Hands down, my favorite part of blogging is seeing people respond to my writing and actually leave comments. Whether good or bad, I’m not too picky. Comments just give me that warm fuzzy feeling when I realize people actually read what I write, and what’s better, have something to say about it!

Nowadays though, it’s vital to any blogger’s sanity to set up some kind of comment spam filter or approval process on their blog. Comment spam has risen to ridiculous levels (I’ve lost count of how many I’ve gotten on my personal blog) and without the multiple plugins for comment spam made for WordPress, I don’t know what I’d do.

After reading a couple of good posts on blog comment etiquette (“The Blogger’s Guide To Comment Etiquette” and “Internetiquette – Anonymous Commenting”), I realized that it’s also important for a blog (especially a company blog) to decide and make known their own personal comment policy. The posts I read are older, but still pretty dang relevant today.

I Delete You Spam!For example, should you approve comments that are an obvious attempt at leaving a link, and add nothing at all to the conversation? (You know the, “Great post, you rock,” comments). What about anonymous commenting? Do you let people post comments, either positive or negative, if they’re not willing to stand behind what they say and actually leave a real name, email or website?

As a business, do you choose to be totally transparent and post the bad along with the good? Do you try and hide the fact that, like any business, you’ll have people who may not like you? I know that personally, when I’m commenting on blogs, I only leave my comment if it actually adds to the discussion, and if it’s something I’m willing to put my name behind. If I wanna be anonymous about it, that’s usually a good indication that I may not be living up to my own personal morals and ethics.

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to these questions, just what you think is best for your blog. I’d love to hear other bloggers’ take on this topic, or any basic rules of comment etiquette you follow, either when commenting, or for comments on your blog.

So what do you think? How do you make the call on what comments to allow, and which to delete?

7 Responses to “Blog Commenting Etiquette: To Approve or Not To Approve…?”

  1. Anonymous 20. Jan, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    @Ashley -

    Nice post. There are exceptions to everything, but generally here are some rules I typically try to follow or recommend following to bloggers:

    - Allow comments from anonymous parties as long as they give an email address (NOTE: about 99% of the time I post with my full name, so something I’m recommending to blog administrators, not commenters)

    - Don’t allow total spam and links. Dangerous precedent.

    - Be transparent and face up to the bad. The conversation can (and usually does) happen somewhere else.

    - If you delete or edit a comment, it better be because it’s in clear violation of your rules. If in clear violation of good sense, but your rules aren’t there, add your own comment about why you chose to delete / edit and then update your rules asap.

    Good stuff!


  2. Ashley Lichty 20. Jan, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Thanks for putting in your 2 cents on the topic.

    Buuut, if we went by your rules, we may not have approved your comment – there’s no name or email associated! LoL.

    I know that my own personal preference is to allow even anonymous comments IF they add something to the conversation in a respectful manner, whether they are critical or an agreement. If they’re just to get a rise out of people…well, I’m not a big fan of internet drama.


  3. Justin Seibert 20. Jan, 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    Ha! Big oops – was trying to get out the door to an appointment. I agree with you agreeing with me that it shouldn’t have been posted.


  4. Justin Seibert 20. Jan, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    1 more question – sorry to be so quick on the submit trigger today – why don’t you require at least an email, if for no other reason than slightly curbing spam?


  5. Jonathan Bentz 21. Jan, 2009 at 10:30 am #

    To be honest, I already assumed our comment filters required the e-mail address. Don’t most of those do that these days? Guess we’re gonna have to get on that!


  6. Dave Conklin 22. Jan, 2009 at 11:35 pm #

    It does now! Good call, Justin… thanks for noticing.


  7. Kelly Watson | Womenwise Marketing 02. Feb, 2009 at 6:25 pm #

    Well, I automatically delete anything that has to do with gambling, cheap prescription drugs or penis enlargement. But the Askimet WordPress plugin in usually does that for me, so I haven’t had to worry about it much.

    It also remembers people whose comments I have approved in the past, and automatically approves their next comments. That’s a really nice feature as well.


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