a different category from someone who built their own house.

    For instance (and this is out of my head, not in reference to anything I’ve seen here), if someone was doing really expensive tiny houses, they’re going to get a lot of comments from people (like me) saying they could never afford it.

    There’s still a huge group of people who could. Or maybe they’d think about making a stripped down version for someone like myself, or even a kit (thinking of the teardrop kits actually.) So it’s a critical comment “expensive! out of reach!” but perhaps helpful or even something someone else would look at and figure out a way to get beyond?

      Mary - January 16, 2013 Reply

      I was thinking the same thing, Em. Expense, safety, and zoning are all going to be different for different people. Those things ought to be discussed.

      One thing I’ve noticed: not everyone reading tiny house blogs will ever go tiny, but they are learning from the movement. I have appreciated the variety of perspectives within the tiny house movement: one wants to downsize but not go tiny, another wants to be off grid. Some want to get away from regulations, others want to work creatively within current regulations. Some want permanent structures and others are fascinated with mobility. Some want to reduce environmental impact by not driving and another by a smaller footprint. Yet another might be more interested in reducing waste and using recycled materials. This variety is a very good thing, but it will create some discussion and disagreement… and invariably someone will consider that disagreement “negative”.

      I think the most negative thing we could possibly do is stop listening to each other, even when we disagree.

Jim - January 15, 2013 Reply

Most important is not to respond to Troll comments, the reason they do it apparently is for the reaction they get. Some system that doesn’t allow anonymous comments,and just try to block or delete the ones that get through.

Lorraine Mark - January 15, 2013 Reply

That’s horrible! Can’t people just come over to your blog and talk about tiny dreams? Tiny awesome realities? Tiny adventures? And having tiny bills come to their tiny p.o.box?

Dan - January 15, 2013 Reply

Can’t imagine how anyone can gin up much hate over tiny houses, but I love the comments. So any way you can keep them, would be great.

Keep up the good work.

Jean Layton - January 15, 2013 Reply

This amazing website provides a forum for discussion, but all discussions need politeness, decorum and an honest desire to share information. Moderating the comments would allow the community to remain helpful.. I’ll happily help you in any way

Perry - January 15, 2013 Reply

Just disable comments. Despite what you claim above is your goal as editor, you’ve not at all been receptive to free discussion that tends to diverge from your own tastes. You’re either pushing an agenda, or have severe control issues. Not a good editor, sorry. Just make your blog read-only and you’ll never have to worry about people voicing their reservations here.

    Chrissy - January 15, 2013 Reply

    Perry, unless you have read every comment on this website, I’m not sure that is a fair description. Kent has provided a wonderful blog which many of us read regularly. I can think of a couple sets of comments I have seen lately that spiraled to drivel with nothing to do with tiny houses–for or against. I don’t read a lot of the comments, but especially appreciate looking for follow up when I have a question. I can’t imagine anyone would want/have time to moderate every comment. Kent, thank you for asking your readers. I wish people would make only appropriate and topical comments, but since that isn’t happening I vote for blocking posters. I don’t get it–is that the new 15 minutes of fame?

angela - January 15, 2013 Reply

I am disheartened to hear that people haven’t learnt basic politeness, even if they are only “online”. My grandma taught me that “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, and “to respect others’ opinions”. I enjoy this site, and all the wonderful stories that people share. Not all of the life styles are ones that I myself would choose, but what right do I have to force my opinions on others as to how to live?

I believe that if there are alot of naysayers in the comments, that maybe moderation would be the answer. I myself have not seen any of these, as I usually read the articles, and rarely read the comments. Mind you, with all I’ve said, I think that the reason I don’t read the comments is for the same reason I don’t on yahoo, too many people with not much in the way of niceness to say.

TR Kelley - January 15, 2013 Reply

I’d allow comments and delete any negative ones. This is a positive community not a debate forum. You do not have to be “fair”. The best newsgroups, blogs and online communities are heavily moderated to sieve out the scum. Yes there are scum. Delete.

Angel - January 15, 2013 Reply

Can you just read and pre-approve comments? That seems to work nicely on my blog. Your readership is probably a lot higher though. I never understand why people take time out of their day to comment nasty things to strangers. . . You’re doing a fabulous thing! “Hater’s gonna hate.” If reading through is too much work, I’d say take comments away.

Kerry - January 15, 2013 Reply

I think the comments are really useful, but having looked after websites before, i think not moderating them is fraught with problems. I hope you will keep the comments, but work out a way to moderate them to weed out nasty ones. Also i have found there is a lot you can do to set a positive culture for these sorts of forums, simply by reminding people how great it is to receive positive, constructive, kindly intended comments… Good luck with it! And thanks for all that you do!

Judith W. - January 15, 2013 Reply

I honestly don’t read many of the comments. Of course there are going to be those lovely individuals that like to rain on the parade of others and no one dislikes that more than I. I don’t like to read it and it spoils the enthusiasm for something really special, and the Tiny House concept is just that. We could all just get your newletter and let it be enough. I don’t blame you for worrying about this being a problem. You have been very gracious to allow freedom to comment. If you have to shut it down, I would do so and just keep lines open for those that are sincere. Thanks for everything and best wishes!

Another Laura - January 15, 2013 Reply

I would suggest a very strong “be nice” policy, which is strictly enforced.

I used to be an avid reader of Get Rich Slowly, and its (former)owner, JD Roth, had a strongly worded warning at the end of every single post that essentially said that the comments needed to be civil and appropriate and not cut people down or use language that your mother wouldn’t approve of. The policy stated that comments deemed inappropriate would be promptly deleted, and that the determination of appropriateness would be made by the blog’s author (since it is his blog).

I tried to go back and find the exact wording of the message, but was unable to find it due to recent changes on that blog (which has been sold to a corporate entity.) ANYWAY, the strongly worded warning combined with (I assume) the deletion of nasty posts meant that the conversation was almost always quite civil.

I also have to say that some blogs can get away with eliminating comments, but for many blogs, the commentary afterward can be the most interesting part, and is sometimes more informative than the original post. If you kill the conversation, you risk killing the blog. But it takes the guiding hand of the owner/moderator to create the kind of community that said owner desires. Otherwise it defaults to the sort of slimy commentary that you read on YouTube, which is completely devoid of “community.”

    Kent Griswold - January 15, 2013 Reply

    Thank you for your advice, it is a great suggestion and I will look into doing this. I really have no desire to close comments and maybe I am reacting to several incidents and I need to move forward to correct this problem.

Jillian DeMarco - January 15, 2013 Reply

I like the comments! I read them!! I may not always comment myself tho. I agree… review the comments before you make them public. Keep the comment section tho. I take great enjoyment/info from the comments!

Jennifer - January 15, 2013 Reply

Well, you’ll have to do what you have to do, but it’s so sad things have to be ruined for the rest of us by hate-mongers. Why continue to visit a blog that gets then so riled up they feel compelled to spew filth and make nasty calls? What on earth could there possibly be about tiny homes that could actually engender such filth in the first place? It defies logic.

Personally I’d like to see the comments stay, because we learn so much and interaction with like-minded individuals is always enjoyable (when it’s respectful). Still, if you haven’t time to pre-screen for trolls, then you’ll have to just turn comments off. 🙁

Skip h - January 15, 2013 Reply

Haters gotta hate. If you can, pre screen the input and delete as needed. It’s your blog, dump the haters comments as you see fit.

    Kent Griswold - January 15, 2013 Reply

    Agreed, thank you!

      laurie - January 16, 2013 Reply

      Any way you can see them before they are published….I see that on blogs a lot. Just an idea.

        gf - January 16, 2013 Reply

        And come to think of it, moderation can slow down the dialog so it never escalates to a full on flame-war.

          Jenn - January 16, 2013 Reply

          I moderate both of my blogs. I have not yet had to delete any negative comments. I do delete spam that slips through the filter. I am also working on a policies page that helps potential commenters understand my “rules if engagement”. I would hate to see comments turned off. I sent in a Tiny House in a Landscape photo and enjoyed the commenters responses. I like the coommunity you have created.

    Marice - January 16, 2013 Reply

    Maybe screening before posting would help out. If you do end up not letting the comments show it won’t make me stop looking at the blog – WE LOVE IT! Thank you for doing the blog, makes my day start off great, Tiny House Blog and my coffee!

    Keven - January 16, 2013 Reply

    I agree. I trust Kent to make the right call.

Joan - January 15, 2013 Reply

I love this blog! Go with your gut about what will work best for you, and I’m sure your audience will understand. And I’m not being Polly Anna.

curt - January 15, 2013 Reply

ok with me if you turn off the comments I try not to read them anyway- kinda like youtube- people just get to snarky about stuff- keep it off I do enjoy the links were I can learn more about the project- I check your blog about once or twice a week-just interested in seeing what people are doing-and make me feel better and think differently about my small condo… possibly have the comments a seperate place not connected to the article.

    Marsha Cowan - January 16, 2013 Reply

    I agree. My husband and I have been working on a tiny house for the past two years and are only a couple months away from moving in! Yeh! This blog has given us so many ideas. We start every our day reading this blog to see what clever thing someone has thought of now that we might could use inout tiny home. I quit reading the comments a long time ago, and only add a comment when I see something particularly pretty. So cut the remarks and make your life simpler. Isn’t that our aim anyway? Just keep those great stories coming!

      ginmar - January 16, 2013 Reply

      Are you going to pictures when it’s done?! Hell, while you’re building it would be good, too!

        Marsha Cowan - January 16, 2013 Reply

        I have taken a few, but then stopped for awhile until the inside is finished. Will get them to Kent in a couple of months. Last fall, I put the house on Craig’s List because thought I would never be able to get into it, but my husband who was totally against the building at first, made me take it off because he thought I should finish it. Go figure! Anyway, I am glad I did because I have totally fallen in love with this little house (and I think he has, too!

Jeffery Niblett - January 15, 2013 Reply

I really wish they would come out with a new release for world of War Craft to give these trolls
something to do (24/7 for the next few years) but in te mean time moderating is the best choice I think.

    Vicki Groves - January 15, 2013 Reply

    @Jeffery Nibblet: They -did- come out with a new version of Warcraft recently, it’s just not interesting enough to bring the trolls back to it. 🙂

    Sun - January 16, 2013 Reply

    Excuse me, I play WoW, and so does my husband, and we are both supporters of tiny houses and this blog. Perhaps the comments DO need to be closed down if all you can do is post negative stereotypes about people you obviously know nothing about.

Carol Newsom - January 15, 2013 Reply

If you’re not supporting and following the Tiny house movement, why would you bother commenting? Negatively or positively?? I love all aspects of Tiny Houses, it forces us to declutter and center ourselves on the needed things for daily living and not WANTED things that are a waste of cash an a filler of landfills!! People who have never been forced to downsize or chosen to downsize, wont understand…..until this sinking economy smacks them head on!

Janet Switzer - January 15, 2013 Reply

If feasible, I’d say go to moderation and see if that solves the problem. I would hate to see comments disabled entirely, but if that is the only workable solution then I would support that approach.

Tina Herald - January 15, 2013 Reply

I don’t read the comments but it seems a shame to have to stop them because of a few jerks. I’m trying to imagine what on earth someone could have against small homes or people trying to live in small spaces. WHAT?

    2kids2cats - January 16, 2013 Reply


    The comments aren’t against tiny houses, but are by folks who have a very narrow definition of what the small house movement is, and if you don’t fit their definition then they are nasty about it. I’m sad to see the builder featured yesterday isn’t here anymore?? Does that mean he is the one who was the subject of so much vitrol? I liked his little house!!

    I agree with using Disqus or even FB to have people comment. With FB comments people can’t easily hide behind their names, although that doesn’t stop some. With Disqus we can somewhat self monitor.

    Ken, I love this blog and I, too, am tired of the nastiness.

Mary White - January 15, 2013 Reply

I am sorry for your experiences with those comments.. I appreciate what you do here. Your blog & the articles & comments are the main reason my son built a tiny house!! It is 320sq. ft. & will be building another one for me & my son next year. Also, on the same property he & my brother will be building the third tiny house the following year when my brother retires!! We are planning a garden & some bee hives along with other frugal ideas. All of this is on 3/4 of an acre. What you are doing is important & comments by good people are helpful.

