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October 17, 2008

Wander, Wonder, Ask Blogs

One way of starting a conversation on your blog is what I call the “Wander, Wonder, Ask” method.

A blogger wanders around looking for news and finds something of interest, often newsworthy. She wonders about it and realizes that her wondering has some validity. It’s worth talking about. So she posts it on her blog as “news” and “information” and shares her wondering points, then asks, basically, “What do you think?”

“Wander, Wonder, Ask” posts are ubiquitous. There are plenty even here on the . We all do it. I’ve done it. Sometimes it works, more often it doesn’t.

When it works, it’s a great way to get readers to wonder and answer back. It works even better when they are out wandering and your blog post pops into their heads. They wander, wonder, and start to ask themselves the key questions that may lead to a solution, and possibly back to your blog. read more

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October 12, 2008

The Price of Closing Comments on Old Posts

I’ve never been a fan of closed comments, though they are a choice for many bloggers. However, I’ve never liked the idea of closing comments on old posts with the hopes of preventing or restricting comment spam. Here are a few reasons why.

The Myth of Comment Spam Prevention

There are a lot of myths around comment spam. One is that the more popular your blog is, the more comment spam. This is false. The more incoming links to your blog, the more comment spam. Comment spam bots follow those precious links, nofollow and dofollow, to your blog and spam it.

You could say that the more incoming links you have, the more popular your blog is, but that is not always true either. Trust me, it just takes one link to open the door to a voracious comment spam bot, as I’ve proven repeatedly on brand new blogs. These sites have no comment spam for months until that first trackback or incoming link.

The “old posts” myth about comment spam is that comment spammers hit older posts more than current posts. This is also not true. Comment spammers will hit EVERY post they can. Comment spam bots and human spammers don’t check the date of the post before they hit, thinking, “Hmmm, this one is at least six weeks old, ripe for spamming.” read more

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September 8, 2008

Should You Point Out Comment Spam?

A week ago, I was offline for a few days and returned to find a bunch of comments on my blog pointing to comment spam that had slipped by my comment spam fighting WordPress Plugins as comment spammers tried new techniques.

Recently, I brought up the issues of comment trolls and mean comments, and about your ability and responsibility to editing your blog comments if they require some fixing or cleaning of inappropriate content. But what do you do with a collection of comments such as, “Is that comment spam above me by iwantyourbodynasty? You might want to get rid of it.”

They don’t help the conversation. They don’t contribute. They don’t expand upon the blog topic. But they do help me, the blogger, just in case I did miss a comment spam or two. Right? Maybe. read more

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September 2, 2008

When The Reaction to Your Blog Post Goes Wrong

A blogger just contacted me quite upset about the reaction to a blog post they’d written. They wanted my advice on what they should do.

“Should you do anything?”

“Well, I thought I should respond, but I don’t know what to do!”

“Did you want a response to your blog post?”

“Sure, but not this response.”

“You wanted a response. You got one. What about that response aren’t you happy with?”

When we put our words out there on a blog, we want a response. That’s part of the whole justification for blogging. We want a response. We want reactions. We want feedback.

The problem is when your expectation about that feedback isn’t met. read more

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August 25, 2008

The Liz Strauss Comment Counter Plugin Stirs Comment Controversy

The Liz Strauss Comment Counter by Ozh WordPress Plugin has been released by PlanetOzh and it is stirring up comment controversy everywhere.

Recently, John C. Dvorak of PCMag asked what’s the value of online comments, bringing up an issue that confronts many bloggers as they mature in the blogging world.

At first, comments were greeted with fear. Fear of how to control them, whether they were worth the risk of opening yourself up to feedack. Fear of exposure – what if someone will really respond? Soon, blogging became defined by its interactive purpose – a blog wasn’t a blog unless it had comments. A race was on to encourage readers to comment which escalated into a measure of a blog’s success. A comment was a point in our favor that we were on the right blogging track.

With the advent of comment spam, especially human comment spammers and those eager for Google Page Rank scores to raise from links within comments, bloggers grew weary of fighting an uphill battle for quality comments and interaction. With the increase in clever comment spammers, it’s becoming harder than ever to tell a good comment from a bad comment. Don’t get me started on the subject of comment trolls spoiling the blogging experience for so many.

Now, Dvorak and many more are asking themselves if comments are worth more than the trouble they cause. read more

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July 18, 2008

Are Blog Comments a Source of Referral Traffic?

Here’s a question. If blog comments are mini-resumes, which comments are bringing the most traffic to your blog?

When you leave a comment on a blog, there are three things at work.

  1. Your desire to participate in the blog conversation and topic.
  2. Your desire to increase your link credits through blog comments.
  3. Your desire to encourage traffic from your comment to your blog.

A lot of pro bloggers cover the first two, but I want to explore the last one. If you really want to drive traffic to your blog through comments on other blogs, is it working for you?

Have you been paying attention to your blog referrals and incoming traffic to see where your traffic is coming from in relationship to your blog comments? It’s a very good question because we blog and comment on the premise that blog interaction helps drive traffic.
read more

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