Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blogging Idiosyncrasies Part Two

The first post sparked such a great discussion and so many viewpoints, I decided to continue and tackle few more issues and questions.

Word Verification and Blog Owner Approval

Some use one or the other - or both! Yvonne has been receiving mean comments, so I certainly understand why she uses owner approval. But, how does everyone else feel about these? Is using both overkill? I don't use either on new posts, but older posts require comment approval, and I seem to catch most spam with that system. Your thoughts?

Replying to Comments

Do you reply to comments, either on your post or on the blogger's site? I try to respond on my own, usually replying to several bloggers at once. But, how often do you go back to see if there's a reply? And does your blog email replies to those who comment?


What do you blog about? What types of posts garner the most comments? Those about writing, movies, contests, features, yourself? We know blogfests really jack up the comments! So do posts that pose questions and encourage interaction. What subjects do you think encourage visitors and comments - and which ones don't? (Some days, I really can't figure this one out...)

Okay guys, have at it! As Simon says, snarking is allowed.


Unknown said...

Great post, Alex! I missed part one; I'll have to go back and read it today.

I don't use word verification on my blog. Comments on posts older than two weeks require my approval, and I catch 98% of spam using that feature.

I've got to say, other bloggers' word verification takes a chunk out of my blogging time. It only adds, what, 30 seconds onto my visit time, if you count the time the box loads, me typing the nonsense word (sometimes twice), and then waiting around to be sure my comment posted. Not so much time...but, if I comment on 50 blogs a day (and I sometimes do!), that really adds up.

I like replying to my commenters on my blog, because I think new visitors enjoy reading through the "conversation." I know I enjoy it on other blogs. It feels more personal, somehow. But, I can't always find the time. When a commenter poses a question or says something that strikes me for some reason, I like to reply via email. And a short email exchanges really make a great connection with other people in the blogging world.

I always end my blog posts with a question(s). I feel that encourages interaction, and people are more likely to leave a comment. Regardless of the subject.

Okay, the little ones are calling for me to come downstairs. Something about wanting breakfast...

:D Have a great weekend!

DEZMOND said...

Well there are cases when some bloggers need to use WORD VERIFICATION, but generally it's an extremely irritating gadget and I know many people who won't comment if they have to waste time with that as well. W.Verification is acceptable only if you really have problems with spammers, but let's face it - if you get one spam a week you really don't need to molest your readers with that gadget, you can erase spams manually.

I always reply to comments, and go to respective commentator's blog to return the favour and plus I come back to see if they've left me an answer. I believe that people who do not do that are impolite and rude. The only excuse is if you are getting more than 30 or 40 comments on each post, but even then you should show some appreciation.

I get the most comments and visits when I publish a movie or TV news that I found myself. For example there are many TV shows and movies which were mentioned on my website at their very early stage of production and I was one of the first sites to write about them, so even today you can find my pictures and posts on those projects very high in Google list which generates new readers and visitors to my site daily. So, the point is to be original and creative :))

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

Wuestions, questions questions! I love them. Sometimes they give me ideas but even if I don't comment I always think.
WV-I stopped using it. The only spam I get is on an older post which I don't ok. (until the the other day when Colorful Anonymous commented.)
I comment if I have something to say or am moved by a piece. If it makes me want to write about it I link to the blogger from my site. Comments are emailed but I've been trying to figure out to answer back from my phone and I don't if I answer a comment if the commenter knows. Would love to know how that happens.
What brings comments? Can't figure that out either. Ones I least expect bring the biggest response.
You're sure full of questions today! LOL

Nighfala said...

The posts on my blog that garner the most comments are usually ones that address some aspect of writing that poses a difficulty to most writers. And contests / blogfests, for sure.

Polls and posts with an invitation for readers' opinions definitely help.

I try to respond to all comments, but also have less than 100 followers. I think when/if I ever get to be truly high volume, then it will be impossible to maintain that personal touch.

I have not needed to enable comment moderation so far. But the people I know who have done so have been forced to by spammers. I have temporarily had to use word verification because of spam, but took it off after a while.

I actually like WV. It can be funny and oddly appropriate, as well as a source of fantasy words.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I use word verification. As a IT person (and that my dad's blog was hacked once) I wish to make you jump through one hoop.

