Comment Etiquette

Your comments are welcome here @ I encourage you to share your point of view and experiences and even ask questions about your etiquette conundrums. With that said, not all comments get approved and here’s why…

“Post your comments on others’ Blogs and get links to your site!” Easy, right? There is even software to plaster your “posts” on Blogs across the Web with minimal effort. Well, as we used to say in Chicago — when it comes to my Blogs — foe-ged-aboud-it!

What many seem to not understand is that Blogs are about opinions and conversations not about one-sided desires for self-promotion. In the almost rabid quest to attain incoming one-way links to Web sites, Blogs are being hit with generic dribble from marketers that serve no purpose other than reflecting the commenter’s desire (and lack of tech savvy) to gain a coveted one-way inbound link.

I have a handful of Blogs and each and every one is moderated. By being moderated this means that any comments submitted need to be approved by me before being added to my Blog for public viewing. My Blog — my call — and I am very persnickety about what gets added to any of my Blogs by those I don’t know. It’s called quality control.

A site visitor’s comments do not see the light of day on unless they meet the following criteria:

  • The comment must include your name; at the very least your first name — typed properly is a plus. Put your keywords in this field and I hit delete. If your post is relevant and specific and you don’t use your name, you will get a request via a P.S. at the bottom of my reply to use your name on future comments. Continue to not use your name; delete.
  • This is an Etiquette specific Blog — type as though you get that. Type like a grade schooler with poor grammar, typos and incomplete sentences, all small case and chances are your message is lost in your inability to communicate properly. Delete.
  • The comment must be specific to the post you are commenting on — and I mean specific. General blah-blah-blah doesn’t cut it — comments must include detailed verbiage clearly about the post in question or it gets marked as spam. Comments like “I see your point of view but don’t agree…” without telling me specifically why you disagree, tells me you are just link baiting. If you disagree with my commentary, please do give me your POV in a professional and coherent manner. I will respond back with the same courtesy and clarity.
  • Compliments are futile. Yes, we all love to hear how great our site is while having our egos stroked by site visitors. But my ego does not fall prey to those who try to compliment their way into gaining a link to their site from my Blog with empty praise. Posts that are genuine compliments (with no URL noted) are those I take as sincerely genuine. Only those compliments combined with thoughtful specific commentary will have a chance of being approved for viewing by my site visitors. It’s all about the conversation!
  • Links within or after your comments are not allowed unless they are pointing to a specific resource that is relevant to the conversation. Promotional links or signature files will be edited out before a comment is considered for approval.

Between all my Blogs, minimally 200 “comments” each day are marked as spam and deleted because they do not meet the basic criteria above. All of which are common sense with a dash of courtesy combined with an understanding of the venue in which you are participating.

News Flash to Blog Owners — Moderate your Blog and integrate the above standards as well. Doing so will help to increase the value and integrity of your Blog in the process. Otherwise you risk your Blog’s overall worth being affected negatively by “comments” that are of no value to anyone (except the link baiter).

News Flash to Blog Commenters — Commenting on Blogs is certainly a great way to gain exposure. When you contribute your comments, it is an opportunity to show your personality, share your expertise and gain exposure for your Web site. But only when done properly and for all the right reasons integrating courtesy and common sense when doing so.

If you do not have anything of definitive value to contribute and do not want to make the efforts mentioned above — then don’t waste your time or that of those who run the Blogs you visit.