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. read more
For many blogs the bulk of their content comes not from their posts, but from their comments. It is not uncommon for a blog to have only a few hundred words of text per post, perhaps even less, and many thousands of words in comments.
For bloggers, this is a very good deal. Not only do comments promote a sense of community, add value to the site and encourage repeat visitors, it also adds a great deal of search engine-friendly content that helps to grow the blog.
But the power of comments has caused many bloggers to be worried about what rights they have over them. What happens if a spammer begins to scrape the comment feed? What if a commenter changes his or her mind and asks for the post removed? What happens if I move to another site or service?
Unfortunately, these are not simple questions but they are important ones for bloggers to be aware of, especially since disputes over comments are happening more and more frequently. read more
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.
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