Commenting: Sometimes I comment and sometimes I don't on my own blog. I do comment on others. It's all about time. I have to choose what I do or do nothing.

Content: since I have different posts for different days, I find I have different followers on those days and then I also have those who read it all.

Great post!


Nighfala said...

By the way, I'm having a 100 Followers Contest that ends next week, and also a Rainy Day Blogfest on Wednesday. Please stop by and see my prizes!

Mason Canyon said...

I've tried to drop the word verification a couple of times but every time I do I get hit with spam. Some people are just lucky and don't have any problems with it. I try to reply to comment on my post and also visit that person's blog. Some days I manage fine and other days (like this last week) I don't do as well. As for content, I'm always surprised by what garners the most comments. Sometimes it's a post I think no one will care to read. I don't think there is a simple recipe other than just putting a post out there. Enjoyed your post today and all the great comments you're getting.

Cruella Collett said...

Ohmigosh, yes! The blog owner approval word verification thing! It bugs me to no end when people do that! I just don't see the point - if you're approving every comment, why making everyone also write a word of hard-to-read balderdash that sometimes doesn't even show up, or requires you to re-write because you got it wrong?

I had word verification for a long time, but I noticed that a lot of people disliked it, so I took it down. I got spam when I had it up, and I get some now (but the new Blogger feature spam filter is really working), but in the long run I am very happy that I took it down.

Also, I have something to admit. I am not so fond of blog fests. Some are okay - like the Dirty Dozen one you hosted - because it doesn't require a lot from the participants. But those that make you write something long-ish make me tired, and I skip participation and almost always skip reading as well. It's just too much work!

Unknown said...

Word Verification and Blog Owner Approval - Did you know Google has now a Span Filter on some blogs? One of mine has it. So far it's not caught any spam and only legit comments. I hate WV but I understand the need. I also hate BOA because I want to see my comment go up right away. I have WV on the posts that are three days old and more. My current blog posts are not open.

"Do you reply to comments, either on your post or on the blogger's site?" Yes. Unless I'm away out of town and sick. But, I like my readers to know that I value each comment. i don't email them a response though. I don't like that.

I have a weekly blog schedule.
Mondays: "Book Review" or "Author Interview" day.
Tuesday: "Mystery Writer's Guide to Forensic Science"
Wednesday: "Writing How-To"
Thursday: "Writer's Guide to Reading People"
Friday: "Writing Journal"
Saturday: "Grammar Guide"
Sunday: "Blogging Tips"
People love my writing and blogging tips. I think my book reviews are the least supported.


Karen Jones Gowen said...

I must be one of the lucky ones because I rarely get spam. However, I added word verif. for comments on posts older than 10 days so I don't miss them. I love comments & I don't want to miss a single one. Although I don't often reply to them. It seems kind of self- centered to expect commenters to return repeatedly to my blog just to see if I answered their comment. Another way I've found to use twitter. I can respond if need be that way. Also, if someone comments I like to return the favor and go to their blog and comment. So frequent commenters on my blog end up on my sidebar so that I can frequent their blogs as well. Everyone has to find what works best for them. I used to go back and check blogs where I commented to see if the blogger replied and then we'd have an interaction going, but I follow too many blogs and can't do that anymore. Again, it's where twitter comes in handy. Ha, finally finding a use for twitter.

Summer Frey said...

I don't mind the embedded WV, but I hate the one that loads up the page again with the word. Drives me batty. I took mine off long ago, and very rarely get spam.

I still haven't quite figured out the most popular topics, but generally something that people can share a strong opinion on and/or relate to. And that covers a lot of ground. :)

Jeff Beesler said...

I think however an author feels best about safeguarding their blog is probably the best way to go. Like everything else in the publishing industry, it really comes down to being a subjective matter. What works for one author might not work for another.

In the end, it just comes down to this: does it work for both you and your audience?

Ted Cross said...

I do think the owner approval is a bit much. It's not something that will keep me away, though.

I like to respond either in the post on my blog or by responding with email to them (though a couple of people, like you (!), for some reason never show up in my emails as having left a post.

