Managing Comments on Your Blog

If you blog most likely you will have comments enabled. Some think not having comments could be a feature, but the majority of blogs have them. Moderating comments can take as much time as you let it, so I recommend following one simple rule:

If a comment adds value to the discussion, then approve it. Otherwise it belongs in the trash.

So any comments such as “First!” or “Great post, I love it!” are not needed. If you want to maintain  a quality blog then you need quality comments as well. YouTube has the reputation for having the worst comments on the web. Let’s go the other direction and curate the discussion on our blog to maintain the highest quality.

Dealing with Spam.

The majority of spam comments can be stopped with a plugin like Akismet (which comes pre-installed with WordPress, you just need to activate it), but you will still have some slip through.

Everyone is familiar with the usual online spam (software, viagra, etc), but these days other forms of spam are becoming far more common. Here are some examples I have seen recently:

Though it doesn’t sound exactly like spam, I haven’t written anything on my blog about SQL. If it isn’t relevant, delete it.

Really? A small business owner? As in you run a spam business? This comment is off topic, poorly formatted, and the URL looks sketchy.

Loans? Yes please! Obviously spam. Though I have been surprised with how often I see comments like this approved on respectable blogs.

A compliment? For me? Sometimes these types of comments are written by humans, but complementing the author is a great way to get a spam link published. So automated or not, I don’t think it has a place in your carefully curated blog comments.

All of these comments fall under our simple rule:

If a comment adds value to the discussion, then approve it. Otherwise it belongs  in the trash.

For those of you who complain about dealing with too many comments, you could turn them off, or just remember this quote from Oscar Wilde:

“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”