Friday, October 7, 2011

A comment on comments (my Andy Rooney moment about how to write blog comments)

Bloggers are urged to write comments on other blogs in order to help build and promote their own blogs. The concept is that it will help to build back links and a social network. However, many new bloggers mistakenly leave useless comments because they think they are doing the right thing. Unfortunately, their initial attempts often fail to promote their blogs because their comments are considered to be spam.

Comments arrive in many flavors. Some are written simply to promote their own blogs or products. These I classify as spam and I flag them as such. Usually, if the comment has a link in it, I consider it to be spam. Examples are:
  • Nice post - please visit
  • If you're looking for XYZ product, stop by
  • Just dropped by,
Sometimes, readers are genuinely writing a supportive complement, phrase or message because they enjoyed reading a post, such as:
  • Nice post (same as above but no link)
  • Very interesting opinion
  • Happy birthday.
I generally will publish these short snippets if I believe the comment is sincere. If it is written by a friend, or someone I know, I will publish it right away. But, if it is written by a stranger, I will probably mark it as spam because it has little personal meaning to me.

The most interesting comments I receive are those who oppose or criticize my post's viewpoints or stance. In those, reference links may be provided. I usually publish these comments without hesitation because the author has taken the time to think about what was said and to write an opposing viewpoint. These are usually the most interesting comments to receive because they tend to lead to a real back and forth discussion.

Of course, I like to receive comments that reinforce my ideas as well. If I receive a response that agrees with me and adds new information, I'm all ears.

Over the years, I've learned that comment moderation is important. All too often, I've found that automatically publishing all comments only leads to propagating spam. Therefore, I always moderate every single comment.

Lastly, I refuse to publish any comment by an Anonymous author. I used to do this, but changed my mind. I now believe that if you cannot identify yourself, then your comment is not worthy of publication because it lacks credibility.

In summary, when you write a comment on a blog:
  • Let the author know what you think and why
  • Do not leave links unless it supports your viewpoint
  • Forget the spam
  • Identify yourself.
So those are my views about comments and I'd love to know if you agree. Please leave me a comment and let me know either way!


  1. I agree with you, but to go into depth in each blog requires lot of time. I have to write articles and posts regularly. So how do I go about it? Just liking a blog on sight and sincerely commenting 'very nice' may be labelled spam. Well...

  2. I will publish Anonymous comments if they seem to have substance. What really annoy me are the "almost spam" things by people I don't know that just say "I like this," or "Nice picture."

    Then again, maybe they have no imagination

  3. you are right. After posting and telling the whole online industry about my post I am usually excited for the comments that I will received. May it be pro or against. But there are also times that I got long list of comments that are not related to my post. It actually pissed me but sometimes I just sigh and just take it positively knowing that this person visited my least for a traffic:)

  4. Spammers are one of the reason I went to comment moderation.Personal attacks are the reason I do not allow anon comments as well.

  5. I think there may be something to What Sharkbytes said...maybe sometimes people have no or little imagination and they want to at the least say hi.

    I know sometimes I just feel too tired to post comments..Sometimes I have revisited someones blog to post up a comment on something interesting that I read but just felt too tired to comment at the time.

    Don't know if any of that made any sense...goodnight :)


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