Content - the ones that get the most notice seem to be the ones I think will get the least, and vice versa. I was really happy with some posts and thought people would be interested, only to get hardly any responses.

The most frustrating thing for me is that no one bothers with old posts, and I love my whole history of posting. I don't see any of those old ones as any less relevant than the new ones I post. Also, I don't think that most people are honestly interested; I think the majority come due to the blog game of tit for tat, and I only see a few that I feel really seem interested.

RosieC said...

It really bugs me when people use both word verification and approval. I don't see the point. It feels very controlling to me, and it makes me want to leave fewer comments on those blogs. I turned off word verification a while ago and haven't regretted it. I haven't really received any spam. While I have gotten a few, er, unpleasant comments, they haven't been threatening or anything like that, and people have a right to speak their mind and tell me they don't agree with me, so I don't bother with the approval, either. I can always delete a comment later if it's horrible, and I get email notification of every comment.

I try to reply to all of my comments. Sometimes it's hard, but I try anyway. When I know that the blog owner replies, I will check back (or subscribe to the feed), and if it's conversation-worthy, I'll reply again. From the emails I receive, if the registered email address of the user is also in gmail I can respond directly to them, but otherwise I can't (at least I think that's the system).

I try to stick to my life as it revolves around writing, or the craft. Sometimes I stray (awards, the occasional blogfest), but that's the main focus. People are much more likely to reply to questions, of course. The most chatter I've received on any post was about the woes of Twitter. *Everyone* had something to say on that.

All great questions. I also enjoyed reading everyone else's thoughts. Thanks for the post!


Thank you Alex for bringing this issue to the fore, I hate word verification myself but with the sort of comments I recieved not only on old post but present post I was disgusted. I don't mind critique about my poems.....thats part and parcel of writing but filth is another matter altogether.
I try to answer comments but don't always get around to doing it but in future will make it a priority, if someone is good enough to comment then it's only good manners to reply, you have my permission Alex to slap my wrist if I fail in

Have a lovely week-end

Karen Lange said...

Good things to ponder. I used to use the blog owner approval and word verification features, but stopped a while back. Haven't had any difficulty, but if I got a lot of unsavory responses I would enable it again. Like you, I have to approve comments on older posts.

I appreciate being able to comment quickly on a blog, so try to make mine as user friendly in this respect as possible.

I also try and leave readers with something to consider, usually a question, b/c I like to generate dialogue. I learn a lot this way, and get to know my followers too. I respond to comments, but I realize that most probably don't come back to read them. I don't always have time to send a separate email to each person, plus that info is not always available.

Thanks for asking! Have a good weekend,

RosieC said...

PS--to Ted: We all love our back posts. I'm new to blogging (my first post was May 31), and I'm currently following >250 blogs. I would love to go back and discover people's past content, but it's almost impossible. Reposting is a great option for those you love the most. I've really appreciated when some people do that. I also have the "You might like" links at the end of my posts. While I don't really understand how the program works, since things don't seem to be related (in my mind), it has gotten me some traffic on older posts. Just an idea :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nicole, I've timed it - out of an hour of blogging, at least five minutes is dedicated to word verification. And just dump a box of cereal in front of them - a sugar rush on a Saturday morning is vital for a child's survival!

You're right, Dezz. And I often get 40-50 comments per post, but I try to respond every 5-10 comments or so. And you are THE Hollywood Spy - you HAVE to stay on top of the breaking news!

Mary, I was feeling inquisitive today!

Christine, that's a positive way of looking at word verification.

Mason, some posts I put together I think to myself that they're lame, and then they rack up the comments like crazy. Guess I'm a poor judge of lame.

Cruella, the new spam feature seems to be working. And Cruella, I confess - the writing blog fests don't do it for me, either. I'm glad you liked The Dirty Dozen though!

Clarissa, I don't email responses either. And you have a great schedule - and of course, awesome posts!

Karen, I rarely get spam either. I'd not thought of using Twitter that way, though. Still like to leave replies here. Even if the original commentor doesn't see it, I might answer someone else's question later on.

Summer, I should've covered that - the various ways the comment box appears. I like a new box or separate page, because reloading the home page again takes time.

Ted, I can't figure out what will be popular either! Strangely enough, I do get comments on older posts. People do go back and browse.

