I blog across many different blogs and participate in a wide variety of social media services and microblogs. Twitter and similar “follow” and “friend” networks are interesting as they help you get to know people beyond direct interaction. You get to watch how they behave and learn more about who they are as a person and a blogger through their interactions with others.
Recently, I had the unfortunate experience of watching someone go “off” on Twitter over a non-event. They lost their temper, said vicious things, even to the point of bigotry and prejudice. Very racial slurs. I was stunned to see such language on a public forum. I watched those directly involved handle his out-of-control and inappropriate rant professionally and skillfully, which earned my respect, and I made a point of noting the name and blog of this person, adding it to my list of those I do not wish to be involved with. Trouble like him nobody needs. read more
In this ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, we’ve talked about blog clutter with too many “friend” pictures and badges and calendar archives, two of the many elements many use to clog up their blog’s sidebar. “Clutter” is a matter of perspective. If these added design elements really work for your blog, serve your blog’s purpose, and enhance the reader’s experience, leave them. In fact, put them at the top where they are the first thing people will see next to your post title and content beginnings. Promote them. If they are that important, let them stand out.
If they are not important, then they do become clutter.
One of the most popular blog clutters are the Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes that many feel are important elements to a blog’s design.
The web is now social. People are experimenting with all types of methods to bring the social to their blogs and emphasize how social their blogs are – or at least appear to be. Among the most popular and easy to do are most recent comment widgets and chatting shout boxes. read more
It’s not a matter of if a blogger will blog bad things about you but when.
It’s going to happen. It may have already happened. It’s happened to me plenty of times. So what do you do when someone makes fun of you, pokes at you, says hurtful or harmful things about you or your blog on their blog? read more
When you leave a comment on a blog, there are three things at work.
Your desire to participate in the blog conversation and topic.
Your desire to increase your link credits through blog comments.
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
Do you want more comments on your blog? The most common whines from new bloggers are the lack of traffic and the lack of comments.
It takes a while, sometimes a few weeks, maybe months, or possibly a year or more before a blog generates enough consistent traffic, and in turn, comments. So many are impatient, especially when it comes to comments. After all, isn’t the whole point of a blog the comments?
Let’s clear some myths about comments up first.
Comments are not an indication no one is reading your blog. They are the start of a conversation. read more
In high school, we had the geeks, nerds, drama queens, beauty queens, jocks, jills, freaks, grungers, punkers, and band members. I’m sure there were more social classifications, but those were the most popular cliches. Every year I worried about going back to school and hating all the social isolation and groupings that formed, never wanting to be a part of any of them. I’d try to think of the start of the school year as a fresh clean slate. Maybe this year the jerks from last year would have had a mental make over and play nice. Maybe they would understand that relationships are built with honey not vinegar. Maybe the drama queens would tone down their drama, the beauty queens would find self esteem, and the jocks and jills would understand that grunts and poking fun at non-jocks just wasn’t fun any more. Maybe the geeks and the nerds would learn that it takes more than numbers and big words to carry on a conversation. And the grungers and punkers would realize what is under the paint and clothing defines your personality or character more than the costume. I knew there was no hope for the band and choir members. We understood the social in team work early on, and how to protect each other within our group.
The transition happened for some, I’m sure, but within the first few weeks of school, we knew which kids were the losers, asses, and bullies to avoid, the twits and sillies to laugh at, and the queens and kings we envied for their calm, cool, self-confidence and voted them as student body officers, even though we really hated them – or at least made fun of them from our weird little corners of our social world.
The move from static HTML to dynamic blog platform opened my website to social interaction, interaction that was both welcome and terrifying. Over time, those who hung around and contributed through blog comments became part of my social cliché, brought together by common interest. I felt like blogs were the next generation from the first usenet groups and online forums which gathered together people with a common interest to exchange information and form support groups. As with all such social groups, you have your good guys and bad guys, along with the geeks, nerds, jocks, jills…oh, and band members. read more
For the past few days we’ve been receiving complaints of comments being blocked or IPs, emails and domains being blacklisted from posting comments. Blame it on overactive spam filters or perhaps oversight on our part. Spam Karma 2 has been blocking most comments recently, and nothing has been able to get through, for some reason.
We have yet to check whether this is due to plugin incompatibilities or other reasons, but for the time being we’ve switched SK2 off. This could lead to some spam comments being published, but we’ll try our best to weed these out. What’s important is that valid comments get through, and on time.
At any rate, folks, we’re sorry for the inconvenience. Some of you have been very vigilant about this. Thank you for the reminders. After all, being the Blog Herald we’re supposed to be advocates of open communication through blogs. And it’s also in our comments policy not to pre-moderate or censor comments unless they’re blatantly spam or offensive.
Some of your comments may still be in the moderation threads. As Spam Karma uses a different moderation queue from WordPress’ own, and since the interface does not exactly make it very easy to recover the few valid comments from among the thousands of spam comments, it’s going to take a while. If you think you’d rather re-post your comments, please feel free to do so.
Again, on behalf of the editor and other contributors here at the Blog Herald, we express our sincere apologies.
Pamela spanked me for screwing up a link. Ian found a misspelling. Sidney got me on a PHP code error. Angie corrected a fact. Finny found four grammar errors. Andy uncovered a dead link. Barry gave me a link to a better resource.
Are your readers keeping you honest? Are they keeping track of what you are doing and letting you know when you do wrong? Are they helping you blog better?
Sure, like many, I sigh and moan when I get a blog comment that corrects my blog post, wishing the spelling police would go elsewhere, then I stop. I work my ass off to encourage readers to come back to my blog. I bust butt to give them reasons to link. It’s important to me to build a community around my blogs, so why should I whine when I’m getting what I ask for?
When I look around at the friends I label “best” in my life, they are people of all cultures and lifestyles but the have one thing in common: They tell the truth when they find it.
They are people who tell you that there is toilet paper stuck to your shoe, your slip is showing, your zipper is unzipped, you have something hanging out your nostril, and a long hair growing out of your face in a way that catches the light and makes a rainbow. Pretty, but not esthetically pleasing. read more