So far I've only had one problem in my 10 + months of blogging, so I haven't felt the need to put forth a comments policy, but for the sake of having one in place for a soon-but-maybe-later redesign of the site, I thought I'd create one.
The comments section for each post is for any questions, comments, or other (is there another kind?) feedback on the initial post. I welcome dissent and inquiry as much as I welcome compliments and agreement; it is through appropriate critiques that we grow, intellectually. As I desire above all to know truth, I find great value in correction.
I do not, though, find great value in obscenity, insults, abuse or otherwise mean-spirited criticism of either myself or other discussion participants. Therefore, I will use my discretion and remove any comments that I deem out of line. The key is civility and decorum. If you're going to insult, please go elsewhere. While I'm not offended by such (after all, why waste the effort of being offended on people who need etiquette lessons?) I do not think it's appropriate for this blog.
If for some reason you think I've deleted a comment unfairly, please let me know as I'm certainly not above making the occasional error in judgment - especially if I'm already somewhat worked up about something.
I also ask you to point out where you think I make an out-of-line comment. I like to think I'm fairly level headed, but sometimes I get, as I said, worked up. I hope you can be patient when that happens.
So far things have been good. I've only had to delete on comment in 10 or so months. I appreciate the politeness and kindness shown in the comments of this blog, and I find that a high tribute to my visitors; I'm truly grateful.
(Needless to say, spam will be treated severely.)
In regards to trackbacks, I see them as a way to let me know when you've talked about one of my posts, or at least mentioned it. I use them to notify others similarly. However, if people start tracking back without actually discussing my posts, I may remove those too. I don't want to send my readers on rabbit chases where they think they're pursuing one path, only to find something different at the tracking back blog. As JollyBlogger posted, there is an etiquette to these things, and as I'm learning it I'm starting to see how trackbacks can be abused. In the event people actually start tracking back more often, I hope they do so with the intent to continue a discussion and not mislead my readers.