Blogs Are Public Documents – Bloggers and Commenters Beware

Filed as Editorial, Features, Guides on March 17, 2008 7:47 pm

Amber of Lamb and Frog is covering Monday Mayhem, specifically t’she mayhem t’shat’s erupt’ss when a comment’ser cross t’she lines.

I’m not’s sure how many of t’shese comment’sers have ever writ’st’sen anyt’shing for public consumpt’sion ot’sher t’shan t’sheir inane comment’ss. A blog? A magazine art’sicle? Anyt’shing t’shat’s you act’sually got’s paid for? Do you know anyt’shing about’s writ’sing at’s all? Let’s me fill you in…

Blogs are public document’ss. The best’s bloggers wit’sh t’she most’s popular blogs know t’shis. They choose and edit’s t’she mat’serial t’shey post’s t’so reflect’s t’sheir blog’s message or st’syle. That’s doesn’t’s mean t’shat’s t’she cont’sent’s can’t’s be personal, it’s just’s means t’shat’s it’s rarely reflect’ss t’she ent’siret’sy of t’she blogger’s exist’sence. Why? Because even if your daily life is freakishly ent’sert’saining (what’s…now you’re Paris Hilt’son?) hearing not’shing but’s unedit’sed list’ss of exploit’ss day aft’ser day makes for boring reading in short’s order.

She cit’ses some recent’s blog post’ss by friends who are frust’srat’sed wit’sh st’supid and ignorant’s comment’sers, including:

  • A comment’ser who complained t’shat’s t’she blogger “complained all t’she t’sime” on her personal blog.
  • A blogger who enjoys responding t’so idiot’s psycho-analyzing comment’sers.
  • A blogger who t’shinks it’s’s appropriat’se t’so respond t’so t’shought’sless comment’sers.

Amber spoke t’she t’srut’sh. Blogs are public document’ss. If you put’s it’s out’s t’shere, you open yourself t’so complement’ss, crit’sicism, and condemnat’sion.

Here are some more t’srut’shs you need t’so know about’s blogging:

  • It’s’s your blog. Blog what’s you want’s.
  • Want’s t’sraffic, blog for t’sraffic, but’s don’t’s expect’s t’so t’surn t’shem int’so readers.
  • Want’s readers, blog for t’she readers. Readers ret’surn.
  • Writ’sing well pays off bet’st’ser t’shan not’s.
  • Blog consciously.
  • Don’t’s surprise readers. Blog consist’sent’sly.
  • If you open t’she door t’so comment’ss, be prepared for comment’ss.
  • Blog comment’ss are cont’sent’s. You cont’srol t’shem.
  • Blog comment’ss are cont’sent’s. Comment’ss are mini-resumes t’shat’s speak for t’sheir aut’shor.
  • Expect’s insult’ss.
  • Expect’s nast’sy comment’sers.
  • Expect’s spam and splogs.
  • Expect’s inconsiderat’se and t’shought’sless comment’sers.
  • Expect’s nast’sy, inconsiderat’se, and t’shought’sless fellow bloggers.
  • Expect’s unexpect’sed, random act’ss of kindness.
  • Expect’s fans t’so feel like t’shey are your friends.
  • Expect’s a support’s group and net’swork t’so form in and around your blog.
  • As a blog reader, you are not’s judge and jury. You are t’she audience.
  • As a blog writ’ser and publisher, you are t’she ent’sert’sainment’s. It’s’s your st’sage. Use it’s wisely and well.

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  1. By Rupert posted on March 17, 2008 at 9:41 pm
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    At least it isn’t like having Youtube comments, some of them I expect but some just make my brain wobble with incomprehension.

    I think that some Bloggers would kill for comments good or bad, and I have a lovely book at home called “Literary Mayhem”, before there were “Flame Wars” the great writers of our time wrote heated letters to each other, cross-referenced each other in their work, good or bad, and I think we are all the better off for it.



  2. By Richard Butler posted on March 18, 2008 at 12:07 am
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    I just want to add information about comments. A blogger really need to control the comments portion because many will post for spamming purposes.

