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"Tyler Cowen, told me early on that the secret was to not engage in the comment section, but limit your interactions with commentators to your blog posts." I couldn't disagree more. I think engaging the commentators is what makes a good blog a great blog. Perfect example is volokh.com. The professors there, with the exception of just a few, all actively participate in the comment section often resulting in a more informative/interesting discussion than the original blog post. To weed out the trolls, perhaps you could require a .edu email address with confirmation. This way, you'd know their actually identity from their email address, and they'd be less likely to troll since you know their identity, but they could still keep pseudo-anonymity with their display name if preferred.