what’s your comment policy?

by grechen on November 20, 2009 | RSS | FOLLOW ON TWITTER | FACEBOOK |

Do you HAVE a comment policy?

I was inspired to write this following Jane’s (from Sea of Shoes) decision to turn off comments on her blog. She says:

I have never seen the point of a feedback system on a personal style blog.
Whether people are telling me that they love my shoes, or that they admire my photography, or that they think I’m too skinny, or that they want me to stop smoking, or that my blog is a reflection of the cupidity of our generation, or that my life is going to be a vacuum of tragedy ….none of those comments are ever going to affect the content I produce for Sea of Shoes.

And I totally agree with her. 100 comments like “oh, I love your outfit” or similar add nothing to a blog in my opinion, except maybe allow the blogger to say she gets x number of comments on her blog. Negative comments do nothing either – as Jane continues to mention, it’s scary how many people take the time to delve into her private life and feel the need to tell her she’s doing it wrong. That has to affect her in some way; it’s hard to hear that from people who really don’t “know” you – but for some reason, they must continue to butt in.

So I actually applaud her for making this move – it’s empowering, and allows her to reclaim her blog as a place for her to post her outfits, and random stuff she finds interesting, without subjecting herself to the nastiness of random strangers. And no, just because she’s chosen to put her life out there on her blog doesn’t mean she “deserves” the public scrutiny that she’s getting – neither do “celebrities” – they are NOT role models, they are entertainers and we should not be concerned with their private lives. That’s what Jane is essentially – she’s a source of inspiration and entertainment. That’s all.

For me personally, comments are validating and a way for me to interact with my readers more intimately. I accept most comments unless they’re blatant “advertising” or if they contain a link to the commenters blog in the body of the comment. If I get a simple comment like “i like that” and the commenter’s web address is for replicawatches.com or something, it’s automatically deleted – I could choose to de-link it instead, but that’s not right. I don’t want comments just for comments’ sake; I’m interested in value.

How do you deal with comments on your blog? Do you have a “no-delete” policy? Do you accept every comment that comes in, whether it’s valuable or not? Do you feel like your visitors have a “right” to leave a comment on your blog?

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashe Mischief November 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I'd pretty much argue that my comment policy is similar to yours. I don't delete comments typically, unless they're of the spam variety. In fact, with the whole Lime Crime fiasco, she emailed me and asked me to take down two comments on my posts that spoke against her product. I chose not to, and rather wrote a disclaimer saying she had asked me to, but I felt it was against my editorial and comment policy. Why should I remove something where someone is so obviously passionate and upset, because she doesn't like it? Likewise, even if a comment seems "valid" but I can see it has a spam source, then I will remove it as well.

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grechen November 20, 2009 at 4:32 pm

you definitely did the right thing! i was also asked once to remove negative comments about an online boutique and refused. i do think it's important to acknowledge that the opinions are always those of the commenters, but other than that, people should be allowed to voice their concerns and dis-satisfaction with a company….

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thecoveted November 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm

i agree with having a comment policy, and on some levels i agree with her. i've been lucky enough to not get too many negative comments, and am afraid that day might come because of the overall changing of the blog landscape.

that said, i don't think scrutiny is all that bad. maybe jane shouldn't smoke. if everyone i know didn't tell me to quit smoking, repeatedly, I'd still be smoking (and this was before my blog). maybe lindsay lohan SHOULD get sober. maybe angelina jolie needs to get off her high horse. and maybe joe jackson needs to go to therapy (among other things).

sometimes criticism and scrutiny is the universe's way of telling you you're not on a good path. sometimes. not all the time though.

on my blogs, i allow comments that disagree with my posts, but there is zero tolerance for abusive comments, the line between that? well, it's case by case.

