Thursday, May 23, 2013

To Allow or Disallow Blog Commenting? Why Bloggers Should Turn Commenting On or Off

From the time I started blogging in WordPress, I have received so many spam comments. Still, I allow posting of comments from readers because I believe that comments form part of a post’s content. Whenever I visit posts or blogs, I always read comments to know more about the topic and learn how other people think about the article I’m viewing. Some people may not share entirely the same confidence in comments. Here are reasons why bloggers should turn comments on and off.

Why Bloggers Should Turn Comments On

You won’t know if you are sharing the right information that is appreciated by your readers until you allow them to comment. Commenting gives way to share thoughts and reflection and engaging with readers strengthens your relationship with them. Only when you form this connection that you communicate to the online world and feel not like you’re “talking only to a blackboard” and nobody in your class listens.

Given that you do not know all these visitors personally, you can still possibly know about their ideas and add on to these ideas to form another set of topics for your blog. Opening up comments means that you are open for both negative and positive reviews on your piece, and this is powerful in improving how you perceive things as well.

Another reason why bloggers should allow comments is resonance over reputation. Sure, one might receive too many bad feedbacks but this only means that the entire online population is that much concerned and affected by the post. This can then be treated as a two-edged sword. What’s critical is for the blogger to know how to manage his or her reputation by posting clarifications and sharing good intentions while retaining authenticity and self-care for touchstones.

Why Bloggers Should Turn Comments Off

To present the argument of other bloggers, accepting and allowing comments for them are only a waste of time, since they do not value the responses and judgments of their audience. What’s important is to declare they say about certain things and readers need not contribute to the conversation. This is mostly seen in websites of businesses which show information related to their products and services.

Business owners are afraid that they put energy in checking and reviewing all comments, while others find that hiring additional headcount such as the social media manager who’s responsible to control the comments and interact with readers don’t fit their budget and is just unnecessary.

So time management is one of the biggest problems and hindrances in comment publishing. The more comments come in, the more time is needed to evaluate whether to publish them or to trash them. This means that more time is required in the life of a blogger and less time to spend doing other more important things that impact others’ lives.

In addition, comments sometimes can be too surprisingly reactive and damaging on the part of other readers. These are those that don’t serve good for anyone but used only as a means to vent out anger and frustration. In this case, turning comments off is a good idea to reduce the negativity level in your site. At the end of the day, you don’t want to be more stressed after reading nasty comments that ruin your mood and suck up all the positive vibes in the room.

While readers may not post comments in your post, they can still impart their thoughts by sending you an email directly, mentioning you or sending a direct message on Twitter, and using other forms of social media to connect deeply. Receiving them through other arenas will confirm that you have dear readers who truly want to get the message sent across to you and not only to spam you with irrelevant and bad responses.

My Take

Comments on my blog are allowed but they are moderated to filter those containing spam links and irrelevant content. I have installed the Akismet plugin which automatically detects spam for me and puts them under review for approval. While the use of this plugin is not written in the Blog Code of Conduct, I feel that it’s somehow obligatory on the part of the blogger also to avoid penalties by major search engines like Google.

Your Take

As a blogger, what say you on this one? Do you turn your comments on or off? How is or isn’t that right for you?