Commenting on comments
I love it when people leave comments on my posts!
I have some of the liveliest discussions that way, and I’m pleased to have such inventive, articulate, and erudite readers.
I do wish it was easier to comment from the RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles)…no simple way from those devices. I do always provide a link to this blog at the end of each post, but I’ll admit, it’s not easy from RSKs.
On the Kindle Fire, when you are using the Pulse app, you can either tap the Web choice at the top of the screen (you can view posts as either “Web” or “Text”), or scroll to the bottom and tap, “Go to original article”.
If you get to this on the website at
then you’ll see a “Leave a comment” choice after the post.
Yes, I like getting those…usually.
There’s one weird thing, and I’m not quite sure how to handle it, so I thought I’d ask your opinion.
That’s when people use the comments for advertising purposes.
This seems to fall into three categories.
One is just the blatant, “Buy my stuff” variety…usually something that has no connection to what you and I discuss in this blog. Those are easy, I just trash those.
The second one is “backlinking”. The idea there is that you link to someone else’s blog by leaving a comment, and then a link your website is apparent to other people. If this is something like another Kindle blog, I’m not that concerned…I figure you might find that interesting. I’d obviously prefer that they are actually commenting on the post…never a problem with that.
The problem is when it appears to be done by software, and it’s clear that it isn’t really about the post. I think I’ve been linked to things like lawnmower websites and ones that appear to be…um…relationship based (perhaps adult sites)…sometimes in other languages.
Should I approve those? More links add to your visibility in Google searches, I believe, and I could just leave it up to you if you want to go there or not: you are smart enough. It just seems like it ups the noise to signal ratio.
I’ve had ones recently promoting
- free samples
- get a lot of facebook fans
- hummel figurines
The ones I don’t like are the ones that appear to lie and indicate that they’ve read the post, when they haven’t.
Here’s an example of a comment that was left:
“Useful info. Fortunate me I found your website accidentally, and I am stunned why this twist of fate didn’t took place earlier! I bookmarked it.”
It links to a purely commercial site.
Notice that weird “didn’t took place” construction? That seems to be common. It’s like a telltale sign from a science fiction work, where the aliens are impersonating us or people are possessed. You know, the way the pinkies of the aliens in The Invaders didn’t bend properly, enabling David Vincent to recognize them. If I were them, I’d just write, “Great post!” I wouldn’t think twice about approving that.
I don’t like those because they are dishonest, plain and simple. I place a high premium on honesty. I won’t lie to you, although I might try to persuade you through a clever choice of words. Sure, games and jokes are different, but I’m big on telling the truth. If an employee lies to a an employer about work matters, I would typically dismiss them (and I have done that)…that’s not something they can fix through a remedy plan.
That brings me to a third type I’ve gotten recently.
An author posted a comment…that’s wonderful, I love that! I like to hear from authors, and I think you do, too.
The comment was the first chapter of a book…okay, that’s kind of nice. Yes, people can generally get the start of a book as a free sample from Amazon, but still, nice to do.
After that, it just turned into an ad. There was a blurb from somebody praising the book, then “… is a bargain from Amazon at 99c”.
That stopped me from posting it.
I haven’t sold advertising on this blog…advertisers have a right to make money, but I don’t want you to think that I’m influenced by the ad revenue. I can’t say I’ve never considered it…I could make more money in a month by selling a “featured title of the day” mention, even for as little as $10. That’s just not my style. I know that WordPress sometimes shows you ads when you search for a single post, but I can’t control that.
So, I was torn about what to do. I considered stripping out the advertising part, but that didn’t seem fair to the author, really.
Oh, and I wouldn’t have minded the person posting the first chapter, and then signing the comment, “Aretha Writer, author of XYZ”…even if the XYZ part was a link to the book.
That’s not so…pushy I guess is part of it, but it seems like it is exploitation, I guess.
So, I’m asking for your opinion. Should I pretty much just approve all of the comments, even if they are irrelevant and/or advertising?
I know I tend to be overly strict on these sorts of things, and I’m just not sure if you are so used to advertising everywhere that it wouldn’t bother you.
Feel free to let me know what you think by commenting on this post…but I will be looking for those alien pinkies.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.