Is Your Comment Process In Error?

Lately I’ve noticed two things that are somewhat troubling to me as it regards comments. Nope, this isn’t another spam post, although that’s pretty irksome, since I don’t consider that commenting at all.


by James Gentry

The first involves blogs that seemingly accept comments, yet never notify anyone that those comments have been responded to. Sometimes I mention it to those folks, but when they don’t do anything about it I move on. In a weird way, they can’t respond to me because their comments don’t work to begin with. In another way, if I leave a message on those posts I always go back to see what they have to say, and if I see nothing I just don’t go back to waste my time again.

The second are posts that either close comments right up front or close them within a few days of posting their article. We all get kind of busy, and sometimes it takes me a week to finally get to check out a bunch of blogs, and I hate when I want to say something and I find that comments are closed already. Now, I acknowledge that there are certain types of articles that one might not want comments on, and I have no problem with that. But the worry about spam (heck I guess it does pop its ugly head in here) leading to people closing comments so quickly just doesn’t make sense. There are so many other ways to reduce spam without having to go to that extreme.

On my first point, I do believe a lot of people don’t know they aren’t sending comments back out. However, I believe if you’re writing your blog and you’re paying attention and you never have even one person come back to comment on your comment, you have to start thinking something’s wrong. I notice is more often on blogs that don’t thread comments, but it happens on some of those as well. Adding the “threaded comments” plugin would help because it adds a check box at the bottom of the comment section that asks people if they’d like responses to comments, and you can have it turned on by default like I do or let people decide to check it. That would at least help to some degree.

I think the overwhelming majority of us want comments on our blogs. Anything we do that irritates people will keep them from commenting, meaning our blogs will never have the opportunity to achieve any real success. And there’s so many good blogs out in the blogosphere that it would be a shame.

The Spam Cookbook








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September Income Report – A Fluke!

Back in January when I wrote my last income report, I said I wouldn’t be writing another one of these until I made $500 through online stuff in one month.


Piles of Money
by Thomas Hawk

Well, September turns out to be my first month, although not quite how I ever thought it would pan out. It was my best month ever with Adsense, made a couple of sales I hadn’t expected, and I find that I like seeing the money coming in like this; I want more!

So, without further ado, how did I make my money in September online?


Flipped Website – $300.00
Adsense – $197.47
Infolinks – $24.70
Commission Junction – $20.00
Product Sales – $15.95
Google Affiliate Network (Barnes & Noble) – $3.24
Kontera – $0.47
Bidvertiser – $0.48

Total – $562.31!

Just to get it out of the way, for those of you who saw my post on Google picking on me, I made 14 cents on this blog from them in September; not a big loss.

The selling of one of my websites was interesting, I must say. It came out of the blue (not saying which one it was for now) and I almost just deleted the email. Then I thought about it and realized I just wasn’t going to ever have the time to do it justice, so I let it go. It took about 2 weeks to finally get the transaction done, mainly because he needed someone to help him with setting up the new site, and of course we didn’t know each other so the level of trust had to be overcome. But we got it done. Website flipping won’t be something I do on a regular basis, but I have one more site that I might try to build up some and eventually sell it; we’ll see.

Most of that Adsense money and all of the Infolinks money came from one site in particular, which has turned out to be a gold mine for me. It does prove in a way that you can make some pretty good money on niche sites. The GAN sale came from one of my newsletters. The other two… actually, one came from my finance blog that I forgot I even had one of their ads on, and I have no idea where the other one came from. And the CJ payment came from someone buying a year of hosting from 1&1 through me; neat!

And that’s that. Now to go back into the cave on this type of reporting until it happens again; I hope it’s not another 2 1/2 years before it happens. 🙂
 

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How To File A DMCA Notice

It seems that I’ve had to become practiced in the art of filing DMCA notices against people who are stealing my content. DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and it was created to protect online content. Of course it wasn’t for those of us who blog specifically, but what you’ll find is that most hosting companies won’t do anything about a complaint of yours unless you put it into a specific form which is laid out in the Act.

I have seen where some other sites recommend going after a person through the pocket book, aka filing one with Google to get their Adsense accounts removed. However, even doing that the content stays on the site. I’d rather it not be there at all.

There’s a step by step process of information you need to file with the host. The best way I know how to figure out who the host might be is to go to GoDaddy, put the name of the domain in the name search, then when it comes up saying someone already has it there’s this link that will let you go find out who the person is. Look to the nameservers near the bottom and that will tell you. I did find there was one strange one, “domaincontrol.com”, and it turns out that means the account is hosted on GoDaddy’s servers; interesting. There’s always the possibility that someone has paid to remove most of that information, but I believe the nameservers are always there; I’ll have to confirm that.

Before you go right into the DMCA notice, you should send at least one email to the offender to give them a chance to do the right thing. I hate to say this, but so far I’ve only had one person willing to do the right thing before I had to take the next step; shame. So here you go, the steps as listed in the law, and an explanation if needed.

(i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

This is where you put your name.

(ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.

This is where you put your original link that the material was stolen from.

(iii) Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.

This is where you put the link where your stolen material is showing.

(iv) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.

This is all your contact information, including address and phone number and I also add the link to my domain name. One host sent me something back saying they had to have the ability to call me, which is why I know you have to add your phone number.

(v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

This is where you basically write an oath of some kind saying that you know it’s your material that someone stole. Here’s what I have for mine: “Not only do I have a good faith belief, I know it is stolen content from my site, as I was the author of the post and am the owner of the blog it was taken from.”

(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

This is where you write an oath of, well, honesty that you are who you say you are and fully take notice that you’re reporting someone stealing your content. Here’s mine once again: “I affirm that this statement is accurate to the best of my ability, and the proof is that all the other content on the site is stolen and scraped as well. Since I’m the complaining party, I am authorized to act on my own behalf.”

And there you go. That’s all you need, and you can send that to the contact information you find on the host’s site. Now, the same people who made me put a phone number on it also said they only accepted DMCA notices via fax; weasels. Luckily, there are a number of online sites that will let you send a free fax as long as it’s not longer than 2 pages.
 

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