Comment Challenge Day 11: Write a Blog Comment Policy
Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants

Comment Challenge Day 12: Make Sure Your Blog Technology is "Comment Friendly"

Comment_challenge_logo_3 For the past few days, we've been looking at how to make your blog more "comment-friendly" by doing an audit of your blog for how it invites comments and by developing a comment policy.

In today's activity, you'll be looking at how the technology on your blog may or may not be inviting comments. Check out this post about some of the difficulties Silvia has seen in trying to leave comments at other blogs and make sure that your blog isn't having these problems. Also review Sue Waters' post on the matter. Then see what you can do to address any of these issues on your own blog. If you'd like, blog about what you discover, being sure to tag with "comment08."


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What I've found most interesting about making your blog comment friendly is that the debate that my post provoked in terms of the pros and cons for moderating comments.

I've not been in favor of moderating comments because it slows down the conversation, can confuse and worst case scenario you can always edit/delete comments if inappropriate. What has interested me has been the fact that one of the main reasons for moderating comments by educators (on their own blogs) is fear of losing their job if they receive inappropriate comments.

So I was wondering Michele what are your thoughts about the pros and cons of comment moderation.

I've never moderated comments and since our 31 Days to Building a Better Blog challenge, I also turned off my comment authentication (spam protection). I agree that these are things that hinder conversation and act as barriers to commenting and I've never had any problems with either of those decisions. About once a week or so, I'll get a piece of comment spam, but I simply delete it. And I've never had a legitimate commenter leave something offensive that needed to be deleted.

I think that people worry too much about "what if" scenarios that don't really come to pass. I've come to believe that it's better to do things that make commenting as easy and simple as possible (including showing people how to comment) if you want conversations to take place. The worst-case situations really never happen, at least not in my experience.

I want to emphasize two things I find as a big barrier to commenting. One I live with, the other I don't.

The liveable one is: lack of a preview button. Maybe my comments are just too long, but I like to pause and reflect (despite evidence to the contrary), and especially on some platforms, it's hard to get a complete picture of what I've said so far.

(Note: I was guilty of this myself, till I found how to add a preview button in WordPress.)

The can't-be-bothered one: some blogs require a particular type of ID. Today, for example, I got all the way through a comment only to discover I had to have an ID from either Blogger or Open ID. No other option.

A person may have sound reasons for this, but it's potentially counterproductive, much like illegible captchas.

Hi Dave--agreed with you on both. I'm less bothered by the lack of a preview button (I usually just take my chances and hit "post"), but the ID one makes me crazy. It's one of the reasons I cringe when I comment on Blogger blogs. I generally find them the most annoying for leaving comments.

Speaking of Blogger blog commenting--I also hate that most people have it set so that you go to the commenting section, away from the original post. When I'm commenting, at some point I generally want to refer back to the post, but I can't do that on Blogger blogs without losing what I've said already. A few people set it so that commenting opens in a separate window, but most don't. Makes me crazy!

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