Blogging Like Life Is All About Choices

No matter where you go or what you do in life you are confronted with choices. You can make the right choice or you can make the wrong one. Unfortunately making the wrong choice has consequences. It will lead you down the wrong path taking you away from what you truly desire in life. However, that path will lead you to forks in the road that once again gives you more choices. Taking the right path can change your fortune whereas taking the wrong one merely increases your despair. Making the right choice isn’t always easy but then the easy choice can sometimes be the wrong one.

Blogging is no different. As bloggers we are faced with many choices.

Choices Bloggers Make

  • Do we use a free platform or do we host our own blog?
  • Do we use third party comments systems like Disqus or do we stay with the the preferred default one?
  • Do we stay nofollow or do we make the choice to reward our commentators and go dofollow
  • Do we choose to reply to as many comments as possible or do we just sit on the fence and let those comments go unreplied and for all they know unnoticed?
  • Do we use a paid theme or do we stick with a free one?
  • Do we allow keywords in the name field or should we insist on a name

Obviously bloggers are faced with many more choices than just these few and perhaps you could tell us some of the choices that you’ve had to make.

My Choice Commentluv Or FlexSqueeze

I actually had my own choice to make, one which came about when I updated to the latest FlexSqueeze theme. As you may have noticed in my last post, When Will You People Get A Damn Gravatar, commentluv was out of action. It worked fine in the last version but didn’t work in this one. There was no way I was getting rid of FlexSqueeze, not after seeing and trying all the new things Ryan has added to it. So, if I had to make a choice between the two I’m afraid CommentLuv would have been the loser and I didn’t want that to happen so I had to find a solution.

After trying the obvious things I decided to make use of Andy Bailey’s CommentLuv Support. WithinCommentLuv Suport 24 hours I got a response to the ticket, and Andy, you know I loves ya mate but most of that stuff was way over my head. It did however give me a hint; it had something to do with jquery and that meant either a plugin or one of the scripts I was running. Using Andy’s response as a guide I was able to pinpoint one offending script which was running an outdated jquery and replaced it with one that didn’t use jscript.

The next step was to disable all the plugins to see if it worked. OK, OK, maybe that should have been the first step :doh_tb: :cheese1_ee: Anyway, disabling all but the CommentLuv plugin showed that it was definitely plugin related. Then it was just a matter of enabling one plugin at a time until I found the offending one. As it turns out it was the InfoLinks plugin :guns_tb:  , so I deleted that and installed the script into the footer instead.

As you can see, all is well with the world and I was able to keep both the FlexSqueeze theme and the CommentLuv plugin but only because I decided to choose the harder path by trying to resolve the problem. :drunk_tb:

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When Will You People Get A Damn Gravatar

This post is very important so I want you to read it carefully and to pay very special attention because if you don’t you’re liable to do something wrong that will get your comment deleted. First off I want to ask you a quick question. Do you know why so many bloggers insist on an actual name and not a keyword? It’s quite simple really, because when they reply to the blogger they would prefer to know who the heck they are talking to. No-one really likes to say; “Hey Cheap Web Hosting, I really loved your comment because you added so much quality to my post……..” Nope, I wouldn’t put up with that, no matter how much grovelling you do, and neither would any decent respected blogger. If they have any sense at all they would do what I do and that is to delete your comment.

This post isn’t about using a keyword instead of your real name though, but it is about something just as important, it’s about taking the time to get a Gravatar. You know, that little photo that appears next to the comments that people leave. I’m getting a little tired getting comments that do not have a registered gravatar. In fact, I am so tired of them that I’m not going to accept any comment on this post that does not have a Gravatar!

Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?

In essence your Gravatar is your brand, that being the case it is just as important as using your name instead of a keyword, and seeing how its absolutely free why wouldn’t you register a Gravatar. Before you do though you may want to consider the following.

