Comments: Edit, Delete, Leave Alone?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 27, 2013
At some point all of us who write blogs and get comments sometimes get one that’s not quite the norm for one reason or another. Depending on your topic, demeanor, or just the people who happen to show up on a particular day, you never know what you’re going to get from day to day. As a blog owner, you have to deal with this issue, or at least should. The question is “what exactly do you do?”
This was the topic we discussed in our Sunday Hot Blog Tips Live Google Hangout, and it was the topic I brought up. The issue came because in the last week I received two very long comments on two separate blogs. On one of them I knew the person. Both of them weren’t just long comments, but didn’t have any breaks, which means they were very long comments, no break for paragraphs, and not necessarily following what some might consider a proper story format, as in starting with an idea and following it in a logical sequence.
Both of these left me in a mental quandary. On their own they weren’t very easy to read. So when I did was edit one, on this blog, by breaking it into paragraph chunks. On the other blog I left it alone because it was just too hard to figure out how to break it up.
I didn’t really have many qualms about either one, but it got me to thinking about editing comments in general. It’s not something I’ve had to do all that often… well, that’s not quite true. Since I know almost no one reads the brief commenting policy above the comment box, some people put links into their comments that aren’t adding to the discussion. They end up in spam, and if I decide to okay them I then have to go in and remove those links before approving the comment. Those links that do add to the comment I don’t mind, but they’re still going to the spam filter.
I’ve only once in 5 years, which is very good, had to edit a comment because of a bad word. Nope, not allowing it here since I don’t curse (or cuss; folks not familiar with Southern dialects hate “cuss”), and if there was more than one word I just might have to delete the entire thing. I like to think that’s people treating me well in my own space; I appreciate that.
Some comments have no spaces or punctuation between the sentences. I’m always ambivalent about that, so I’ll admit that if those comments end up in the spam filter, I go ahead and delete them. If they make it through, I almost always leave them, but I’m starting to reconsider that policy because I’ve never once returned a visit to a blog and saw that they write that way on their own blog. If you don’t do it in your own space what makes it right in my space? Could be a paid writer who could care less, right?
Then there’s some links that are, well, suspect. I don’t mean suspected of having malware, although that’s a consideration. I mean a relatively short, borderline comment with a link going back to dental implants or garlic supplements or junk like that. In the video below you’ll hear the others saying they’ll either delete the links or the entire comment; I’m going to have to think about that one a bit more, though I will admit that there are times when I do delete links, but it’s mainly when I start getting a lot of bounced email based on what the commenter put in, which of course means it’s either fake or was typed in wrong. If you can’t get your own email correct you don’t deserve the link.
There are so many possibilities in having to edit that it warranted the video, and now it’s warranted the conversation. I put it out to y’all then. I hope you watch the video, but I doubt almost anyone will because that’s just how most people are, even if it’s my own video (folks, we see the view numbers, so 25 people certainly didn’t watch my last video if I see only 10 views on the site). However, I’ve written enough here to give you an opportunity to comment on the topic; let’s see what you believe.
Now, the video: