Comment Thread Management

Your Favorite Comment Management

Blog Authors (BA) have different methods of interacting with comments on their posts’ threads. Below are a series of three polls for you to tell us your favorite thread management methods. Of course I have my favorite methods (as you’ve seen) but maybe I will change my opinion depending on opinions I hear from commentors on this post. So thank you.

BA Censoring:

  • Approval Screening: Some BA hold all comments for approval. Thus having comments that seem to ignore each other.  Though frustrating for commentors, the BA can thus totally control content and the BA’s controlling is invisible.
  • Deletion Screening: Some BA do not censor comment before posting.  Instead, they only delete those that grossly violate blog comment policies AFTER they are posted.  This can make the BA look mean.
  • No Screening: Some BA don’t delete anything. Any language, any accusation, any content is allowed in their threads. “Freedom of Speech” is their motto.
BA Timing:

  • Continuous Interaction: Some BA continuously respond as the comments unfold in the thread.
  • End Thread Interactions: Some BA waits for most of the comments to be in before saying something
  • Rare Interactions: Some BA rarely, if ever make comments.  They prefer to leave the thread space for commentors.  They may, for example, they may only respond to direct questions.
Grouped or Individual Replies:

  • Grouped Replies: BA combines his/her replies to several commentors thus sparing followers from getting many e-mails.
  • Individual Replies: BA feels each comment deserves and individual comment reply.
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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Comment Thread Management

  1. DaCheese

    My voting basically amounted to “keep doing what you’re doing!” I didn’t vote on the grouping since I don’t have a strong opinion there.

  2. I like the new look.

    I’ve found that, even though my posts are sometimes polemical, and concern topics that are known to upset people, I’ve almost never needed to censor anything. Once a year, or less. (So, for me, deletion screening works.)

    The commenters on my sites are remarkably respectful of each other and willing to engage in genuine dialog, even when they disagree strongly. Obviously, not everyone is so lucky, and then greater screening may be appropriate.

    I think “no screening” plus “rare interactions” is an invitation to flame wars and spam. Frequent interaction from the BA is probably totally necessary for civil discourse. Ideally, the BA simply sets the tone by example, and commenters pick up on that and go along with it. Explicit mention of moderation is rarely necessary.

    This is a LOT of work, and not all BAs will have the time, or consider it worth their time.

    For me, and for many other BAs, the comments are an integral part of what makes the blog worthwhile. I learn from them; but more importantly, readers learn from each other. And it automatically gives a diversity of views on the subject.

    Obviously, I think you have an exceptional community of respondents here, and that’s part of why I read your blog.

    I do a mixture of group and individual replies, as is convenient for me. I’ll be interested to hear opinions about which is better and why.

  3. Hi Sabio, I think the new set-up looks nice! I agree with DaCheese, the way you’ve been doing things works fine! Keep up the good work.

  4. I don’t have any particular strategy for posting articles or responding to comments. My two blogs are self-hosted WordPress operations, so that’s the only platform I have any familiarity with. I wonder how WP differs from Blogger or other platforms relative to your questions.

    Anyway, I’m set up to approve first-time commenters. After that, no approval is necessary. I don’t respond right away for two reasons. First, I may not have the time for an immediate response. More importantly, though, I like to give myself time to think over the comment and my response.

  5. Comment management style should be contingent upon the nature of the blog. Eating disorders are vicious; thus at my blog, comment moderation is necessary to protect both me and the reader. A blog strictly about fashion? That’s a different story. I answered the poll questions with regard to my management style. Interesting post!

  6. This blue design is cool & I love the fonts of title! (I’ve answered the questions.)

  7. exrelayman

    First, I don’t have a blog and am not aware of how much effort is involved in comment management. I do not have opinions about how I would like you to do things and am simply too ignorant to be able to meaningfully interact with your poll – so the best I can come up with is do things how you would like to do them.

    Second, that said, I am very grateful for the effort you make to provide us some interesting material. Since you go to that much effort, managing comments in a way that is easiest to do seems like a good idea to me – with the possible disclaimer that managing comments in the way you most enjoy may not be the easiest way.

  8. Jessica

    Love the change!

  9. I allow people to post pretty freely. I also try to keep up wit interaction, since some of my posts I leave out my complete thought in order to create discussion. I found in the past, the more it looked like I covered every base, the less
    comments it drew.

  10. @ James, DaChese, exrelayman, Jessica & Roni
    Thank you

  11. @ Nichole Marie Story
    Indeed, style needs to match the blog’s nature — very good point.

    @ David Chapman
    You are my model for a highly skilled threat manager who almost magically hypnotizes his commentors into generous civility. You are an artist. I am glad I have models to help me remember to try and return to productive, fruitful encounters. Thank you. And thanx for the comment.

    @ John Barron
    Interesting point. Also, asking question of those who comment can help. What sort of comment moderation mistakes have you made?

  12. eeh, not everyone answers questions, not even ones which are the main focus of the post. I suppose it depends on your people. But moderating every comment I think is a mistake. not only is it a pain to have to check them before allowing them, you pretty much allow them anyway and it retards commenting. When comments simply post, you can have discussion immediately instead of waiting for comments to post.

    But there are a few people I hold in moderation, even though I usually allow them anyway.

  13. @ John Barron,
    I do not hold any comments in moderation.

  14. I would really rather not, but so goes life. The 3 or so people I hold in moderation, their posts end up being posted anyway, so maybe its a usless practice in their cases.

  15. @John Barron,
    But the question I was trying to ask you above was:
    “Over your years of moderating comments, can you tell us a few mistake you have made?”

  16. Ok, specifically: there have been a couple threads where the discussion got horribly off topic, a major pet peeve of mine. I tried to bring it back to no avail. I ended up deleting many of the comments, which in hind site wasnt really necessary. It’s not like cancer was cured because of it.

  17. Love the new look.

  18. TWF

    I digg the title font! The design… I think you’re on to something, but it needs just a little tweaking.

    For some reason, it took a little longer to load this time, but that may just be an anomaly.

  19. @ John Barron: Thanx, good example.

    @ Adam: Thanx

    @ TWF: Let me know if the slow-load persists. I may have to pixel-down some tiled background pngs.

  20. I don’t blog anymore, but for my personal blog I would only delete offensive or spam comments and leave the rest. For my potentially more controversial blog I held all comments at first, but once you commented, I could white list you, allowing your comments to post immediately.

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