What Changes Your Mind About Leaving a Blog Comment? Some Criteria

In my article, “What Changes Your Mind About Leaving a Blog Comment,” I talked about some of the issues around debating where and when to leave a blog comment on a blog that hosts information or opinions you don’t support, or is filled with blog clutter, a clue that something isn’t right. About how your comment may be seen to support the blog, and impact your reputation by association.

As I wrote that post, I looked back over all the WTF Blog Clutter articles in the series and realized that many of these issues are ones that impact my willingness to comment on a blog. Sure, they impact my ability to even read the blog, let alone return and tell others, but they also impact my willingness to endorse a blog with a comment.

I started thinking about all the blatant, subjective, and even unconscious reasons that prevent me from leaving a comment on a blog. Here are some of my self-discoveries, most of them associated with various aspects of blog clutter. I’m sure you have more you can add, but these are big clues that this is a blog that doesn’t deserve my participation.

  • Too Many Or Ugly Ads: If the ads outweigh the content, my perception is that they are in it for the money not the passion nor community. I’m gone, leaving no comment behind.
  • More Business than Personal: I’m finding myself avoiding purely business-oriented blogs, wanting the personal touch. If it screams old fashioned corporate, I’m not interested. I want the new personal and social corporate touch.
  • No Human: If the blog post byline reads “admin” and there is no human, real sounding name in the blog title or anywhere visible above the fold, I’m gone. If it is hidden in the post meta data at the end of the blog, maybe I’ll hang around, but it makes me doubt. I want to talk to a human, not a machine or anonymous.
  • No Original Content: If the content even has a hint of plagiarism, with little or no sign of original connect, I’m gone. If I find a blog post copied by someone else, even if it is within Fair Use, if there isn’t original commentary to accompany it, giving me something to respond to, I’ll comment at the source not the copy.
  • Spam-filled Comments: If there are spam comments in the comment queue, I’m gone. Clearly this blogger doesn’t care about their blog to keep it cleaned up.
  • Lots of Signed Comments: Like comment spam, if I see a lot of comments signed, especially signed with a lot of links, I think this is a blogger who either doesn’t care, doesn’t pay attention to details, or is into link spamming, thus allows abuse of their blog comments. Either way, they’ve lost my interest and respect.
  • Closed Comments on Old Posts: If I find that the blogger closes comments on old posts, leaving me no way to comment except through their contact form or new posts, I won’t be back nor comment in general. If I don’t know, and comments are open, I’ll comment, but if I do know, they lose my respect.
  • Ugly and Old Fashioned Designs: I can spot an “old website” or blog design in a second. Can’t you? One that screams pre-1999 table-based design or the Kubrick Default WordPress Theme. If they don’t care enough to update their blog design or Theme, then I’m suspicious. I won’t comment unless it is clear from the content they really don’t know what they are doing.
  • Different Fonts in Different Posts: We’ve all seen it. Post one has good looking, readable fonts. Post two has tiny, hard-to-read fonts. This is usually a sign of 1) a scrapper blog or 2) someone who copies and pastes – plagiarises – other people’s content. Sorry, that’s another clue that I’m not interested in participating on a blog without original content.
  • CAPTCHAs, Quizes, and Human-versus-machine Tests: Won’t do it. I’m so tired of jumping through hoops to leave a comment on sites using antiqued (or modern versions) of CAPTCHAs, Quizes, and other comment torture tests, I have to have a serious incentive to comment on blogs with those. Let nothing get in the way of your post and my comment.
  • Blogspot/Blogger Blogs: I apologize openly to all Blogspot/Blogger bloggers, including my friends who use their services. I HATE the old fashioned way comments are handled. While many are now using the new commenting system, if I have to jump through hoops to leave a comment, such as clicking a link that takes me to a page without the blog post on it, I won’t comment any more unless I’m desperate. I hate it that much.
  • Selling WordPress Stuff: I don’t mind bloggers who promote themselves legitimately as WordPress experts or offer WordPress Themes or Plugins for pay. I will not, however, participate on a blog that violates the WordPress trademark on the domain name or sells itself as the paid solution to all your WordPress needs. You know who you are.

Some of these reasons not to comment are biased and prejudice, but they cross my mind as I look at a blog and contemplate commenting. I don’t care about the mythology of nofllow and dofollow as an incentive to comment. I don’t comment for SEO link juice. I comment for purpose. I comment for conversation.

While I may sigh and whine about poorly designed comment boxes, I will still comment if the motivation is there, even if I’m given only two lines within the comment box textarea. I lose motivation the harder I have to work to comment, though.

There are a lot of reasons not to comment on a blog, and these are some of mine. What are yours? What stops you from leaving a comment on a blog?

Comments

  1. says

    Thats a very long list. I agree with Aaron about blogs that require registration, too this is the worst. But I also use the Google toolbar to check the blog’s PageRank, if its greater than zero and its old (a year or more) I will check the rest stuff you mentioned. The only reason an old blog would have a PageRank of zero is if it accepts spam comments.

    • says

      I agree with Aaron about registration, but PageRank, that’s an interesting one. I never thought about that because I know from vast experience how wrong PageRank can be. When many of the top blogs stuffed with worthwhile, original content, bloggers who set the standard for quality content, were zeroed out by Google’s PageRank a while ago, I lost a lot of respect for the PageRank credibility. They’ve done other things to dance around with those numbers.

      A brand new site may have worthwhile content, but no incoming links nor vast content to lift it beyond zero to two with PageRank, and I’ve found some great stuff to comment on and encourage new bloggers – so that one would have to be an iffy thing for me. A great “it depends” kind of thing. Since I don’t check a blog’s PageRank in general, I would never know what it is. Interesting. Thanks.

  2. says

    Click my name and you’ll find my blog meets all your qualifications.

    My pet peeves are blogs that require registration, blogs that have moderation, and blogs that prevent me from receiving comments by email. (I also hate Typepad-hosted blogs for this reason.) See my take.

  3. says

    I didnt mean to say I depend on PageRanks only, but it sometimes helps evaluating a blog that is more than a year old. I also check out the number of subscribers to the blog (if displayed) and the Alexa rank.

    All of these numbers dont mean much when the blogger provides quality content, its just for me to evaluate the blog and compare it to others. For example I know a personal blog owned by a Microsoft programmer that ranks very well with Google and Alexa, has more than 500 subscribers, and yet each one of his posts is an advertisement to product.

  4. Dr Benson Yeung says

    These are great tips to help me refrain from commenting on the unworthy blogs. Thanks for sharing.

  5. anonymous says

    Does the number of comments impact your willingness to leave a comment on a blog post? I like to read the post and the comments before responding. Most often, when there are too many of them (50 responses or more), it’s too long and impractical to read and I feel that adding yet another response would be kind of useless.

  6. says

    It has to be said that one of the things that puts me off making a comment on a blog is having to register. These are some great tips which I will look out for next time and I am going to leave a comment on someones blog.

  7. says

    A lot of the above reasons for not commenting on any given blog are mostly aesthetic. I judge a blog by content only. Ads, fonts, spam (not always in the control of the author), etc. take a backseat to the information so long as its interesting!

  8. says

    I agree with the others in that having to register to make a comment is extremely annoying. The worst is when you actually take the time to write something, and then find out you have to register.

    Another big annoying put off is when a blog article fails to mention a date in which the article was written. Often times, the date isn’t a big deal, but when you need information that needs to be current, it’s hard to put any credibility into an article that may be 6 years old.

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