Zer0 - January 15, 2013 Reply

A moderator could comments and deleting negative ones as needed. I hope that the staff for this blog will go with that approach.

Julia - January 15, 2013 Reply

I would be sad to see the comments go. Perhaps if moderating them is too time consuming there may be trusted volunteers willing to help with this? I learn a lot from the comments especially when someone asks a question and the home owner is able to answer. Just last night I re-read the comments on Diana Lorence’s first piece on Innermost House which is still my favourite. She answered many questions through the comments which was wonderful. Keep up the wonderful work!

Lisa - January 15, 2013 Reply

So sorry to hear this. How disheartening for you and others who want to read and learn about all kinds of living choices. I am fairly new to the blog and enjoy reading it everyday. I will understand whatever choice you have to make in regards to the hateful comments and the comments in general. Thank you for the work and effort up to this point. It’s been appreciated.

Meghan - January 15, 2013 Reply

I used to work as a radio call-screener. Let me tell you….the people who called in were a small small part of our audience, and the same people called over and over and over.

Have you ever called in to a radio show? My guess is no because the vast majority of people do not. If a few crazies are ruining it, turn comments off for awhile and see if they go elsewhere. but please don’t think that most of your readers are nasty or are driven away.

I support closing comments or taking them to something less anonymous like G+

Boogie - January 15, 2013 Reply

Kent, as someone who has lived out of their truck whilst traveling the States for 6 months and who more recently has inhabited a 400 sq/ft outbuilding in Nashville, TN for a year+, know that I appreciate your blog and your hard work. Do not dismay!

I partake in the interwebs to a degree which I should not, That said, I’ve spent far more time on a more varied selection of cyberspace than most folks. I have also made the mistake (but not really) of reading far too many comments. Here is my suggestion:

Allow comments. Delete whatever the hell you want to…you are the Mayor of this Blog. You’ll find that if you unfairly delete something your most concerned readers will let you know. More good than bad will come of it.

Cheers, B

Reb - January 15, 2013 Reply

Shut em down

Deb Weaver - January 15, 2013 Reply

I am so disturbed by this ugly trend. I had to completely shut down a Facebook group because of this.

It sounds like you need a moderator(s) who you trustworthy review blogs before they are posted.

bonnie - January 15, 2013 Reply

I think you should leave comments ON and just delete what you can if people write nasty things. Comments are the only real way for people to connect casually. I have to say, I haven’t noticed nasty comments but that’s probably because I don’t read them closely.
I think the less anonymous comments route stinks. Making people sign into fazebooc or geemail is yucky. Good luck and keep up the great work!

A.M. - January 15, 2013 Reply

Come to think of it, I probably got carried away, myself, on a post or two, blowing steam about all of the negative remarks all over the net about people not willing to be extreme enough or green enough in their tiny living. (Though, it wasn’t really meant to be directed toward anyone in particular on here… just venting because I’ve seen way too many, “people who don’t want to go all the way shouldn’t even bother” remarks, or people making negative comments on the way people choose to do so.)

Personally, I believe there are lots of good things about tiny house living, and I think we have to respect (and expect) that different people like it for different reasons, and that the way that everyone chooses to downsize, and the extent to which they can or are willing to do so, will be as different as the people themselves. I say hooray for anyone who wants to “go smaller”, regardless of how small (or what way) that means for them!

But if I was any part of the rudeness/nastiness, I certainly apologize to anyone who was offended!

On the positive side, comments enable the people who are serious about living this way, to ask important questions regarding buildings they like, as they try to plan their own downsize… or even that guest suite they’ve been dreaming of putting up out back. There are even some safety issues that are raised by readers, such as one person pointing out that wooden pallets are actually chemical covered and unsafe!

Of course, moderating comments on a popular site can also turn into a full time job… or nightmare, depending on the crowd! So I guess ultimately the question is what works for those who must do the work of running the site and keeping it sane.

Sorry to hear about the builder! That’s pretty bad! What ever happened to live and let live?

Matt - January 15, 2013 Reply

Depending on the platform you use (and from the looks of it, it’s WordPress?) to create your blog, and the version of the software you have, you may just be able to set it so you have to approve comments before they post.

MARK - January 15, 2013 Reply

Would be ashame to disable comments…Take What applies to You let the rest fly! Remember haters are miserably unhappy people that want nothing more then to bring you to their level.You know the old saying “misery loves company” I don’t take negative comments personally nor would I respond to them. If you don’t feed it. it will wither away!

Louise Chambers - January 15, 2013 Reply

Please stay! I love Tiny House! I aspire to have a tiny house and to be with other tiny housers.
I have shared your Facebook posts and get nothing but rave reviews. Everyone loves the tiny houses. Of all types.
My suggestion is: close down the comments. You don’t have to monitor that hate. It is hurtful to you. And to the community. And it gives the haters access to sensitive info.
Start a forum. Lock it down tight. Keep the trolls out from the beginning. Set up the rules and stick to them.
I’ve been on and have moderated forums of topix of sensitive natures, and we always made the ground rules clear, set standards for acceptance to the forum, and blocked the trolls as soon as the nastiness started.
Email me private if you have any questions. Would be happy to help.
Sincerely, Louise

lois venarchick - January 15, 2013 Reply

Please do not stop posting comments. I really like reading them and I am sorry that there are bad apples out there that leave awful messages. There are way more good people than mean people and like the writer a bit above said, ‘ haters gotta hate .” That is beyond sad.

kaley junkins - January 15, 2013 Reply

hey kent,

i come to your blog almost daily in hopes of seeing another cool, tiny (or moderately small!) house/abode. it really is one of my favorite sites to visit…you do an awesome job!
i hate to hear of the negative comments you have received. i see tons of positive comments (which i love!) and very few negative ones, but in the end it is your blog (and i know you work hard to keep it going!)….do what you see fit. I think we all come to this site to see the tiny houses, etc. and if the comments have to go, we’ll still keep coming back!
keep up the good work!

KMB - January 15, 2013 Reply

So sorry to hear about this Ken. I have only popped in briefly to look at posts, I haven’t had time to read comments and it sounds like that has been a good thing. I’m super appreciative of your blog and all the work if must take. If negative folks are causing you more work or taking away for your enjoyment and the experience of our little community here then I say turn them off. You can always turn them back on again in a month or two to see if the haters got bored and left. Of corse you can use filters too, just not sure how much extra work that’ll be…

Dazza - January 15, 2013 Reply

I don’t understand why people don’t like tiny houses?
Why would someone be so mean to those that aren’t chained to the commitment of a large mansion.
The only thing I can think of is that some people are jealous of another’s lifestyle of freedom and how they don’t need material things to impress others,I mean we all know the story of the man with the big red sports car and what he’s compensating for hehehehe.
Power to the little home may they be around forever.
I’ll support whatever you decide is best for the blog.

CIA - January 15, 2013 Reply

What’s considered negative? Are we allowed to point out flaws in designs? Comments about price? Or do we either have to say “Great Job” or not post at all?

I like some of the comments about negative aspects of projects. It helps me in planning my own build.

    jipsi - January 17, 2013 Reply

    EXACTLY. Using the word ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ here can be ambiguous… A tiny-house lover might not appreciate a build that does not include a ‘bathroom’ but advises an outhouse, so if they, in their comment/response to the article, say “I would NEVER be able to live in a house that was ‘bathroom-less’ because (insert their reason here)! That’s going back to the dark ages!”, would some stern ‘good vibes only’ folk claim that was a ‘negative’ comment, and warranting removal?? I think THAT is my biggest concern. At what point does negativity begin, constructive criticism and/or disagreement end? THis will be vastly different from one group of people to the next!
    I think it’s a general ‘nasty’ that the MAJORITY of us can agree on, when a commenter uses foul language, touts a product (even if somewhat ‘relative’ – a sales pitch is a sales pitch) or speaks harshly/disrespectfully to another commenter.
    But if someone is simply saying “I don’t like it because of this or that”, if they are POLITE and seriously engaged in the discussion (not a quick hit and run blurt), then THAT should never be misconstrued as a ‘negative comment’!
    I HAVE seen a few instances, though, where a few people DO get very angry, even rude and insulting, in responding to the ‘naysayer’.

    In those cases, I see more ‘wrong’ with the responding attacks than I do the original post!

    This is not just a ‘let’s get rid of the bad comments’ address: it should also be a word to all members here to be a little more thick-skinned, less over-sensitive, and certainly tell them to not respond in anger to another’s post IF IT WAS POLITE and RESPECTFUL, despite being an opposing stance. Let them (or me, or YOU) say how THEY feel about something, and agree to disagree, then leave it at that.
    As my mother used to say, “Pick your battles wisely, and remember to retreat with honor: live to fight another day.”

    I apologize to anyone here if *I* could have ever written a comment that perturbed anyone; I know I am honest to a fault in that if I don’t like something, I will step up and say WHY. Not to pick fights with anyone, but to find a balance AND solutions among others who might feel similarily. ABove all, I know I have gone out of MY way to be as polite and respectful as possible in my comments (to the point of being overdone and long-winded, although my MS adds a frustrating element to that), but if I have ever hurt someone’s feelings by a passionate comment, it was certainly unintended… I will pay more attention to my words (and any possible way they could be misconstrued or misimplied), in the future…

K.L. - January 15, 2013 Reply

I believe that if you are going against the main stream you are going the right way. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous - January 15, 2013 Reply

You could get an intern to handle it. :). Give a high school kid or a college kid experience with the “business” side of running social networking and blogging. I’ve seen a lot if pages put out a call for it, Unpaid, from their home, worked out with their school for legitimacy and personal responsibility, etc. Good for kids in communications, business, non-profit, etc. Have them mange the posts and make records if what they do, scan the Internet for relevant material/links to add to your blog, manage disseminating your posts to multiple sources, etc. Sorry, this is just what popped into my head when I read your dilemma. Good luck!

Magalie - January 15, 2013 Reply

I follow the blog in Google Reader, and so have not seen any of the commenting issues that has been going on. I do find it strange though that people would go out of their way to be mean, especially on a website such as this that seems to be such a great resource and support system for people who believe that bigger isn’t better, or necessary. Having a blog myself I can understand the though decision you have to make – reading, approving, weeding all of the comments can be very time consuming. I do think though that without comments, this site would lack a bit of “soul” and deprive folks the ability to ask questions or learn more about a project they find interesting — best of luck making your decision!

jipsi - January 15, 2013 Reply

Personally, I am saddened by the idea of quashing the comments section, Kent. I know it’s tough,there are always those who react to negative AND positive comments in , er, extreme, outraged fashion, and you wind up pulling your hair out trying to decide whether to diffuse a sudden back and forth of squabbling by removing some, any or none of the comments (as you – or someone -did recently in the ‘boat-roofed hut’ topic, where two whole days of posts disappeared, and I know mine was among those trying to defend another commenter’s freedom to post their polite opinion, albeit somewhat negative, but, as I stated in my last post there, it’s not whether a person’s post is ‘negative’ or positive about a topic, it’s whether they have been courteous and polite to others in their comment. For some reason, some people think if a member posts they, personally, don’t find a featured house THEIR cup of tea and why, there are those who get quite angry and start attacking him/her/them. We all need to remind ourselves to be civil to each other, that everyone has a right to their opinion AS LONG AS IT IS STATED POLITELY, CIVILLY and with RESPECT TO OTHERS. Although we get unhappy to read someone doesn’t ‘like’ the subject WE ADORE, we need to remember we have and could be later on the other side of a different topic, and we must be fair to each other. Take a deep breath, calm down, remember this is a blog we ALL LOVE and enjoy being a part of. No member should be ‘afraid’ to post because they are worried they will get ATTACKED (and these are not subtle remarks, I’ve seen some verbal meanness pass from one response to a whole barrage, in mere hours, over one person’s misconstrued remark. Kent should not have to go through this muck several times a day and have to weed the nasties from the garden here; we are all ADULTS, for the most part, and it would be a shame to see this wonderful forum shut down because a few people want to either CONTROL all topic responses (to be 100% smiley-face goodness and positive vibes) or resort to shouting matches and snide comments to drive any person AWAY who thought we could all be adults and politely, respectfully, HONEST here.
I am one of those who have responded to a topic with my doubts, always politley, always with respect, and even my over-caution was not enough to stem the backlash my comment would receive. So I’ve had to spend HOURS wording every post so carefully, it gets longer and longer as I try to cover all the bases of politeness and civil protocol, when I SHOULD be able to just simply say, ‘creative, but I don’t find it very attractive, just my opinion. I’d want MY tiny house to be DIFFERENT, etc. etc.’.
Kent, if one of MY comments wound up/winds up ‘included’ in those you’ve had to remove, I apologize. I used to run a forum (7 years, in fact) for a once-nationally known rock band, and it literally imploded in the final year or two, and over exactly what is happening here. There were people who were so ‘into’ the forum they began to monitor every comment and article, responding immediately to anyone who voiced a comment other than the happy smiley-face type, as if this were THEIR place to do so, and even went so far as to email mea LIST of people they thought I ‘should ban from the forum’!
Maybe it’s that the content of the comments go in a bad direction in general after one comment sparks a debate, maybe it IS a few troll types who make it a point to insert, daily, mean and/or unwelcome comments just to cause you grief (and if so, I’ve NEVER SEEN ONE – so you are pretty damn good at pulling them when they happen, and I (WE) thank you for that!)…
Whatever it is, I hope it can be overcome by the ADULTS who subscribe and participate, and that you don’t have to pull the plug.
This is the ONLY forum I am a member of, any more, because I enjoy not just the articles, but the people here, and I have always bent over backwards to make other people feel welcome and free to speak, BUT with respect and civility to others. I apologize if that was overstepping anything… I just hate to see people fight, but worse, I hate seeing people try to prevent others from respectfully speaking their own opinion. ;-(

