Tag Archives: blog commenting

A Decluttering Update & Problems With Some Comments

Back in January I wrote a post titled Decluttering My Online Life (Kim, now you don’t have to search for the link lol). In it I made some declarations as to what I wasn’t going to do to anymore as it pertained to helping to speed up my life online.


via Flickr

I’m one of those people who visits a lot of blogs. If I were a spammer, someone who writes horrible comments, that probably means nothing to anyone. But in general I tend to write comments that show I actually read the article, and sometimes mention some of the other comments as well. They’re not all super long, thank goodness, but there’s no impression left that I didn’t really read the post and that I didn’t attempt to offer some value. That is, unless it’s a funny post that I only have a one liner for; that’s rare, though, and most of the people know me already so they’re cool with it.

I’ve noticed that there seems to be even more people moderating comments than I would have ever imagined. Many of these people seem to be accomplished bloggers who you think would know better; obviously not. Some of them are people that were listed in my post last Friday on 21 of the Top Black Social Media Influencers.

That’s disappointing because I want to be supportive to this group and I want to help promote this group, but some of them have set their blogs up to be, I have to say, irritating. That just won’t do for long term comfort, at least for me. So, I didn’t subscribe to some of those blogs and probably won’t be going back either; it seems duplicitous but my reasons for highlighting someone and for then not going back are different; my conscience is clear.

One thing that helps decluttering is to have a plan and your own rules of engagement. This is the same in your offline life. I have certain rules for how I live my life, and I stick by those rules wholeheartedly. On my business blog the other day I wrote a post on race where I basically indicated that if there’s a racial issue that needs addressing, I’m going to do it. You don’t get away with racial slurs, or slurs about any other group, without my saying something to you about it, even in public. I just can’t let stuff like that go.

My decluttering has helped me to stay true to myself. I could still be following around 250 blogs if I hadn’t given myself some criteria. True, a few people get to slip under the radar because I know them and knew them before my declaration, but anyone new, nope, not doing it. So much simpler life.

When one thing gets simple, something else gets harder. In my case, it’s some of the comments I get on this blog. I have a comment policy that I thought would be sufficient enough but it seems it’s not. Oh sure, it’s made some things much simpler because I can exclude a few comments and not worry all that much about it. But then there are a lot of comments that are borderline passing; those are giving me consternation.

What’s the issue? I know these are people who have actually stopped by the blog. I know they know what the topic is because they address it in the comment. But the comment doesn’t really say anything. Something like “I have that and it happened to me as well” isn’t quite a developed comment is it? Writing a comment without separating the 2 or 3 shot sentences doesn’t give one pause that it’s overly legit either; even people who learn English as a second language are taught to put a space after the period.

And then there are those commenters that have missed the part of the policy that says I don’t allow fake commenter names unless I have a real name as well. Now, in my policy I state that I’ll change the name to only initials but I think I’m going to modify that to state that I will be deleting those comments from this point on. After all, I’ve noticed that no one ever comes back to check on a comment I’ve written back to them. Then again, most of the people doing that aren’t writing great comments anyway my responses back aren’t all that enthralling either.

What to do, what to do… I’ll put it out to some of you. What would you do if you were in this position? This one should be interesting for more than one reason. Those who actually read the post will probably give me something good. Those that are the types of commenters I’ve talked about either won’t comment here or will comment only on the declutter part because it’s easy. Let’s see what happens. 🙂

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Another Blogging Research Survey; Following The Hashtag

Yesterday I wrote a post basically asking myself if I was using Twitter wrong. My thought was that I really wasn’t using it in a proper business way, and thus could be impeding my progress in getting more clients and business through there.


Emotional Chaos by Byron May

In particular, I decided that maybe something I should be doing was following the hashtag for “blogging” so I could see what people might be saying. It didn’t start off as a survey or research in any way, but I was kind of amazed at what I found, what happened and didn’t happen, and other types of stuff, and I figured that since I always say that if people paid attention to what’s going on around them that they’d always have blog posts, and I do, that it would be intriguing to share some of what I came across. If not, well, at least it’s a post. lol By the way, the stats aren’t absolutes, but pretty close to what I came across.

To start off with, I tracked the blogging hashtag over a 12-hour period. That’s a long time, and one would have thought there would be tons of blogs to see. There were a lot of blogs, but it seems that most of them were retweets of those blogs using that hashtag. Probably half of all the links I saw were retweets. And at least 35% of those were retweets for big name bloggers such as Darren Rowse or sites like Copyblogger. And one more amazing thing was that on Problogger, none of the posts that were retweeted were written by him; all were guest posts. Of course Copyblogger has multiple writers, so that makes sense.

