Blog Commenting

I was having lunch with some bloggers the other day and the conversation turned, at one point, to how difficult it is to leave comments on some people’s blogs.

I’ve been wanting to mention this for a while, but thought maybe it was just me that was irked by this so I decided to leave it alone. But hey – seems that I’m not the only one after all.

So, let me preface by saying that while I enjoy writing and spewing my thoughts into the blogosphere, probably the best part about blogging is the comments and discussions that result from the blog post itself. Do you usually read the comments after you read blog posts? On this blog, I think the comments are often the best part. The people who comment here have so many interesting, intelligent and just plain hilarious ideas, thoughts and stories. It would be a damn shame if you didn’t read them.

I will assume, therefore, that other bloggers also enjoy comments on their blogs. Some of you make it really difficult though.

While I try to get through most of my blog-roll at least once a week, I always read the blogs of people who’ve left comments on my blog, first. It’s helpful, therefore if your comment links directly to your blog. People often forget to provide their url when leaving a comment or somehow end up leaving a link that leads somewhere else. So I have to go find you in the blog-roll. It’s not a big deal, but it takes extra time.

Then when I do make it to your blog and leave a comment, I want the process to be as quick and painless as possible. For most blogs, I arrive there from my blog, I can usually just type my comment, click submit and away I go. However: 

  • Some blogs require me to go through all manner of acrobatics. I have to type in my name, email, url – sometimes more than once since it only accepts certain “styles” and I can never tell which one is required.
  • Then, when I think I’ve got it right, up pops a “captcha” thing and I have to type in some word or set of words that are all messed up and difficult to read.
  • At this point the blog sometimes just eats my comment and I never see it again.
  • Or some people have a screening process that doesn’t publish the comment until it’s been scrutinized by the blog owner. While I guess bloggers have a good reason for doing this, it makes having a discussion very difficult.
  • Then when I try to leave the blog and go back to my own, sometimes it won’t let me. I get trapped in some people’s blogs and I have to sign out and sign back in again to get home. What is that? Some business blogs do that, too, to increase the length of their hit times or something. I think it’s mean.

I assume these are all choices bloggers make to earn money or to avoid spam or to fool their enemies or something, but it makes a lot of busy people reluctant to try and leave comments or even visit the blog in some cases. Producing a relevant and half-way intelligent comment already takes time and thought. It shouldn’t take twice as long to actually get the comment published and get back to your own blog, should it?

And on the topic of comments — and this is just my opinion – I like blogs where the comments are acknowledged by the blog owner in some way. I always respond to comments because I think of the blog not as a “here’s my post now give me comments” exchange. I think of it as a discussion: 

  • Here’s my point.
  • What’s your point?
  • Oh interesting! Here’s my response.
  • Maybe you have a come-back?
  • Maybe someone else wants to argue with you?
  • Maybe I have something else to add?
  • Maybe you do?
  • Etc…

When I visit other blogs where this type of back-and-forth discussion happens I tend to visit the same post several times to see what other people have to say or to see what the blog owner has to say in response to the comments. It also makes me much more interested in leaving a comment in the first place because I know it will be part of a bigger discussion. But again, that’s just me and this stuff might not be important to everybody.

So, in conclusion, if you’re not getting many comments, perhaps people are having too many technical difficulties and maybe you could make things easier for them? And,  if anyone experiences any difficulties leaving comments on this blog please let me know so I can fix whatever needs to be fixed. You can let me know by email: urbanpedestrian@gmail.com. Thank you.

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69 responses to “Blog Commenting

  1. Ooh, first!

    I don’t like re-visiting the same posts over and over again on the off chance there might be new comments. There are simply too many posts to keep track of. That’s why I like being able to subscribe to comments by e-mail, though on your blog it requires me to confirm the subscription, robbing me of notifications between the time I leave my comment and the next time I check my e-mail.

    This really annoys me about Citizen blogs, because you can’t subscribe to their comments. Some of them have “recent comments” widgets activated in the sidebar, but that’s a bit more confusing than I’d like.

    I tend not to visit blogs where I can’t comment at all (for example, there’s one blog whose CAPTCHA blocks my comments due to some sort of cookie settings). I moderate comments on my blog because some people post private information that they don’t actually want published, and some people don’t get the whole pseudonym thing.

    – RG>

  2. I don’t have a blog but if I did, I would want people to leave comments and I would make it easier for people to do that. Why else would I put myself out there if I didn’t want some response from my readers. The affirmation, the different opinions, even the arguments would make it fun and exciting.

    p.s. Chris; I read your post about the Blundstones and thought it was great. I have a pair, for the same reason you have; but I have failed to bond with them yet. They have yet to feel like my second skin. I think they should make winter blundstones, with a nice warm lining, speeding up the bonding process for me.