Rosie, I don't get a lot of spam, either.

Yvonne, I'd do no such thing!

Karen, most don't come back, but it's nice to reply for the ones who do.

Rosie, that is an idea!

TS Hendrik said...

I don't use either. Most of the spam I get is on one really old post. I do occasionally respond to comments, but I found early on that too much of me responding got me less comments. Some people like it, some don't I guess.

As far as returning to check if someone replied, it's a question of if I remember. I read so many blogs that it can be hard to keep track. If I know someone responds, I'll usually try to make a concerted effort to check back.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I'm with Nicole. For me it takes too damn much time.

Life has been crazy the past few months so while I may not be hitting 50 blogs in a day, I do try to hit my list at least twice a week. It takes time to read them all and leave meaningful comments, then see if they post.

I don't require it on my blog. I've had one was rather disparaging fellow and he tended to come on anytime I had someone pubbed small press. I simply gave two warnings and turned him in to blogger. I can also utilize blocking if I feel the need.

I'm very present on my blog and do comment. I like to be sure there is a question or two at the end of each blog post to encourage conversations. Makes the blog fun.

I always check new ones who come by. Who they are, what their blogs and websites look like. I've found some great blogs that way. I'm not a tit for tat person but I do try to say something, if I can.

does your blog email replies to those who comment?

No, and if anyone can tell me how to set that up through blogger, I'd love them forever. That's one of the things I LOVE about posting articles to, every comment is sent to me. I love being able to do a quick scan.

I don't really follow trends or chase comments, perse. I usually have way more readers than comments and that's okay, reading does it's job for my guests. The focus of my blog is the writer behind the book. I usually get an average of 20 comments--enough to hit the search engines. I try to use Mondays as a personal blog day. Some days I get a lot comments, some Mondays I don't.

Matthew MacNish said...

I HATE HATE HATE owner approval, mostly because I like to proof-read my comment again, just in case, and on those blogs I can't even see it.

WV is not as bad, and sometimes even fun, as long as it's embedded. I hate the re-load version because I comment on A LOT of blogs and I have to do it quickly since I'm at work (shhhh).

I do the same as you. No WV, no approval, just approval on posts over one week old. I've only ever had about 5 spam comments and my blog is decently popular.

For replies I used to reply in the comments myself, I like that because everyone could see my reply. The thing is though, since most blog readers and comments are left in attempt to network, it is extremely rare that someone will actually come back and see that reply. I now reply by email. That's not perfect either, because some people have no email linked to their blogger account (, but it's not that many and it is more personal that way.

Content. Well the posts that are the most popular on my blog are the ones with guests, sharing successful queries. I think it's because it is helpful to other writers and because there is a strong sense of community in those posts. I do also post some non writing related stuff like personal info, or just funny stuff, but those posts are not as popular.

Writer said...

Alex, this is an interesting post.
RE: word verification and approval, I have to do it. I try to keep my blog as professional as I can. The reason: You never know who's going to stop by. I'll give you an example. A journalist visited my blog and as a result he contacted me for an interview. He wrote an article about my blog in our local newspaper. I've seen other fellow bloggers comments filled with spam, ads, and irrelevant comments. That's why I monitor mine.
RE: replying to comments, I'm very good at it. I respond to all of my readers' comments (whether I reply one by one or all in one post). I also visit the people I follow and leave comments (depending on the post, of course). RE: content, my blog is dedicated to helping aspiring writers so it's very stratight forward. I could use a light tone but I still manage to deliver good advice.
I try to post twice or three times per week. My readers know this.
Happy writing!

Charles Gramlich said...

I always do comment on comments and I hate the word verification thing. Half the time it takes me 2 or 3 tries to get it right and get a post through.

Jay Watson said...

Great post and great questions Alex.
I use both verification and approval for my blogs. I do this primarily because I'm advertising them both as rated F2 (Family Friendly) and just don't want to take any chances with inappropriate spam.
I alway try and reply to comments's just the neighborly thing to do. You my friend, with a huge multitude of followers have it far more difficult.

Eliza said...

Don't use either unless its an old post, maybe I've just been lucky but not been spammed yet!

Old Kitty said...

