Do You Need A Commenting Policy?

What's important?

Some bloggers have links on their blogs to their commenting policy. It essentially is a list of things that commenters can or can not do on their blogs. I don’t blame people for having them but I don’t like them. They rub me the wrong way and if you’ll stick with me for a few minutes I will explain why.

But before we do that take a look at the following numbers and tell me what you see:

108.61.81.101

Now let me tell you what I see. I see an IP address for a would-be commenter. Those particular numbers belong to a person(s) who leaves multiple comments on each post but uses a different name each time.

Their comments aren’t of the usual spam bot variety. Most of them relate to the topic of the post and show that they have read what I have written.  Under most circumstances that is a formula that you can use to get your comments published.

However they almost always link to blogs that some people would call splogs, or spam blogs. And I almost always find these comments in my spam folder.

Why Do You Check Your Spam Folder?

I check my spam folder because sometimes legitimate comments wind up inside. I like having an active comment section and appreciate the time people take to leave comments. If you recall I see my blog as being similar to a big barbecue or cocktail party. Comments that are mistakenly identified as spam are similar to guests who get lost on the way to the party.

A good host looks after their guests and makes sure that those who are lost are taken care of.

But, I also acknowledge that there is a database that Akismet checks IP addresses against and if some numbers repeatedly show up there it might not be a mistake.

I also know that when I did some basic research I found through my stats that the person(s) who are posting these comments found me by using the following keywords ( “CommentLuv badge”+”recently posted”).

In other words they didn’t find my blog because they were looking for dad bloggers or writers. They didn’t find me because they wanted to know my thoughts about children or because they like my views on politics, religion or parenting.

They just came looking for some link juice to promote their blogs and the products that they sell there. I like to help people. I like to help my friends. If you need something and ask me I will try to help you.

But I tend to frown upon providing free advertising. It is not why I am here and it is not fair to those who pay for advertising on this blog. So let this be fair notice that I won’t consciously give it away for free. If you aren’t here because you want to be a part of the community and or aren’t adding value in some way than I won’t approve your comments.

It has been a few years since I was a bouncer but I haven’t lost my chops.  But I won’t establish a commenting policy either. You won’t find written guidelines because my guests don’t need one, they are better than that. This is still just a barbecue where we get a chance to grab a bite to eat and talk.

If you want to use this space to advertise/promote your products you are welcome to contact me. I am a Nintendo Brand Ambassador and have worked with multiple brands including Philips Norelco, Subway, Frigidaire and Mattel just to name a few.

That is all for now. Got to  get back to grilling my steaks and burgers, grab a drink and enjoy yourselves.

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13 Comments

  1. Kali Johnson February 17, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I typically find that my spam filter does a good job, but I have to look in there at least once a week.

  2. Hajra February 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I was just debating this the other day and figuring out what kind of blogs do have a policy and why do they have a policy. I saw Adrienne’s comment policy and it did make a lot of sense because she was clear on what she wants. Not in terms of opinions but in terms of the technical stuff.

    But the fact remains is it all depends on what people want out of their blogs and comments. Nothing that would bother me much I see. But yes, if I have to jump through a lot of loopholes; I just might quit.

    • Jack February 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Hajra,

      You are absolutely right. Blogging is in many ways quite subjective so it is not unusual or unexpected for us to have differing opinions and or needs.

  3. Bruce Sallan February 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I so agree with you, JB…I dislike commenting policies and especially having to go thru hoops to post a comment and then see, “awaiting approval” or its equivalent.

    I get a decent number of comments. I look and moderate my website all day, every day so if any are spam or simply inappropriate, they’re deleted. It ain’t that complicated!

    Do those who need approval of my comment really think they are THAT important?

    • Jack February 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Bruce,

      I don’t know. I think some people just feel more comfortable that way.

      But I figure if I want to build engagement I need to try to make it as easy as possible because as you said the hoop thing just doesn’t work well.

  4. Betsy Cross February 10, 2012 at 1:11 am

    I get about ten spam comments a day. I look forward to them. They are REALLY funny! I’m blessed that way!

  5. Chopperpapa February 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I’ve had that exact same problem with the exact same search key words.

  6. Janet Callaway February 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Jack, aloha. Truly appreciated your thoughts on this topic.

    Though I debated writing a Commenting Policy, I decided probably that those who needed it wouldn’t read it or adhere to it and thus it wasn’t worth my time to write it.

    It takes me very little time to check the Spam folder so I can put the welcome guests out front and show the others the back door.

    Thanks so much, Jack. Aloha. Janet

    • Jack February 10, 2012 at 12:06 am

      Hi Janet,

      I think that you are right and that those who really need to be made aware of the policy won’t read it.

      It is a minor pain in the ass, but I am willing to deal with checking the folder periodically.

  7. Jens P. Berget February 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Jack,

    I thought about adding a commenting policy after I read Adrienne’s policy. But, I stopped. I have also stopped using Akismet. I got way too many real comments in the spam folder, now I’m using GASP instead (via the CommentLuv premium plugin), I get very little spam after I switched.

    Like you, I love comments, but I want them to be legit and from people who are actually reading my posts.

    • Jack February 10, 2012 at 12:04 am

      Hi Jens,

      I use GASP and Akismet and overall I would say that I really don’t get all that much spam.

      It is only recently that I noticed this other crap floating around.

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