Include All Comments on Blog? No. But Please – Jump In!

I post and respond to all substantive comments.  But I’ve had questions from readers who didn’t see theirs. Understandably, they wanted to know why. Here’s how I handle comments:

  1. If they are about the content – they go up. Agree, disagree, it’s all good. Dialogue is exactly the point.
  2. If they are just “I liked this” (or not) they rarely do. If they are clearly not spam they might go up anyway, but the spammers tend to fall into this category. How can I tell? Specificity – a reference to the actual content. Might I be wrong? Unfortunately, yes. But there’s no information loss leaving these out.
  3. One exception to the above: a few come from rebroadcast mechanisms like topsy. I don’t know much about them, but assume my readers may want to, so I leave them in – you can follow the links to find out if it’s a service you want.

That’s it, except to say that I still have a low enough volume of comments that I look at every one, and respond if a response is indicated. I look at all the spam so far too, though that gets harder. WordPress seems to do a good job – when they say it’s spam, it has been so far. And they haven’t allowed much through, either.

Please comment if you have anything to say, anytime. That’s why I’m doing this – I can hear myself anytime I want to.

About Merv Adrian
Gartner Research VP, technology analyst and consultant, 30 years of industry experience, covering software mostly, hardware sometimes.

6 Responses to Include All Comments on Blog? No. But Please – Jump In!

  1. Merv, this is about the same I do.

    In just one particular case, I stopped looking at comments from one particular individual that was consistently slamming the people behind a particular product I blogged about, all with increasingly nastifying ad-hominem remarks. Haven’t seen abuse like that except for that instance.

    The “great post, liked this” comments get rejected by me too whenever there is a link in the comment.

    Roland,

  2. Merv Adrian says:

    Hadn’t thought about the “link included” dimension. I use that at times – make a comment one someone’s blog and include a link to something I’ve written. Not the same as a product marketing link, or is it? I guess I think of it as a way to build traffic, so I guess I’m playing the same game.

    In any case, my rule of substance applies, I think. If I give someone a reason to follow the link, they will…

  3. Ronald Damhof says:

    I tend to disagree as well with Roland on this on – simply because I tend to respond on items I am blogging about as well. I only link to other content – no whitepapers, no vendor marketing or whatsoever. I am linking to content, article, blogs (my blog as well).

    Gonna put some links up on Roland’s blog now….;-)

  4. Merv, sure if the link is useful and relevant, I put them up. Let me give an example of what I would reject:

    I have a few posts about the writing progress for the Pentaho books I’m involved in. I am getting spam comments from some UK-based company that specializes in “dissertation writing”. They post a comment that has some content relevant to writing, something like:

    “Great post! writing is really hard. But then I discovered and now my papers are always in time”

    Sometimes the link is not in the comment text, but in the user profile. Again, if it looks genuine, I will include it. If I am in doubt, I google the comment text. Often you’ll find other blog posts with the exact same comment line, which tells me enough.

    If I get really annoyed by blogspammers, I use whois to track down the registrar. Then I call the administrative contact – so, no email, but a personal call. I’ve been able to contact the culprits about half of the time, and it’s effective – they blacklist you and stop spamming the blog.

  5. Jay Fry says:

    Merv-
    I, too, have a low enough volume in my Data Center Dialog blog that I am able to moderate & respond to the substantive ones. I mostly send ones that don’t add to the conversation to the great digital recycling bin in the sky, and when I can’t tell, I tend to post it figuring no harm, no foul.

    Just because a comment includes a link isn’t reason for me to delete it: sometimes the more well-thought out comments come from someone who has a diametrically opposed view, who then wants to link to their blog which is obviously very supportive of that view. That happened to me a couple times debating about the “worth” of the term “private cloud.” I’m OK with that. It fosters discussion.

    As I noted in our Twitter comments, I have been guilty of adding links to comments I put on blogs when (as Ronald says above) it’s about a topic I’ve been writing about. But, I try to make sure I make the key point in the comment, summarize my perspective or concern, and then provide the link in case someone wants to get more detail as a follow-up. The nice thing about that is it leaves a trail of ideas & counterpoints (or at least the key discussion topics and a way to find more on each view) for when Google sends someone new to the blog/topic in the first place.

    But, with everything, people sometimes abuse the system. That’s why it’s probably smart to retain the power of moderation for the moment.

    Good discussion (and, look! No links! Unless you count my name…) 🙂

  6. Merv Adrian says:

    We seem to be getting a real conversation going! Thanks for the comment, Jay.

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