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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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August 24, 2008

To Permit Troll or Not to Permit Troll

I’ve written a lot about how blog and comment trolls make blogging miserable, even to the point where we becoming over-sensitive and frustrated with blogging because of the amount of negativity and angst that comes with opening yourself up to the world of opinion through your blog.

I blog across many different blogs and participate in a wide variety of social media services and microblogs. 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

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August 21, 2008

MyBlogLog Adds Disqus and Intense Debate Support

If you are one of those not hosting your own comments, but using either Disqus or Intense Debate, you’ll be happy to know that MyBlogLog is adding support for these two services. Personally, I’m not a fan of either of these services, but a lot of people are, like Fred Wilson on Disqus for instance.

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July 28, 2008

WTF Blog Design Elements: Most Recent Comments and Shout Boxes

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

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July 21, 2008

Prepare Yourself for the Blog Bullies

In 2006, I wrote about copyright violations saying that it wasn’t a matter of if but when your content would be stolen. The same premise applies to blog bullies.

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

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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.
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June 30, 2008

Doubting the Legitimacy of Blog Comments

When you get a comment such as:

Teens are upward on the drooling era because they aren’t unmarried to scrimp joyous and attractive proclamations and they are amorously the depressing to be the looks of hollywood icons.

And it arrives on a blog post about your favorite WordPress Plugins, it’s really clear that this is comment spam, right?

What about something like this:

I found your insights inspiring. You really made me think, but more than that, you made me want to act. Thank you for being such a thought provoking blogger!

If you found one of those comments on your blog, wouldn’t you preen a little? Wouldn’t you want to call your family in and say, “See, someone thinks I’m smart! Someone out there likes me!”

I recently found that comment on my blog and I started to flutter my peacock feathers – until I noticed the link in the comment form went to a dating service of ill-repute. YUK!
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June 3, 2008

Want More Comments: Start a Conversation

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.
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