SO that’s how *I* feel about it…

LMack96 - January 15, 2013 Reply

To be honest, several months ago I started following “posts” from The Tiny House Blog only on Pinterest because I grew weary of the growing negativity, nitpicking and snobbery invading the comments. It’s likely part of the growing pains of this movement – as more people learn about it, more people try to engage and conflict ensues. So much of it just seemed unnecessary. I don’t blame you at all for considering shutting down comments.

As others have suggested, if you feel it’s worth a shot, try moderating comments for awhile and see if that helps (or see if it becomes a burdensome, full-time job in and of itself) and if not, turn them off. Someone else suggested moving the comments to G+ where anonymity is less prevalent. When people can’t hide they are often a little less likely to behave so poorly.

At the end of the day, this is your blog, your baby and you need to do what works for you. Even with comments off you will still be educating all of us and helping to expand our thinking about living space.

James - January 16, 2013 Reply

I would try getting some moderators together to manage the negativity…
My 2 cents

Crista Forest - January 16, 2013 Reply

What’s to hate? I have not been keeping up with blog comments but I can’t understand how anyone can get hateful over tiny houses. They are obviously just trouble-makers. Is there a way to just block those who post hostile comments?

jipsi - January 16, 2013 Reply

Once again, sorry so long (my last post). After rereading it a bit ago, even *I* was amazed i had spent such time and length on TRYING to share what should be a simple issue. ;-(
Thoes of you who already know me, understand my advancing MS tangles with me on the dance floor (my life) every day – not TANGO’S, I really meant TANGLES – and with the fat fingers, jerking wrists, rambling thoughts that break off and over the fence of my struggle to contain them, and the PAIN that I live with 24/7 (between fleeting moments of the ‘relief’ of 3-to-4-on-a-10-scale pain when my meds kick in – as opposed to the higher levels I deal with otherwise), it’s a wonder I EVER get anything done. lol Apologies again, if mine were/are the ‘pollyanna’ type comments someone suggested… I never flame anyone for their views, but I DO gently remind someone to be POLITE when things seem to escalate, or if I see another person getting beaten down by others over his/her simple polite remark of differing opinion…and for the latter I will never apologize. Free speech is free speech, BUT it mandates certain ETHICS be honored.
Peace. 😉

Otmar - January 16, 2013 Reply

I moderate them all.
Not everyone is reasonable in this world. Everyone has access to the interwebs and they are guests in your house. Do you let them paint slurs on your walls and track mud on the white carpet?

JC - January 16, 2013 Reply

Kent and readers:

I enjoy this as my favorite go to daily site.

I have noticed the envy and mean comments and opinions lately. It appears that if it someone is trying to sell something, it is not a DIY green project or someone doesn’t like the trim, color door, spelling etc. they tend to let it be known to the world as to what a bad idea it was.

I have a small 7×10 former Mobile Mini office that I have been using behind my business (60 x 40 warehouse with an office).

It is inside a fenced in area and designed where I can cook, shower, heat and have lights on or off grid at this location. I have a 30 min. commute to work and sometimes I stay overnight. I call it my “Out Back Condo” as it is hidden in plain site in a resort area.

I have a permitted kitchen and toilet in the office and full 4 ft wide fiberglass shower with seat, I got for free (slight shipping damage) from a supply house. The shower is in the warehouse area so the condo is just used for privacy and sleeping.

I am not 100% legal with my use with the zoning.
A workaround with the zoning issue has to do with use. Legally you can’t live in a storage shed. So if a storage shed is permitted then storage shed it is.

I liked the last house. I am sorry to see it come down from your site. The builder needs to stick with it. He is only looking to sell to a small % of a market anyway.

Kent I don’t plan to share any of my condo pictures. Negative comments would cause me distress and I’m very happy with my low cost tiny condo lifestyle.

How much information is the site missing due to the bad comments from the haters? It’s OK by me if you remove the bad guys, bad comments or just turn them all off.


Robert - January 16, 2013 Reply

Keep up the good work. Do not be discouraged by detractors. As a shop teacher I have to filter messages everyday… Sometimes my own!!! Use your forum to promote goodwill but never forget that there is always another point of view wirth hearing. That being said do not allow harsh and negative dialogue to poison your life or forum. Take control of your brainchild and shape it to be to your vision of what it should and could be.

Kathleen - January 16, 2013 Reply

I am currently making arrangements to move to a tiny apartment due to your wonderful blog. My husband passed away in May and I feel the house (980 sq ft) we raised our children in is too big for one person. I am sorry that people have discouraged anyone from building tiny houses or posting tiny house stories. I have enjoyed them all. Be assured that the hateful ones are the few and the rest of us are the majority though sometimes silent.

Beth - January 16, 2013 Reply

It. Is a shame that adults can be so childish. I find the majority of in pit on here helpful for my future projects and wish lists. Policing a the negative nancies will be a large tasks, however I would hate to lose this blog.

Ordinary Bob - January 16, 2013 Reply

Install Facebook comments. This will shine a light on commenters, maybe forcing them to think before posting.

Dave - January 16, 2013 Reply

I think only allowing “logged in members” to comment might be a good idea. Anyone can see the stories, but if you want to comment you need to log in… people who are serial offenders, with nothing legitimate to say about stories, get their membership terminated. you will never get rid of all the anger/dislikes, but having to log in would cause an extra step that would annoy some trolls. Too many times have i seen a comment on a story as “That is stupid, who would live in a tiny little craphole like that” If people aren’t “into” the tiny house idea, why are they on the site and WHY are they posting negative comments?!?!?!? I’d like to think people have better things to do with their time.

    Pierre-Olivier - January 16, 2013 Reply

    I totally agree, mandatory membership is the way to go. That way you could only moderate new members posts for a certain period…

    You could also request that people subscribing compose a little text explaining their interests and motivations toward the web site/tiny house movement. Just another way of filtering out people so you know they are really interested. And expelled members can’t resubscribe with another name in 5 minutes…

vicky - January 16, 2013 Reply

Dear Kent,
If you have time to moderate, on-topic comments can be so helpful and build community. This is not a place to duke it out with others over topics that aren’t related. Unfortunately, rude trolls abound on the internet, and they can taint what is otherwise a positive experience.
Whatever you decide, I will still follow and support your blog. Thank you for all you do.

Sky - January 16, 2013 Reply

First time commenter. Love the blog, but never read the comments, fwiw. If the hateful commenters are at all affecting your passion for writing the blog, do whatever it takes to remove that bad energy.

Big Dave - January 16, 2013 Reply

Change your authentication to require a G+ or facebook login. People are usually not that rude when their main online identities will be associated with the post.

    Carrie - January 16, 2013 Reply

    Dave – I disagree. Facebook and/or G+ will not stop people from making rude comments. People will be rude on the internet regardless, because of the lack of humanity. It is very easy to type ignorant comments when that person is “hidden” behind a computer…when they are sitting in the comfort of their home. It is MUCH harder (for most) to say those things to a persons face, in real time. As far as the nasty phone calls these companies get – it’s a shame. That can happen regardless I guess. All we can do as individual is to be the bigger (and ADULT) person. Point out (in an adult, mature, and professional manner) that that person is out of line. Those people will be who they are, but maybe one or two will have a change of heart, realize their actions, and apologize. I have SO much respect for a person who can recognize that and say “I’m human, I made a mistake, I take responsibility for it, and I’m sorry”. I know I’VE made my share of stupid mistakes/stupid comments (in real life, not here, this is only my 2nd post). And I myself appreciate being brought back down to earth by someone when that happens. Yes, it’s very embarrassing to me, but I’ll get over it, and think twice before posting a reactionary comment again. I can only hope that together we can help the other people here who post nasty comments do the same.

      jipsi - January 17, 2013 Reply

      WONDERFUL post.
      I envy YOU, in your way of being able to put the intangible thought into a concise and tangible post!
      We are ALL part of this ‘community’, and the rude/offtopic/impulsive comment can be written by ANY of us, not just the random trolls/spammers ‘out there’. Perhaos this is a good ‘bump’ to go over, for all of us. I know it;s made ME re-examine my comments, my points (is it necessary or better left unsiad?), etc.
      Kudos for a great post… 😉

Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural - January 16, 2013 Reply

I’ve always enjoyed reading the comments here, but sometimes I’ve hoped the original article creator didn’t get their feelings hurt or those of one of the commenters when they get picked on too much. I can see it going a couple of ways. You can leave the option to have comments open or closed to the article author. You can also provide the option to the author and a note to commenters that any hurtful comments will be removed at the author’s discretion. I know you have lots of authors on here, so I’d just leave it up to them. I know I’d hate to see comments disappear permanently.

John - January 16, 2013 Reply

I agree with Big Dave on requiring an identity.

In general, delete and block if you have problems.

gf - January 16, 2013 Reply

I lean towards comments needing to be logged in. Or maybe it is time to go to a paid membership to post comments. A better situation than turning them off.

If you do go to moderation, having a volunteer pool to help out could really work well.

I moderate product reviews as part of my regular job and have to reject a lot of meaningless non-constructive reviews. Some of them it seems like the writer probably hit the submit button with a thought of “that will get them fired up!”

Part of what makes it especially hurtful here is that these are stories about where and how people live what is more personal than that?

Thank you for running a wonderful and inspiring blog. (btw I usually read everything off the RSS feed and rarely see comments)


    Marsha Cowan - January 16, 2013 Reply

    But once they pay for a membership, can you deny them their comments, even if they are nasty?

      gf - January 16, 2013 Reply

      Good point…
      I would never imagine that someone would invest in a community, then be hyper-critical of it. So self destructive.

Ryan Wilkins - January 16, 2013 Reply

I think the comments are valuable. Require all users to register accounts and then moderate everyone you dont know during a probation period. If they pass probation then permit their posts to show immediately. Moderate users who become abusive after some number of warnings. This would require additional oversight on your part but in theory would lessen over time.

To help lower the burden on you having to review everything, find some trusted users to approve or deny the comments. Those passionate about this community will be happy to help for free.

You’re not the first blog to have these issues. If you’re running WordPress, there is probably support for users to review comments already or in a module that can be installed.

Mary O'Neill - January 16, 2013 Reply

Sometimes you just have to suffer fools. People mock what they don’t understand. Because some people choose to be obnoxious, is that a reason to stifle everyone’s voice? I don’t think so, but it is your blog and you have to do what makes sense for you. If it were me, I wouldn’t because think of all the things you can learn from your comments about the good — and the bad — that people have to say. People say nasty things to make themselves feel superior, but if you just ignore people like that, it bothers them more than if you were to respond.

Deek - January 16, 2013 Reply

Sadly. The majority of the people who make hateful and negative comments are the lonely (literally) and the few as compared to the readership, but yes, I have definitely noticed how the comments have changed on all related blogs over the last year or so…..Its part and parcel with the movement getting so big, and the internet ability to post things they would never have the spine to say to someone in person.