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grechen November 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm

you bring up a good point about the scrutiny – on some level i do agree, but i really feel like that should come from people who know & care about you in real life – not people who "think" they know you online. really, how much can you know someone from only reading their blog? but LOL at your comment about angelina jolie :)

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thecoveted November 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm

well, it matters to me what you would say!
<3

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grechen November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm

same for me :)

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grechen November 20, 2009 at 6:42 pm

i just left this as a comment over at galadarling after she linked to my post: http://galadarling.com/article/carousel-week-endi… – but wanted to mention it here: sometimes i think we get caught up in and identify with personal blogs so much that "we" start to think of them as "ours" or public property somehow. they're not. jane (or any blogger) is not obligated to approve certain comments, or any comments at all as a matter of fact ;-)

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fashionispoison November 20, 2009 at 8:28 pm

I can relate to this post 100%. I personally recently turned off my comment section because of the negative comments I was getting. They weren't a lot but I got one that really boiled me over the top so I decided to turn it off. The blog's owner has the right to make her/his blog about whatever they like! When people come visit your blog to question you, how you were able to purchase such and such item, how materialistic you are (oh the irony, they are visiting a fashion blog!), and how ugly/fat/skinny you look in that dress/pants/skirt…it can get hurtful. Or stupid. Naive girls get sucked into this whole material world very easily…say, did you hear about the girls who broke into Paris Hilton's home and stole millions of dollars worth of fashion related articles?! They were only 18! They have no idea what's coming to them in terms of how to survive in this world. They probably wouldn't know how much change to give back if they were a cashier at McDonald's and someone bought a Big Mac meal that cost $4.97 and gave them a $20 bill but they sure know how to 'study' these celebs every move and know when exactly to break into their homes. So, as to what someone's comment policy should be- whatever makes them happy!

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I.O November 20, 2009 at 8:35 pm

I think it is her personal choice to delete her comment section.It is her blog and I totally respect that. I applaud bloggers for allowing people leave unconstructive criticisms. They must have tough skin. I cannot stand people commenting on my weight when they know I am naturally skinny. Sometimes I think they wished they looked modeleque like me.Lol.

Love Jane. xx

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jacqueline November 21, 2009 at 12:26 am

i don't have a comment section for a while now cos they are all vain sycophants. why need to interact? i have no time for that, nor the need to make 'friends'. these people spend all their time leaving comments on one anothers blogs from ' the middle of nowhere in europe or the US'-where they have noone else to show their clothes to. isnt it pathetic?

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charlotte November 21, 2009 at 2:48 am

in theory, i agree: who needs a comment section to read about other people's opinions when people are generally dumb and envious. however, if the reason for deleting a comment section is because negative comments hurt your feelings, then it's buls**. if you're a big and confident enough girl to post pictures of yourself wearing designer's clothes, you should be big and confident enough to take a negative comment. if you don't want people you don't know criticizing you, then don't have a blog. either way, people can still say you're too skinny or too rich on twitter/facebook/real life walls or by creating a janesucks.com/gretchensucks.com website. so all together, it's a little immature to delete a comment section.

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Kate November 23, 2009 at 1:51 am

I really find value in the comments left by my readers. Of course there is the validation of having someone agree with a sentiment you've expressed or compliment the work you are doing, but there can also be great ideas put forward that you'd not considered. That's the beauty of online, it's about talking WITH your audience, not talking AT them. A recent post I did on twilight and whether or not the story and characters are worthy role models provoked some really interesting commentary. I think the value of comments is too down to the niche of the blog. Perhaps I wouldn't find value if my posts were photographs of my daily outfit. I'd find validation if people were constantly complimenting my choices but would it add value to the post or offer new ideas? Probably not. As for deletion of comments, I don't, unless something extremely offensive is written that is not useful or relevant (ie. homophobic, racist comments etc).

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Joanne November 23, 2009 at 2:56 am

I love it when I receive comments, but my blog is relatively new and I'm fine with receiving the few that I do. I don't have a photoblog though, and there's definitely a difference between receiving a lot of comments complimenting you on what you wearing (or being obscenely rude) or commenting on an article-type post. There's also a difference between a blog that receives 10 comments, to one that's reviving 80 – 100+ The scale is definitely relevant.

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