Advanced Blog Commenting Questions
Most readers know the basics of blog commenting. It's the more awkward decisions that I'd like to discuss today.
Discussing Blog Commenting
Err – yes…. discussing! I'd really like your input on these questions.
I genuinely struggle with the answers.
For each blog commenting question, I'll make a few notes about what I currently do, but my opinions aren't cut-and-dried. In fact I'm human, not a bot, so they often change depending on how I feel on the day.
Of course I could just be plain wrong, and I will be inviting a few pro-bloggers for their opinions, as I'm more than happy to learn from experts. So if you think I'm wrong – PLEASE tell me and I'll mend my ways.
Talking of Disqus….
About 14 months ago, in August 2016, I wrote an article about whether I should switch from using CommentLuv to using the Disqus comment system. It quickly became one of my “most commented on” articles, so much so that I turned off commenting! At the time the response was pretty much AGAINST Disqus.
In the end, I was having so many problems with my theme and CommentLuv “not playing nicely together” that I had to remove CommentLuv and stick with native WordPress. Since then I have had dreadful spam problems, despite going to “paid” Akismet, having a dialogue with Akismet support, and trying every anti-spam comment plugin that people kindly suggested to me.
These days I see several pro bloggers using Disqus. Has anyone's opinion changed? No need to restate the arguments pro and con Disqus, they were covered well in my previous post. I'm just interested if there has been a change of opinion in the last 14 months.
The above topic is just an aside – I'm more interested in answers to these other questions about blog commenting….
It's my intention to expand on the topic of blog commenting, NOT to offend anyone. Most of the bloggers who leave comments on my site are of the same mind as I am and I appreciate the time you spend on my site. I'm interested to learn how others handle the decision making process.
Approving Comments Or Not?
From the days when I naively approved every “Awesome post” on my first truly appalling blog, I have become progressively more brutal.
I suppose it depends on what you believe the purpose of blog comments to be. My wish is that they form a dialogue – maybe expanding on something I have written, or providing an illustration of an alternative and probably better way to do something.
If I am right, and you agree, how do you feel about a commenting exchange that goes like the one shown here?
OK, so I now have two more comments than I otherwise would have had – but…..
- Do I look desperate for comments?
- Will other bloggers get bored reading comments like this and leave without looking for more interesting comments?
- Bluntly put, we're ALL busy people, would it have been better if we both saved our time?
- Did the commenter actually read the article? If a topic title has no interest to you, is it best to skip it altogether and spare each other's “bounce rate”?
- How do I handle this in communities where the “commenting etiquette” is to reply and reciprocate?
- Some bloggers comment and leave a link on my post, but their own blog remains untouched for weeks and I've commented on almost every post they have published. What do I do then?
- We know Google evaluates the quality of site content – and comments are presumably content too. So does anyone know if Google is yet smart enough to make any judgements about the quality of comments on our blogs?
A Tip On Finding If A Comment Is Spam
Sometimes spammers can be clever. They make a decent length comment just “relevant” enough that it could be genuine.
If you're not sure if a comment is spam use this tip on finding clever spam, paraphrased from Adrian Jock‘s excellent blog.
Copy the last 3 or 4 last words from a sentence immediately followed by the first few words from the next sentence. Do an exact (in inverted commas) Google search for it. If it appears several times as a comment, there's every chance it's “clever” spam.
Great post, eh?
What About The Site Of The Commenter?
The obvious applies: I always have a look at it and if it's “adult / hate”, I spam the comment. But beyond that…
- If someone has left a good comment but their site is in a language I don't know, I can't tell if it's a “bad site” or not. Is it ever “right” to remove the commenter's site and leave the comment? Tips welcome please. It was actually a comment of exactly this nature that prompted me to write this article, although these questions have been bubbling in my mind for a few months now.
- I have heard it's best to have comments mostly within my own niche – but I don't stick to this. because there are some great blogs I enjoy commenting on, outside my own niche.
Do You Ever Edit Blog Comments?
I'm a little OCD about grammar / spelling on my site. Yes – I do make mistakes – but PLEASE point them out to me and I WILL fix them – it matters so much to me!
For “quality control” I sometimes I edit comments, but never to change the sense. Here are the circumstances where I edit comments:
- If I see a grammar or spelling typo that I know a blogger wouldn't normally make, to spare their blushes I correct it. Please do the same for me if I blunder on your blog comments. I always spot them just after I hit “Submit”.
- When a blogger whose first language (apparently?) isn't English makes a good point, but it takes me about three “readings” to understand what they're trying to say.
Is editing comments under circumstances such as these, wrong?
Your Blog Commenting Comments, Please
I hope the points raised above don't make me appear as if I don't like / value blog commenting. When it's done properly I love it. When it isn't…. well, it's not an effective use of anyone's time.
A shorter than usual article today, because I'm looking for your answers rather than providing them! Hopefully by the time you read this article some pro bloggers will have left comments so that we can ALL improve the quality of our blog comments.