What's snarking?

Anyway!!! I know so many who hate the word verification thing and so many who have disabled them for convenience. I kind of like the word verification - i don't mind it on blogs because sometimes the words thrown up are hilarious! Then again that's just me! LOL!

There are wordpress blogs that ask for name, email and blog address everytime I comment so for me that's more time consuming but again, not a problem for me!

Replying to comments - oh I do read all my lovely comments and reply via email or on my next post in general. I used to reply to each comment but I realised the best thing for me to to is to comment on their blog instead and regularly.

Charlie gets most of the comments!

Take care

Southpaw said...

Word verification AND owner approval is too much, but I had word verification. There are times – and a lot lately – that the word graphic isn’t there just the evil red “x” and I have to reload the page. Then I can read it.

I’m like you. Most recent post comments just post, older comments I verify. I’m hoping with the new comment system that more people will drop the word verification.

I’m responding more to comments and have found people really do come back for the answer to their questions.

I try to ask a question related to my post that I’m curious about. I think it helps when people want to comment but don’t know really what to say.

I never know what will cause that comment response. Things I think will only get a couple comments and vice versa. My most commented on post had pictures I took of mushrooms in the woods. –They were really cool mushroom though.

Gail said...

I never go back to see if someone answered my comment. I prefer a personal reply.

Comments come to me by email and I try to personally respond to each one. I value each comment so I always try to answer.

I write about what ever suits me at the time. It seems my Sunday Walks and disasters get more comments.

I really get frustrated with word verification. I would just like to comment and move on.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sia, nice to know spammers can be reported. I prefer my comments here rather emailed directly. That way everyone can see them and I'm not jamming up someone's inbox.

Matthew, I like all of your posts.

Claudia, I check comments often, too. I find most spam comments appear on older posts, which is why I require approval on those, but not on my newest post.

Charles, the word thing trips me up on every other attempt.

Rogue, it's not that tough! I enjoy interacting with all my followers.

Kitty, you're really good about replying to comments! And snarking? Being sarcastic.

Holly, glad I'm not the only one clueless about what attracts comments. This post hasn't even been up six hours yet and it has about 30 comments. Whoa!

Helen Ginger said...

I started using word verification this year when I began to get hundreds of spam comments. They were on old posts, though. I may go see how to change it so the verification is only on older posts and see how that works.

I reply to comments left on my blog...on my blog. When I leave a question, I'll sometimes go back to see if the blogger answers it. Sometimes the blogger will email me directly with the answer.

Sarah Callejo said...

I've thought about this too so it's great to read your post
I get annoyed with the word verification system. It only takes a moment, but I still find it annoying.
As to replying comments, I try to on my own blog and try to visit other blogs but I don't usually go back to see answers unless I asked something.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Helen, it's real easy to set it to verification on posts older than BLANK days. Try it for a week or two and see what happens.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

I'm glad I stopped by, because I didn't realize that most people -including me- dislike WV and owner approval. I am still using WV because I was afraid of spam, but for what I gathered today, it's not that bad. I will change my settings. :-D

If someone comments on my blog, I prefer to visit his/her blog and leave a "thank you note" and/or a comment on their newest post. I get email notification when someone leaves me a comment.


Pat Tillett said...

Word Verification / Owner Approval
Using both is way beyond overkill. If not for spam, I wouldn’t even use “owner approval.” Also, I darn sure wish folks would switch to the little pop up window for comments. It sure saves time.

Replying to Comments
I try to respond to every comment. I know it’s not required. I just want people to know that I appreciate that they took the time to read, or look at, what I posted. If I left what I consider to be an interesting comment, I may go back to see what happened afterwards. At some blogs the interaction between the people commenting is funny and interesting, so I go back there for sure.

My blog is certainly all over the place. Probably more so than most! I’ve combined three blogs into one. I post stories, photographs, poems, and “semi-chapters” of what I hope will end up being books.

I had a total photography blog (As I saw it), a horror blog (Lusus Naturae), and my regular blog. The first two still exist, but I’ve stripped all but the bones off of them. I think the posts that garner the most comments are the ones that are interesting or funny. What day of the week, or time of the year, also have a big impact on comments

Quiddity of Delusion's Rolling Revue Tour, feat. Bob Dylan on bass and Kiki Dee on pedal guitar said...