Next, about 30 to 35% of the blogs that were being shown were Disqus, Intense Debate, or some other style of blog that required one sign in or create an account. As most of y’all know I don’t do Disqus blogs, so I didn’t even read any of those. Yeah, I know, I might have missed something good, but if I’m not commenting I’m not really sharing either; after all, that was a part of the adventures, commenting then sharing the post, which we talked about a few days ago.

Speaking of which, something else that was interesting is that around 80% of the blogs that were shown and then retweeted didn’t have a single comment on them, and the rest that did didn’t have a single comment from any of the people who had retweeted it; well, only one did, and of course it was our friend Pat who’d beaten me there. Isn’t that kind of bizarre overall though?

On the day I found 9 blogs that I felt I could comment on and then retweet. Out of those 9 blogs 5 of them moderated my comment; y’all know how I feel about moderated comments as well. I didn’t get a single response from any of the blogs I commented on… well, not totally true. From one blog I did eventually get an automated response thanking me for leaving a comment and saying that it would be reviewed and addressed later on. Frankly, I’m thinking that’s not friendly enough for me, so y’all know I won’t be subscribing or going back any time soon.

Finally, obviously I read some good stuff, and some stuff that bothered me slightly but it was still good. I wouldn’t have retweeted anything I absolutely hated. I did retweet a couple of things I just couldn’t leave a comment on because they left me with nothing I could add to the conversation, and I mentioned that in the retweet. There are some pretty talented people out there that we don’t know about, and it’s too bad. But we’re not all meant to agree with everything we see and everything we comment on; we’re meant to add to the discussion if possible.

In the end I’ve decided that’s not a great hashtag to follow. There was more blather there than anything else. I really wonder if those folks are reading any of what they’re sharing or not. At least I did some reading and some sharing, and if nothing else happens I think there will be a few more people who will at least know my face and name because of my commenting on their blogs.

Sometimes, that’s the best you’ve got coming to you.

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Do You Comment On Blog Links You Share?

The act of sharing what other people create is one of the most selfless things a person can do online. Just knowing that someone has read a post of mine and thought enough of it to retweet it or like it for Facebook or even every once in awhile send the link to someone else is an email is a joy.

However, I’ve noticed something else that makes me wonder a little bit about the practice. I notice that for the most part links that are shared on Twitter and Facebook by people don’t end up showing any comments by the people doing the sharing. Now, I can understand that to a degree because I don’t write a comment on every single blog post that I retweet. But I do one of two things; I either comment on the blog post itself or I make a comment on the link when I retweet if there’s room, which is another story entirely.

Anyway, when I see these things on a recurring basis, it makes me wonder if those people actually went to look at the post they’re retweeting. I think that also is what my mom would call a “sometimey” proposition. I know I’ve clicked on a link, looked at a post that’s abysmal, then asked the person who shared the link why they shared it. Only a couple of times has one of those people responded, and they were then ashamed they hadn’t gone to see what they were sharing. That’s dangerous because suddenly your credibility can come into question.

I was reading Tristan’s blog Thursday night where he talked about the number of retweets one of his blog posts got. He also did some metrics in looking at the numbers. The general conclusion was (my paraphrasing it all) that it’s great to have people retweet your content, but it doesn’t always translate to visitors, and it doesn’t always translate to new subscribers.

And thus, it seems that having people comment is a nice way to go, or maybe write about the post on your blog and find other ways to share what you think about a blog post that might have a little extra bit of meaning. I’m not saying to not retweet posts; I’m saying that sometimes it’s nice to see an extra comment somewhere, especially a comment on a blog post. It might do more good long term.

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When Things Get Personal On Blogs

This is a rant post, and I’m naming names. I’m going to try to be fair, but if I’m not, part of me doesn’t care, but the other part almost apologizes up front; almost, that is.

black-man-rant

There is a post on a blog called Growmap that’s ranting against Akismet. Okay, Akismet might not be perfect, but I’ve been a major supporter of the program for almost 4 years, and I’m not going against them now. The writer, Gail, has done some testing and supposedly she has seen that some comments end up being killed by Akismet. Not moved to the spam folder, but killed overall.

