Blog Commenting and Poetry

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I really wanted to wax poetic today because April is National Poetry Month and I do so love poetry, even if I’m a so-so poet. But I just left a comment on a friend’s blog, and I flipped (my Cathy-the-Writer doll) with joy! So I think I’ll wax poetic about that instead.

Perhaps you’re wondering how one can make commenting on a blog such a delightful experience. Let me count the ways.

Make it easy to leave a comment.

Most of us use a blog template, so we don’t need to do any fancy HTML stuff to manage comments. We just check a couple boxes. On whatever host you use for your blog, look for Settings. Depending on which boxes you check, you will either encourage or discourage readers to comment.

Here’s the simple way to encourage commenters: Allow a person to leave a name and a link and go. What that means to you, as the administrator of your blog, is this: Don’t check every one of those dang little boxes. The more comment moderation you enable, the more difficult you make it to leave a comment!

Yes, I know you worry about spam. And if you get a TON of visitors on a highly visible blog, you may need to check those boxes that will require commenters to verify (nonsensical) words before they can leave their (honest-to-goodness) words. But for most of us, it’s a matter of trusting the automatic spam detectors to do their job—and occasionally cleaning up when they don’t.

Wouldn’t you rather be slightly annoyed than annoy your readers? I’ve found that folks like me who take the time to read blogs will take a few seconds more to comment. But if it takes up too much time, these same folks (like me) will get frustrated and move on.

So check your Settings. Clear those tiresome boxes. Trust your spam detectors. And your blog commenters will be flipping out (in a good way)!

Now, I realize that I did not do justice to my reference to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s lovely sonnet, or even wax poetic. So I offer this:

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Make commenting easy and I’ll flip for you!

Um, yeah. I warned you about the so-so poetry.


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Good post, Cathy. It's getting harder and harder to see those word verification thingies (at least for me.)

I do leave the comment moderation set on my blog though because I find I'm getting a lot of spam, etc. So, it might take a bit for the comment to appear but at least it's easy to leave one in the first place.

Oh, and I love your Cathy the Writing doll! :)

(The irony is that I have to figure out two of those fuzzy, funky words before I can comment here. I'm crossing my fingers this works...)

Cathy C. Hall said...

I'm not sure why Blogger added TWO blurry words into the captcha, but yes, it's hard for me to see as well. And maybe the Powers That Be here at The Muffin can find a way around it. I know that blogs getting a lot of traffic, however, put up with a lot of spam getting through. It seems like we could find an easier way to beat the spammers!

(Thanks for the love on the Cathy the Writing Doll! One of my writer friends has a daughter who whips those up. I think she thought I was giving mine away to a kidder. And in a way, I did! ;-)

Debra Mayhew said...

Great post, Cathy! I put together my blog to get some writing practice, but that doesn't mean I actually know what I'm doing. This was great advice on how to make commenting easier, because you're right - most of us don't have a lot of extra time to waste. I'll be checking my settings tonight. (And Katherine loved the picture. :)

Margo Dill said...

COMPLETELY agree with you. But sometimes, we don't even realize what we have checked OR Wordpress/Blogger change things up on us without notifying us--or they notify us with a bunch of other junk we don't want to read. So, it is nice to tell bloggers if you have any trouble leaving a comment for them also. Right? I would try to write a poem about it but darling daughter just woke up from nap. Saved by the crying baby (instead of the bell). ..

Sioux Roslawski said...

So, there's Cathy-on-a-Stick and Cathy the Writer Doll. What next?

Cathy C. Hall said...

Sioux, there's a miniature Chatty Cathy...I take her out on special occasions. ;-)

Kirstie said...

So true. I used to follow quite a lot of blogs, but some of my favorites made commenting so difficult I removed my subscription because for me blogging is about the conversation. Also my spam filter seems to be pretty spot on, it hasn't let any fakes in and hasn't binned any real people yet.

I also love the 'commentluv' plugin you can get which puts the commenter's latest blog post title and link on the bottom of their comment. I added it to my blog I loved it so much.

I swear I'm going to use some of those crazy captcha words as names of places in a story in the future.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Kirstie, I agree--I really like when my posts come up with my sig. I'll have to check my blogs to see if that feature's available. Because as much as we love folks and their blogs, we also like spreading our own blog love, right? :-)

And captchas? I've come up with some cool new words, but I never thought of using them as places. Awesome.

Belinda Nicoll said...

This must be telepathy - just yesterday I gave up on two blogs after a lot of wasted time trying to comment on issues I empathized with. Thank you, Cathy.

Virginia Bell said...

Speaking of poetry, I just signed up for a FREE online class in Modern and Contemporary Poetry.

And now I will go check the comment settings on my site.
Thanks Cathy!

brenda said...

I really dislike the latest changes by blogger - I struggle with the capcha - I don't require this of my readers. I am using wordpress,though. Like Kristie, comment luv is a nice widget - it spreads the luv.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Brenda, I'm SO there with you. I just logged into Blogger today and Holy Toledo! The interface is awful and I can't find anything. The thing with using these services is that you have no control because it's a free service and you get what you pay for. LOL We are in the process of moving to Wordpress. We're working on template design right now.

Cathy, I just turned off Captcha this morning. ;)

Cathy C. Hall said...

THANK you, Angela! Just one more reason I love the Powers That Be at WOW! ;-)

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