I try to respond to comments but I don't leave novels like some of these people. These nice people, I should say. You are all very cute, and some of you look handsome in loafers.

Quiddity of Delusion's Rolling Revue Tour, feat. Bob Dylan on bass and Kiki Dee on pedal guitar said...

Actually I hate it when people "approve" comments. Esp. on blogs with no spam. It's just arrogant and paranoid.

Cheeseboy said...

The amount of comments I get seems to be directly tied to how funny my post is.

I don't respond to comments. I tried, but I have been getting so many lately that I was spending more time responding than actually reading and commenting on other's blogs. I figure they would rather me read their blog than respond to their comment.

I don't use word verification or approvals. I have yet to be spammed.

Chuck said...

I personally find the word verification a little annoying. I only follow a couple blogs that use it.

The blog owner approval doesn't bother me and it makes it easier to keep up on comments. Now that blogger has made the comments referenced to the original post I like it even more. I don't feel I'm being arrogant or paranoid but since I don't check my email as often as I check my blog, it is easier to read all the comments in one listing.

I usually try to respond to comments, and several of the blogs I follow take a similar tact. I will respond to one or many depending on the numbers of comments to publish when I log in.

Even after 7 months I am still trying to learn all the ins and outs of blogging. Many blogs I follow have been good mentors, Particularly Pat Tillett's blog.

My content is really random. I have kept a running title theme for each post (got the idea from the Badass Geek's - In Which I..). It's hard to tell which posts will trigger a flood of comments or none at all.

I am sure others out there are like me and just don't have time to comment on every blog they read everyday. Also some blogs don't always need comments one example is the Cinema Obssessed site. I read every one of the posts (which are volumous) but only comments on maybe one out of ten. I love those girls!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Doris, just set it up for older posts and you should be fine.

Pat, the pop up window or the comments only page are best.

Comments are your humor-meeter, Cheeseboy?

I'm still learning as well, Chuck.

Arlee Bird said...

On Monday I am going to expound more on the topic of "Comments", but in regared to the questions of this post:

Word Verification and Blog Owner Approval

Got rid of it except for older posts. So far no problems. I still don't understand the point of the spam. Some of it makes no sense-- why do they do it?

Replying to Comments

I try to reply on my site to almost every comment that I receive. I rarely repond by email or on the commenter's site. Don't know how many of my replies are seen, but I plan to address this issue on my post this coming Monday.


I blog about anything that happens to come to my mind. I try to experiment and be flexible. The blogfests can be fun and increase following, but as said before they can be a lot of work. I think they only increase comments because of the interaction with other paricipants, which can be good but is time consuming. I still haven't figured out what gets the most comments. I get some pretty fair response on my Debate Day topics and on my Monday topics. The posts that are my favorites and that I would really like people to ready and comment upon usually get the least response. I guess if the topics are more general that a lot of people want to say something about, then they are more apt to react.

Tossing It Out

Jemi Fraser said...

I removed word verification a couple of months ago and it's been fine. I do know of Yvonne's troubles and 1 other person (who's an absolute sweetie as well) who's had troubles, but I've been lucky so far.

I respond to my comments on my blog - seems to give it a conversational tone - and some people have mentioned how overwhelmed they are by the number of emails they already get.

My content is generally writing focused - but I do wander a bit. I like finding out how other writers think and do things, so my posts generally end in questions.

I have no idea which posts generate the most comments - I did install Stat Counter, but to be honest I tend to ignore it for months at a time... I should probably pay more attention to that kind of stuff. :)

Doralynn said...

well, you've seen my blog, so you know I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to blogging... I'll just follow yours and Clarissa's blogs (and some of your faithful followers) for awhile and see if I can figure it out.

Velvet Over Steel said...

I find that I seem to get more comments from my 'happy' post and those with questions than even my serious 'helpfull' post. I think that's interesting.

I usually forget to check back for reply comments. I was responding/thanking with emails... but work and home got super busy this month and got a lot of comments. I am way behind, and decided to focus on visiting my comments first.

Another Great Post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee, I reply like you do and don't intend to ever use the email feature.

