Podcast 2007.3: Blog Comments & who’s abandoning the iTunes store?

Podcast 2007.3: Blog Comments & who’s abandoning the iTunes store?

In this edition, we take a look at Blog Comments and how some folks respond to feedback.. we’ll also talk about the iTunes store and who’s not renewing their contract with Apple…

You can subscribe directly to our podcast feed in order to receive our show each day that it is released. For iTunes users, you can subscribe directly via iTunes.

And now, on with the show. Notes after the jump….

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10 Minute Blog Tips: Do Something New

If we always do what we have always done then we always get the same results. Agreed?

So right there we have a reason to change our approach, to try something new and different, to look at the world with fresh eyes. If things are getting routine for you then you can count on it your audience is feeling the same way.

Let’s not leave it there though. What if you did more than just mix up your blogging style?

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Are You Becoming a Little Over-Sensitive Over Comments?

Akismet statistics chart for comment spams caught August 2007

Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s the overwhelming number of comments spams I have to plow through on multiple blogs every day. It’s getting harder and harder to tell the “good” ones from the “bad” ones. So maybe I’m becoming a little over-sensitive about comments.

Are you?

Recently, several comments I made on some blogs received a huge backlash from the blogger. They ranted on defensively in response.

When I looked back at my comments, I could find nothing accusatory or offensive in them. On one, I made mention of something that many bloggers do that irritated me, saying I was glad that the blogger had brought the subject up because it needed discussion. In response, he wrote a comment three times the length of his blog post, taking me to task for my offensive comment. As much as I read and re-read my comment, I couldn’t find anything that resembled an attack. Maybe I deserved it, or maybe not. Maybe I hit a trigger point. Who knows.

Are we all becoming a little over-sensitive about blog comments?

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Does Dofollow Influence Your Willingness to Comment?

In Consider Carefully What Name You Use to Comment, Chris Cree responds to my post on which name to use in blog comment forms with an interesting point that still haunts blog comments: the nofollow versus dofollow issue.

…since I announced I was turning off NoFollow here I’ve been singled out by some SEO blogs as a blog with decent page rank with NoFollow off.

So now some folks come here to leave marginal comments obviously looking more for link juice than to add to the conversation.

I understand what they are doing. And I truly don’t mind if folks see SuccessCREEations as a good place to comment.

After all that was part of my intention in turning off NoFollow in the first place.

However I feel comments that use key words in the “Name” box must meet a much higher standard to avoid getting tagged as spam. If they aren’t adding to the conversation, or if I can’t see what they are getting at right away I’ll mark them as spam rather than just delete them.

I mean a spam comment is left for the sole purpose of producing a link back to the another site. I see no difference in spam left by automated machine and spam left behind by a person.

Which begs the question:

Does dofollow impact your willingness to comment on a blog post?
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“Self-Discipline Pact” The End for Anonymous Blogging in China?

The concept of ending anonymity by requiring bloggers to using their real names is going ahead in China, albeit with the deceptively soft practice of requiring companies to “self-discipline” themselves.

Yahoo and MSN, amongst other Internet companies, have agreed to new government guidelines that are “encouraging” such companies to register real names, addresses, and other personal details for authors of blogs. While it seems like such actions are voluntary, international media watchdogs claim that such “encouragement” will be acted upon as though it were no different than official policy.

Vincent Brossel of Reporters Without Borders cautions that this kind of wording, for example, will ultimately have a chilling effect on the kind of dialogue going on amongst the 30 million bloggers in China. On the other hand, experienced China watchers might say that this kind of activity has already been going on; that is to say, international companies who have wanted to do business in China may have already been censoring blogs as acts of good faith with the Chinese government.

Government guidelines of “encouragement” and “self-discipline” merely codify this practice.

WordPress Wednesday News: WordPress Plugin Winners, 2.3 Beta, WordCamp in Beijing and Israel, WordPress.com Banned in Turkey, and More WordPress News

Weblog Tools Collection WordPress Plugin Competition winners announced. WordPress 2.3 Beta is out. WordCamp Beijing is this weekend, and WordCamp Israel is coming in October. WordPress.com is now banned in Turkey and Thailand – are you speaking out against this? I’ve got information and news on Akismet, updated WordPress Plugins, Theme news, and a lot more news for WordPress fans.

WordPress News

International WordCamps: WordCamp Beijing is scheduled for September 1, 2007, this weekend, with Registration active now and an interesting Schedule of Speakers.

WordCamp Israel will be in October and there is now an English Version of WordCamp Israel. They are looking for sponsors and are lining up some top notch speakers. There is a huge blogging community in Israel, so this should be an exciting event.

Update WordPress: The latest beta version for WordPress 2.3 Beta 1 is available for testers. The final version of that release should be out next week. WordPress 2.2.2 and 2.0.11 are security-related upgrades, thus are mandatory upgrades for all full version WordPress users.

WordPress 2.3 News: The next version of WordPress 2.3 will be out next week and with it finally comes the long awaited built-in tagging functions, as described in WordPress 2.3 Taxomony Schema by Ryan Boren and by WPDesigner, Plugin and core update notification, faster javascript, and SEO-friendly URL redirection.
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8 in 10 Americans know what a blog is, half visit regularly, but without committing

Marketing Daily has conducted a study on the blogging knowledge and habits of Americans, and found that 80% of them know what a blog is, with half reading them on a regular basis.

Though the demographics of the 1,000 Americans questioned isn’t obvious, it’s encouraging that a relatively new medium is now so well-known.

Around 60% of blog-reading men, and 50% of women, surf a wide variety of blogs rather than sticking to the same few sites, though it’s not clear how many blogs that constitutes.

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What Do You Put in the Name of a Comment Form?

Graphic of blog comments with different name styles - copyright Lorelle VanFossen

When you fill in a blog comment form, what name do you choose?

Most bloggers expect their commenters to use their name, or a pseudonym, though it’s also common for people to use their blog title instead. A few use keywords describing their blog or blog content, though this is becoming more and more frowned upon by many bloggers.

This issue came up at a program I was presenting recently when I was asked, “When it comes to blog comments, when are you your blog and when are you you?”

When it comes to comment forms, are you you, not you, your blog, or your keywords?

There are a lot of things to consider before answering this question.

Are you your blog? Is your blog you and are you your blog? Do you want to be known as you, the person with a blog, or do you want to be known for your blog?

Does your blog title describe you and your blog? If your blog title describes you and your blog, then you are your blog and your blog is you. If it doesn’t, then maybe you should be you when it comes time to comment on a blog, and not be your blog.

Are you your blog’s keywords? Comment spammers and trackback spammers are using keywords in their comment spam name section, but many bloggers are now doing this manually, hoping for some page ranking link juice for their blogs. If you choose to use keywords, are the keywords really you, the commenter, or are they representative of your blog?

There are two questions to answer. When you comment on blogs, who are you? Then answer why.
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