Last week I asked my readers and fellow bloggers about the process of leaving comments on blogs. Boy, did I get a lot of feedback! Here are some of the themes from the comments on blog comments:
1. Bloggers adjusted their email contact access
I asked if and where bloggers put an email address on their blogs for reader contact. This question caused a lot of bloggers to go back and re-examine their points of contact. I'm of the opinion that email information should be on the front page of the blog/web site, because some readers may not know to where to click to get contact information. Several bloggers commented about possible spam coming from having an email address out there for all to see. That's the reason I don't give my primary email address on my blog. This Yahoo! address is secondary.
2. Blog readers don't like word verification.
The readers have spoken, people. They do not like it. Oh sure, they may put up with it in order to comment on a blog, but what about those who don't understand how it works? You risk alienating them, and you may never make that special contact with your Betty With All the Answers.
I'm sure there are a couple people out there that might want to change word verification and comments settings on their blogs, but don't know how and are afraid to ask. Am I right? I think so. Here's how you do it on Blogger. Go to your Dashboard, which is the jumping off point on Blogger. You'll see a bunch of tabs at the top. Click "Settings" then "Comments." You should be able to adjust your preferences:
Don't forget to save your settings when you're done making changes. If you don't like it, you can always go back to the way it was.
3. Several bloggers use comment moderation to control junk comments.
For those who don't maintain a blog, this means that after you leave a comment, it has to be manually approved by the blogger before the comment can be seen. It's done to filter out spam, but it also means readers can't see their comments or others until they are moderated. This can be kind of frustrating if a blogger only moderates comments every 24 hours or more. How will readers know what's being said?
My only comment on this practice is that Blogger has a pretty good spam filter now so I have bailed on comment moderation for the time being. I still get an email for each comment left on my blog, so I know who is saying what. However, 99% of the time, Blogger steers the spam into the right bucket.
I review my comments daily, so if a junk comment gets published, I can delete it and get back to business. Here's how you too can monitor your comments on Blogger:
If you see a suspect comment in your "Published" folder, simply delete it and get on down the road.
This discussion on comments has been eye-opening, hasn't it? I made some changes as well based on the dialog. For now I've turned off all comment moderation so my readers have the best experience possible. I've also changed the comment page itself by putting comments directly below the post, instead of a full separate page. Hopefully that makes it easier to see the post on which you're commenting.
Thank you to everyone who weighed in on the subject of blog comments. If you didn't get a chance, do go back and read all the feedback that was left on the original post.