Rule of thumb….the old adage…”If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it”.

Moderation, which can be time consuming, is probably your only answer.

Chris - January 16, 2013 Reply

I agree that the comments have gotten too negative. Unfortunately, that’s a trend that you see everywhere. I love reading stories of others who are taking “the road less traveled” and pursuing a lifestyle that makes them feel better about the world and their place in it. So, I support your decision to suspend comments if rampant negativity is preventing some people from telling their stories. Thanks.

Jen - January 16, 2013 Reply

I would be sorry to see the comments here go. Perhaps you could get some volunteers to help screen comments before they are posted, and delete liberally.
I love your blog, thank you for keeping it up.

Les - January 16, 2013 Reply

I’ve never even read the comments before…I read the blog through google Reader, so I don’t see them. I am actually shocked and dismayed that this is a problem on such a lovely blog! I didn’t realize there were people who hated tiny houses. I wonder if a blog about ginoromous houses receives hate comments too?
It is a horrible decision to have to make. I think I’d rather you shut comments down altogether and leave yourself time for blogging, than burden yourself with moderating. Is the blog about letting people debate tiny houses vs big houses? Or is it about letting those who care enjoy reading about tiny houses?
Whatever happens, I won’t see the comments one way or another anyway, so maybe I don’t deserve an opinion!
Thanks for sharing your blog with the world. I’ve been fascinated by tiny houses for several years now and have really enjoyed this website!

Erin - January 16, 2013 Reply

I don’t read the comments, so I didn’t know that people had been getting ugly. I don’t get it. If one is anti-tiny house, why read the blog? I don’t, at this point, live in a tiny house, but it’s an interesting concept. Who can possibly argue with leaving a smaller footprint on the planet? Just a reminder that the more people I meet, the more I like my dog.

    PN - January 16, 2013 Reply

    “the more people I meet, the more I like my dog” <<<<<< Quote of the day material right there!!!! AWESOME!!!

    Louise - January 16, 2013 Reply

    Let’s let the blog go to our dogs – they are certainly more emotionally intelligent than the average homo sapien and they know a lot about tiny houses! I vote for a user agreement and maybe some way to log in so the dialogue and information sharing can continue! Right now I am a faithful reader but as I get closer to being a resident of a tiny house I will need comment capacity to get support for our transition and build. I love this blog – it’s really my best connection to the tiny house world. Thank you, Kent, for your good heart and to all the nice commentors and knowledgable contributors.

Pork Chop - January 16, 2013 Reply


Don’t let the evil doers win. Most people can separate the good from the bad nag get full value from the appropriate comments. I haven’t commented often, but I love the blog and the tiny house concept. Don’t give in, don’t give up, and endeavor to persevere.

Amy C - January 16, 2013 Reply

I don’t usually comment either but always enjoy your posts – very inspiring!!! Sorry you’ve been backed into a corner like this by negative people. Sometimes anonymity brings out the worst in people as they can say things they wouldn’t normally say in real life. I’m all for blocking the haters.

antwon - January 16, 2013 Reply

its sad that some people hate on a “tiny house”……i mean wow, its a house and a nice way to live economically………..is that so wrong………….the world today.

Holly - January 16, 2013 Reply

I ran across your blog a couple of weeks ago and added it to my Reader feed. Since my husband and I stayed in a small cabin a couple of years ago, we’ve been toying with the idea of downsizing and living simpler once our kids have moved out. Your blog has given me so much inspiration to fuel the fire of that dream.

Personally, I only read the posts and never read the comments (limited time!) so I was shocked to learn that people can find ways to be mean even on a blog ABOUT HOUSES. Wow! If a lot of people find some of the comments (legitimate ones) useful, then moderate. If more people don’t even look at them. Simplify and turn them off! In the end, it becomes a matter of time and resources for you. I’d rather see you blogging great house posts than spending your time fretting over comment moderation.

Keep up the great work!

John - January 16, 2013 Reply

People are just plain intolerant.
I like the comments, peoples thoughts and like adding my thoughts or experiences at times.
I also think its great that so many younger people are trying to get away from the “mega sized” fries, and just want to live within their means.
I think freedom of speech and expression is fundamental. People have a right to disagree and express it. Nasty is a different thing altogether, on a privately held web site.
I guess I would rather see censure-ship than no posting at all on tinyblog.

cassandra - January 16, 2013 Reply

love anything to do with tiny houses please stay

Bobby Bourgoin - January 16, 2013 Reply

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Keep the Blog going, PLEASE!!!
I don’t follow the blog much on the site, but I do follow on facebook, and when a story interests me I check it on the blog (which is actually most of them)…
Personaly I don’t read the comments, just the actual story, so if you turn the comments off it wouldn’t bother me…

Erin Wilson - January 16, 2013 Reply

Errr… what? People leave negative comments here?! That’s like griping about birthday cake. Wow.

Thanks for all that you do here. I love your site, though rarely leave comments. Hope you’ll feel free to handle this however best suits you.

Jonathan Logan - January 16, 2013 Reply

Sadly it sounds like the time has come for a user agreement and login in order to access these pages. These steps would allow you to revoke privileges if necessary.

    Dovierabe - January 16, 2013 Reply

    I think the user agreement is a brilliant idea. It will also make it easier to wipe the blog clean of a certain user’s comments should it come to that.

    I think the comments should stay as the community in general has a lot of good feedback to provide to builders and designers.

Julianne - January 16, 2013 Reply

This is the first time I’ve commented, let alone even looked down at the comment section. Mostly because I’m kind of baffled by what people say down here that would initiate your post. All I have to say is this blog rocks. My boyfriend bought a vintage airstream a year ago and initially it was hard for me to accept that this ugly tin can could really one day be cool and have enough space to fit all his/mine/our things. This blog has helped me totally transform my opinions about tiny houses and a minimalist lifestyle and inspire me. I’m not opposed at all to you turning off comments (like I said, I’ve never read them), but please don’t stop this blog or require Facebook (which I don’t have) or a paid login. Basically I just wanted to insert a positive comment to contrast all the negative ones you’ve had in the past and let you know how much I appreciate everything shared here. Thank you!

Jennifer W - January 16, 2013 Reply

How sad- I’m sorry you are facing this. I don’t often read the comments here, mostly because I click soon after things are posted and there aren’t many comments at that point. However, I have read a few streams that seemed like attacks, and it made me sad. It is such a huge problem on news sites and reading the comments there make me despair for humanity.
I wanted to take this chance to let you know how very much I love your blog. It makes my day and stimulates my mind. It’s a true happy place and I hate that some try to hijack it for their own spite. I think intelligent discourse can make any idea stronger, but when it digresses it’s so sad.
However you decide, I will still faithfully and happily visit your blog daily and so appreciate the work that goes into t!

dirtymouse - January 16, 2013 Reply

I’ve read your blog for years via google reader. never noticed the comments. just keep blogging and turn off the comments for a few months until things settle, such a pita to monitor idiots online, don’t let them detract from your passion for small houses.

Swabbie Robbie - January 16, 2013 Reply

Some blogs allow one to comment but there is a tag after you post it that says “Awaiting moderation.” So, the comment is not actually seen by others until it has been read by the moderator or owner of the site. It is a lot of extra work, but is one way to do it. If you do continue to allow comments, I suggest you limit the time one can comment to a few days or a week so it is not so much work to monitor them.

Another bulletin board I frequent has forums and each has voluntary moderators that read and review and remove offensive posts and sometime ban offensive posters.

I hate to see comments shut off since many people have good things to contribute, constructive criticism, and positive support for people’s efforts. It is unfortunate that there is an element who love to spoil things, hurt people’s feelings and belittle their efforts. That seems to be rampant on the internet these days. I pity what it must be like to live in their heads.

It is your decision whether drop the comments and I support you either way. You do a great service to us with your blog. My thanks.

jeff from alabama - January 16, 2013 Reply

I have been reading your blog for some time and enjoy it everymorning. I have actually been toying with the idea of building a tiny house for my mother in law. Perhaps the people that are negatively commenting needs to adopt a little southern hospitality and if they can’t say something nice then say nothing at all. Bless their hearts. (Ya’ll know what I mean)

Wayde Gardner - January 16, 2013 Reply

Could you use an admin (volunteer) like a forum? Hate to see the comments go away but understand. Other blogs have a process of review before actually getting posted. Would that be an option?

Evan Jensen - January 16, 2013 Reply

Personally, I’ve always loved reading the comments. I am exposed to a wide range of insight on any given tiny house topic, which often brings enlightenment I wouldn’t have come to on my own regarding what “works” and what might be done differently in all sorts of tiny home designs.

I’m sorry to hear there’s so much negativity. While I didn’t particularly like the layouts of that last builder’s houses, I’m disappointed that some people would presume to dictate and threaten someone else’s preferences. That’s shameful. I hope you find some smooth way of keeping the insight available in the comments without getting the denigration of the negative ones.

Maybe hire some moderators to screen them before they’re posted?

Steve - January 16, 2013 Reply

I am a long-time reader, and have both noticed and am put off by this trend. While this is my first time commenting in all my years of reading, I take in all of the comments on a daily basis. There definitely seems to be a faction of people who come across as elitist and as self-proclaimed “keepers” of what is or isn’t a tiny house, as well as what is or isn’t, beautiful, desirable, clever, etc. It is a shame, and these people are really a hindrance upon a community that has so many positive attributes and wonderful members. I am not sure what the answer is, but it really is regrettable that these people can’t check their mouths and ask themselves if what they’re posting is really constructive in any way. It really would be a shame to have the ignorance and negativity of a few loud mouths shut down a tool that has a lot of potential to offer additional info. and camaraderie.

ida lively - January 16, 2013 Reply

I read the blog for the articles, and very very VERY (did I say VERY) rarely read the comments. I’m here for your work/sharing, not for the others. I’m sure that many do contribute, and if there’s something I question, I might (*might*) read the comments, but for the most part, I read your work, and if I question, I look try to find answers on my own.

Andy Hawkins - January 16, 2013 Reply

I say leave the comments on. It will need some policing for a while but communities have a way of dealing with trolls that will eventually cause them to lose interest.

Maybe look at a different comments engine, one that allows users to report comments and that handles those reports automatically and also consider approving posters manually for the first couple of times and then barring anyone that persistently causes issues.

At the end of the day it’s your site and you choose the rules but personally I think censoring negative comments by deleting them, or censoring everyone by removing the whole comments system isn’t the way forward.

Katya - January 16, 2013 Reply

Oh my! I ALWAYS read the comments. All I have to say is that the “nasties” just made me think how foolish and close-minded these people are. Everyone is (sometimes, sadly) entitled to an opinion, but to come on to a blog where tiny living is advocated and ideas are shared on tiny living only to blast it is idiocracy. People can disagree, but do so politely. I see someone already suggested moderating comments and you could do that if desired. I think it would be pretty easy to spot those wanting to make trouble or are downright rude. Just delete their comments and never look back! As for the builder, that is so hard to imagine! My goodness, what is wrong with people?

Marcia Weber - January 16, 2013 Reply

Having been featured on this site, the wonderful, positive comments had me soaring for quite a while. Constructive criticism is one thing, but is there really any reason to be just plain rude?

Lambo - January 16, 2013 Reply

I enjoy the comments and will just overlook cruel comments….ignore them. The comments are theee whole point of all of this.

MattW - January 16, 2013 Reply

I’m like Les and some of the other readers. I usually take peak at the blog through my Reader. Negative, nasty comments? Jeez. Now, I admit I don’t like all the houses/ideas that appear, but so what? Why react in a nasty way? Shut down comments if you must, but keep the blog. Longstanding readers would really miss it if you didn’t.

ginmar - January 16, 2013 Reply

People post info in the comments that can be useful. Sometimes the OP adds more information. I think they’re useful.

Alfredo - January 16, 2013 Reply

“Jonathan Logan says:
January 16, 2013 at 6:07 am
Sadly it sounds like the time has come for a user agreement and login in order to access these pages. These steps would allow you to revoke privileges if necessary.” – I agree with Jonathan…If that is not feasible then disable commenting.

