Bloggers accept signatures in comments: poll
Darren over at Problogger has conducted a poll of his readers and found, some what surprisingly that the majority of his readers support the right of people to put signatures into comments.
I’m suprised and I cant help but think the idea of signatures in comments is being gready, after all you’re getting a link to your blog in the comment header anyway with most decent sites, but numbers don’t lie so maybe I’m wrong on this one? Naturally don’t feel shy about putting the boot in if I am :-)
Oh well, here’s what I’m afraid off if sigs become a semi-permanent fixture on comments: lots and lots of “me too” comments that might not constitute spam but devalues the whole concept of comments.
Am I being a blog snob for seeing it this way or should I just move on with the times and roll over?
It’d definetly up to each blog author to decide whether he or she wants their readers to comment in a certain fashion. As my example above proves it can be nothing more than wasted space.
First it was avatars, now signatures. What is next? full excerpts?
I have no problem with someone leaving their name and one (1) url as a sig, esp if they are bloggers, because I like to check out the blogs of people kind enough to leave comments on mine. This is part of the ‘conversation of the blogosphere’ and as in all conversations there are expectations of good behaviour – if someone wants to try and run comment spam on my blogs I have no hesitation in deleting the comment or even blocking the commenter. A consideration for my position on this is that the blogging platform I use – Blogware via BlogHarbor – does not link the commenter’s name to their url but to a bio page they fill out when they register as readers. It is actually in my interest for commenters to include their url in their sig and in my social and business networking interest that they do. Do I mind that they might get some business from that link? No. And as a footnote to this, I tried to leave a comment on Darren’s original post about this and got blocked by his comment spam blocker – no, I did not include html or as far as I know any particularly spammy text. So thanks for the opportunity to comment here.
Anyone who has used any forums over the past few years will probably baulk at this (or they should).
I can possibly see the point of a couple of lines of TEXT as a sig – possibly quick pitch for your blog/website but anything more than that and you’ll have to wade through oceans of… frankly crap.. to read the comments. The comments being the most important piece of course, but hey, let’s not worry about that. Let’s just clutter it all up with even MORE information…
I’m certain the people who said YES to sigs were thinking about themselves (ohh more hits!) but as a site owner you have a responsibility to think about your readers. How do you improve the “conversations” if the comments are lost amongst, essentially, adverts?
Back before we had blogs and blog content management systems like wordpress I used to use a forum as a means to allow my visitors to comment on articles I posted to my websites. At the end of an article there was a link “discuss this article” that would point to a forum post I manually created. I did it this way because I did not have the technical skills to code a proper commenting system (and I didn’t want to use a CMS like phpnuke to do it for me) and it encouraged forum sign-ups and conversation.
Ideally I’d like to encourage as much community as possible on my site. I don’t think blog comment systems should replicate fully fledged forums (with private messaging, in-built signature file control, avatars etc) however given that a forum owner can switch any of these things on and off perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea. More choice is better and the more tools available to site owners the more you can choose to offer your visitors.
The software my site uses (Drupal) doesn’t have the same sorts of fields for people to fill out as Movable Type, Blogger or WordPress. We only have registered users, and the only way I know one of those registered users has a blog is if they have a signature file. When we first moved from Movable Type to Drupal late last year and the users discovered they could make signature files I was a bit hesitant – but on the whole I hardly notice them now. They aren’t like the sig files in forums – no graphics, no excessive smiley faces. Pretty harmless really.
What is the difference between having a link to your website versus a signature? I don’t like the idea of signatures in comments especially if it takes up more space than the comment itself!