Lake Erie Moose Society

blogging on the south shore of Lake Erie

Once you've created your blog and begun posting regularly, it's nice to allow visitors to leave comments on your posts. Mutual commenting provides writers with valuable feedback and helps build community.

If you're using Blogger, take a tour of your settings. It's a tab in your Dashboard next to the one you use to create new posts. The subsection for managing comments is shown in the screenshot below (click to see a larger version):

Many of the relevant settings are pretty self-explanatory, but farther down the page, there are a few that bear explanation.

In "Who Can Comment", users with "google accounts" means that a commenter can identify themselves by their gmail username. "Registered Users" means people who have registered with Blogger - so once they've created an account on your blog, they can use it to identify themselves on any other Blogger blog. This feature also allows commenters to use OpenID and possibly other third-party comment tracking systems. There's a whole world of services out there!

"Comment Moderation" allows you to read people's comments before they become visible to other readers. You might enable this if comment-spam becomes a problem. Of course, that means you have to stay on top of things in order to allow conversation to flow.

"Show Word Verification" will force commenters to type the letters of a CAPTCHA before the comment will be accepted.

Lastly, here is Google/Blogger's help page on the subject:
http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answe...

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Tags: blogging101

Comment by Heidi Cool on November 17, 2009 at 5:59pm
Jeff,
Using this space to share such tips is a great idea. And for those who are hesitant about allowing comments, I highly recommend doing so. While we worry about negative feedback, unless you are controversial it is far more uncommon than you would expect, and you always have the option to respond or delete (only recommended when really necessary.) Sometimes a negative comment gives you a chance to open a dialogue and clear up any misunderstandings.

I don't like rude comments, but comments by people who disagree with my point of view give us a chance to discuss the pros and cons of the issue.

And from what I've seen most comments are more positive statements that add to the conversation and let you know if you're on the right track. All in all allowing comments allows us to offer more content and engage in conversation with our readers.

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