  • Even though you may have a company logo I personally suggest
    you use an actual photo of yourself as this is more likely to get people to trust you. I used to use a random graphic that I thought was pretty cute but it wasn’t until Icleavage started using a personal photo that I actually started making sales.
  • Ladies, even if you are endowed with a great set of knockers, please include your face as well, because if all I have to look at is cleavage I doubt very much that I will notice your content, and it is your content you want people to notice isn’t it?
  • This one is the most important of all, by not having a Gravatar it’s highly likely that some of your comments may come across as spam and that is the last thing that you want to happen!

So why wouldn’t you consider getting a Gravatar, especially when its free and so easy to set up. All you need remember is when signing up is you need to use the same email that you use when blog commenting because it is linked to that email. That’s it folks, so if you haven’t got one yet you had better head on over to Gravatar and get one now.

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How To Moderate Your Comments

Have you ever thought that something which you took for granted another person may consider to be of great value? It came to me the other day when I was going through some comments that perhaps there are people out there who are not quite sure how to moderate their comments. How exactly do you decide which comments are deleted or spammed and which ones are good enough to keep? After some thought I decided there would be enough people out there who would be interested in the criteria I use to moderate my comments to warrant me writing a post about it.

Those of you who are regulars know that any comment you leave gets published immediately, as I don’t believe in letting them go to moderation to be approved or denied at a later date. I do this to reward my commentators and because it doesn’t take me that long to delete unworthy comments, especially as most of the hard work has been done by the GASP and Akismet plugins.

Good Comments VS Bad Comments

Standing at the Gates of Hell

In Akismet Hell

Some time ago I wrote a post called Teaching People The Proper Way To Comment and reading that post is your first step on your quest for better comments. I pretty well let all comments through on that post giving them a grade out of ten with a short description of why they got that grade. Don’t worry, even though I accepted all comments I removed the links from comments I would normally have deleted. What I found to be a real hoot was the comments left by people who obviously didn’t read the post. Too bad for them and they probably never knew their score because they never had any intention of coming back, which is why you should delete their comments.

Now that you know how to tell the difference between a good comment and a bad comment you’re ready to learn how I determine which comments survive and which ones get deleted or even worse get sent to spam hell!

Not Following The Comment Policy

My Comment Policy is the first step I use to decide which comment gets the chop and which one is accepted. People who haven’t bothered to read it and make stupid mistakes like using a keyword instead of a name definitely get the chop. If it is a really good comment, one that adds value to the post, I’ll remove the keywords. There’s no point letting a good comment go to waste now is there?

Not Reading The Post

Way too many commentators think they can leave a comment without reading the post. They seem to think they can get a feeling for the post just by reading the heading and maybe even the first couple of sentences. Too bad they usually get it wrong and their comments have nothing to do with the post and so it get’s deleted.

Including Unrelated Links

If it isn’t enough that I have a dofollow blog and reward commentators with both commentluv and keywordluv plugins, there are still morons out there who insist on placing a link in their comment. I wouldn’t mind if the link led to a site that was related to the post itself but they usually have nothing to do with it and simply links to some unrelated site. These comments are sent straight to spam.

Not Enough Content

Commentators are getting pretty smart these days because they know what happens to comments such as ‘Good post’ and so they try to beat the system by leaving simple sentences that add nothing at all to the post, something like this one that I’ve just deleted; “Hey! It seems to be one of the impressive stuff you have shared with us.” Yeah, as if they think inane compliments would guarantee their comment. Nope, I love kicking these comments to the curb.

That’s it! Now you know how I work out which comments I keep, which ones I delete and which ones I send to spam. There is a very good reason why I am so strict with the quality of comments I accept on my blog and why you should be just as stringent with the ones on yours. The last thing a person wants to see after reading a great post is a whole lot of crappy comments. Seeing this tells them that the blogger doesn’t really care much about his blog. I don’t want to give them that impression about my blogs.

Do you follow the same criteria I do? Perhaps you do things differently and if so you would like to share your moderation technique with us.

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