I Love Blog Comments Here

But I hate spammers.

There’s nothing I find more rewarding about this blog than to check the comments held for moderation and find some comments from a reader that really add value to what I’ve written. These reactions are part of why I blog. I want to start a dialog with my readers, I want to learn from them and see their points of view.

Often, I find interesting blogs or Twitter friends among my commenters. I’ve even built relationships with commenters — fellow author Miraz Jordan is a good example — I met her when she commented on my blog years ago. We’ve been friends since then and even co-authored a book together.

I see the comment feature as a way of opening my world to my reader’s worlds. What they say gives me an idea of what they’re thinking, what they’re all about.

Sadly, Comment Moderation is Required

Comments on this site are moderated. There are two main reasons for that:

  • Spam happens. I use automated spam filters, but spam gets through. Spam, in a blog’s comments, are unslightly and unprofessional. They indicate that the blogger isn’t taking care of his or her blog. I take care of my blog. I approve every single comment before it appear on this blog.
  • Some people are abusive jerks. As I wrote a while back in “Why Forums Suck…,” common courtesy appears to be a thing of the past. Online, people say whatever they want to whoever they want, sometimes rudely and abusively. I do not tolerate that behavior here*. Rude personal attacks on me or another commenter will not see the light of day. (And, for the record, I didn’t want to use the word jerk at the beginning of this bullet point. The word I wanted to use was a bit stronger and far less ladylike. I’m trying hard to keep my language more civil these days.)

When I’m in my office or have access to the Internet on my iPad, I check comments throughout the day. I almost always approve or reject a comment within 24 hours and, if I’m sitting at my desk, it could be within minutes. So although moderation doe slow down the dialog, it does not bring it to a screeching halt.

Don’t Think You Can Fool Me

I should elaborate a bit on the spam issue. I also don’t tolerate spam masquerading as a real comment. I’m talking about comments that are obviously hand-written (as opposed to bot-posted) and do add something of value to the original post. But instead of entering his name, the commenter enters his company name. And, of course, there’s a URL in the appropriate field, pointing to the company Web site.

That’s spam.

I handle that kind of comment one of two ways:

  • If it has no real value to the post, I simply mark it as spam and delete it.
  • If it has some value to the post, I remove the company name and URL and approve the comment.

What am I getting at here? Well, if you want to use the comments feature on my blog to get people to visit your site or blog, you need to enter your name (not your company name) in the Name field and compose a real comment that adds value for other readers. Then, when you put your site or blog URL in the URL field, it’s likely to remain and you’ll get the link you want so badly. Consider it a cost of advertising.

I’ve disabled the CommentLuv plugin because it was attracting so many spammers.

June 30, 2014 Update
I’ve finally gotten around to writing up the site comment policy on a regular page (rather than post) on this site. You can find it here: Comment Policy.

You can read my complete comment policy here.

Got something to say? I hope so! Use the Comments link or form for this post to share your thoughts.

Note: In the past, I have tolerated abusive behavior and it quickly got out of hand. Do you want to see how nasty some people can get? Check out this post‘s comments. And those commenters are supposed to be “good Christians” (whatever that means). And please don’t think you can comment on that post here. You can’t.

What do you think?