Tiny House Blog Comments

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

small sad house

278 Comments Tiny House Blog Comments

  1. Molly

    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.

    Reply
  2. Matthew

    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.

    Reply
  3. Glen Aldridge

    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.

    Reply
    1. Sarah

      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. :)

      Reply
  4. Jerry Fisher

    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.

    Reply
  5. Max Coats

    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

    Reply
  6. Sue

    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.

    Reply
  7. Myra Kemna

    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.

    Reply
    1. Kathryn

      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.

      Reply
  8. Mike

    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.

    Mike

    Reply
    1. 2kids2cats

      Mike,

      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.

      Reply
      1. Mike

        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.

        Mike

        Reply
  9. Shelly L

    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.

    Reply
  10. Dave

    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,
    Dave

    Reply
  11. MJ

    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.

    Reply
  12. Steve

    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.

    Reply
  13. Janel

    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.

    Reply
    1. Kent Griswold

      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.

      Reply
  14. Venia101

    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.

    Reply
  15. kurt

    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.

    Reply
  16. Maureen

    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.

    Reply
  17. Corrine

    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.

    Reply
  18. john

    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.

    Reply
  19. Loulou in France

    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!

    Reply
  20. Lee

    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.

    Reply
  21. Shaun R. Cash

    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!

    Reply
  22. lime

    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.

    Reply
  23. Sonje Bianca

    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.

    Reply
  24. Jennifer

    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!

    Reply
  25. Daniel

    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.

    Reply
  26. TomLeeM

    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.

    Reply
  27. kotobide

    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

    Reply
  28. Jason McBride

    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

    Reply
  29. Michael

    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.

    Reply
  30. Ramona

    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!

    Reply
  31. Josh Wren

    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.

    Reply
  32. Susan

    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!

    Susan

    Reply
  33. Brian

    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.

    Reply
  34. Christi

    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…

    Reply
  35. Lynne H

    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!

    Reply
  36. Eric

    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.

    Sad.

    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,

    Eric

    Reply
  37. Sietske

    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.

    Reply
  38. Walt Barrett

    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.

    Reply
  39. Paula

    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.

    Reply
  40. Darren

    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!!

    Reply
  41. Daniel

    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.

    Reply
  42. Aurora

    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.

    Reply
  43. henry

    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

    Reply
  44. D. Moffat

    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!!!!!

    Reply
  45. Ruth

    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.

    Reply
  46. Canoearoo

    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.

    Reply
  47. Emily

    Ken,

    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…

    Reply

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