My attitude to comments has shifted
I'll be honest – for the first six months of blogging – I was just happy that anyone would even think about posting a comment. I replied as soon as I could. I didn't moderate a thing. All I hoped for was traffic and a post with more than 1 comment.
After the first year I noticed some things happening.
- Some comments were rude.
- Some comments were just there to push a link.
- Some comments highlighted that some folks were mad I hadn't responded.
I don't mind that comments spin up discussion and even some debate. But not all people debate well. Some don't use logic at all. Others prefer to be mean.
None of this made me want to reply – and I even thought about killing comments.
But I didn't. Because some of the comments were awesome and I didn't want that part of the dialogue to disappear.
I created a comment policy (in my head)
About a year ago, I started moderating all comments. I reviewed every single one before they were published. And I started adjusting what I allowed on my blog.
After all, the blog was mine. It had my name at the top. In my desire to not offend, I had given up authority over my own site. Well that changed.
- If you were rude, I killed your comment.
- If you wrote a note simply to push your own product / url, and I didn't find it helpful, I killed it.
- If you called me a name, I killed it.
- If you asked me a support question for someone else's product, I redirected you.
- If you asked me a long and complicated question, I would answer when I had time.
In essence, I took control over my blog again, by controlling my comments.
Here's my blog comments policy
When I created that approach to comments, I did it in my head. I didn't write it anywhere for folks.
So I thought it might be helpful now to make it available for everyone – and I'll link to it from my comments section so people can read more about my take on comments.
Your Words, My Blog. By posting a comment to my site, you give me the right to publish it, quote it, and show it on my site. But they're still your words. You own them and I don't.
Debate is fine. Rudeness isn't. If you post a comment and it's rude (to me or others), I reserve the right to remove your comment (or never publish it).
Disagreements. I'm fine with you disagreeing with me. Even on my own blog. I don't have to have the last word. Feel free to comment on my blog and disagree. If it's rational, intelligent, and helpful to me and others, I'll keep it. If it's rude, mean, or completely emotional and lacking in substance, I reserve the right to kill it (or never publish it).
Promotion. There are times where it makes complete sense to post a link to an article of yours or a product you want me (or others) to notice. But if the context isn't there, and (in my opinion) it's a lame attempt to get my visitors to jump to your offering, I reserve the right to kill it (or never publish it).
Questions are free. Answers may not be. I don't mind if you post questions – I try to answer them and even use some to inspire full posts. Some questions are great. But some are pretty extreme. They're better suited to getting consulting using my Clarity account. I reserve the right to let you know (directly) that the question is better suited for a call, and so the comment may not get published.
I may not reply. Some days I get a lot of comments and form entries from my contact page. This blog is a labor of love. That means I'll try to reply but it won't always happen. So even if I publish your comment, I may not reply.
Do you have a comments policy?
So there's my policy. Do you have one? Did I miss something?