  3. I don’t get many comments and am wondering if it’s hard to post. I’ve never responded to comments in my comment section but there’s an idea. I’m not usually controversial anyway. Your posts give readers a lot to think about and comment about.

  4. I love comments too but I don’t respond much to those on my blog. My thinking is I’d rather spend time commenting on people’s posts on their blogs more than I would on comments they made on mine.

  5. And thank you for commenting so much on my blog. Yours are some of the best I get, but then I’d expect no less from someone as smart and funny as you. ;o)

  6. I’m glad you wrote this because it’s a good reminder of what I liked about blogging when I started. Especially because right now? I suck at it. I’m always grateful when someone comments on a post but I’ve been so bad about responding. I think part of it is I over-think it and try to hard to come up with smart or witty comment. Same with commenting on other people’s blogs. I read, and I plan to go back and comment when I get a few extra minutes and I just don’t do it.

    But see? I’m trying to change that right now!

  7. I changed my last template, because even I was having issues leaving comments. So, I figured if I was frustrated, my readers had to be too.

    I like the whole give-and-take in comments. It’s how I’ve become friends with a lot of my commentors, which extends outside the blog.

    Your comment section is one of the best ones I’ve come across, because your readers leave so many witty comments, and not just the run-of-the-mill variety.

  8. p.s.,
    One petty thing that irks me is when the link to the comments is at the beginning of the post. I’m already down at the bottom, why you gonna make me scroll all the way back to the top to leave a comment?

  9. People who don’t respond to comments irk me especially when you ask a direct question, although I still read a few of those. And two people that I read do not respond to your comment on the blog but by e-mail, which I think is kinda weird because then only you know what their response was. It’s like a worthless secret or something. I don’t get a lot of comments but I only actively comment on about 8 blogs although I read maybe 12 or so. It used to bother me but I have several “silent readers” that show up on my feedjit on a regular basis and my real happyplace comes from seeing all the hits I get from all over the world on my old “how to” posts as well as a few others. (Man, those Brits sure like to make footstools.) I have no idea what you encounter coming from wordpress, but I think I have the lowest maintenance settings. I just delete the spammy things when I see them. Those ones that hold onto their comments until approval bother me, because I can’t re-check my spelling or make sure I said everything I wanted to say. Oh and now I feel bad because I didn’t respond to your question on your last post: She was driving. The law is just for driving.

  10. Oh and see how I could read my comment immediately and realize I forgot something? A really annoying thing is people who do not respond to their comments on their post but in the commenter’s post comment section. Like if you did a post about that dreamy boy that played guitar that worked on the farm and then someone comments : Yes, we did the get the car fixed finally. It was $800!
    Now that’s REALLY annoying.

  11. To me, comments are what make the blog. In fact, with some blogs (not necessarily this one!), I come mainly for the comments, I often don’t care what the topic of conversation is.

    A few things that are guaranteed to turn me off a blog, though, to the point that I don’t come back:

    (1) I leave a comment that’s not foul-mouthed nor abusive. But it still gets censored/edited. (Obviously it’s not an open-forum discussion, then)

    (2) I get crucified by the author and their disciples for having an OPINION that goes against the flow. (See (1) )

    (3) My comments repeatedly don’t’ even get acknowledged. (Rude).

    (4) “Comments are closed” (The author just wants to stand on a soap-box…in which case, I might as well just read a newspaper column)

  12. i don’t think i have any barriers to comments, i’ll have to check. i’m pretty low-tech.
    i was thinking about this the other day, whether to acknowledge comments left or not – i guess i don’t because i’m not convinced that people will come back and check. i see an experiment in my future…..
    i love that you reply to comments, i always come back to check out what’s been said.

  13. You’ve pointed out the big reason I keep coming back to your blog over and over again — comments and how you always respond to them. I’m not as good as it as you are, but I try to emulate your responsiveness.

    I do love it when I can click and follow comments from a particular post, like Real Grouchy. I haven’t worked out how to do that on my blog yet. (And I may have other annoying things about my comments feature that I would welcome any feedback on.)

    Yesterday, as example, I spent the time to provide a comment directly to an author. I disagreed with his premise and wanted to hear his response. Worse than no reply, he doesn’t bother to engage in a discussion and simply says, and I summarize, “thanks for the comment. this proves that you can read.” What the? I felt inordinately enraged by this.

  14. Heya! Since you’re on wordpress and mentioned that you like us to link to our blogs within a comment, you might be interested in a wordpress plugin called “commentluv” … it automatically inserts a link to the commenter’s last post. I noticed it on “Scary Mommy’s” (http://www.scarymommy.com/) blog and thought it was pretty cool.

