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Do You Turn Comments Off?

Posted by on Aug 8, 2009

Earlier today, I read a blog post that I felt was good enough for me to leave a comment on. The post had only 4 comments, so I figured it couldn’t hurt adding mine to the list. However, I didn’t have any way of getting into the post to leave a comment. Then I realized what had happened.

The blog owner must have her blog set to turn off the option to comment on a post after a predetermined amount of time. It’s an option all of us have that have WordPress blogs; I’m not sure if other blog types offer the same thing.

Why would someone do this? Well, there are a couple of reasons one might think about it.

One, lots of old blog posts are fodder for spam to get in. Some people don’t look at all their responses, and spammers know that, so they set their algorithms to look for older posts within a blog to leave their messages on. For their purposes, a link is a link, and because of age, that post might have gotten some page rank love, which might benefit them.

Two, some folks might get back to those who write them, but suddenly see a response that throws them off because they’re not sure what it’s in reference to. Now, WordPress tells you which post it’s on, and you can take the time to go and read that post before responding, but some people don’t want to go backwards.

In each of those instances, one might decide to turn off comments. However, I’m not one of those people. On my business blog, one of my most active posts is one I wrote more than 2 years ago, and the topic is still relevant to that particular industry. On this blog, one of my top posts was this one on indexing Google Desktop, which I wrote last November. People are still looking for that information, and when they find it, they like to say thanks.

I can’t see why I’d want to disallow anyone to leave a comment on my blog. Maybe it’s because I don’t have thousands of visitors a day, like this particular woman has. I’m not sure, but I know this much. I can’t see me ever turning off comments from anyone who wants to leave one. So please, leave comments as much as you wish to, unless you’re a spammer, and if you have an opinion on this topic, leave an opinion and let us all know what your thoughts are.

Blogs are for interacting with each other; so, let’s interact.

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21 Comments »

Monique:

This post prompted me to check my setting on my blog. I realized that it was weird that I had to approve your comment from this morning on my blog. I thought I changed the settings, but perhaps I mixed that up with my other blog.

Anyway, if you go to the Discussion Tab, and the Before Comment Appears subheading there is an option that says, “Comment author must have a previously approved comment”. You have to uncheck that to avoid every first comment from a person being held in queue for moderation. Mine is unchecked now -whew!

You know I’ve never heard of that option of disabling after a period of time. Was the post in an archiving folder?
.-= Monique´s last blog ..The Little Marketer That Could =-.

August 8th, 2009 | 8:17 PM
Mitch:

No, the post is out there live. I don’t want to “out” the person, so I’ll send you the link via Twitter DM.

August 8th, 2009 | 8:25 PM

I’ve never heard of that before. What is the point of posting a og if you don’t want others to express their views on what you’ve written? That’s ike having a one-sided conversation. I’m dying to know who it is 🙂
.-= Beverly Mahone´s last blog ..Baby Boomer Caught in Unusual Sex Act =-.

August 8th, 2009 | 10:05 PM
Mitch:

Not getting it from me, Miss Bev lol And she did have it on for a short period of time, at least.

August 8th, 2009 | 10:17 PM

For the very same reasons that you mention I have put a limit on comments on my blog to close comments after sixty days from posting. Despite that, the average number of spams that I receive are about sixty a day.

Since my readers are more or less regular, I have not received any complaints so far.
.-= Rummuser´s last blog ..Modern Journalism =-.

August 9th, 2009 | 12:42 PM
Mitch:

If that works for you, Rummuser, then it’s okay by me. Askimet catches almost all the spam heading my way, so I don’t worry about it all that much. But I like hearing from folks who have enjoyed an older post; guess I need that reinforcement. 🙂

August 9th, 2009 | 1:06 PM
Doug Dillard:

I didn’t even know about a time setting to close your comments. You learn something new everyday.

I have never turned off comments before, but I think will for a post I have for tomorrow. It is a post where I need help with something for only 24 hours, and after that comments would not help… so I think I will close the post to comments the next day.

So I can see where turning off comments might come in handy.

P.S. Mitch… did you notice that you have 2 checkboxes below the CommentLuv box below that are exactly the same?
.-= Doug Dillard´s last blog ..Lee Silber – Business Spotlight Interview =-.

