Writing, Among Other Things

What is your Comment Policy?

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Comments are one of the most important part of any blog. For a growing blog, comments are like water that helps a sapling to grow into a majestic tree. Comments are also a unique feature of the blogs, and the real time interaction, between the blogger and the visitor, that comments facilitate, I think, is one of the major reasons for the popularity of the blogs.

How a blogger manages the comments can either encourage, or discourage, a visitor to leave a comment or not. 

The first question, then, is : Is it a good idea to moderate comments?

I don’t think it is, because when I comment on a blog it satisfies me immensely to see my comment get posted immediately. But, then, as experience has taught me, there are a few people out there who can leave comments that you would rather not have on your blog. So, choosing to moderate comments is like choosing the lesser of the two evils.

The next question: How do you respond to a comment?

The easiest and the best way, they tell me,  is to respond to it in your comment section and to go back to the commenter’s blog and leave a comment there. But, for some reason, I feel that commenting in my own comment section may seem to some as an attempt to artificially inflate the comment count. It is dificult to please all, isn’t it?

But, from now, I have decided to change that, and I am going to be responding to the comments in the comment section itself. And, I am going to try and comment on most blogs that comment here.

That last part raises a question in my mind that I hope some of you can answer for me. When you leave a comment on someone’s blog, do you check back to see if the blogger has responded to it?

Also, do you have a comment policy? If yes, what is it?

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  1. I just started moderating comments not for content, but to keep the spam out of my comments. Prior to that I was using Blogger’s captcha but then I found out several people could not see the letters and there fore could not comment at all. Several people had trouble with Macafee’s security suite and the captcha.

    I decided moderation was the lesser of two evils.

  2. Hi,

    I do respond to comments posted by visitors in my comment box. Then go over to their sites and comment on a post they made. I also return to see what the response to my comment on their post was.

    This in effect is my comment policy. “You Comment, I respond”; “You Comment, I follow”. Responding to comments posted in your comment box is important – it’s plain decency and common courtesy. There is no obligation really to comment on a visitor’s site after you responded to their comment in your site. However, there is still the element of reciprocity which is an unwritten rule in the blogosphere. :-)!–Durano, done

  3. Because I use own-hosted WordPress, I use its moderation feature where first comments by anyone are moderated but subsequent ones are auto-approved; some things end up in the spam filter by mistake sometimes too (as well as ‘legitimate’ spam) so that acts as moderation too. I agree with you that it’s nice to see your comment appear immediately, but I don’t have a problem with moderation.
    If someone whose blog I commented on then came and commented on mine about the comment I’d left on theirs… frankly, I’d be really confused. Comment threads are really no different from threads in a forum; why would you reply to one thread in a separate one?
    I don’t always reply to comments left on my own blog – sometimes I have nothing to say as a reply and although I have no qualms about increasing my comment numbers, I’m not a fan of comments which say ‘thank you for your comment’ without any further substance.
    If I leave a comment on someone’s blog, I do often go back to see if there are any further comments; I like Blogger’s function for getting further comments emailed to you although that can sometimes mean you end up with umpteen emails on a comment thread you’re no longer interested in!

  4. I have started a blog recently and I was very surprised with a few very nice reactions. That reactions changed my attitude toward my own blog – I have started taking it more seriously when I understood that certain things have initiated people’s reactions. For sure the comments are the backbone that holds everything.

  5. While I do not post comments into my own comments section I’ve been reading A LOT of negative feedback towards those that do it.

    I can understand perhaps posting your response in your own comments section so that other commentors that may become curious can see the response for themselves. But what has worked for me was responding just to that one person in their comments section and then re-answer it for anyone that also asks in my comments or private messaging.

    But the worst is definitely those that post responses ONLY in their own comments. Who is going to keep coming back to your blog 50 times in a day until they see a response to their question? Rarely a soul.

    Your way may not be so bad but I generally feel that it is a pompous act to post anything in my own comments. Maybe sometime I’ll run a poll of what my readers think and go with their suggestions. They are the ones that it would most affect, right? =0)

  6. I respond in my comment section. I also follow the blogger to their blog and read their most current posts and comment.

    I have to moderate my comments. I took the “no follow” tags off my blogspot blogs and became a do follow blogger before I knew what would happen. My blogs are on lists that marketers publish so that people can get back links. If I did not moderate, my blogs would be full of meaningless comments from people named Toronto Server, Soma, etc. On my travel blog, I have hundreds of spam backlinks from pharma sites.

    With that said, I make it easy to comment, no verification code, anyone can comment. I just spend the time to moderate comments.

  7. I usually check back, it is disappointing if the blogger don’t reply to my comment because I don’t leave a comment to a post that doesn’t interest me. I like it when my comment becomes a thread between us and the owner of the blog.

  8. Replies to comments:

    I post replies to comments in my own comments if they are warranted. In response to this comment here: “Who is going to keep coming back to your blog 50 times in a day until they see a response to their question?” the answer is that that isn’t the point. The point is so that new visitors will see the comments and follow-ups and won’t be left in the lurch wondering what happened. If the original commenter wants a response then it is absolutely right that that person should have to come back 50 times if necessary.


