Every once in a while I get so caught up in what’s new and cool in the social internet I forget that not everyone is running at the same speed. I forget that people are coming into this as newbies and might have only limited experience and knowledge. So what was new to me in 2006 might be new to someone else in 2010.
One thing that’s come up recently is blog comment policies. It’s good practice for bloggers to publish what their policy is for comments; I thought I had, but this blog has changed skins and designs over the years and my guidelines seem to have slipped from the site. So, for clarity’s sake, please let me state how I handle blog comments.
1. I encourage comments. I like to hear from readers; I want them to share their views, opinions and knowledge. I value debate and discussion.
2. I moderate comments. I am not a control freak nor a dictator. Moderation protects me as a publisher and it protects readers and other commenters. Moderating is accepted best practice among professional bloggers.
3. I hate spam. This blog uses the Askimet filter to automatically filter out spam. Often some clever spammers do get around the filter. I try to identify these spammers and manually delete their comments.
4. I encourage linking. If a reader wants to link to their own blog or another online source in a comment and it adds to the discussion, they can feel free to do so. If a link is irrelevant and/or self promoting, I might deem it to be spam and will delete it.
5. I discourage bad manners. If your comment includes profanity, hate, is bullying or has other unhelpful and or hurtful statements I won’t publish it. This is partly to mitigate my risk as the blog’s publisher, but it’s also partly to help people feel safe to leave a comment in the confidence that they will not be ridiculed nor vilified for expressing their opinions here.
I’ve been blogging here since 2006, and before that I kept a travel blog for two years. I can count on one hand the number of comments that I’ve decided not to publish for one reason or another (aside from spam). I’ve also deleted two posts after they’ve been published at the request of third parties.
I try to keep things real here. Please dive in and let me, and other readers, know what you think!