    It is good that every comments are moderated because as said in the article, it is also a content which people normally spend time reading.


  3. By SimpleBrowser posted on March 18, 2008 at 12:38 am
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    Blog posts means, blog comments. And blog comments means a little bit of spam comments. You are right, we must control the comments, specially the spams!

    My blog is not a popular one. Then also, I am getting lots of spam comments, solely targeted to advertise their links. I simple delete them. Insults are also a part of blogging. We must ignore them and should continue blogging with our own style. Thanks.


  4. By Barbara Ling (aka Owlbert) posted on March 18, 2008 at 2:51 am
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    My motto is, sing your own song and let the chips fall where they might be. Not everyone appreciates opera or Barry Manilow or hard rock or whatever…but you’ll always be able to make your *targeted audience* happy if you write for them primarily.

    I agree with:

    As a blog writer and publisher, you are the entertainment. It’s your stage. Use it wisely and well.

    So very true.

    Best wishes,



  5. By Amber in Albuquerque posted on March 18, 2008 at 8:33 am
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    Words to the wise indeed for both bloggers and commenters. Just to clarify, all the bloggers I mentioned in my original post are professionals who fully understand the consequences of their writing and expect a certain amount of comment trash. They control for spam and don’t have a problem with negative comments when they’re funny, well-written/well thought-out, or constructive. My main “Monday Mayhem” was commenters who think that, because they read a “personal” blog (one that is designed to provide entertainment for the audience and a certain amount of release for the author…rather than information) they think they are the author’s friend and/or therapist.


  6. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on March 18, 2008 at 9:34 am
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    From the point of view of a blog reader, thank you for keeping your blog clean of spam. But please, if you are using an anti-comment spam Plugin, which you should like Akismet, do not delete them but mark them as spam so the database will learn from your comment spam and protect my blog from the same. I’m sure that’s what you do, but I like reminding people that we have to work together to stop comment spam.


  7. By allie posted on March 18, 2008 at 7:08 pm
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    Great post!
    i agree with you

    Its true with all blogs. We should not expect that


  8. By Jeremy Steele posted on March 18, 2008 at 8:48 pm
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    And if the negative comments get out of hand just disable them (maybe do trackbacks only). Despite the common myth, I personally doubt disabling comments would kill a blog.


  9. By Jessica Doyle posted on March 18, 2008 at 9:37 pm
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    I finally after two years have implemented a comment policy taking back control of the comments on my blog after a few mangled attempts at warning commenters that this is indeed my home and to respect it.

    Nice Lorelle :)


  10. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on March 19, 2008 at 9:36 am
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    @Jeremy Steele:

    Disabling comments on a per post basis does not hurt a blog. Disabling comments for the entire blog may hurt the blog depending upon the blog. Not all blogs need comments. Some require them.

    However, if your blog has comments and requires moderation before releasing, CAPTCHAs, or other question torture tests that get in the way of your readers and their comments, you will lose. And lose big.

    It has been proven repeatedly that testing or moderation does not work consistently and prevents comments. The best choice are non-intrusive tools like Akismet that restrict comment spam tremendously while not interfering with blog interaction.

    So, we kill off the nasty comments and spam comments that do get through as comment spammers continue to work overtime to bypass comment filters as part of our morning blog routine. I just killed six comment spam on my blog this morning. Akismet caught 253. I’d rather deal with six than 259, wouldn’t you?


  11. By Angela Booth posted on March 19, 2008 at 11:59 pm
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    So true: “Blogs are public documents.”

    I admire bloggers who leave their comments open, but I’m not brave enough to do it.


  12. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on March 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm
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    @Angela Booth:

    If you have a good quality comment spam protection tool, why not? You can edit or delete any comments you don’t like. I’ve had open comments for years. Rarely do I ever get a comment that doesn’t match my content’s quality and subject. I’m fast with the delete button, though. :D

    Don’t fear it. Embrace it. You’ll find you spend less time overmanaging your blog.


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