    Or not… I am not a wordpress user so I have no idea how these things work.

  15. Let’s see…as usual, I’m going to give a wishy-washy answer. On the one hand, I always have a feed reader full of blog posts I want to read, but can’t seem to get around to reading. That being the case, I don’t tend to visit most blog posts more than once.

    On the other hand (you knew that was coming, eh?), there are some posts I do come back to particularly when I think there’s going to be additional dialog in the comments section (like with your posts) or if I think someone might add a comment that would be particularly hilarious (like on Dee’s posts over at On the Curb, which always seem to generate fun comments).

    Myself, I am sometimes good about posting a comment back, and sometimes not-so-good. If there’s a direct question I try to respond back in the comments (or occasionally with a new post that has additional info). But often I’ll acknowledge comments by going to the other person’s blog and adding a comment in response to one of their posts.

    Oh, and like Julie mentions above, I’ve at least once had the generic “thank-you for commenting on my post” email from a blogger. It irked me, too.

    I’m not sure if my blog’s hard to comment on. I know people who don’t like using their gmail addresses to comment have trouble because Blogger seems to want to force them into using it. Not much I can do about that, beyond switching to WordPress, which admittedly I have considered but I feel totally daunted by the whole idea of it.

  16. I am low tech too…must take a good look at the settings on mine. All my favourite blogs have interesting/entertaining/lively comment sections and like the option to subscribe to the banter. XUP – I admire how you respond to comments. You have opinions and welcome readers to have their own without getting personal or “judgey”. I’ve stopped reading a few blogs because the authors couldn’t deal with different opinion.

  17. Sometimes I am really, really bad about responding to comments, so I guess it’s good that I don’t get many more than I do.

    I always like the blogs that have the option to get follow-up comments by email. I have it on all of my blogs.

    I look at so many blogs for the topics that I am following that it becomes a burden for me to try to keep up with places that I have left a comment. Fortunately, though, most of the blogs I comment on have some way to get follow-up comments.

    Ironically, though, very few people who comment on my blog click on the box to get follow-ups. Because of that, I almost always send my reply to each comment, especially when it takes me a while to around to answering comments.

  18. These are great points. And especially good for a beginner blogger / commenter like myself. I like when I get a response to my comment. I can only assume that people with a comment option want to know what I’m thinking, and it helps to confirm this with a reply. I’ve never left a URL b/c I don’t want to seem like I’m advertising my blog, but at your prompting I will start. Thanks for all the tips.

  19. I have all sorts of good intentions to respond to comments on my blog (and I loooove comments), but sometimes life just gets in the way. I do an ok job, I think, but not as good as you, XUP. I do check back often to see what you responded to my comment, and to other comments too.

    I make a point to visit the blogs of people who comment on mine, and to leave a comment there. It seems a polite thing to do.

  20. I have commenting moderation on for a few reasons. There’s some spam that does sneak through, and I can eliminate it before it gets posted. Secondly, my numerous rants during the OC Transpo strike drew some comments that were highly inappropriate (people suggesting violence, mainly) and I like to ensure that comments like that never see the light of day.

    Google notifies me though as soon as I get a comment, so with rare exceptions, it’s not hours & hours until a comment gets posted. It’s usually less than an hour (30 minutes, tops).

  21. I try to always answer comments, it’s a choice, some people do, others not. It doesn’t much bother me one way or another if people respond to my comments as I don’t generally go back to see if people answer me or not. It just becomes too much of a hassle.

    Your comment section is great though, I almost always check a couple of times because you have great commenters. I’ve rarely seen a comment section like yours.

    As for the word verification. I try to have it off, but periodically I’ll start getting 20+ spam comments a day so I’ll put it back on for a while, then take it off again. Though typing a word verification doesn’t bother me, I can understand how it could be annoying for some.

  22. The worst are blogs that require you to register with a username and password to comment.

    You need to use a throw-away password, because they cannot be trusted. And yet it is difficult and annoying to remember those for lots of different sites.

    Also, I agree about CAPCHAs. They are just laziness on the part of bloggers unwilling to install a decent spam plugin and a few seconds a day scanning for false positives/negatives.

  23. I love comments as much a realtor loves referrals!
    I especially enjoy them when they become a three or four or more-way conversation.
    Some of the folks who like to comment on my posts (*ahem* Ken and Squid) often have views that are quite different from my own… and that’s cool because they usually have a good (however mistaken) argument to the contrary.
    The comments on the XUP blog are A1 – funny, usually informed and from a variety of points of views! Keep ’em coming!