August 9th, 2009 | 2:09 PM
Mitch:

Hi Doug,

I know about the two checkboxes at the bottom. One of them doesn’t work, and I can’t figure out how to find it so I can get rid of it. The one that’s working I do know how to get to that one. But I’m still looking for it.

I hadn’t thought about turning off comments on posts that are only for a short period of time. You’re right, it’s probably useless if it’s timed, but hey, it’s hard for me to find the one thing right now, so I’m leaving the other alone. lol

August 9th, 2009 | 2:22 PM

I’m not one to turn comments off, although I have come across the same situation on more than one occasion. As for the older posts, it doesn’t bother me leaving comments on because I get notified every time someone leaves a comment, and if it’s spam I delete it, simple as that.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Why I Am Not Such A Social Person =-.

August 10th, 2009 | 3:03 AM
Mitch:

Same here, Sire. And truthfully, one day last year I decided to go through the archives of Problogger by starting with some of his older posts, which had few comments. Some stuff was pretty good, so I commented on it; I thought it was fair to do.

August 10th, 2009 | 9:17 AM

hey Mitch,
To answer your question, NO.
But I’ve seen this thing on a few blogs myself, and sometimes when I find a post via a search and want to ask a question and can’t, it bugs me. But then, it’s not my blog.
You are right I think that the only reason some bloggers do this is because of spammers, but those people that find their posts via the search engines at a later date are the ones that suffer. With Akismet and Bad Behavior, I don’t get many spam comments, and I have no problem deleting the ones I get. I wish these bloggers would just do the same thing, and not turn off comments. Oh well… steve, the trade show guru
.-= Trade Show Guru´s last blog ..Trade Show Kinsella =-.

August 10th, 2009 | 3:36 PM
Mitch:

I’m with you on this one, Steve, but you’re right, it’s their blog, therefore not our call. At least we’ll stick together on this one.

August 10th, 2009 | 5:36 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good afternoon, Mitch.

Normally, I leave comments on indefinitely, but lately I’ve been seeing a big increase in comment spam on older posts on a couple of my blogs. As a result, I’m experimenting with turning off comments on posts over 30 days old.

I don’t know for sure if I’ll keep doing it, however.

I like getting comments, but rarely get relevant comments on older posts.

Act on your dream!

JD

August 10th, 2009 | 2:46 PM
Mitch:

I don’t really care about the spam as much these days, John, since Askimet seems to work so well. And I do get some valid comments on older posts. I figure they give me the chance to keep reaching people, so I’m going to leave it as is.

August 10th, 2009 | 5:35 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

After thinking about it since posting my last comment, this morning I went in and removed the time limitation on comments. In other words, I opened comments completely on my three major blogs.

We’ll see how it goes. Yes, Askimet does a great job of catching almost all the spam, but a few still sneak in occasionally.

I have one blog where comments aren’t appropriate and I’m leaving them turned off. It’s just for announcements of new special offers and discount coupons.

Act on your dream!

JD

August 12th, 2009 | 1:29 AM
Mitch:

Good move, John, although I did understand why you wanted to try it the other way. Good luck with it either way.

August 12th, 2009 | 1:47 AM
Luke:

I’ve read before that the main reason why some bloggers turned off their comments is because it’s an additional work for their part to check all of their comments from time to time. For some owners, it is really tedious but for some it’s their way to communicate with their readers.
.-= Luke´s last blog ..Three Ways to Grow Taller =-.

August 11th, 2009 | 12:32 PM
Mitch:

Luke, I’m the type of guy who likes keeping in touch with my readers. Now, if I ever get to the point where I’m getting thousands of comments a day, we’ll see what I do then.

August 11th, 2009 | 4:07 PM

Well, Mitch. For preventing the spammers keep spamming my blog, I have no choice but turned on the “Waiting for approval” option. In this case, we can filter and delete those unwanted comments away…
.-= wilhb81´s last blog ..The Useful Business Tips 41: The 5 Tips You Must Know! =-.

August 12th, 2009 | 2:58 AM
Mitch:

That’s the problem with being on a Blogger blog, Wil. Well, that and other stuff. 😉

August 12th, 2009 | 3:15 AM
Chris Peterson:

Agreed, that’s the aim. You hit right on the nail. Its valuable to keep the interaction alive, if you don’t want to mechanize the process & loose readers. Let me see how much you believe in what you said

August 19th, 2009 | 7:42 AM