If I did have comments on my weblog it would be like Slashdot, a very low signal to noise ratio. Don't blame me for that, it comes with longevity and flow. The longer the site is around and the higher the flow, the more losers one attracts. I can see where these things work for a lower flow site, but they would never work for Scripting News, I'd have to turn it off quickly because of the low-roaders.
Although I'm too lazy to search for the links at the moment, I've sung the praises to automatic trackback and referrers and friends. Like Simon, I've also bemoaned the apparent lack of participation Dave has in this self-organizing chaos of blogs auto-discovering each other.
But, Dave's right. Get too much flow, piss off too many people, say too many controversial or contrary things against too many camps - in other words, assert a strong opinion, right or wrong, and get it read widely enough and do it often enough - and your weblog will turn into a cesspool with all its graciously thrown open doors clogged with trolls.
At present, I'm safe. My rating is Mostly Harmless, so all my open systems are mostly free from abuse. But, the first time I really strike a nerve somewhere, I'm a sitting duck.
I've got some pretty pretentious ideas floating in my head about how this relates to an open civilization and culture in general, but I'll save them. Basically, I don't want to give up my openness, but I want to deflect the barbarians. Need to think more, but I suspect this may cross streams with the spam crisis, eventually.