Nic - January 16, 2013 Reply

Hi Kent,

What you have created with your blog is a huge service. I am dismayed to hear the troubles you are experiencing because of some lame haters.

Constructive criticism is what one can hope for because it opens up the dialogue which can lead to improvements. I tend to not read comments unless I know they are ‘policed’ because I can stand the negativity.

Please know I visit your site because it inspires me to have less of a carbon foot print and to simple down my life.

Thank you for Tiny House blog, whatever you chose to do about the comments, I support you.

Debra Jordan - January 16, 2013 Reply

Yes, a user agreement would be a great option. It would be more work for you, but you would not have to manually delete always…… If not an option, turn them off! I like he comments section, I get real-time good ideas. However, I intensely dislike the negative remarks left by some readers, sometimes painful remarks. I have been wanting to send in our small house re-do, but do not feel ‘up to’ any criticism. Making a choice to go small is difficult enough, without criticism.

Thank you for your work, Kent.

Skooj - January 16, 2013 Reply

I feel the comments can be useful and informative, and would hate to see them go. On the other hand, I would prefer to not have comments if having them ate into your time so much that you couldn’t maintain the blog.

To all the folks who asked how people could hate on tiny houses, or why someone who doesn’t like tiny houses would read the blog… The problem with the inflammatory comments hasn’t been about people not liking tiny houses. More often than not, it tends to be people getting rude/angry when something doesn’t match what they feel a tiny house should be, or if they feel something doesn’t fit their definition of the tiny house movement. Another big bone of contention tends to be if people feel a particular product is overpriced, or if they feel that a post is too much like an advertisement. So, it’s not that people are hating on the idea of tiny houses.

Oh, and Kent, on the subject of “this is an advertisement”… If you invite a manufacturer/builder to tell us about their product, well then of course they’re going to try and sell us on their product. Who cares? Even if they are trying to pitch their product to us, that doesn’t negate the value of seeing new tiny house related products. People can still get ideas from these posts, even if they never purchase the products being pitched.

In any case, do what you feel is best. Thanks for all the hard work and a really cool blog.

Paul R - January 16, 2013 Reply

I also don’t normally see the comments as I view through a reader and only occasionally click through to add a comment. I think the comments should stay, but implement a system for report of abuse and removal of a post.

-billS - January 16, 2013 Reply

commentary is necessary or we risk not expanding our thought. I have been negative about the ad space and busy sidebars that distract from my ultimate goal of viewing and reading about tiny houses. But I realize this is all free to us and content, time and bandwidth need to be paid. What is of concern to me is that something else is afoot. While reading a post on the main page I occasionally redirected to a MySpace page. It is not an issue on my end. Not sure how to handle it though. At lease I can get my tiny house fix and inspiration (I hope) Thanks for all the work.

    Torben - January 16, 2013 Reply

    Just a suggestion: If you aren’t enjoying your web experience because of overbearing ads, there are a few options. 1. Don’t use Internet Explorer. It lets everything get through. 2. If using Chrome or Firefox, get add ons like Ad Block Plus and script block. They are relatively simple to use, prevent all sorts of pop ups and invasive ads, and make your browsing experience much more pleasant.

    For sites like this where you want to support the advertising, you can disable these ad ons and still block some of the elements that bother you. It’s another level of browsing, takes some time to get used to, but if you can take your car to the mechanic, add oil and gas, or windshield wiper fluid, then you should be able to handle a couple of simple add ons that greatly help your driving around on the web. Just a thought!

Debra Jordan - January 16, 2013 Reply

I noticed the recent post about the tiny houses (Portable Spaces by Steve) being built has disappeared…..I am very sorry for whatever he may have gone through. His buildings were beautiful.

Torben - January 16, 2013 Reply

I haven’t written to the blog before, but honestly, this is the nature of the web. I enjoy your blog enormously, and it’s reshaped the way I think about living on some levels.

That said, there are just people that are incredible negative about anything, or turn into what is generically called an “armchair commando” that spouts off the kind of vitriol they would never express in a public place. Most of these people are cowards that would never act in such a way if face to face. On the other hand, there are lots of children on these sites that use the same language and simply don’t know any better.

The problem is that this subject is awesome to talk about. Thus I think the comments are necessary. But I would change your settings to “approve all comments” and have a few keywords banned to help you filter the non-civilized posts. When the trolls don’t have an easy soapbox to stand upon, they, being lazy as well, disappear pretty quickly.

So, keep the comments. Approve them, and simply don’t read the garbage that people post. Let people know there are rules to the discussion and that this isn’t the place for hatespeech and negativity. They’ve been warned and shouldn’t be surprised when their comments aren’t approved.

That’s my two cents. Good luck!

Beth - January 16, 2013 Reply

This is truly sad. With the anonymity of the internet, people use it to give them license to be hateful, without having to deal with the consequences of their hurtful words. I am truly sorry to hear this is happening here. I read the blog through my reader and don’t see all the negative comments. I find this website to be very inspiring and my husband and I get a kick out of some of these tiny houses! We love that people are living their bliss!!

Debra Jordan - January 16, 2013 Reply

Even his website is gone……..

~V~ - January 16, 2013 Reply

“Mean” might be a term given for constructive critism in the eyes of some.
Critism of any type may be problemative to some who are proud of their ide or their work.
WHen writers start NAMING NAMES and making it personal, THAT becomes a flame and is not a worthy comment.
Naming another commentor in a critism or naming the original author in a negative and in a positive light are both flames.
Staying on the topic – the product – the idea being fostered or promoted is the name of the game.
GUSHY, I LOVE THIS comments can be seen by some as not very constructive… points for ‘the decorating more than the actual product….
I find that i dont read comments because most are written without a lot of supporting facts.
For those who take the time to CALL a presentor double demerits. TO those presentors who get such calls, these are people who will never buy your services (and likely no one else either) and dont deserve your time. There are thousands of people on thie blog who may so I caution about divorcing yourself from the ‘TINY PROMOTIONAL PROJECT” that KENT has going….
TO Kent, allow those who do read the comment to click REPORT ABUSE so that you can monitor those that DO cross the line. Such a plan will also give you the data collection that you need to formulate the criteria you want to use and post in your GUIDELINES or POLICIES for commenting.

If you get too many (what will be that figure – a flat figure or a percentage on that story???? over what COLLECTION PERIOD of time) complaints on a writer then you can proceed to act on THAT writer….
oh well, my thoughts…

and to be in full disclosure~ Kent moderates my comments… because I did doubt (and still do) that one story some time back can actually be totally truthful 365 days a year…. I wasnt alone.. So once moderated, always moderated, once banned, always banned…

JenniferIdaho - January 16, 2013 Reply

I would hate to have comments go away. I love to voice my opinion 🙂 And talk with other tiny house affecianados. I find hateful comments somewhat amusing because they are missing out on SO much by their lack of understanding. I am sad for those people who feel bad about what they’ve done, so much that they have to put down people who found a different way and walk a different path. I accept that they are who they are and that doesnt make me feel any less for their negative opinions and neither should anyone else.

Bobbi M - January 16, 2013 Reply

It’s so sad that it’s come to this! I would rather see the comments turned off so you can continue to provide some great ideas! Maybe try a reader-moderated (or some other form of moderation) forum for those who need support and info when they build their tiny house…

Dina - January 16, 2013 Reply

Most of the comments I see here are either positive or useful, but I understand how a few bad thugs can ruin the whole experience. The blog motto should be “if you can’t say something nice (or helpful) please say nothing at all”. It would require some comment police, but I would be sorry to see all comments banned. Either way I will still return here for inspiration.

WandaSue - January 16, 2013 Reply

Please keep the comments section. When the negative and know-it-alls show up to try and show up everyone else, I move on and click to other cute and inspiring tiny houses showing up on the side and bottom. I dream of owning a tiny house one day! My .2 cents: delete the comments that are bringing down the positive atmosphere of your site, which I can see you strive to keep upbeat and hopeful. You ARE the owner of this site, and as such, the king of this castle. Toxicity is not to be tolerated.

Melissa - January 16, 2013 Reply

I see your point that people are putting ignorant comments on several posts. I think it would be better to get rid of comments so YOU don’t have to worry about that. I love viewing the photos and great info that is on here and really don’t care about the opinions of rude people. THANK YOU for having such a wonderful, info filled website to help other tiny house ppl!!!
BTW, we have lived in ours for 1 month so far and we are thoroughly enjoying it!

Holly Folly - January 16, 2013 Reply

That’s a shame. I have to admit that I do not frequently read the comments, but when I do I enjoy the input. Sadly I think your only option is to have moderators, becasue trolls won’t go away on there own.

PepperReed - January 16, 2013 Reply

WOW! Like others I access thru Google Reader and don’t often look at the comments unless there is something specific that wasn’t addressed in the article.

It seems an either/or proposition; while the comments may be helpful (and an interesting discussion of ideas), if kept ‘open’, you need to police them for sanity purposes or you’ll have folks emailing you for additional information on the post. Which do you want to spend your time answering?

The benefit of folks emailing you directly is you can then add the info as an addendum to the article, the con is that there’s no forum for the sharing of ideas. Either way, its more blog ‘work’ that you didn’t intend to do. Good Luck! I love reading about Tiny Houses and hope you’ll stick around as a free site.

Bryan - January 16, 2013 Reply

I will keep his name out of it, but I’m not alone in spotting the biggest troll in your midst. He isn’t in the comments section.

He is trying to get his name out there as a tiny house builder while displaying no obvious understanding of what attracts people to these homes and products.

Seeing this and calling it out isn’t trolling.

    Heath - January 16, 2013 Reply

    There in lies the problem.
    Everyone who is building and selling now or in the future is trying to get their name out. Nothing wrong with that. It would be better if people don’t read those articles if they do not like them.
    It is a pretty big statement for anyone to state what it is that attracts people to these home and products, because it a various factors for everyone. It could be about money, size, ecology, mobility, cuteness, or anything else.
    I think it is reasonable to say “I don’t like this” but not fair to tell someone that they are just wrong in what they are doing in their own personal vision of a tiny house.
    If they are trying to market it, the market will tell them if they are correct or not, we don’t need to vilify them as they will simply go out of business.
    I give full kudos to all who try, even if they fail because at least they tried which is more than more of us dreamers do (including myself).
    Keep up the good work Kent, builders and those who share their stories!

      Bryan - January 16, 2013 Reply

      I’m certain that market forces will answer him. He won’t like that answer.

      I agree with all of your points in the reply, but consider the individual an outlier. There are post I like, and posts I don’t care for. This one was the only I’ve seen that screamed “snake oil salesmen” to me.

MJ - January 16, 2013 Reply

I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning and have seen the ugliness get worse; as others have said, it’s the nature of the internet – as a blog/page gets more exposure, it draws in elements that we all wish weren’t around. With my own blog, I’ve had to do some moderation, not getting nearly the number of comments you get but the factor creeps in. So I went to word verification. If needed, I’d go to moderation and reporting from users. It’s a pain in the butt, but I always read the comments and the good ones are not only great for supporting the person’s home/ideas, but often some wonderful ideas the poster him or herself gets something from. There are some really clever, talented people reading this blog and I’d hate to not get their input. Sadly, this is the price of popularity. Best wishes in making a decision you can be at peace with.

Riverlover - January 16, 2013 Reply

Don’t let the haters win. The comments can be very helpful at times. Is there a way you can block those who have been out of line in the past so that they cannot comment again? I love the blog and hate to see negative energy in any form toward your offerings. Worst case, volunteer edits I guess.

Ed - January 16, 2013 Reply

I thoughly enjoy your blog but never read the comments because I read it through a RSS feed. I don’t care if you shut down the comments but I know bloggers enjoy the positive comments from their readers. Do what you have to do, I hope you keep the great content coming! I suppose you could moderate out the hateful comments.

alice h - January 16, 2013 Reply

The intern idea sounds promising and beneficial to all. Maybe a group of students could take it on as a credit project if something gets worked out with their school. Having a stated set of rules for commenting and sticking with removing anything in non-compliance might be labour intensive but certainly worth it. I don’t mind people saying why they think an idea might be lacking in some way or other as long as they do it in the interests of improving things without nasty personal attacks and scornful vitriol. Lots of comments on the blog have had good information related to the post as well as happy appreciation but those horrible negative nasty comments that set off a whole barrage of ugliness we can do without. Sometimes people who wouldn’t normally do something like that are tempted into it in defense of their own or the original poster’s position and may display more anger than they intended. There are people who deliberately try to make this happen and they just comment wherever they can provoke somebody rather than out of an interest in the subject.

