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To Blog or Not To Blog (11 posts)

  1. pMc
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I run a small website selling t-shirts, stickers and soon prints of photographers, but i also enjoy writing poetry, making music and ranting, philosophizing, excercising my mind in general.
    So I thought I'd turn my boring , old "business" based site into a more personal artistic site.
    And what better way than to use a blog. Especially for me, someone that has a need for self expression.
    POLL: Do YOU use comments?
    Do they serve any purpose, other than to feed the blog owner's ego? Not to insult anyone but whenever I surf the net, I rarely visit other blogs and if i ever do, i rarely read the comments of other users.
    I am wondering if I should use comments. I see people getting hit by spammers and how it's really a battle and it seems like more trouble than its worth. To moderate, to exact censorship or not to moderate. That's just one of the quesitons.
    Is a blog best run without comments? Just to expel your mind onto the net, and not worry about what problems you'll get or who's writing what or what spam you may have to deal with.
    Just food for thought, trying to pick some brains around here, would appreciate all comments, advice, etc.
    Thanks
    Paul

  2. carthik
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Comments are a good way to exchange thoughts. Some posts are personal, and over time, you make a lot of "virtual friends" through comments.
    If your article is not personal, comments fill out the gaps and extend the conversation.
    My blog wouldn't quite be the same without the comments, that I am sure of :)

  3. btan
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Well said 2fargon, comments can give new insight on a topic. The only real reason not to use comments is comment spam, but there are ways around that.

  4. knotty
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I guess it depends on the site. Just for myself, I don't have comments. In fact, I don't even have the word comments anywhere simply because I don't have the time to start answering comments. Maybe things will change in the future.

  5. carthik
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I often do not reply to comments. I reply only when I think I have something to add to the comment, or when I think I should thank the commenter. I used to wear the hair-shirt(felt I was responsible to answer each and every comment), but let go after a while, and it worked just fine :)

  6. TechGnome
    Moderator
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I've never felt obligated to reply to commentors, unless it was to further the conversation. As for leaving comments, I do it all the time. It's a way to let the writter know that I stopped by. I've made some "virtual friends" as 2fargon put it. And now we regularly stop by each other's sites.
    Since my site is a semi-personal & semi-artistic (writting) site, I don't often get comments, but that doesn't bother me. Personaly I'd rather get the few quality comments that I get than tons of "werd to yo mutta" type comments.
    As for concern about spam. Unfortunatly it's part of the nature of the beast. But, there are precautions you can take to minimize the effects. Use Blacklist, sue the built-in black list, pick one or more spam controls available for WP (be sure to grab what's become known as TG's code- it closes a loophole in the comment system recently exploited). Set the setting to notify you when ever a comment is posted. It may not cut it out 100% but it should cut it to a manageable level. I've gotten more spam in the last two weeks than I did in the past year. The spam for the past 2 weeks amounted to 3. All but one were caught for moderation & I was able to delete them all.
    But it depends if you want the comments or not. If you feel like you don't want comments, then turn them off.
    Tg

  7. pMc
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Thanks for the info!
    Do any of you, or anyone else, moderate the comments before they are posted ? I'm just curious a little more as to what most people do.

  8. moshu
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Since the spam pest... yes, we do moderate :)
    Otherwise I wouldn't.

  9. TechGnome
    Moderator
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I should clarify, I only moderate what gets flagged as spam. I also have it set to email me when ever a comment is posted (moderated or not.)
    TG

  10. moshu
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I also have it set to email me, but it doesn't work. :)

  11. Joni
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    This gal does it right: She doesn't have comments enabled, except for certain posts, that she uses to get reader opinion -- kind of like you did, pMc, by querying the crowd here -- that makes her comments when they are open all that much more special and fun. Like her little "gift" to her faithful readers.
    For awhile I ran my blog without comments. It gets so few anyway, there wasn't any dramatic difference there! Plus, the people who really wanted to contact me did so through email. As long as you are open and let them know that you can be contacted.
    If you elect not to have comments, but still want your readers to be able to contact you, just make a link to your contact page or email (use Javascript so the bots won't harvest it) in your entries. That way you are never more than a click away.
    Blogging should be about your personal expression and enjoyment, meeting new Internet friends if that is your desire, and furthering your Internet presence, sharing bits and pieces of yourself. If at any time any of that ceases to be fun, you'll know it in no short order. And that's when you should probably take a break.
    But people who have creative talents (writers, poets, photographers, etc.) -- they'll never lack for an audience!

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