Comment Policy on SBS: How, Why, etc.

Filed in Site News by Matt McGee on July 16, 2007 8 Comments

I’ve had a few people ask recently about the comment policy I have here on SBS, and when a few people are asking about something, that often means many more people have the same question(s). Add that to my belief that I’ve added a good chunk of new readers in the last few days, and it seems like a great time to explain how I handle comments on this blog … and why.

Let me start by stating the obvious: I love getting comments from readers. I’ve taken a number of steps over the last 15 months to encourage comments — like giving you recognition on prime real estate in the right sidebar — and I’m always looking for more ways to get more readers to share your wisdom, questions, ideas, etc., here on the blog, despite the registration requirement.

So, with that in mind, here’s an overview of the comment policy:

1.) Comments are not no-followed.

If you leave a comment, you get credit for the link in your comment or on your username. This has been in place for about 2-3 months now, and the amount of comment moderation I’m doing is still reasonable. I think this has been a big help in increasing comments, and I want that to continue.

2.) You must register and be logged-in to leave a comment.

This is an anti-spam measure, of course. I don’t do this on a U2-related blog I manage, and it’s a hassle to have to delete the junk comments that Akismet doesn’t catch.

If I was online all day, always in front of a computer, and able to keep an eye on SBS, I might consider changing this. But the fact is I’m in meetings a lot, I travel a fair amount, and I sometimes spend 8 hours at a time on location with clients. That’s not really conducive to free-for-all commenting on a blog with a reasonable amount of traffic/readers.

3.) Your first comment will be moderated by default.

Another anti-spam measure, done simply to stop the register-and-run spammers. This happens more than you might think: I have 30+ domains on my registration blacklist at the moment, all spammers who registered and tried to comment.

4.) Any comment with a link in it will be held for moderation.

I wish there was a way to indicate that certain readers can include links in their comments without being moderated. But until that’s possible, I’m gonna play it safe with links in comments. It would be easy for Joe Spammer to come in and have his first comment approved, then start spamming on comment #2 while I’m away from the blog.

5.) Frequent commenters are rewarded with pretty stars.

This has also been in place for a couple months. You can read the post that explains how it works.

I don’t know how much it encourages comments, but I like to be able to see who’s commenting a lot … you know, just in case I ever find myself with an extra iPod Shuffle or something like that. Just sayin’ is all, don’t read anything into that, or anything. 🙂

So, to sum up… You have to register, you have to wait for your 1st comment to be approved, and after that it’s clear sailing — all your comments go straight on the blog, unless you have a link, which means I have to approve it. (I hope you’ll agree that’s a fair trade in exchange for having links followed.)

Now that you know how it works, I hope you’ll speak up more often!

Comments (8)

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  1. bryanphelps says:

    I typically avoid commenting on blogs that require a log-in but I’ve been a long time reader and really enjoy your posts. I do understand the policy…fortunately i am in front of a computer all day and have time to just delete junk.

  2. sheseltine says:

    Extra iPods eh? Well mine is getting a bit flaky 😉

  3. Matt McGee says:

    I was just sayin’ is all on the ipods. 🙂 Look at you with two stars now, Simon.

    bryanphelps — thanks for registering and joining the discussion. I hope we’ll see your name again soon.

  4. nic says:

    I’ve been dealing with a number of comment issues recently, and I was wondering how these spammers operate. Are there actual people out there spamming blogs “by hand” or is it mainly bots?

  5. Matt McGee says:

    Hi nic — the vast majority of it is automated bots. But I do get a couple manual registrations each week from Russian domains, Middle Eastern domains, .info domains, etc. — all of which are people trying to register and spam the comments.

  6. drmadcow says:

    Great policy, I totally disabled URLs on comment for my BLOG, but it is only a Photoblog.

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