    I don’t like moderation for no reason. I’ve coded my site so that most comments are auto-approved but if certain keywords or links are encoded into the comment then it shifts into moderation. There are a couple of false positives from this but by-and-large it stops the spam and keeps any commenting, when there is any, free-flowing.

    “When you leave a comment on someone’s blog, do you check back to see if the blogger has responded to it?”

    If I remember where I left the comment. I’ve started using CoComment to try to track this but it doesn’t always work for me.

    My commenting policy, from my About page:

    “If you’ve just spotted the ‘c’ in the word effluence then you agree that you understand that all the comments on this site are the thoughts of their respective owners expressed as typed words and not something that the owner of this site has any control over. Yet. You agree that if you have an issue over them you should take the matter up with that person unless that person has a disclaimer about their person somewhat similar to this disclaimer in which case you could try arguing the point or letting the matter go. Racism in comments will not be tolerated and any abuse pointed towards the owner of this site, friends of the owner of this site, fluffy animals, half-eaten biscuits, Super Space Pope Eric VIII, or anything else I think of may be subject to amendment in order to make the commenter look a tit. The commenter will already be a tit, of course, but some other visitors may not instantly realise that and may need assistance in tit-identification. I’m happy to help.”

    In other words: I not only will delete comments I don’t like, I’ll also edit them if they deserve it. Bottom line: it’s my site.

  9. I do not moderate comments for the same reason! It annoys me to not see my comment immediately. I figure I can always go back and delete it if I don’t like it.
    I usually comment in my own comment section if I am replying to someone. I almost always comment on the person’s site as well.

  10. I don’t moderate comments either, but I have had a few spam links left that I’ve removed after the fact. Otherwise I’m pretty open and let people say whatever they like. I try to respond to every comment, although the depth of my reply will vary based on the type of comment. I also try to reciprocate comments on other bloggers sites as much as I can, but can definitely do a better job of that. I do check back regularly on sites that I leave a comment.

  11. I don’t moderate. I never have. Akismet (I use a WordPress self-hosted blog) catches most of the spammy stuff. I have maybe 1 comment out of 100 that I need to delete after the fact. I feel like moderating is an extra step in managing the blog that, frankly, just takes extra time.

    In terms of responding, I try to respond to every comment, though I occasionally miss one. The whole point of the comments section, in my mind, is to continue the conversation. By definition, that’s a two-way proposition.

    Caroline Middlebrook had a cool post this week about the other side of things – about leaving comments. It’s worth a read:

  12. The only comment policy I have is that I have a right to delete any comment I don’t like. Some “spam” can be interesting. It doesn’t bother me if someone writes you have a nice blog, my blog is… I don’t put up a filter. If you check your site regularly, it really isn’t necessary unless you are getting a huge amount of comments.

  13. I decided to moderate comments because I hate hate hate Spammers. And I can’t delete comments after they are posted so I moderate.

    I love reading all my comments but it gets overwhelming sometimes to reply to everyone. I rarely go back to see if anyone responds to my comments on other blogs so I figure most people don’t. 🙂

  14. I don’t moderate comments. So far I haven’t had any problems with any spam or anything. I guess I understand why some do. But like you said I get a perverse pleasure out of seeing my comment post immediately and have a sad feeling when it says “comment under moderation” When someone comments on my blog I usually will address it in my comments, and sometimes just do it as one big group “thanks everyone for commenting thing” And in a perfect world, I try to get to everyone’s and comment on their blog too! 😀

  15. Oh you people are all far too clever for me! I just set the little thingie in my wordpress that says ‘moderate comments’. I don’t know how it works, it just does.

    And when people comment I answer in my own comments but not to each individual comment, just one comment which spans them all.

  16. I always try to respond to my comments in the comment section of my own blog. My reasoning is that it’s not just a discussion between the commenter and I but all the other readers.

    While some may call it arrogant to comment in your own section, I believe if I reply to another’s comment, on their blog, it will either seem out of context and nonsensical, or be an act of blatant advertising (of my own blog) on another’s blog to include the context of my comment.

    I do moderate my comments, but only because of the amount of Spam I receive in the way of comments, usually trying to sell something that I may or may not endorse, but something that either way, I would not like to have profiting off of readers. I’m not too concerned about negative comment, and the one time that has occurred I posted the comment as was, and replied as I would to any other.

  17. I’ve built my blog and reputation through commentating. I have over 6500 so far, most are really good. I do moderate my comments and will never change that. If your blog is “do follow”, then moderating is almost a necessity. I reply to 100% of all comments and try my best to really build a blogging relationship/friendship with my readers.

    I highly recommend the subscribe to comments plug in. If a blog has it, I always subscribe so it’s easier to read replies. Because I leave so many comments on other blogs, it can be very difficult to remember who to revisit – especially when dealing with hundreds of blogs:)

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