Molly - January 16, 2013 Reply

I have read this blog for years, although there was a period of about 6 months recently that I did stop reading because of all the hate in the comments. It’s hard, because so often helpful information is shared through the comments and great suggestions are offered. Those types of comments add to the blog post.

If I had a tiny home there is no way I would share it with so much anger and hate here, or anywhere. I would want to read the comments to answer people’s questions, which has been really helpful when other people share their homes, but I don’t like exposing myself to so much anger and hate.

In theory the best idea seems to be to moderate the comments but that does add extra work. Kent, you already do so much with this blog that I don’t like the idea of you needing to do more.

Matthew - January 16, 2013 Reply

Count me as one of the feed readers / non-comment readers.

This is such a tough call for you and I understand the idea of pouring more energy into something that’s become a burden is really hard to swallow. Maybe you should just take a break from allowing commenting for a while and come back to it in a week or in a month and re-evaluate.

There have always been small people, but now we get to see them more.

Thanks for all your work.

Glen Aldridge - January 16, 2013 Reply

Keep the comments active & here’s my suggestion – Put on a policy that any hateful messages posted, 1st. time you get a warning, 2nd. time you are banned. Anyone not supportive of Tiny Houses shouldn’t be here anyway.

    Sarah - January 16, 2013 Reply

    Sounds appropriate to me. Being a crochety old Midwesterner, I might just skip the first step, but many have worked hard to make me understand the need for patience…So I go for Glen’s plan. 🙂

Jerry Fisher - January 16, 2013 Reply

Like so many of the others above, I’ve not seen the nasty comments that have led to the consideration of suspending the comments section.

I’d be sorry to see it go but I do understand how it can be considered a necessary evil in this day and age where people say things online they’d never dream of whispering under their breath in person.

I seem to vaguely recall that another website dealt with trolls quite effectively by changing the format so that:

1. There was a user agreement and sign-in before anyone could comment

2. If someone’s comment was provocative to the point of being a flame, other members could tick a button indicating they didn’t like it and after a set number of clicks either it was reviewed by the administrator or they were just plain banned–but either way the offensive comment would be hidden. I think unhappy recipients of this action referred to it as being “ban-hammered!”

It deeply pains me to read that people who came here for encouragement and advice on creating their own tiny homes might’ve been attacked online or been discouraged by haters.

At the same time, removing the comments section here would essentially be giving the trolls what they most desire, control over the conversation.

Max Coats - January 16, 2013 Reply

I do not read the comments but I am surprised and saddened that people are making negative comments. I enjoy the blog as should you, if the nasty comment makers are taking the fun out out of it then end the ability to leave comments. It won’t make negative people nice they will find a target but it will get them out of your life as far as this blog is concerned.
Tiny House blog makes me smile, thank you Kent

Max Coats

Sue - January 16, 2013 Reply

I too love the helpful comments. But I’m also disgusted with all the negative ones. Every time a tiny house price is posted some people go berserk. And the critics of a tiny house lifestyle are unnecessary and pointless If it’s not a person’s thing, they should be looking elsewhere.

Thank you for your blog and all you do and I hope you can work it out to keep the comments. But if not we understand you do what you can and we are happy to see your postings.

Myra Kemna - January 16, 2013 Reply

Just put a disclaimer that purposefully unkind comments will be deleted. If you need help policing the blog ask one of us who enjoy the blog to help with policing. Just a thought. Sad that we don’t get to enjoy the blog because of a few bad apples.

    Kathryn - January 17, 2013 Reply

    I agree with you Ruth. I don’t often comment but I do enjoy visiting. It is so sad that a few bad apples have to ruin it for others.

Mike - January 16, 2013 Reply

My comments are these:

• You can make the blog self-policing in that once a threshold of down votes to a comment was reached, the comment is automatically redacted. No work for Kent and the thread becomes self correcting. And an honest and insightful comment even if negative is not the same thing as an ad-hominem attack. That distinction needs to be made in the commenting guidelines.

• The most objectionable articles are the ones laden with self-interest and seemingly not aligned to the spirit and interests of the Tiny House movement. I think we’re all inspired and guided by those folks who really think through their design and construction and realize their dreams.

• Kent, you need to realize that your efforts are directing and/or facilitating this movement to some greater or lesser degree and accept some responsibility for the outcomes. There are perilous trends exhibited in some of the articles you’ve posted which, if amplified, would actually work against the Tiny House movement.

• For example – a number of the articles you’ve shared feature a tiny house in a landscape. I would suggest that the REASON that house is in that landscape is for the enjoyment of same. BUT, once the wilder spaces are all populated with tiny houses, your landscapes are diminished. It’s just a suburb with smaller houses. A Tiny House, well conceived, well designed, well executed, well built and well-SITED is a lasting value asset to the owners and the Tiny House community. There are some implementations that work against the community. These issues should be raised.

My hope is you see your role going forward as more of a pro-active shepherd of this movement and less providing a vehicle for those who want to market a product. And well conceived Tiny House living can offset any objection to our community that might arise.


    2kids2cats - January 16, 2013 Reply


    I think the issue has become what is the spirit and interests of the tiny house movement. So many comments lately have come from self-proclaimed “keepers of the movement” who have a narrow view of what is acceptable. I adore tiny houses and want one of my own to live in. I am not particularly “green” in my worldview and am willing to spend some money to get what I want. Does that make me un-pure and not a true tiny house advocate? Many posters seem to think so.

    I enjoy the posts about different builders. That is where I get ideas and inspiration. If I don’t care for what they’ve done then so be it–no need to be nasty about it.

    I am just sick that the article yesterday resulted in so much hate. I liked Steve’s houses. I tried to find a way to contact him today to tell him I appreciate what he is doing, but ugliness here has resulted in him removing his web presence. So sad.

      Mike - January 16, 2013 Reply

      I suppose then, that the Tiny House movement should move forward without a rudder or a map? The blog would be so improved by some design analysis, a construction and detailing section, some schematics for folks on the dream/reality threshold or even stuck at a crucial detail, a section on sourcing appropriately scaled fixtures and furnishings, a primer on the design process from decision through downsizing to design and construction to help folks achieve the results they want and what the planet needs without seeing your efforts end up on Craigslist at a discount. I’ll admit – I’ve been living in anticipation of the blog getting better and delivering more and clearer content to help build the community.

      When they started SeaSide in Destin, Andres Duany first provided an architectural primer for all the architects working within the community. There was ample room for interpretation, but the end results were uniformly spectacular both for the individual properties and the whole. The guidelines were made into a book that’s on the shelves of just about every architect.

      That type of effort and direction is what the Tiny House community needs to flourish. Some thoughtful scripting and guidance so everyone who wants to participate can have results that are spectacular and well worth the efforts. Not everyone can wear the hats of designer, contractor, carpenter & electrician, but you can help by providing more than just the show and tell – we have CabinPorn and Tiny House Swoon for that.

      If you’re overwhelmed – I can relate. But you have had contact with dozens of folks who get it right and know about scale, and craftsmanship and programming a space – ask them to write for you once a month. That guy from Zyl Vardos is very clever – Peter King could opine on downsizing – Jay Schafer seems to have a good handle on scale… you get the idea. They don’t have to design it for us, just share their insights. And because the insights come from a number of the masters, nobody becomes the sole authority. And yet, there’s some critical appraisal of our progress which is what is needed to get better.

      As for Steve’s retreat, I can only say this; someone who truly believes in what they do will continue to improve and not get discouraged. If Steve was all about the Tiny House movement, would he have stopped? Were it me, I’d check myself and see if the comments were warranted. Or even reply to the comment and ask them to explain themselves.

      That’s how we prevail – we don’t give up.


Shelly L - January 16, 2013 Reply

I resonate with all the blog readers that support you and reject the haters! I cannot wrap my head around why anyone would want to make hurtful, hateful comments and negative comments. I also agree that if there are constructive or questioning comments that would improve or help someone’s idea…OK…other wise, keep it to yourself. It will be a sad day if you have to completely remove the comments, but I shall continue to follow regardless of your final decision.

Dave - January 16, 2013 Reply

I really like the blog and check it regularly. I never realized there were comments til now. I’m not sure negative comments are a bad thing as long as they are constructive and and contribute to the discussion. On that note, you have my sympathies regarding the nasty negativeness. I’ll keep reading the blog whatever you decide.

Thanks for all your work,

MJ - January 16, 2013 Reply

Just read your update, Kent, and glad you are choosing that path. As for the builder, it is sad, but if his passion is strong, he’ll eventually build. All of us who venture out get knocked down occasionally, sometimes it makes us more determined, sometimes it leads us down another path. He’ll choose the right one for himself, maybe it just wasn’t the right time.

Steve - January 16, 2013 Reply

Just saw this come up on Facebook and it made me scratch my head. I love this blog and the tiny houses, but frankly I’ve rarely ever read any of the comments.

Tiny house hate? Seriously??? Hateful phone calls??? I mean, WTF?

What exactly is there about tiny houses that would inspire hate? You either like them or you don’t…or so I would have thought, anyway.

Janel - January 16, 2013 Reply

There’s always gonna be mean people, you can’t stop them. But you can keep them off your blog.

I compare a blog to a living room. There’s “freedom of speech” on a street corner, but NOTHING on the internet is a street corner, every domain is owned by someone and is private property. Some domains are there for the purpose of imitating a street corner and allowing people to get rowdy.

A nice polite blog with a constructive purpose like this one is someone’s living room. Visitors are guests and can expect civility, and all must behave themselves or be expelled.

Just to be practical here… your blog does make you an income, does it not? So policing and removing inappropriate comments is just part of your job. Do the job, don’t get tired of it, we do like the job you’re doing 🙂

If uncivil people are made to feel unwelcome for long enough they may lose interest in following the Tiny House movement and pay less attention to it overall, after a while. That’s my 2c.

    Kent Griswold - January 16, 2013 Reply

    Thank you for your wisdom, it is much appreciated. Sometimes when working alone it is good to vent and I think I did it with this post. I really appreciate everyones comments and input on this subject.

Beverly - January 16, 2013 Reply

Absolutely cannot imagine nasty comments about these wonderful little homes. OMG.

Debra Jordan - January 16, 2013 Reply

Entrepreneur = from French for ‘risk taker’. It is sometimes scary to be an entrepreneur, hopefully they will be back.

Venia101 - January 16, 2013 Reply

Would forcing registration prior to commenting help cut down on the negativity? Typically people only register for things they really enjoy.

I can understand some “oh I don’t like this one because…” kind of comments but being hateful of the entire site or concept is completely different.

Also perhaps putting a verification code prior to “submit” may help too.

Good luck.

kurt - January 16, 2013 Reply

That makes me very sad that comments on the Internet caused someone to give up their business. You have every right to delete (or not approve) any comments you feel are hurtful. It may be that those who leave hurtful comments, when they see that they’re no longer being published, will go elsewhere.

Kristi - January 16, 2013 Reply

I like the idea of a thumbs-up/thumbs-down type of set up for the readers to do the policeing. I LOVE THIS BLOG!!!!

Maureen - January 16, 2013 Reply

Did not see the comments that led to this discussion about what to do with the comment section of this blog. It would be sad that the outcome would be you removing the comment section completely. I have found helpful ideas in people’s comments.

Corrine - January 16, 2013 Reply

I too read the blog but never read the comments, and don’t usually comment myself, however, it is truly sad that folks feel the need to be hateful and denigrate a lifestyle choice that others make that is so mindful of the planet and it’s resources and in fact each other by using less and making things last. I truly enjoy the blog and feel you should do whatever works best, but some kind of monitoring it sounds like is called for. Good luck in whatever you decide to do I will still read the blog and enjoy ALL the posts.

john - January 16, 2013 Reply

I believe in a readers right to comment, provided it’s productive and relevant….but also respectful.
I also believe the best moderators are the other posters…a ‘flag’ button that will remove the comment after just a few hits would be perfect.
We’re not going to like, or agree to everything…but we should also expect to be polite as others would in turn…do not post disagreement in attempt to argue or belittle other people…that’s for polotics.