  24. I have learned from you how to respond well to comments. I love how you respond to everyone, and I am working towards doing that now too .

    I haven’t figured out how to enable notifying people of further comments on my blog after they have commented as of yet, but it’s on my mental list of things to investigate. I would always appreciate feedback if you have difficulty navigating at my site, from you or anyone else.

  25. I’ll confess – I’m often guilty of not really paying attention to anyone’s comments but my own (reactions to) … or those made by others on my own blog. But I think this post has inspired me to put a little more effort into commenting on blogs and paying attention to the comments of others. You’re right – the best part of this is the interaction 🙂

  26. I agree that the author should at least make an attempt to respond to comments. It’s just polite. But I don’t know that all blogs need to bring forth massive amounts of discussion after the fact in comment form. It of course depends on the type of blog, or the subject of the blog on a particular day. Also, some people don’t write blogs for comment discussion. They just write posts to put them out there or to write (period) and if someone comments? Bonus.

    In terms of making it difficult to comment, yes, that should be made as simple as possible. However we do not live in a perfect world. The comment section of my (other, older) blog (www.piece.ca) got VERY messed up a while back because of spamming etc. that I lost ALL of my comments. I managed to get them back eventually, but now they are all under my name, so it looks like I’ve posted all of them like some sort of pathetic loser.

    But! This is a very honest and great post. As always XUP, you’ve given me something to think about.

  27. Usually when I comment on a blog no one else does or acknowledges me. I’m the comment killer. Maybe not here – because you acknowledge me – but elsewhere…yes. Comment Killer. That’s my rap name.

  28. One of the more interesting (and lengthy) comment discussions I’ve ever seen happened over the weekend on Dani’s blog (http://danigirl.ca/blog/2010/02/21/in-which-the-internet-finally-freaks-her-out-once-and-for-all/) when Dani (Postcards from the Mothership) and 6 or 7 other bloggers found out that without their knowledge, their blogs and they themselves were subjects of a Master’s thesis out of SFU on the subject of mommybloggers. Nearly 100 posts, and all interesting, and very civil. I kept checking back to monitor the conversation.

  29. I like to leave comments on people’s Blogs if I can come up with the appropriate snark, cynicism, or sarcasm. I am sure people appreciate it a lot when I visit.

  30. Grouchy – Ya, the not getting the pseudonym thing has happened to me a couple of times, but I just went in and deleted the information in question and then explained why to the commenter. I will have to look into that subscription thing. Is mine the only blog that does that?

    Judith – I’m sure it won’t be long before you get a blog of your own. As for the Blundstones, didn’t you get a winter lining with your boots? Mine did and they’re plenty warm enough for me for winter. Maybe you can still buy a pair?

    Linda – Your blog is blocked for me at work. I don’t know why – not all foreign blogs are. I do have to enter my information every time I comment. I don’t know if you can fix that or not, but other than that I’ve never had any problems with your blog. And you’re right, photo blogs are difficult to comment on sometimes, because how many times can you say “what a great photo”. But you post such amazing things sometimes, the do provoke questions, reminiscences and, of course always big envy!

    Dr. Monkey – You do so many posts, I can see how it would be difficult to keep up. And thanks – now I have a standard to live up to (some of the best) and a goal to shoot for (THE best) Ha ha

    Lebowski – Those are fun sometimes and I do appreciate the effort you put into trying to provoke one all the time.

    Mo – Yay Mo! If I find a blog post that’s stimulates that much thought, I’ll often turn some aspect of it into a post of my own (with credit, of course). I don’t think commenting or even posting needs to take as much effort as some people feel they should put into it. It should just be a fun way to mull over some ideas in public, I think.

    Skye – I know! Aren’t they the rockingest commenters ever? And now you’re one of them! I agree about the comment thing being at the beginning. Some of the templates come that way and I’ve made a point never to choose them.

    Geewits – I have a few blogs I read where I get responses by email. That seems like a lot of work, but I appreciate the effort and it feels sort of more intimate – especially when I’ve asked a specific question. Maybe they think I won’t come back to find the answer and they really want to answer me? And ha ha about the bloggers responding to a comment on your post instead of on their post where the comment was – sort of like the your daughter driving thing?

    Friar – I don’t think I’ve ever been censored on a blog, but I could be wrong. Your comment section is hilarious. It takes over the whole blog and you never know which direction it’s going to go in – often far, far away from the original post. You have some interesting characters to deal with there, for sure.

    Meanie – I check back at your blog quite often just to see what others had to say about your topic. The only thing weird about your blog is your titles. Most blogs, if you click on the title you open that page, comments and all – which is a more fun way to read it. Your title seems to just be part of the post most of the time?? Anyway, I’m going to visit your blog now to see if you’ve responded to comments yet.

