I've only been blogging for around seven years so by no means consider myself an expert on anything to do with online protocols, but I've recently been inspired to mentally compile a short list of my pet peeves revolving about commentating on blogs.
Like all bloggers I welcome comments and feel honoured when someone takes the time to leave even a short comment and I like to think that my comments are equally welcome on the blogs where I leave them.
All my points below revolve around the issue of stimulating a free flow of polite conversation in the comment sections of blogs.
- I understand why some bloggers use CAPTCHA or "comment moderation" - to filter out the spammers - but both at the same time? Really? Isn't that overkill? It's immensely frustrating, after you've had to tackle the CAPTCHA three or four times to get a combination of letters and numbers that are actually readable, to then be told "your comment will be visible after moderation" (or words to that effect). Let's be honest, with Blogger, at least, it's very simple - with no CAPTCHA or moderation - to retrospectively remove any spurious spam comments anyway. If you make it too arduous to post a comment on your blog eventually the commentators will give up trying. My main gripe with "comment moderation" is it delays the publication of comments and thus disrupts any potential flow of conversation. However it's still preferable to the frustration of CAPTCHA.
- I respond to about 90 per cent of the comments left on HeroPress. I think it's only polite. The 10 per cent I don't respond to are the ones that don't need a reply, simple posts like "LOL" or "very funny". While I don't expect a reply to every comment I leave (as occasionally they are of the "LOL" variety) I do think it's polite to acknowledge a comment, especially if it is of a conversational nature. Again, if I post repeatedly to a blog and get no feedback, eventually I'm going to lose interest and take my attentions elsewhere. If you are lucky enough to get a stream of comments on a particular post, a blanket "thank you all very much for your comments" acknowledgement would be acceptable, of course.
- Speaking of responding to comments: if you leave a comment on a blog make sure you click the "notify me" button as sometimes the blog owner's response will, in turn, require a response from you. For instance, he might ask you a question about your comment or challenge its veracity.