Loulou in France - January 16, 2013 Reply

I am a longtime fan of your website, though I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. I find it extremely sad that you get any negative or hateful comments here at all, and I really can’t understand why you would. Are people threatened by others wanting to live in a small space?
Anyway, I’m happy you aren’t letting it stop you from the rest of us sharing ideas and positive comments, even though it means some extra work for you. So, thank you for your time and energy and for a fabulous site!

Lee - January 16, 2013 Reply

I’ve never understood why anyone would waste their time on composing and typing out a comment which they know is going to upset the people they are posting it too! These people clearly have a lot of hate in their veins and have no place on this blog. If you don’t agree with something then walk away, it’s not rocket science…
By the way Kent, I, and many of my fellow retailers, have noticed this is a growing trend, not just on-line but on the High Street too. People generally seem to be getting ruder (being abusive, swearing & threatening staff) & no-one’s really sure why.
Anyway, keep yer chin up squire! I’ve been reading this blog on a daily basis for ages now (particularly like the housetruck/housevan stories) & I’m in no rush to stop just because of a few sad little idiots! Good work mate.

Shaun R. Cash - January 16, 2013 Reply

I have actualy NEVER posted a comment before. BUT, CHEERS to you for this blog. Hope it forever rolls! Hopefuly soon I will be getting a start on my own home loosely based on Dee Williams’. Love all the links on here and I’ve found over time quite a few resources that have allowed me to find some perfect little odds and ends I may otherwise have not. Keep it up, good job!

lime - January 16, 2013 Reply

i’ve been a long time reader through a feed service but i have never commented or even read the comments. i am so sorry to hear this has been a problem. i just wanted to take the opportunity to say how much i have appreciated the posts here as they challenge and inspire me to work toward a smaller and more sustainable way of living.

Sonje Bianca - January 16, 2013 Reply

I can certainly understand you wanting to delete the comments section. I’ve seen so many troll-like comments that make me think they are from traditional builders who want to denigrate the whole movement. I’ve also seen non-relevant political comments denigrating people like myself who are forced to live on disability due to … uh … disabilities! Very hurtful and completely unexpected on a site like this. Do what is easiest and best for you, Kent. Your true fans will stick by you. Also, I have wondered about fire safety issues with tiny homes. I’d love to see an article on that subject. Thanks for all your hard work.

Jennifer - January 16, 2013 Reply

I love your site and get quite a lot of inspiration from it. So sorry there is a problem with negativity. For us who really like the idea of simplifying, sharing ideas, and reading about others who have successfully downsized, please keep the comments. There are really good ideas there. Thank you for all your work on this site. It is greatly appreciated!

Daniel - January 16, 2013 Reply

I keep up with this blog on at least a weekly basis. I rarely read the comments unless I am looking for the answer to a question that someone else has asked. The loss of the comments section would in no way deter my interests in the blog. It is of course sad that a few malcontents can ruin something for others. Too bad it is not apparently possible to block comments from flamers.
I realize that tiny houses are a new thing and many immature people are scared of change. Keep on keeping on and your blog will continue to gain popularity as it always has.

TomLeeM - January 16, 2013 Reply

It is the downside of having a post online. I think there are those who will post a negative comment no matter what the subject.

When I post a comment on Gizmag, they review it before posting it. Perhaps this is a good way to keep negative posts or posts that are off topic from being put on the site? I think it would be better than not allowing comments at all.

kotobide - January 16, 2013 Reply

I posted on the article last night i don’t feel i was a troll i only expressed that the writer should include some more details of the build like dimensions and materials etc.

I didn’t know it devolved into some over reaching insult fest after i left

Jason McBride - January 16, 2013 Reply

This is my first ever comment, but I check this site and a couple others on the same theme everyday, and love it, please dont let a group of small minded people change what you are doing. Thank you

Michael - January 16, 2013 Reply

I have noticed the uptick in negative feed back (I’m being nice here), but I hope you will allow the comments to stay open, edited if need be. Perhaps a reader edited setup as suggested by others could work. I understand how some people may be turned off by a story or a type of construction, but just because they don’t like something does not give them the right to be rude in there response. If you don’t like it keep your response short and polite if you feel you have to respond at all.

I love your blog and hate to see it changed, because of this type of bad behavior.

Ramona - January 16, 2013 Reply

Tiny House Haters spewing venom on the Tiny House Blog??? Honestly what is next? I can’t even imagine people will stoop that low with all the serious issues going on in the world. How extremely pathetic and sad. This blog is fantastic and whatever you choose to do Ken you have my complete support. To the Tiny House Haters…please find a hobby or a cause to put your energy into. So many people are in need…use your spare time volunteering and spreading love..not hate. Keep up the great work Ken!

Josh Wren - January 16, 2013 Reply

I am saddened to hear about the extreme measures that you have had to come to. I personally have hardly if at all never read the comments and was not exposed to this but if you feel you must delete all comments then go ahead. I would like to keep the comments because that gives and opportunity to express, reflect, and provide constructional Criticism. But if policing is too involved or too much of a burden or time constraint then I also deleting them all together. I love this blog and want it to be a way to share ideas and if that is only through post then that is fine.

Susan - January 16, 2013 Reply

Hi Ken,

I’m so sorry that you’ve gotten harsh comments. I never read the comments posted, but I do feel horrible that people could be mean on such a wonderful site. I agree with Janel that this blog is your living room and would like to thank you for inviting us to visit. No matter what you decide regarding the comments, I will support you and your blog.

Thanks for the effort!


Brian - January 16, 2013 Reply

Wow. Really sorry you’re dealing with that kind of crap. I read your blog a couple of times a week, and truth be told I don’t think I’ve gotten into the comments before, so all the negativity has escaped me. I hope you find a way to resolve this to your satisfaction, and can continue to earn money with your blog.

Christi - January 16, 2013 Reply

oh my, this is too sad…I have only been reading for about half a year and I enjoy all the positive comments and information. Why do folks have to be so negative? I have wondered this since forever…

Lynne H - January 16, 2013 Reply

Keep the comments if possible. It is a real encouragement to those who are featured on your blog. Thanks, Kent, for doing such a fantastic job keeping this great blog so interesting. If you are a one- man show, you are a star! Your blog is one that I read daily. Love it!

Eric - January 16, 2013 Reply

Count me as one of those who view this blog through a feed reader so I never see the comments unless I log into the site itself.


I don’t currently offer comment support on my own site (just a personal site), but I do plan to address this same issue on my new site when finished.

There are several quality plug-ins (as well as third-party products) that can go a long way to correct the problem.

Hope you decide to stay with the comments. Love the site and the Tiny House people (all shapes, sizes, and types).

Very sorry the builder decided to abandon his project, but there will always be people who choose to be cruel for no other reason than they enjoy it.

You need a thick skin to stay in business these days.

Take care,


Sietske - January 16, 2013 Reply

I am shocked to read that so many hateful comments have been posted that a policy is required. I am a feed-reader and never read the comments and it surprises me in a bad way. This is one of my favorite sites, and it makes me sad that bad or hateful comments make it less attractive to show their work. I hope you can keep in mind that behind every comment there are also 10 people that have decided not to comment. As a non-commenter I would like to say that I simply enjoy reading and looking at the beautiful structures that have been posted here. Please keep up the good work.

Walt Barrett - January 17, 2013 Reply

Hi Kent,
I will stick with you whatever you decide. I suggest that you require anyone who comments to include a legitimate email address in the comment.
I will start by saying that my email address is
wbarrett1@aol.com . I believe that your pioneering blog have greatly advanced the world housing industry any my only regret is that I didn’t think of it first.

Paula - January 17, 2013 Reply

In our online blogosphereworld negative comments abound. It’s part of letting thousands see what you’re saying. Everyone will not agree on everything.

A negative comment can hit home in a bad way when one is sharing their passion/heart with others. That can feel like a slap in the face. Also some people can’t write without sounding short or to the point and it can come off sounding rude or possibly negative. When facial expressions and intonations aren’t there then all heck can break loose.

Blogs build community in different ways. Look at this one! Comments are part of that. I like to see what some people are thinking about a certain topic and like to be able to ask a question and usually have it answered by the poster or have a little side conversation with another reader.

I’ll preface this next bit by saying…people this is a question and not a negative comment…
How could someone “quit something” all because of some negative blog comments?

We all can choose to ignore and move on…and…choose to be more conscious of what we write….I’ve retyped a couple of things in this post.

I’m all about the blog and info. I read through comments sometimes. If I would ever submit anything to Kent then I would be doing it with the knowledge that negativity is there and skim past it like I choose to do in my real life. I say keep the comments open.

Darren - January 17, 2013 Reply

This is one of the best blogs period. Grow up people, be here because you want to be here and want to read about cutting edge innovation and good old-fashioned living. Kent, ultimately you need to quantify time and effort – I hope comments continue to be a part of your blog. The conversation and added insight from everyone is useful. Unbelievable it comes to things like this!!

Daniel - January 17, 2013 Reply

I think most of us struggle to understand why someone would be motivated to go out of thier way to post negative comments about someone elses dreams and ideas. Most well adjusted folks would just think “well to each his own” and move on.
In my opinion these flamers fall into the same class of sociopath as hackers. They thrive on the chaos that they are able to create with thier negativity. If they can cause a ripple of disturbance then they have accomplished thier objective. If they can cause a sunami then they hit the jackpot. The more chaos they create the more fulfilled they are.
I think we are all very appreciative of the blog and the hard work that Ken and other contributors have put into it. If anything Ken, please take this collective of comments as affirmation of a job well done. The flamers can measure up to thier maturity level and suck thier thumbs and fill thier pampers.

Aurora - January 17, 2013 Reply

I just found your blog today and am astonished that there are tiny house haters. Huh? People will attack anything, I guess. I just can’t imagine why.

henry - January 17, 2013 Reply

You are going to have people who never change there mind no matter what you say or do .I been told countless times that my idea for a small underground home is the most stupid thing that i have ever heard beening talked about .

Along with why do you want to be off grid and not be connected to the grid .

So poeple are going to hate and let them hate because in the end no matter what they are the one’s who are losing out on the little thing’s that have a small home brings to the people who own’s it

D. Moffat - January 17, 2013 Reply

Dear Kent – Thank you for what you are doing! That doesn’t get said near enough to folks like you who inspire others daily to achieve a dream, and I’m grateful to you and others like you who have the vision and fortitude to encourage others.

Now, turn off the comments section, but perhaps lighten your load by opening up a venue by which others could submit articles to your site for the occasional “different voice” to be heard. No, not the trolls, but people who may have thought out an issue differently than what we may have been able to see thus far. Constructive, well-thought out articles with a different view just might help advance an issue we’ll all experience some day.

Never close your heart completely to a different opinion, but at the same time, don’t allow just anyone to track filth and a nasty attitude into your own tiny home. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Keep on inspiring others, we need you!!!!!

Ruth - January 17, 2013 Reply

I am very sorry that you have experienced such derision for your efforts to keep afficianados of the small house movement informed. Please bear in mind the silent majority such as myself take such pleasure reading your postings and consider your site as one of our “favorites” that we read everyday. I appreciate the sharing of ideas, lifestyles and ways to live lightly on our planet. Aloha and Mahalo Ken.

Canoearoo - January 17, 2013 Reply

I have never posted before but read your blog every day. It is so sad that it has come to this, yet I fully support what ever you decide to do.

Emily - January 17, 2013 Reply


Usually I just read the feeds but never respond. This time I think I will. You’ve done SUCH good work, selecting interesting articles, putting this website together, and making it possible for laymen to learn about tiny houses and tiny living. I’ve been a fan of your site for almost a year now. Just reading the articles and looking at the pretty pictures makes me a happier person! I’m sad that “haters” have caused you such trouble. I’m sure there are more people like me, folks who don’t say much but who adore your work. Stick with it, please – don’t let them get you down. I LOVE this website…

Emily - January 17, 2013 Reply

Kent, not Ken… typo! Sorry!

Rick - January 18, 2013 Reply

I have followed your blog and others for a long time. Meaness seems to be todays name of the game (such a shame)because I believe that everyone that builds something has something to offer, something different etc. Constructive comments always add to a project and I would suspect that the ones with negative comments can’t build squat. One thing that we did on other blogs was to have people that have proven themselves to be level headed in a blog to “police” it and help keep order among the masses. they would have the ability to delete vicious posts of the faceless bullys that seem to hang around blogs today because they can’t function on any level in the real world. In closing I would say you do a great job, keep up the good work for the people that really appreciate what you do and the ammount of time you put into it.

