This is not the post I was going to write.
On the face of it, Joel Spolsky seems to have missed Clay Shirky's point. Both Joel and Clay are high traffic bloggers so when Joel points out that Clay chose to reply on his own blog, he is making, rather than challenging, Clay's point:
...Second, the sites that suffer most from anonymous postings and drivel are the ones operating at large scale.
My blog is what you might call "traffic-light" (oh, I can see a whole new skin/theme idea there) and I have found comments to be useful. One comment led me back to another interesting UK geek blogger to whom I am still subscribed in Reader, and another provided some nice feedback for some Powershell syntax files I did for Crimsom Editor. There is only one comment on my blog that isn't relevant and even that, on a blog of this size, is more amusing than annoying.
And yet here I am, replying to Joel from my own space; just like he said I would.
Perhaps what Joel, Clay and Dave Winer have forgotten is that blogs serve a very many different purposes. Indeed, the same blog can serve different purposes at different times.
When you start applying new rules for what does and does not constitute a blog in order to try and filter out anything that isn't "you", you lose sight of what blogs really are. They're just web logs, guys. Yes, you can run yours as a magazine column, and some of you have magazine level subscriptions, but I'm running mine a little less formally than that, and I want to know what people think.