    Julie – Gosh – you mean I’m your commenter mentor? That was seriously weird about the “thanks for the comment. this proves that you can read.” The only difficulty I’ve ever experienced on your blog is that sometimes the comments section won’t even open up, but I can get there through clicking your title.

    Christine – Ya, I’ve seen that too, but haven’t figured out how to make it do that on my blog. That would be fun.

    Mary Lynn – Switching to WordPress was the easiest thing I’ve ever done on a computer. I thought it would be tricky, too but it was really just one click and the whole thing transferred. I’ve never had any problems commenting on your blog, by the way. (PS: I wish Dee would post more often, don’t you?)

    MM – I haven’t had any problems on your blog. And you’re right – all the different opinions and ideas on a topic is what makes this all fun.

    Mike – Ah, that’s why your responses come by email. I never click on the email follow-up thing because I already have way too many emails to deal with. I like to keep the worlds separate. I like your use of the word “burden”. This is supposed to be a fun hobby!!

    Jen – One of the benefits of commenting on other blogs is that this is a way of other bloggers to find you. I’m always happy when someone enjoys a comment someone left so much that they clicked on their link and start following that blogger, too. Then months later they tell me how much they’re enjoying that blogger they found on my blog. It gives us all a sense of community. And many times someone leave a provocative comment and I’d like to know more about the person – if they have a blog, what they write about, etc.. but there’s no link and they’re just ships passing in the night. So there. Now everyone can go read your blog!

    Alison – Yes, it’s like having dinner at someone’s house – it’s only polite to invite them to your house next time. There are blogs where I comment regularly who NEVER comment here. Sometimes the blog is good enough that I still keep going back, sometimes, I get tired and stop. So go, Alison, go – respond to comments!

    Ken – Ya, I know people have all sorts of reasons for doing that – although every once in a while there’s someone who doesn’t even realize they can turn it off.

    Jazz – I love my comment section, too. I might marry it one day actually. You should switch to WordPress, too – it has an automatic spam detector and won’t even publish spam and sometimes it won’t publish stuff that it thinks is spam, but is actually a legitimate comment. Then I have the option of going in to allow it to be published. It’s way cool.

    Milan – Maybe they don’t know how. There’s probably lots of stuff I could be doing with WordPress that I’m not because I can’t figure it out or haven’t really taken the time to work it out. Your comment section, by the way is pretty intense. You’ve had some very heavy discussions going on there.

    Trashy – Ya, you and the Squid are like oil and water. Ken, you never know where he’s going to come from. I’ve had some good discussions over at La Trashy’s.

    Finola – I think there’s something where people can ask to have responses emailed to them. I don’t know how to enable that either. Your blog is blocked from my workplace, too. I don’t know how they decide which ones I’m allowed to see and which ones not – there seems to be no pattern or rhyme or reason to it. But I have no problems with your blog from home.

    Quack – What? You mean you don’t even read the comments on your blog? Is that what you’re saying? That’s odd. But I guess not everyone uses their blog for the same things. Yours is a more personal blog where you vent some emotions and thought – often so cryptically that no one even knows what’s going on but you. It’s more like the original intention of the “web log” I think, isn’t it?

    Kim – Exactly what I just commented to Quack, above. Absolutely not everyone writes a blog for the discussion. Some people post photos or poetry or private thoughts or art work or stories or whatever. That’s what makes the blog world so interesting.

    Linsey – You just don’t comment or visit often enough. It makes me feel so desolate because I rush over to your blog all the time to see what wonders you’ve wrought.

    Alison – YES! I heard about this from Coffee with Julie and responded there.

    Cedar – I love it when you visit. You always manage to put a big-assed exclamation mark on the entire post and discussion. And you’re freakin’ funny. Oh, and pithy. Definitely pithy. But you keep forgetting to link back to your blog.

  31. I also find it strange when the blog author never acknowledges comments from readers. Why even have comments if you’re not going to respond to them.

    I would say that I respond to my comments about 98% of the time. I would like to say 100% but I’m sure that some slip by me.

    Captcha’s are just an unfortunately necessary part of the internet due to stupid spammers. I prefer intelligent captchas rather than the twisty unreadable words that are so prevalent. On my site my captcha is a simple question where you have to type the answer.

  32. okay, you can check now. i just commented on comments of last two posts (and you are the only comment on my latest post so you get exclusive rights)
    i’ll look into the title thing….thanks.

  33. I don’t link back to my Blog that often because I don’t think I have really much to say about anything significant, when I do write something I think is significant I will link back to it. How many people really want to see a picture of my truck and that it didn’t rain in Seattle for two weeks? Oh, if it makes you feel any better it is raining now.