Or so she says; one never really knows if a post was accidentally deleted by someone when they emptied their spam folder or if a post was deemed as being spam by the reviewer. I know many bloggers who say they never check their spam filter; that’s not good, but it’s their blog so life is what it is. I will say that in reading other posts of Gail’s that she tends to be very thorough, as much as one can be.

Anyway, she and a few other people have gone on a crusade against Akismet, even though Gail states that she doesn’t hate it. Okay, that’s fine. I put a comment on her post saying I support Akismet and was a major fan. It wasn’t all that long a comment, and it wasn’t the first (update 6/2015; she updated the post & removed all those previous comments, including mine).

However, the response I got was way out of proportion to my original comment, and other people were skipped; to me, that was intentional and personal, and I didn’t like it one bit. And me being me, well, I don’t demure from certain things, so I commented back, trying to temper my language (I don’t curse, but I can be kind of mean spirited at times when pushed), and I think my response was okay.

Next thing I know, I receive responses on this blog from two of her supporters, one writing from a place called Linda Christas, which is supposed to be an online training organization of some sort (no, I’m not linking to them). They’re supporting Gail, which is fine, but they wrote these long comments on a post of mine that has nothing to do with the subject matter I wrote about.

In my mind, that’s spam, and I don’t appreciate it, and I went to Gail’s blog and said as much. There’s a point at which things cross the line and get truly personal, and I don’t take that kind of mess kindly, especially when the people saying stuff are trying to hide, in their own way, who they are.

One of the people, a woman named Leone, wrote with the email address of this Linda Christas. There’s this woman who either really works there or is a scam of some sort who calls herself Dr. Ann. This person has posted comments on my blog and other blogs.

At first the comments seem to match up to the content. Then they go off topic and start this rant against Akismet. It seems Linda Christas is on a crusade against Akismet, and they’re trying hard to pull other people into the process.

If you think I’m the only one who sees this and is calling it out, check out this post on TechPatio titled Comment Spam, She’s Back: Dr. Ann Voisin From Linda Christas College. And if you want to see his first post on this person and this college, which was only days earlier, check this one out as well, titled Akismet Blocking Your Blog? No Way, Just a SPAM Trick!.

Of course my respect for this college is gone, especially since I just saw a post on their site, unordinarily long, ranting against Akismet, and frankly it parrots the same type of tripe I’ve seen coming from a few other places. At least Gail did a study of some sort, which I applaud her for (see, I’m trying to be fair here).

Gail also called me out on her blog asking if she’d ever written anything that I considered as spam on this blog and I had to tell her yes, the last time she visited, which was June 2009. So, this could color her idea in some way of what spam just might be. Her last response to me, before I got mad because of the other people who came from her blog to post their “threats” about not visiting this blog again, was not in attack mode, and I appreciate that as well.

I need to say this. I have gone on attack mode on other people’s blogs, so I’m not totally innocent here. However, if I do that, I do it for one of two reasons.

One, you don’t get to go after any of my friends without a confrontation from me; that’s what loyalty is all about, and if my friends don’t breach the rules of proper decorum in another place, I’ve got their back.

Two, you don’t get to get away with racist or misogynist or any other type of hateful speech and think I’m going to let it go. Too many people decide to turn the other way and let that kind of thing go by, and that’s why we end up with some of the problems we have in this world.

Sure, I don’t expect the majority to always step in to help fight these things because it’s not in their interest; they have nothing to gain by speaking out for those who they indirectly believe are less than themselves, even if they don’t express it. So, if anyone goes to Gail’s blog and reads my initial post and thinks I attacked her in any way, please explain to me how I did it.

So, I have no respect for Linda Christas and the type of people it seems to put out; yes, that’s an attack. If people representing them believe they can come into my house and spit on my rug, it’s not happening.

I left the other comment on my previous post, even though it had nothing to do with the topic; believe me, that won’t happen again, and if someone wants to cry censorship, tough. I pay for this space, and there are comment rules; don’t follow them, don’t expect anything extra-special coming your way on my part because you feel you have the right. That mess won’t be tolerated.

If it happens on this post, it might be tolerated, since I’m in attack mode, so to speak. But we’ll see. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue using Akismet, and I don’t care who likes it or doesn’t like it. People who use Disqus or Intense Debate know I don’t like those things, and yet they continue using it. Because it’s their right to use it, just as it’s my right to use Akismet. We can debate the merits of it; no problem. But when it goes further, when it gets personal… I’ll stop there.
 

