Blog Comment Etiquette

August 2nd, 2004
General, Web Design

With the recent surge in comment spam and the renewed enthusiasm to arrest spam in comments, I have also been noticing a nasty trend in comment verification mechanisms. It might be my own irritability (due to a bout of influenza) that is propounding the problem, so bear with me if I am off the mark.

I read a lot of blogs and I like to leave comments. Your commenting system, be it because of some goofy spam moderation technique or in a futile attempt to curb incorrect XHTML, should not prevent people from leaving comments altogether. Without mentioning any names or blogs, I wish bloggers would consider their visitors to be more important than a few instances of comment spam or an incorrectly formed XHTML comment. If you feel like you need every commenter to register on your blog (or stand up on one foot and cluck like a chicken) or be able to form correct XHTML before they are worthy of leaving comments, you have already lost me as a visitor.

You might have the most well designed and standards compliant blog in the world, but if people cannot use it without expending a large amount of effort, your design is worthless and I, personally, refuse to visit it.




  1. helen (1 comments.) says:

    what I hate is this “polite request” that says: Your comment will be reviewed prior to posting to minimize comment spam. For how long should I wait? May I hope that my comment is going to appear some day? that’ really irritating!

  2. OF Jay (2 comments.) says:

    I think you’re not talking about a specific blog when it comes to the well-formed, valid, and perfect XHTML in ones’ comments, but I do have one blogger mind. I won’t name names here, but hit me up with an e-mail or something. I just want to see if we thought of the same person.

  3. Sherri (10 comments.) says:

    I just hope that WP never gets one of those comment plugins that obscures a person’s site via a redirect script. I hated those when MT blogs came out with them. I’d often mouseover a person’s name to see if I recognized their site.

    I’ve noticed that a few MT blogs that do that redirect thing have at least fixed it up so that a titled tooltip with the person’s website name shows up. But it seems not many MT’ers know about that, or care.

    I also don’t like auto-expiring comments (meaning after x days/weeks that no more comments are allowed). If someone would like to switch to fully moderated comments after x amount of time, that’s cool though. That’s better than just shutting them down altogether just b/c someone ‘might’ spam them.

  4. mog (4 comments.) says:

    I use WP’s default comment moderation and occasionallly find someone who can’t comment course then sometimes trackbacks don’t show up either, using nightly which is probably not the latest by now. I find also that I have to approve my own comments if I forget and include too many links. It would be nice if it recognized me. Something to fix in a new nightly I guess.

  5. Mark (34 comments.) says:

    I personally use Kitten’s comment moderation rather than moderate every comment.

  6. Aurora (2 comments.) says:

    What do you think about WordPress’s way of doing comment moderation? I have that set up on my site, but I wish I could define a “whitelist” so that people I know and/or who post often could be automatically approved. I feel guilty if I don’t read my email right away to approve their comments.

  7. Craig (19 comments.) says:

    Kitten’s comment tools are the best. They work great and are easy to install. I’m totally happy with them. My favourite one is the redirect to “advertise for a fee” page from here Comments-Pay plugin! A laugh riot!

  8. Podz (12 comments.) says:

    I agree.
    If I had a friend who, whenever I went round to his house, he insisted that before I enter I washed my hands, cleaned my teeth, brushed my hair, hung my jacket up properly and then when I got in told me not to mess the cushions when I sat down, I dare say I wouldn’t visit often.

    Same with commenting.

  9. vicki (1 comments.) says:

    Interesting post. I am new to blogging and added the list of “spam” words to my wordpress options. I think I have made things easy for visitors, but really not sure.

    I am also wondering if there is an article on “comment etiquette” and recently posted about the same thing in my blog. (and lol, hoping that mentioning that isn’t considered a bad thing)


  1. Inside Out says:

    Comment Etiquette Part 1

    Is there comment etiquette and do any of us use it?Since reading tickelbugs post Popularity: A Detriment for the Runner-Ups and Poop-Ons , I’ve been thinking about researching whether there is such a thing as comment etiquette, if so, what

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