Editor’s Note: I recently attended WordCamp Richmond, which was all about blogging using WordPress. I learned a lot, felt overwhelmed at times and was inspired to write several blogs. This is the second one. Part 1 focused on whether to create a blog and Part 3 will talk about communities and blogging.
One of the best parts of blogging is when someone writes a comment after I post a blog. The comment lets me know that I said something that resonated. My goal is to get to the point where there is a long comment stream because it means that the conversation is continuing.
When it comes to comments on blogs, there are three considerations.
- Should I respond to comments? “Yes! It’s building relationships,” says Bradley Robb, who spoke at WordCamp Richmond
- Should I allow comments? Yes, if you want to steer the conversation.
- Can I delete comments I don’t like? Yikes!
If someone posts that they liked the blog, I sometimes acknowledge the kinds words. I know I should do it every time. Sometimes, I get distracted, but really, it’s a compliment, and you should always acknowledge a compliment.
I have my blog set up that I must approve the comment in advance. Only once did I not allow a comment and that’s when someone made a wild claim that I could not substantiate and I feared it could lead to a libel issue.
One time, I made a grammatical mistake in my blog post. A reader sent me a comment. How embarrassing! I quickly revised the blog, and I allowed the comment to remain. I want my readers to know that their comments are appreciated.
Comments are a great way to keep the conversation going. At WordCamp Richmond Frank Fitzpatrick of Henrico County Schools (Va.) shared how students in his school district studied multicultural versions of Cinderella and then commented on blog posts about the topic. Students are taught early about internet safety. Commenting on blogs was a means for students to pull their thoughts together and share with others, Frank said.
When won’t I allow a comment? As I already noted, if the comment could lead to legal troubles, is offensive or is off topic. After all, this is a community of professional communicators, and I think everyone expects a level of professionalism.
Going forward, I hope to hear from more of you on the blog through comments. For those who are consistent posters, thank you! Your comments mean the world to me.