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Traffic And Buyers

Our friend Sire and I have had some interesting conversations lately on two topics. One is the concept of trying to drive more traffic to one’s blog. The other was how to turn people into buyers, especially if they’re actually clicking on your links.

Traffic Jam
Marcelo Campi via Compfight

Let’s address the first topic of traffic first. I’ve actually broached this subject many times, in different ways. I asked what people would do to get more traffic. In that post I talked about those websites that you can pay that supposedly will send you lots of traffic. It’s not targeted, and you’re not sure any of those people actually clicked and read your stuff, but you’re somehow getting traffic.

I mentioned free traffic exchanges. I mentioned the concept of better SEO and organically driving traffic to you and your site. And I mentioned myself the idea of blog commenting to drive traffic as well. I like the last two the best, although SEO can take awhile and blog commenting is a lot of work.

Of course, there was my rant against those folks who write all these posts about driving massive traffic to one’s blog but copy what everyone else has been writing; I hate that kind of thing. I also have shared something where Alvin Phang talks about how he drives traffic to his blog. And I also have asked people how far they’re willing to go for promotion, although that wasn’t specifically for traffic, but if you promote yourself well you’re probably going to get better traffic.

The reality is that it’s hard getting traffic to come to your site unless you can figure out a way to stand apart. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with content anymore; sure, content adds value, but I’ve been to some blogs where the entire post is two paragraphs, or is a lot of nothing, and that post will generate 50 comments.

It might have something to do with blog commenting, because people see what you have to say and if they like it they’ll visit you. I think this thing Kristi does every Friday called Fetching Fridays is a wonderful concept, but wow, what a lot of work!

It generates lots of visits because the people she highlights love it, and people who drop by get to see lots of topics and visit blogs they may never have heard of that have articles they want to see. No, I won’t be doing anything like that on a regular basis, so you’ll just have to deal with my occasional highlight of websites you might not know about.

One other thing. This concept of niche blogging is a good one, but just selecting a niche isn’t going to get it done as far as driving lots of traffic, or even making a lot of money. Today I posted my 201st post on my finance blog, Top Finance Blog, as today is the blog’s anniversary (200 posts a year there, 300 here… man, I’m tired!). The niche is finance, which one would have thought was a big issue in this past year with the terrible economy, but it’s generated very little income, few visitors by comparison, and not all that many comments. So, it really depends on picking a niche that you know everyone else is really interested in, then being able to consistently write on that niche without being boring or stealing from others for inspiration.

In other words, other than blog commenting and figuring out how to promote yourself better, I have nothing to add on how to drive traffic to a blog or website; at least not fast.

Now, on to the topic of turning people into buyers. Sire stated on his blog that he believes it could be tied into getting more traffic. I disagreed with that assertion. We both put up our monthly income stats. I made nothing for Commission Junction in November, but I had 283 people actually click on the links, which means they checked out products or the websites. But no buyers. Sire had around 170 or so, and the same thing. Most sales professionals will tell you that you should average at least 1% sales; we both missed that.

One of my friends, Monique, wrote to say that she felt if one actually talked about the product then marketed it that it would generate sales. I didn’t totally dismiss it, because that does sound like a great strategy, but I’ve done that. I talked about my Casio watch and even put the watch I bought at the bottom; no clicks. I’ve written on other products, and I’ll be writing on another product soon; nothing. I’ve actually written 2 posts on the ebook 20 Ways To Make $100 a Day, and never gotten a click, even though I bought the book and it’s what’s led me to my latest career in writing and blog writing for others.

Is it a matter of trust? Well, this guy named Todd asked if people like and trust you, and I commented that I hoped so, but I wasn’t really sure. I get visitors, have subscribers, but no buyers. So, does that mean people don’t trust me, or just that I’m not offering anything that they need?

Then I said to Sire that we had to look at each other to see what makes us respond to buying things. And we really don’t have an answer for that; I think that’s interesting, and something worth exploring. Actually, I asked people before what makes them buy stuff, and got at least a few comments on it. I’m asking again, because I’d love to hear from more people on the subject. And of course the question comes up as to the types of ads people respond to better, banner ads, product ads, or text ads. I’ve tried them all; still no idea.

Either way, it’s probably the question of the ages for anyone trying to market themselves online. I have a lot of questions, but not all that many answers. Anyone figured out the full formula yet? Let us know.
 

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