    Lucy - January 19, 2013 Reply

    While I support Freedom of Speech, Rick has summed up the situation very well. The haters appear everywhere possible these days and I have no problem deleting posts on my own websites that are mean-spirited. My clients have that right; they pay for the websites. Haters troll the “Ask” sections of Yahoo, health blogs, etcetera, spreading their poison. It would be a shame to shut down this delightful blog; that gives them what they want. Please consider volunteers to maintain a community spirit in this blog.

Emma - January 18, 2013 Reply

I also get this blog as feed and so don’t read the comments but I’m sitting here racking my brain trying to think what people could be saying about a tiny house blog: “You jerk with your environmentally friendly and sustainable ways. You suck!” I mean, what is there to say. Its a blog. About tiny houses and the lifestyle the kinds of goes along with them. It’s an awesome blog.
I’m baffled by this. Please keep up the great work.

stewart - January 18, 2013 Reply

Good work Kent We have these house haters here in Australia and they work for the local councils. Stealthy houses is the way to go. Be innovative here and publish there email addressees after a warning and some of these haters can change tactic and do the job for you. Cheers Stewart

John from Texas - January 19, 2013 Reply

Kent, if it wasn’t for you, I never would have bought my tiny home. And many of the insightful comments for and against “my” choice were what made it easier for me to join this wonderful movement.

From my point of view in dealing with my own set of live, and in-person, haters in my neighborhood, and at the local tax appraisal office, it seems that “money” is the main driving force for many of these haters as tiny homes cost much less to construct than larger ones (less sales tax and income for large home builders and materials sellers), have a small footprint which brings in much less in taxes, and NIMBYers don’t want anything around them that they believe may lower their mcmansions’ resale values, or the resale values of their property, no matter how beautiful, or beneficial for all humankind, they may be.

As someone who is far from rich, having my own home fully paid for without having to worry about a mortgage has made my life so much happier and less stressful, and I’d just like to say thank you for this great blog, Kent. I just wish we lived in a more understanding and compassionate society where more people could realize their dreams as well, but as the saying goes, “for the love of money is the root of all evil.”

Joe Michaels - January 19, 2013 Reply

I don’t always read the comments but I hope they are allowed in the future. I read the THB daily and it is my favorite blog. I am building a tiny structure and hope to submit it when completed. Thanks for doing a great job!

Mimi Day - January 19, 2013 Reply

THese tiny houses give people independence and freedom and lots of people don’t want that. They’re losing power, money and they are afraid. Press on. THe world of housing is changing and the middle class is being empowered. Gives you a great idea of how screwed up our society is.

Margaret Hardee - January 19, 2013 Reply

How sad that such a fantastic, inspiring site would receive negative comments. I truly appreciate and encourage all your efforts to enable people to live more simply and sensitively. You have many supporters. Keep up the good works.

michelle brodeur - January 19, 2013 Reply

I am sorry that peoples negativity and lack of good grace has infected this joyous and innocuous site.. Unfortunately its a fact of life today that people with nothing “good to say” feel justified spewing their uncalled for meanness to a wonderful eclectic sharing community. How about instead of the tedium of editing unnecessary vitriol, you put folks on notice that “unhelpful, angry/mean comments posted will disbar them from further access to the whole site unless they write criticisms which are productive. that way they may think twice b4 firing off such hatred in our happy blog??? Just a suggestion.

Ron - January 19, 2013 Reply

Don’t worrie. There will always be haters. I love this place.

stpauligirl - January 19, 2013 Reply

I have posted negative comments, and I am part of the problem. I acknowledge that, first.

I respectfully disagree with the idea that this blog is like Mr. Griswold’s living room. In my opinion, it has grown beyond that stage and morphed into a public forum. I fiercely implore you not to censor or edit the comment section. I am certainly not able to judge which words and ideas are worthy to be heard. I am frightened by the prospect that unpopular, even mean-spirited words and ideas would be silenced in the name of the greater good.

I believe that freedom of expression is the cornerstone of liberty, and that all other freedom begins with the right to criticize the government, the king, god, or the neighbor’s dog. I believe that sometimes silence is akin to wisdom, and sometimes it is complicit to evil.

In an effort to forestall censorship, I will voluntarily stop posting, as my words have helped create this perceived problem. I hope that you will not censor the haters, the flamers, the mean-spirited or the wrong thinkers.

The course of liberty, even when it is gritty and ugly, is more important than houses, large or tiny.

    Shane - January 20, 2013 Reply

    Freedom of speech is not the freedom to go anywhere one wants and say whatever they choose. Freedom of speech applies to community, public spaces, not private spaces/places. If a person owns a website and deletes comments for whatever reason, they have that right, and it is not an infringement on another’s freedom of speech.

    People who believe they have the right to say whatever they want, whenever they want and call it “freedom of speech” are simply out of touch with reality.

      Lance - January 22, 2013 Reply

      Moderation is, like anything else, best done in… uh… moderation. (See what I did there?) Over-moderation can have a chilling effect on discussion, as those with a dissenting opinion may not bother sharing their alternative view (which could very well contain legitimate points) under the assumption that it will be edited (or deleted entirely).

      As has been said repeatedly, the problem is people using anonymity as an excuse to spew disrespect that they would not dare in person (frankly, I think that is one of root causes of our societal decay, but that is its own discussion, on another blog).

Gerrit Band - January 20, 2013 Reply

Please, keep this forum what is is for: a nice, friendly blog about living in tiny houses. If that means that you have to edit what people write or just delete it – so be it, that has nothing to do with freedom of speech. I don’t think that freedom of speech meant to be the freedom to insult people or the cause they stand for. If I can be of any help, I will gladly do so.

Courtney Kerns - January 20, 2013 Reply

It would be very sad to suppress all the positive comments that encourage, share information and experiences, and inspire constructive discussion. I’m all for some reasonable policing of comments. Institute user accounts and a commenting policy; that is quite typical and accepted. As many others have said, keep up the good work and stay positive!

NHansard - January 21, 2013 Reply

Dear Kent:
I love your blog!!! In my 3+ years of weekly/daily visiting your wonderful site, I don’t know if I’ve left more than a handful of responses. But please know that regardless of whatever you decide, as so many others have expressed, I will continue to value your blog and the wealth of information/ inspiration it provides! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the time and love that you post here and choose to share with us!

    Patty Brogan - January 22, 2013 Reply

    What he said. I rarely comment but I look in all the time for inspiration. This site makes me feel happy!

William Kastrinos - January 21, 2013 Reply

Hi Kent, fellow tiny housers (is that a word?).
I think your website has grown to the point Kent, you might consider treating comments, as “letters to the editor”. The NY Times gets thousands of letters, they can only publish a few a day. That does not equal censorship, but just good business. You publish the ones that seem to be relevant to the topic. And even screen those with questionable “advice”. To the tiny house builder that just quit, dig in, deliver the best product you can, take public opinion, and reject it when appropriate, and change your product where you think it is appropriate. C’mon back, we need you! Bill Kastrinos Tortoise Shell Home LLC

Kristy - January 22, 2013 Reply

I love seeing your Tiny House creations and dream of one day being free enough to actually live in one. Sadly, I too am dumbfounded as to who (and why) anyone would be mean and hateful on your comment section. Maybe its just me but, honestly, for people to discredit or bash anyone with the fortitude of living small has to be because of jealousy. As for the builder who quit because of taunts and phone calls; business’ will always have haters and you will always have people taunting and bashing – no matter what industry you are in – so, if you truly enjoy building small houses, you do a good job and have a reputation that you can be impressed with then don’t let nay-sayers deter you from what you do. Build Tiny Houses and make a mark you can be proud of.

Mick - January 22, 2013 Reply

Man,this is a blog for people who love tiny houses, there’s no place for haters, bulling or trolling, I enjoy Reading all experiences about tiny houses, no Feed The Trolls just block’em.

Maria - January 23, 2013 Reply

This is so sad. This blog and the tiby house movement literally changed my life. Now I’m less about my future, knowing that someday, somehow I will build and own my house. Now I have a reason to get up in the morning. Now I dream awake of my little house. It’s really sad. This is no place for tiny house haters! Keep your McMansions and leave us alone!

lisette - January 23, 2013 Reply

there are sick folks out there who don’t have a life and who thrive on misery. There are also folks out there with a monetary interest in the status quo, that is, on keeping others from independence and self-sufficiency. The first don’t merit a moment’s worry. The second lot, well, if they are annoyed then we are likely doing something right. This just inspires me to forge on. We are building a tumbleweed house for our high-school aged daughter to take to college with her – no dorm fees, and no drunken dorm roommates – and then she will have her own home when she graduates, that she can take wherever she finds work. We’re hoping some of her classmates will say “oh, cool! I want one!”

Kim C. - January 24, 2013 Reply

I have been reading this blog for over a year now, but I mostly just peruse the articles and enjoy the photography, never reading the comments section. I am currently baffled as to what hateful things people could say about this blog, which does so much to help people find sustainable, affordable and creative housing ideas.
This blog has inspired me to start looking and saving now for my own tiny home. I even downloaded the free Google drafting program to mess around with what I wanted!

Sherrie - January 25, 2013 Reply

I found this site a couple of years ago and love it. Hateful people abound, but their post on your blog do not need to stay. I would be sad if you took the blog down. There must be some way that when certin words are entered that those post could go to a hold “center” until you had a chance to review.

Rosco - January 28, 2013 Reply

What is there to hate about tiny houses? They might not be your thing, but hatred? Who’s got the time?

Keep the blog going. I love reading it, and it gives me great ideas for building my next house.

Don’t let the twinkies get you down!

Jamie Wallhauser - February 1, 2013 Reply

How unfortunate, you have an excellent blog.

While not being completely selfless I certainly hope you can continue the comments section more carefully filtered though I realize this will take a lot of work on your part.

Let’s face it…assholes are everywhere –in line at the bank and serving your coffee and sometimes, on your beloved blog. Just disregard them…let’s try to keep them off the grid.

Thanks again, you have my full support!

Jamie Wallhauser

Erik M - February 3, 2013 Reply

I love it.
This blog and the Tinyhouse movement is making progress and there is a certain, corrupt, group that is afraid or jealous.
That is to be expected, and noted a sign of progress.

There was a time, back when electricity was still in its infancy, when people feared that electricity would leap out of the wires in their homes and electricute them. So people were hesitant to get electric service. Can you imagine?

Housing is changing and continues to evolve. The toxic, mcmansion will, not soon enough, be the mud huts and caves of yesteryear.

I love my tiny house. I know I’ve done the right thing. Now I’m in a unique position of wondering when the rest of the world will evolve. Its happening.

The dirty words of insurance, oil, ‘stuck to the ground’ home builders aren’t going to deter me.

It would be entertaining to have a section on the site where we can report the sleazy games of the corrupt. This would help to expose the criminals and educate others on how to deal with the trash. I mean there are blogs about how to get rid of ants and fruit flies. Corrupt corporatists need the same sanitizing.

Thanks for all you do.

tiny house owner - March 15, 2013 Reply

We live in a tiny house. We enjoy it.

That said, there is a place for constructive criticism and for letting people know about the difficulties and dangers they could face as they embark on building a tiny home. Not everyone should build one. Not everyone who is in business building them should be, even if they mean well.

That doesn’t mean you should tolerate unnecessarily offensive ways of expressing concerns. Certainly filter out obnoxious comments. Your readers will appreciate it. This is your private website. However, if it’s possibly a constructive comment, perhaps you could send the offender a message letting him know there’s a problem and suggesting he reword it to conform to the policy you establish.

Tiny houses have advantages, but they’re not immune to many of the woes of larger houses. In fact, in some cases, they introduce new challenges or exacerbate some of the traditional home challenges, including difficulties in dealing with contractors.

People seriously considering tiny house living need to be prepared for the worst, then hopefully they can enjoy the best.

Tana - April 20, 2014 Reply

Just delete the hate we don’t need to read it anyway, haters will always be there. I love reading comments about tiny houses, keep it up.

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