Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Dec 21, 2010
It seems to me that there’s enough information online and people talking about this subject that other folks might start listening to it in some fashion. Alas, it’s not the case, so I’m here to be the guy to bring it up, popular or not. It’s probably going to come across as a harsh post, and that’s not its intention. Sometimes I just have to be real; this is one of those times.
I comment on a lot of blogs; I visit a heck of a lot more. It still surprises me that so many people have set things up that discourage many of us from commenting on your blog. I mean, it’s not hard; it’s not rocket science. All that’s needed is a thought about where your blog is, how your blog is set up, and what you’re hoping to get out of your blog. Making it easy for people to comment on your blog, no matter what; is that too much to hope for?
Okay, some of that might not be fair, but then I haven’t gotten into any details yet. I guess that’s where I should start, so we can get a discussion going.
1. If you’re moderating comments, you’re getting on my nerve. Moderated comments tells me that you care more about spam than about thanking people for wanting to comment on your blog. If it worries you so much, then put up a disclaimer up front that you’re moderating comments and I won’t waste my time. But then, if you did that I, and maybe a lot of people people, won’t comment on your blog. That’s somewhat disingenuous, isn’t it? The other thing about writing a comment on a blog that moderates comments is that suddenly you’re getting bombarded with a bunch of comments all at once in email, and if the owner of the blog isn’t putting any names in, you have no idea which response is to you, if there’s one to you at all. I hate that, but it leads to point #2.
2. If you’re not responding to my comments, you’re getting on my nerve. I didn’t just stop by and write “good post” and move on. It might not have been the theory of relativity but I at least gave you a response that showed you I read what you had to say. Now, do I expect a response all the time? Actually yes I do, but if you miss one or two I won’t mind. But if you seem to exhibit a pattern of not responding to my comments, I probably will stop coming, and I don’t want any complaints about it, whether you visit me or not. Goodness, I’m as busy as the next person, and if I’m responding to almost every comment I deserve knowing that you appreciated my taking the time out to respond back to you.
3. Are you still using Disqus, or one of those other services? Haven’t you realized yet that you’re losing comments? Obviously you didn’t see Sire’s poll, which is still ongoing by the way. I mean, 45% of people said they wouldn’t leave a comment on one of these blogs; are you really getting enough comments that losing 45% of potential visitors is okay for you? And, by the way, if you read the post, you’ll see that some of the people who said they’d still leave a comment overwhelmingly said they didn’t like it, and didn’t do it on all blogs that run this service, but most of them. So, add at least another 25% to the mix and then ask why you don’t have lots of comments. By the way, you’re a dying breed; so many people lately have jumped on the CommentLuv bandwagon and found other ways to block spam and they’re starting to thrive. One guy told me his comments jumped threefold; how’s about that!
4. Are you verifying that people are receiving your responses back to them? This one’s dicey because of you folks running free blogs on WordPress.com. It doesn’t give you the ability to set things up so you can make sure people are seeing that you’ve responded to them, and that’s a shame. Since I’m someone who won’t subscribe or login to receive comments when I get that email (after all, I already checked the box on your blog that asked if I wanted to subscribe to comments), I’ll only revisit blogs of those of you I happen to like; you know who you are if you’ve seen my comments on your blog. If you’re answering a lot of people and rarely hear back from them, this could be an issue for you. But I’m not the guy who can tell you to spend your money on self hosting and a domain name; spend your money your way. However, I am the guy to tell you that it’s the way to go if you get serious about blogging.
5. Some of you know I don’t like Blogger/Blogspot blogs. I don’t like them because you have to create a login name to comment so that you’ll get responses back. I have one for my business name, and I’m still trying to figure out how that happened, but not for any of my other blogs or websites, including this one. Some blogs I want to comment on aren’t appropriate for my business account, and thus I’ll either skip it or comment using the email for this blog, but of course Blogger won’t let you put in an email, and thus you never know if you got a response or not. This fact impeded a lot of blogs I wanted to check out when we had that network meme a week or so back. On this one, same answer I gave to the previous point; I can’t tell you what to do, but if you’re serious about blogging, think about it.
That’s it; that’s my rant. I’ve actually ranted on all these things in the past, as you can see from some of the links, but I guess it’s been awhile. People forget, and thus I figured I’d bring it up again. If you don’t really care, then that’s fine; if you do, well, at least think about it.
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Dec 23, 2009
You know, sometimes it seems like some of us repeat ourselves because we just have to. The lessons that we feel we learn by our own experience are put into what we write on our blogs, people see them and comment and seem to agree, then they go back and do exactly what they wanted to do in the first place.
I have spent time on this blog talking about the benefits of commenting on other blogs, which I truly believe helps people get noticed in the blogosphere, at least initially. And you know by now that I believe there’s a fine line between success and failure and a lot of that could be because of many people not feeling that commenting will do them a world of good.
At the same time, I’ve lamented at how many people seem to set up roadblocks to commenting on their blogs. I wrote a post asking if it was easy to comment on your blog. I wrote one saying why I hate logging in to comment on blogs. And there was quite the discussion when I talked about why I dislike Blogger blogs.