  34. Glad to hear you’ve never had trouble posting on my blog, XUP. A few people have mentioned to me they’ve had problems, but I’ve never managed to figure out why. I think Blogger just behaves a bit oddly sometimes and messes things up. One of these days I make the switch to WordPress.

    And yes–I wish Dee would post a bit more often, too.

  35. I love getting comments, and I do try my best to respond to each and every one left on my blog, but I do miss some, I know. I also appreciate a quick response when I comment on someone else’s blog – everyone likes to be acknowledged, don’t they?

  36. I started using a CAPCHA after the comment spam became excessive, even with anti-spam plugins. In fact, I found some of the anti-spam plugins were having too many false positives. Periodically, I turn it off and then end up having to wade through more spam comments than I care to so I turn it back on. It’s been a while since I turned it off, so maybe it’s time to try the experiment again.

    First time commenters have to wait until I approve it, but once I do future comments from the same person won’t require approval. I’d like to be able to run them completely on autopilot, but I’ve written a few entries in the past that have generated comments that weren’t acceptable because they either advocated violence or were ad hominem attacks or used words like “bigot” and “racist” because the commenter didn’t like what I wrote. After the you’re-a-hateful-bigot comment I wrote an entry about playing nice in my sandbox.

  37. Interesting post and comments. I hate the multi-level blogger.com comment process, esp because it won’t remember my information.

    I don’t think using a captcha is lazy, though. I have a spam filter, and sometimes it catches more than 50 spams each HOUR. Besides, I think of mine as a feature — most of the regulars love to play the “captcha as oracle” game, because it does seem to sense what the conversation is and editorialize to it.

  38. I love your blog for this reason (among others!). I find your commenters always have smart things to say and it’s one of the few (possibly the only) blog that I always bother to at least skim through the comments.

    I also love the way you respond to every comment. My reader is clogged all the time, so I don’t always make it back to see what you said, but if I’m very interested in a particular topic, I love knowing that I can come back here and see a dialog happening.

    Responding to comments on my own blog is my biggest failure as a blogger, I think. I really need to make it more of a habit. I think I often don’t have a lot of interesting topics of discussion, like you do, though — I often post about what I did today, and then my comments are like, “Me too!” or “That happened to me last week,” which I love, but don’t necessarily require a response.

    Still! New resolution! Respond more!

  39. I have the name/email/website thing on the Squidzone, and often have a captcha due to excessive comment spam. Beyond that I make no effort to censor or edit comments other than comments I consider “unreadable”… if the comment is written in txt spk, or is some weird off-topic rant, I may delete it. In 5 years, I think that’s happened twice, so it’s not a common practice by a long shot.

    As a typepad blog, people can, of course, register a login with typepad and use that to fill in their name/email/web automagically.

  40. Oh, and I let comments go on (although Typepad’s spam filters may block them) and if I feel they need moderation, I moderate them after… so even some douchebag can get his screed posted on my blog for a little while.

    Like all IT resources, I manage them in the style of the Bastard Operator from Hell (BOFH – google it).

  41. Sean – Yes, your captcha is unique and I don’t even mind the captcha if that’s all I have to do, but if I’ve had to type in all my information 3 or 4 different ways and then also do a captcha…sometimes I just give up – especially when every time it tells me I didn’t do the info in the correct format, it deletes my comment. (PS: My WordPress automatically scans for spam and won’t publish them)

    Quack – That’s nice.

    Grouchy – I wonder if I can fix that? I will investigate.

    Meanie – OoooOOooo – Cool..exclusive rights!

    Cedar – Aww..that’s too bad about the rain. If only it were freakin snow like we’re having right now…but that would kill the daffodils, wouldn’t it? Grrrr. Anyway, you should always link back because someone new might read your comment and wonder what other brilliant things you’ve written and will want to link to your blog and read it.

    Mary Lynn – Let’s start harassing Dee mercilessly until she gets her act together, okay?

    Pinklea – Yes, they do and I do appreciate your responses. Your blog often has some good discussions going on.

    Gordon – Boy, some of you bloggers sure attract some nasty people. I’ve had a couple of commenters who were a little off, but no one really nasty.

    Dani – Ya, like I said to someone previously the captcha isn’t so bad if you don’t also have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops beforehand. My WordPress keeps all the spam for me in a separate folder so I can go delete it or publish it if it accidentally put a real comment in there. Only a handful have slipped through in all the time I’ve been on WordPress, so I’m pretty impressed with it. I don’t usually get 50 an hour though – holy jumpin’!