Jemi, I agree about the emails. And I forget about my stat counter, too.

Doralynn, that's how I began - just watching others.

Velvet, that is interesting.

JournoMich said...

Hate the emails! STOP sending me emails, people!

I used to do word verification, but found people were not seeing it before going on to another page (I've done this myself on others' blogs), and I didn't want to lose comments. It's easier to stay on top of comment spam.

Happy Birthday Blogfest at SouthernCityMysteries

Jules said...

I think we are all cyber-voyeurs. Seems we all enjoy peeking into another.

Just wanted to thank you for the prayers and say please continue.

Your great Alex. :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Talli Roland said...

I hate word verification! I HATE IT! I'd rather people approve comments than make me do it.

I try duck into comments on my blog every once in awhile to let people know I'm there and reading them. But because of the time difference, most of the comments come when I'm sleeping, so it's really hard to do. I think the best thing is to leave comments on their blogs in return.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michele, I agree.

And Talli, tell us what you REALLY feel!!

pseudonymous said...

I blog about honest authors.
Expose double dealing publishers.

Glynis Peters said...

When I get too many chinese symbols on my comments, I will turn on the 'control' button for a few days. It seems to put them off for a few months.

I blog about anything in my writing day/life.

The Old Silly said...

Good subject, and I can see it has engendered a bevy of response! Personally, unless you are having real bad spam problems, I consider it rude to make commenters jump through word verifying hoops and then wait for blog author approval to see their comment appear. And if I don't get the word thingy right the first time, I'm like, "Whatever" and I leave for a more friendly and amenable blogger to comment on. that's me.

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

i agree with Christine. Most comments come when I'm writing about writing. However, with the release of my latest, a historical fiction featuring Texas' version of Rosie the Riveter I've been featuring true iconic figures and still manage to get a few comments. But with wordpress I have no clue how many followers I have.

Wordpress allows comments to be posted immediately unless the commenter is a first time poster to my site. After that they go right through. Wordpress has a great spam filter! So--pluses and minuses between the two.
Sylvia Dickey Smith

A War of Her Own

RaShelle Workman said...

Hey Alex - I read your post yesterday and didn't realize I was using WV, so I took mine off.

*I like replying to comments. I think it's fun.

*With content, it seems I get the most comments when it's something I love and am happy or wondering about myself and my writing. But, truthfully I'm still trying to figure it out.

I really enjoy interacting with people and getting their feedback and comments. =D

CA Heaven said...

I’m using word verification to avoid spam. Sorry to those who comment that they have to go through this hazzle, but it’s apparently necessary. I’ve never received unpleasant or hostile comments, so I don’t need owner approval.

I usually reply to comments, one by one. My blog has relatively few readers and commenters, so it’s manageable, and it’s fun.

Regarding content, I just write about whatever comes to my mind; sometimes about a subject that I’m interested in, sometimes diary-style, sometimes fiction. I write the diary stuff first person and the fiction 3rd person, to let the readers know which is which. No plan and no posting schedule. No ambitions. It’s just for fun >:)

Cold As Heaven

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glynis, that's a good trick.

Marvin, no hoops here except on older posts, I promise.

Sylvia, Blogger just started a new spam filter that seems to be working. Although I've not had a problem in the past.

Good for you, RaShelle! And I like interacting as well. Obviously!

Cold, I almost never receive spam, even on older posts requiring my approval before comments go live.

Unknown said...

i have not gotten mean comments yet.. but if I did I would start to do that too...

Liza said...

How's this for embarrassing: I don't know if I use word verification or not, nor do I understand how it inhibits spammers. Off topic, but somehow Google realized I was getting spammed with Chinese fortune cookie comments, and although I still get emails indicating I receive them, they are no longer showing up on my posts.

I tend to comment by email to comments that need further response. I don't think people come back and check my comments section for follow-up, so I only add my two cents to that occasionally.

Anonymous said...

I lost the word veryifer as soon as I joined the BBT group and opened my blog for the first time. Annoying little bugger that thing is. And I used the comment moderator until recently as I had some real j@ck@$$e$ leaving rude comments.

