Saturday, August 19, 2006

Dare to Bare

by Osman Parvez


Comments, that is.

A few weeks ago I opened up the comment system on this blog. Anyone can now post a comment. You can also be anonymous, if you'd prefer and no registration is required.

Previously, comments on this blog were moderated and wouldn't appear until I approved them. I wanted to avoid spam and inappropriate/rude messages from being posted. Then I realized that this was also inhibiting readers from saying what they wanted. So I decided that as long as I responded professionally to whatever was posted, having an open comment system could only create more dialogue.

Since that time, I'm glad to see more comments and more dialogue. Thus far, I haven't found it necessary to remove abusive comments. So go ahead, speak your mind.

If you have your own blog, I highly encourage you to consider an unmoderated comment system allowing anonymous posts. At some point, if you're successful, you may decide to go back to a moderated system or enforce registration of commenters. That's a good problem to have (most high traffic blogs require registration to comment). Till then, encouraging dialogue is the way to go.

Background: I was prompted to write this post because I recently commented on a moderated blog. After a few days (and a few new blog posts), this particular blogger still hadn't approved my comment. Maybe it was because I didn't agree with the blogger's post, but my comment was respectful (of course). I was left scratching my head and frankly, I've now lost interest in revisiting the blog. That's what made me realize many people probably feel the same way when they leave controversial comments that go unposted. If registration is required, they may not bother posting at all.

Remember, blogs are conversations aimed at sharing information and fostering a sense of community. Preventing opposing views from being expressed is a fast way to tank your blog.


Image: Sylvar




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2 comments:

  1. Geeze. I go into hiding for a week and there's like, five hundred posts to read! Good stuff as usual, though. We're moving this weekend!

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  2. Sorry for the inundation! I'm aiming to post daily (and add contributors), as long as the quality of the content remains high.

    Where are you moving to? We're headed up to Aspen with some friends for the weekend (barring any last minute real estate activity).

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