Lately, I’m turning my attention to these blogs that make you double opt-in to comments. They haven’t made it hard for you to leave a comment, but they do make it generate a lot of stupid extra email to make you do something extra just to see if you really want someone to notify you when or if someone has responded to your comment or not. I hate that also, obviously; if I left a comment of course I’m hoping to know that someone commented back on it. If I didn’t, why would I leave a comment in the first place? Yeah, I know, some people only want link bait, but those folks know the consequences of leaving comments to begin with.
Now there’s this thing with this plugin some folks have called “Disqus.” The basic principle behind it is to create kind of a discussion community that potentially has the ability to spread beyond just the one blog you’re commenting on. This link potentially can help spread your reputation far and wide, and the only thing it requires is for you to create an account and make sure you sign in.
Uhhh, just asking, but did anyone notice I posted a link above about not liking to log in to things to comment? So, I’m not doing that. Disqus doesn’t make you do that. What it does do, however, is ask you if you want to log in or post as a guest, which is irritating, and then you get an email asking you to respond to the link if you want to receive comments to your comment or any comments after yours. Hmmm, I think I addressed that above also.
Sometimes we get enamored with the next great thing. We like to find these things that we think are cool and use them for our benefit. That’s all well and good. But if we’re blogging with the intention of having other people participate, the idea is to make it easy for them to do so. Irritating people isn’t a good way to encourage them to keep coming back. Sure, there are certain people within the community who will love coming back and playing the game, but the overwhelming majority are going to move on.
I find that I rarely comment on Blogger blogs these days, because I don’t always want to comment and have it directed to my business blog. And I’m not setting up another account; to be truthful, I never remembered setting up the one I have. I’ll probably find myself not leaving comments on more blogs that have this Disqus feature, and there’s another one I’ve seen often enough that I can’t remember right now that does somewhat the same thing.
I’m taking my own stand; any more blogs where I comment and receive email asking me if I want responses to the comments, I’m removing from my blog reader and never commenting on again. I may miss out on a lot of stuff, but I guess I’m ready to take that chance. As for some of you who I already follow, well, I probably won’t remove your accounts immediately, but if you hear less from me you’ll know why.
Freedom, justice, and the right to comment without restrictions; viva la commenting!
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Nov 2, 2008
I’ve come to a realization of something, and I’m just going to get it out now; I hate Blogger blogs! There, I’ve said it; now I’ll talk about why.
To begin with, I don’t have a Blogger or Blogspot blog; never have, never will. I do have a sign on, though I have no idea how it got there. Actually, I think one of my friends put it on there some years ago when I said I didn’t want to have to log into anything to make comments. This isn’t a new position with me, and I even wrote about it on this blog.
Truthfully, I do understand how one has to log into certain things, such as forums, in order to participate, but I’ve never understood all these people who want you to have to register to leave comments on their blogs, then gripe because no one is commenting on their blogs. Heck, you can’t have it both ways. Just as you have to decide that you’re going to comment on other blogs as well as not waste anyone’s time, you have to decide if you’re going to make it easy or hard to do so.
So, my first gripe is that many Blogger blogs are set up so that the only way you can leave a comment is if you have a Blogger account; I absolutely hate that. My second gripe is that if some blogs do open it up so that you can leave something other than a Blogger account, it limits you to name and link. I guess that’s not overly bad, because many people not on Blogger do that, but I’ve just gotten so used to CommentLuv (no, I’m not linking to it again right now; looks like I’m pimping for Andy!) that I hate not having the opportunity to direct someone to a specific post if I comment on their blogs, though one can easily link to an article from their blog that they want people to see.
My third gripe is just how many Blogger blogs look the same. Come on folks, there’s tons of colors and styles; break it up some. Okay, I’ll own up to this; I hate green, and, even though I live in Syracuse and our local football team is the Orangemen, seeing green and orange together really freaks out my system, and adding that pukey looking brown, or tan, with it,… just too much folks. Anyway, there’s just so much “sameness” to so many Blogger blogs that I don’t even want to bother taking the time to read many of them, as I’m bored as soon as I look at the page. Unfair, I know, but true.
And finally, my fourth gripe, that being that I’ve yet to see a Blogger blog where, if you’re already reading the main post, you can’t just put your information in there and write your comment. Instead, you have to click on “post a comment”, then go into another window to write your post, and not everyone has it set up so that you can click on a link to see exactly what it is you’re commenting on. Yeah, you’d think we’d all remember that, but heck, I’m getting close to 50, and my short term memory sometimes fails me; nope, not proud of that, but it is what it is.
Okay, I guess Andy’s CommentLuv is going to get a little bit of love because he recently modified the program so it will work on Blogger platform, so maybe that will help bring many of those blogs up to what the rest of us have been enjoying with WordPress. And, I will acknowledge that a few people have figured out how to use the Blogger platform and change the look so that it doesn’t look like Blogger anymore, even if it still behaves that way. Man, I much prefer WordPress’ blogging platform; talk about being a “homer”.
I guess I shouldn’t complain; at least I’m not being subjected to eating Nutraloaf. Still, Blogger could do better if you ask me.