    Lynn- I think your blog definitely generates discussion and it would be nice to see what you have to respond to some of the comments – people could talk for hours about pie, for instance.

    Squid – I’ve tried that login thing before, but it doesn’t remember it for next time, does it? When I’m reading blogs I’m logged in as google blogger because that’s what most of the blogs I read are. So then I should log out and log into typepad and read all the typepad blogs? Or how does that work?

  42. Oh, and I enjoy Trashy’s often-but-not-always wrong point of view 🙂

    Lately, our government has been so messed up, he and I largely agree on just about everything… Governmental stupidity knows no politics – it’s pretty obvious no matter what your political stripe.

  43. You don’t need to log out of Blogger to log in to Typepad. I think it will remember you if you keep the cookies.

    To be honest, I usually just enter name/email/web even on my own site. I tend to log in only for maintenance and posting. If I happen to be logged in it will pick up my info and give the little squid thumbnail. Name/email/web is pretty standard, so I don’t sweat it.

  44. See, this is very typical of how blog commenting goes for me. I read a post, and if I have time I pop off a top-of-mind comment. Then, for blogs like yours with lots of nuggets of ideas thrown in and lots of comments, it’s usually an hour or even a day later and I’m still thinking about it when I’m swiffering up the breakfast crumbs, and I think of a really interesting thing to add to the conversation. There’s only about a 10% chance of me actually remembering to go back to the conversation, and only about a 10% chance of THAT that I’m likely to remember my brilliant insight. I got through the first 10% this time, at least! I think I was going to say that I am planning to try harder to reply to my own comments, but there are just not enough hours in the day. (Note preceding ramble.) And thanks to Alison for the shout-out — like you, I think my commenters contribute pretty much equal value to what I put out on the blog, which is why I should make more of an effort.

    Phew, this blogging crap is HARD work! (And ya, 50 in about an hour on the weekend. (!) I never go in there, except for some reason it was really aggressively eating comments this weekend. Maybe because of the higher traffic?)

  45. Squid – It’s a strange world indeed where you and Trashy see eye to eye.

    Dani – I know – it’s damn hard work. I could easily do this as a full time job. I wish someone would pay me to do it as a full time job, actually. That would be extremely cool

  46. I think I do a pretty good job of responding to all comments left on my blog. And I love it when people come back. Unfortunately, I am not always quick off the mark in thinking of something to write (kinda like Dani).

    I do check in on a lot of photoblogs though and many (far too many) do not respond to comments, not even a “thank you”. And some of them even have comment moderation, which I do not understand since the majority of comments are simply full of admiration. With those, if I can remember which ones they are, I now don’t say anything unless it is an original or informative critical comment. Why bother?

  47. Violetsky – I think you do a great job of responding to comments, too. I never know what to say on photo blogs. I don’t have the expertise to say anything useful. Sometimes I’ll just say I like the photo, but that always sounds so lame.

  48. Here via Violet Sky. I just read another blog post about going through the nine gates of hell to comment. I’ve tried to make commenting as pain-free as possible so I allow anonymous comments, I don’t have word verification, I don’t have comment moderation. And I always respond when people leave comments I love the conversational aspect of it all.

  49. I just wrote what was practically and essay here and firefox erased it all. *breathes deeply in and out*

    This is really awesome – I love it when bloggers talk about “it”. I used to write about blogging a lot (back in 2003, but still). There’s always a discussion here and there about people who worry they have to trade comment for comment, or people who think the number of comments one gets is a measure of popularity. When I used to write every day, some of the comments I got were, at times, what kept me going. Sure, there’s a side of me that wants to know that what I’m writing matters in some way – any way – even though my writing is very personal most of the time. But mostly it’s just an enriching experience. I never get how some people make distinctions between developing a readership and “social blogging”, because I believe blogging to be inherently social. Otherwise, why write online?

    I think comments can be funny, smart, supportive (we go through shit, it’s cool that people care, right?) and at times they can be mind opening, and that’s very special. The discussions/conversations add a whole other dimension to our writing and to me that’s what makes the whole thing worth it. It’s amazing to connect with other people and find that at times you make a difference to them, and them to you, or that you can make people think about themselves or laugh or cry. Then sometimes, when you’re lucky, you make friends along the way.

    I used to get a lot of emails in response to my posts from people who weren’t comfortable commenting – let’s face it, the bigger the readership, the more daunting it can be to raise your hand (even as I write this, I wonder if I should, but I tell myself to do it because I think it’s important, for all the reasons you wrote about.) Then I’d go and write a post saying how much I wanted my readers to feel free to comment in any way they liked, without worrying about being smart or witty or about being judged. I would love to provide a space where people feel comfortable to speak.

