Book Blogger Confessions is a meme hosted by Karen at For What It’s Worth and Tiger at All Consuming Media that asks a different question of book bloggers twice a month. I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about the ‘back side’ of book blogging and what it really involves. Today’s question asks:
The holy grail of blogging success! What type of posts do you leave comments on? How do you try to encourage more comments on your blog? Do you respond to people who leave comments on your posts? How do you handle negative/spam comments? Do you use captcha?
I’m going to come right out and admit that I find it hard to leave comments. All the time, I’ll find myself reading something that I like and then I’ll click over to the next post in my reader or email without commenting. Often, I’ll hit the back button and remind myself to say something. Usually, all I can think at first is “Great post!” or “I liked your review.” But I know those are considered useless, so I won’t bother. And if I’m not feeling very witty, and I just can’t think of something, I’ll just skip it.
I try to remember to ask questions in my posts, like “What do you think about this?”, or “Have you read this book and what did you think?” which seems to get people to respond with a comment. I’m just happy when someone comments on my reviews, even if it’s just to say “Great post!” I know that sometimes that’s all they’re really thinking, so I really do appreciate that comment.
I ALWAYS read the comments and I’d say I comment on every 4 out of 5 comments. If I have a bunch of “Great review!” comments in a row, I’ll usually say thanks on every other one or so. It just feels silly to keep replying “thanks!” over and over. But if someone makes a comment that says something other than that, I will comment back.
I haven’t actually received a negative comment yet, but as long as it is a valid comment (and not just name-calling or being abusive), I’ll let it stay. I have a tendency to go off without thinking, so when I do get a negative comment, I’ll make sure to take some time and thoughtfully form a response instead of yelling back “NUH UH! YOU’RE A POOPY HEAD!”
I DO NOT use Captcha and I think it is the devil’s idea of a fun time, watching people squint and guess at what those stupid letters and numbers could be, having to do it over and over again. I use Akismet and it does a great job of catching the spam, but a few were still getting through (though Akismet would hold those in the Spam folder for me to approve or delete). Since I’ve added the Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin I haven’t gotten 1 spam comment yet. I think it might be the best thing since sliced bread. All it does is present a checkbox that a live person can click but a bot won’t see; if the box isn’t checked the comment won’t go through.
So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my take on comments? I’d like to know what you think about the “great post!” comments as well. Are they pointless or okay?