The comments at my three blogs are always helpful, professional and polite, even when they disagree with my commentary. In fact, the only comments I reject are spam or comments that simply make no sense, usually because they are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. I am also a frequent commenter at other people's blogs. Recently, for the first time, I submitted comments that were not accepted by two unrelated blog owners. While my comments were thought provoking and polite, they did ask the bloggers to clarify some of the positions taken in their posts.
One of my comments was rejected because the blogger did not want to debate in public. The other never appeared at the blog, even though previous comments had been approved. I love blog comments, and I value the contributions of people who take the time to visit and share opinions, questions and comments at my blogs, even when they question or disagree with me. Here are my blog comment policies so you know in advance how I handle your comments.
- Registration is not required. I use the Disqus comment system, which makes it easy for you to create a profile containing your avatar, website link and other information. While I encourage you to use this commenting system, which increases your online visibility and boosts your brand, you are not required to do so and I will not reject your comments simply because you choose not to register.
- Reply comments and follow up questions are welcome. As you can see, Disqus allows you to reply to comments using a threaded feature. You don't have to use this feature, but I encourage it because it makes information easier to find and helps others put your contributions into proper context. I will not reject your comments simply because you choose not to use the threaded comment feature.
- Disagreement is welcome, nastiness is not. I approve comments that disagree with me or with other commenters. I will reject comments that are rude, nasty and disrespectful, especially if they are directed at another commenter. I will not send you an explanation if I reject your comment on these grounds.
- Comments containing poor grammar and spelling errors. From time to time, I receive comments that are riddled with grammatical and spelling errors. Most of the time, I delete them because lack of professionalism reflects poorly on me, my blog and the other people who comment here. On rare occasion, if such a comment contains helpful substance, I will edit and then post it.
- Spam is not tolerated. I reject all comments that, in my discretion, are designed solely to draw attention to your business or boost your SEO. If you want to expand your brand, buy an ad, hire an SEO expert, engage a publicist or learn how to maintain your own blog.
- Your comments belong to you. Your comments are your original works of authorship and your are their sole owner. People commenting here often contribute very insightful commentary and I like to share their opinions, with credit to them of course. When you comment here, you are giving me permission to share your comments elsewhere, including on my radio show, at my other blogs, at my social networking site, on Twitter, FaceBook and in presentations, talks and media appearances.
- I will not help you break the law. I reject comments that, in my discretion, are libelous, scandalous, slanderous, malicious, or that negligently disregard another person's legal rights or human rights. I will not send you an explanation if I do so. I will not send you an explanation if I reject your comment on these grounds.
- I have not decided on anonymous commenters. I have never had an anonymous commenter, but I have seen anonyimity adversely impact the experience at other blogs. I am leaving this issue open for the moment, and will reconsider it if necessary in the future. For now, anonymous comments are accepted.
Blog Comment Policies Lend Credibility To Your Blog
To maximize your success in business, you must embrace your role as the publisher of content that shares your ideas with as many people as possible. A blog is one of the best and most efficient publishing tools available. One of the reasons blogs are effective is because they facilitate open and honest communication between you, your customers, your competitors, your vendors, the media and other stakeholders.
If you accept comments at your blog, I urge you to maintain comment policies that lend credibility and professionalism to your blog, and which notify others of the practices you follow as you invite the public to participate.
If this topic interests you, you may wish to check out Michael Hyatt's post on his blog comment policies.
Question: What do you think? Do you have a comment policies at your blog? Do you think you need one?