Ans I reply to most or all comments, clustering responses to every four to six comments. I don't respond to each comment with a comment because I think that looks a bit bad, like people are padding their comments numbers. Just my opinion though.

And I write about four different catagories. Blogs about the industry as a whol and blogs about the latest and greatest in physics and how these discoveries may line up with events in the Bible and our perception of our place in the universe generate the most comments for me.

Tlaking about myself is okay as long as I relate it to my experiences in bringing my book to market, promotions, and sales.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Liza, you can check your setting to find out.

Stephen, I respond to groups of comments as well. Most of my posts are about things I like, but I rarely talk about myself. I'm just not that interesting.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've never used word verification or owner approval. Both features are annoying.

I've gotten better about replying to comments on my posts. Never realized people liked to see that.

I have some standard posts. I'll mention my books when they come out and I am touring, but I try not to talk about myself all the time. Those who do seem egotistical and it becomes annoying.

Natasha said...

Great post, Alex.
Word verification I had for a couple of weeks, but removed because people told me they found it difficult to navigate it. And I see no reason to have it on, since I have not been spammed yet. Comment moderation I have for posts over 4 days - just a random number, since I have been told spamming is on older posts. BUT, if I did get nasty comments, I would definitely turn moderation on again.
I do eventually reply to all the comments on my blog, and I return the visits of all new users. Users I follow, I am not that particular about, because I know I do read their posts in any case.

Powdered Toast Man said...

in the beginning I used word verification but not for awhile. I never got any spam. I don't approve my comments. Whatever people have to say, I'm willing to hear it, good or bad.

I reply to comments through email. I find if I post a question of someone's blog and they don't email me an answer I don't go back to check their blog for a response. It's too much work. I think everyone should have their email linked and reply to comments this way.

I never know what gets the most comments. Each week and day is different.

Hannah said...

I reply to those I can via email and all others on my page. If I have a question and I see they haven't gotten back to me, I usually email them personally or go to there blog and leave a comment.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Easily annoyed, Diane? Yeah, I couldn't talk about myself. I wouldn't know what to say.

Rayna, I'm set up the same way.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I know this is an older post, but I take a blogging break every weekend so some fall through the cracks. I found reference to this via Arlee's blog and wanted to join in ;)

Word verification combine with owner approval on new posts is a pet peev of mine. One or the other is sufficent. I can understand if you have both for older posts because there aren't that many options in the tools. And its a great way to track old posts.

I reply to comments on my writing site (not so individualised on my faith site since most of the time it's everyone agreeing so there isn't a whole lot more to say). I will always also comment on the commenter's blogs too.

I haven't yet worked out what gets the most responses -- apart from making LOTS of comments on other people's sites.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynda, maybe lots of comments is our secret.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Alex -- I don't have any comment security options in play yet...but I'll add them in if I start getting hit with ugly comments or a lot of spam. My blog is almost 16 months old, so I think I've been lucky to escape this long.

Comments -- I'm not consistent. If I'm home all day I might respond to every comment, but when I'm busy, I'll just add a couple of comments to the group during the day, maybe answering a question or a specific unique comment. What seems more useful is to zip over to my visitors' blogs and leave comments there. Do I go back to each one to see if they've responded to my comment. No, not as a rule. I just don't have enough time to do that for every blog I visit.

Blog content. I think humor is great, especially writerly humor and L. Diane Wolfe's cat sillies). I like to see good photos on posts. I like to know about a writer/blogger's life and interesting things about his environment and experiences, both personal and writing-related. And I like hearing how a writer is promoting his work, new small publishers, and agent searches.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, I follow some silly blogs as well.!

Sangu Mandanna said...

Just discovered this series of posts, and they're fantastic, Alex!

I don't have a problem with Owner Approval (although I don't use it), but word verification annoys me sometimes. Most of the time, though, it doesn't matter.

I try to reply to comments on my blog, but sometimes I'm just not around for most of the day and comments will come in and I won't have a chance to reply. But I do try to return every comment I get by visiting that commenter's blog.

Hmm... what do I blog about? Good question. I think it's pretty much everything. I do talk about myself, but not all the time (I hope) and I particularly love talking about books or writing or, you know. Stuff I love. There's no point blogging about it if you're not passionate about it.