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Make It Easy To Comment On Your Blog!

freelance writing blogHow easy is it to make a comment on your blog? Do you make the people who want to comment on your blog jump through hoops like captcha or other challenge response system?

If you don’t use a challenge response system, do you make people sign in every time they want to make a comment?

Why do you make it difficult to comment?

My hunch is you have those barriers to blog comments because someone told you they would help eliminate spam.  I suggest that caution is costing you readers and good comments.

One of the great things about blogging is the opportunity to create community through comments about your posts. When you make it difficult for your readers to comment you’re limiting the community.

When I try to comment on a blog and run into a capcha code or other barrier I usually move on; it’s just not worth the time it takes in most cases. Somehow I doubt I’m alone in this.

“But what about spam?” I can hear you cry.

There are better ways to reduce spam.

The first are programs like Akismet. It’s a free plugin that somehow or another filters spam from my blog. It’s almost 100% effective and other than occasionally updating the plugin I don’t have to do a thing.

The other thing you can do is set up your blog so the first time someone comments their comment has to be approved; once you give it the okay,  they can comment at will.

These systems are designed to help you get the kinds of comments you want without the spam.

Just for the heck of it I checked out three big blogs and made comments:

None of them require any hoops at all – I just made my comment, clicked submit and I was done. That’s community building!

Let’s talk about it.


Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Thanks, Anne! I’ll investigate comment luv and see if it works on blogger or not. As far as providing a link to my blog on my comments, I was trying to figure out how everyone else got their blog URLs to show up as a link with the title of their latest post, and not just the URL iteself ….. but at least you’re able to find my blog.

    My blog: http://www.thestrategiccommunicationsmaven.com

  • Anne

    Your blog link is http://www.thestrategiccommunictionsmaven.com/ – I found it following the link to your site which shows up under your name or when you click on the avatar. You can paste that link into a comment if you want. Here anyway wordpress and the thesis theme automatically turn the link into a clickable one.

  • Anne

    http://www.commentluv.com/ is a blog plugin that shows the most recent post of a commenter under their comments. Since your blog is on blogger I don’t know if you can use it. Does blogger allow plugins? This blog and many others are wordpress blogs… and I know you can use it there… anyone else know if blogger allows plugins?

  • Whoops, another technical problem. How do you get the link to your blog to show up?

  • What is comment luv? I’d love (no pun intended) to use anything that will invite more people to my blog. I tried to do a search for comment luv on Anne’s site, but for some reason, nothing turned up.

    Caroline’s latest blog:

  • Yeah, I hate that too. I might not want to comment on EVERY article, and if it’s too difficult or takes clicking through too many pages, I won’t bother reading it again either.
    .-= Elizabeth West´s last blog ..Patience =-.

  • I’ve had a few problems with captchas, but for the most part they’re ok. If I can’t get it to go through after 2 tries, then I’d probably stop in that situation.
    .-= Jenn Mattern´s last blog ..The Case for Blogging for Clients (and not Only Yourself) =-.

  • Hey Jenn:

    I agree with you – my reference to captcha was a post I did recently (that Anne posted a comment on). CAPTCHA only drives me crazy when the letters and/or numbers are so distorted that no human (especially with Baby Boomer eyes like mine!) can decipher them. Then you click on an alternate one & it’s just as bad. I have not purchased items because it was too frickin hard!

    Same idea as Anne’s post-if you make it too hard to comment, don’t be surprised when people come to the conclusion. “why bother?”
    .-= Cathy Miller´s last blog ..Health Care Tuesday Peeks at Health Care Reform =-.

  • Personally I don’t mind captcha so much, but what really drives me nuts is when a blogger forces you to register in order to leave a comment. That’s my line in the sand. Force registration and I simply won’t bother commenting. Those blogs often have few, if any, comments so you’d think they’d take a hint.
    .-= Jenn Mattern´s last blog ..The Case for Blogging for Clients (and not Only Yourself) =-.

  • I agree with you 100%. Those comment hoops are no fun to jump through, and every time I bump into one, I wonder what is the blogger thinking? My guess is that there’s a lot of bloggers out there who don’t bother to learn about best practices in blogging. They just get a blog and start writing, without understanding that a blog requires thought and maintenance. I too have wanted to comment on posts and articles but clicked away because it just wasn’t worth the hassle.
    .-= Melissa Donovan´s last blog ..Are Critiques Harmful or Beneficial to Your Writing? =-.

  • I think at least with newer bloggers, they might not know about the problems. I am relatively new to Wordpress and have loaded plug-ins to try to make things easier for comments but unless someone told me there was a hassle, I might not know it.

    I added CommentLuv after seeing it on your blog because I like the idea of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” and I enjoy getting to know others through their blogs.

    So much goes into setting up a blog that I think some of the helpful tools like allowing someone to comment after being approved just might get missed. I know I would appreciate someone letting me know if they encounter hassles. Life can be tough enough without dealing with hassles that are easily fixed.

    But, I’m in 100% agreement that it should be as simple as possible and I think you know how much I hate those CAPTCHA thingies. 🙂
    .-= Cathy Miller´s last blog ..Health Care Tuesday Peeks at Health Care Reform =-.

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