    Many times I don’t take my own advice, because some blogs feel very closed off to new readers. Cliquey, really. If I really like the writing, I’ll just keep reading quietly. But if I’m commenting for the first time on a blog I fell in love it – and that’s probably exactly what I’ll say – and I don’t get acknowledged in any way, I don’t go back. I understand that some people don’t write to connect with others or are just not interested in making new connections, but I’m still human enough to get cut and something like that will taint the writing for me. But that’s just me.

  50. Funnily enough, because I was logged into wordpress, it just said “you are logged in as Monica”. I left it alone and it didn’t link me at all, so I had to log out of my own account 😉

  51. SAW – Well, it looks like I’ll have to go visit your blog now, too. The discussions really are the best part.

    Monica – Welcome to the blog and I’m sorry you had difficulties leaving a comment – especially after all my ranting. I should really try commenting on my own blog some time as someone else and see what the process involves, shouldn’t? I completely agree with your assessment of the whole blogging thing as a social exercise. I’ve made a point of trying to meet a lot of the bloggers I read. That way the experience becomes even more like a social group. BUT – and this is important because I totally don’t want my blog to be a little clique that new people don’t feel comfortable penetrating – the people I’ve met aren’t necessarily the people who comment here most often. It’s always fun to see a new name or to hear from someone who’s been reading for a while, but has never left a comment before. And I try to keep my posts as universal as possible to include as many opinions and points of view as possible.

  52. wow you got a lot of comments 🙂 i agree that you have an awesome fan base, they challenge you, get silly with you, and offer some great feedback.

    i don’t always read all of them b/c i run out of time, but when i enjoy them.

    as for the glitches in leaving comments on some, i am annoyed by the items you listed too. the not letting you leave the page is my biggest peeve b/c i dislike being held hostage in any form.

    some blogs i read don’t respond to comments and sometimes i wonder why they don’t but overall i see it as a different level of relationship compared to the authors that do respond. i never knew how to handle that so i just started responding to everyone. if i ever got as many comments as you, i am pretty sure i could respond to all of them.

    some posts i don’t respond at all b/c i’m not sure how to. i try to keep it “real” in that regard.

  53. Leah – And you are part of the awesomeness!! Yay Leah!! I’m sure you’d keep responding to your comments no matter how many you get. I feel it’s kind of an obligation, although sometimes I wonder how many people actually come back to see what I’ve said in response to their comment.

    Monica – Thanks for letting me know. I’m not very clever with the whole thing really. I just plopped the blog in here and WordPress sort of took care of everything else. I can see there are a lot of features I could turn on and off or add or delete, but I don’t want to mess with them if I don’t have to.

  54. I don’t like having to refill out my details each time I post a new comment on a site.

    Unfortunately my blog apparently makes people do that.
    Auuuughhh…

  55. First, I will own up that I have not read all the comments above (62 comments, my but you are popular!). I love to get feedback when I leave a comment and would love to be able to e-mail people with a response to their comments, but I don’t know how to fix my comments so that I get the e-mail addresses I need and someone said Blogger won’t let you do that, so there you are. I could do as you do and leave my response in the comments of my blog, but I am so surprised that anyone reads me in the first place that I am positive they wouldn’t come back AGAIN just to see what witty riposte I have made. Is that a good enough excuse?

  56. Loth – Not good enough at all. I always come back anyway on the off chance that THIS time you’ll respond and also to see what Alison and your other people had to say. I would have expected you, for instance, to defend me against your commenter, Jaggy’s, accusation of me as a mental stalker. It’s the least you could have done. But, no. I had to do it myself.

  57. I always try to read your commenters and your answers to them – as much if not more fun than the post itself.
    I only put in the word verification if I have been getting automatic spam comments and take it off after a short while to see if I’m clean again.
    Yeah, I try to respond to my own commenters. Most often, I run out of time, though. And I will respond by email to the commenter if I can. Also time consuming but rewarding.
    YOurs is the best blog for interesting comments that I read, probably because you raise fascinating topics.

  58. Mary – Well thanks Mary – though I am getting a tad concerned about all the people who said the comments on my blog were better than the post itself…hmm…

  59. I’m sorry. I’m one of those people who don’t always comment on comments made on my own blog. It’s the short attention span thing. I read the comment and think “Oo, I should respond to that.” Then I’m distracted by something else and when I next remember the comment I was going to make, it’s timeliness has passed. I should make more of an effort.

  60. Nah – it’s the posts themselves. Comments are almost always more off the cuff and limited. It’s that what you write generates lots of neural synapse firing and subsequent movement of fingers on keyboards. I guess I am saying that you’re electrifying, aren’t I.