I have just deleted several annotations from the 25 February 1659/60 entry, sparked by a lengthy posting by Hhomeboy of an obituary of the historian Christopher Hill. Not only was it far too long but it was also irrelevant to the events of the day. This prompted much discussion of the worth of such a post.
If this was a general discussion forum I wouldn’t have deleted the comments; I don’t like censoring such things. However, please remember this is not a chat forum. Annotations should be as brief as possible and directly relevant to the day’s events or the current discussion. I realise that some of the most interesting threads have been when things have drifted “off topic,” which is perfectly fine, but do ask yourself whether your annotation will contribute to someone’s understanding of the diary when they read it in several years’ time. If you can’t find a suitable place to post something, ask me where it should go, rather than stick it somewhere it doesn’t belong.
As well as relevance, try and keep annotations to a maximum of 2-3 paragraphs (although there are always exceptions) and avoid repeating information from further up the page. Pretty much everyone is doing great on this front, but it’s just a reminder! Thanks so much for all the work so many of you are putting into this; it’s bringing entertainment and education to huge numbers of people. And, if anyone still wants an obituary of Christopher Hill, you can find one at the Guardian.
If people feel the need for a general discussion forum outside of the annotations, feel free to discuss it below. I’m all for it, but am also concerned important information might be posted there rather than to the diary annotations.