Friday, May 9, 2008

Comment Pet Peeve

So, you have a blog with Blogger/Blogspot/Google and you're looking forward to lots of great conversations on your blog. Here's one thing that many people overlook that could be hampering their ability to get the conversations going.

Default Comment Permissions

When you first set up your Blog on the Blogger platform the default setting is to only allow people with Blogger or Google accounts to comment. So when a person clicks on the comment link, this is what they'll see:

Comment box

A lot of people are not going to be that interested in commenting if they have to sign up for an account. Or, if you're like me and have a Blogger account, but wish to link to your blog on another platform, it is just annoying. By having your blog comments set like this you are making it harder for some people to comment and join in the conversation.

How to Change Your Settings

To change your settings first you need to go to your Dashboard and click on 'Settings'.

Blogger Dashboard

Here's what you'll need to do next:

1. Select the 'Settings' tab.

2. Select 'Comments' from the menu.

3. Under 'Who Can Comment?', select 'anyone'

Set Comments

After making these changes, here's what your readers will see when they decide to comment.

All can comment

If you are concerned about anonymous comments you could enable comment moderation and put a disclaimer on your blog that anonymous comments will not be posted :-) Easy!

Another Plug for the Comment Challenge

Part of what prompted me to post this was that I've been participating in the 31 Day Comment Challenge and so have been visiting a lot of blogs that are new to me. Amongst these blogs I've encountered some with the 'Google only' commenting.

Final Thoughts

If you come across a blog with 'Google only' commenting, maybe you can link them to this post. If you think there are some very good reasons for sticking with 'Google only' commenting I'd like to hear them. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Addendum #1: and if anyone can tell me how to insert images so that the text doesn't get all garbled up--I'd love to hear from you too!

Addendum #2: Thanks to the great comments by Sue Waters and Rick Biche, I've been able to fix most of my image and text wrapping problems.  Thanks you two!  Sue has since posted Are Your Comment Settings Making it Harder for Readers to Comment?  where she has some more great suggestions, especially for  WordPress/Edublogs bloggers.

This is cross-posted on my other blog, Tech Pro-D Tools.


  1. Oh, I so agree with you Claire. I hate hate hate word verification - anti spam. Sue Waters put me straight about moderation and word verification and I have had no problems with spam or trolls. But if you use these facilities they act as a real barrier to commenting.

  2. By garbled do you mean how the image runs into the sidebar? Your template doesn't grow with your content so you need to keep the width at about 450px and below. I used to go through the hassle of editing all my images down to just the right size. Now I just upload whatever I have to flickr and link whichever size I need from there. The workflow is just quicker for me.

  3. @ Sarah--word verification is a bother; I notice that you don't have it on your site. What advice to you have to help people avoid spam without having to resort to word verification?

    @Rick--Thanks for the Flickr tip. I was also concerned about the text along the right side of the skinny images. It gets broken up and people are apt to miss it.

  4. Claire, Rick is correct.

    All my images are 450 px wide or less. I take my screenshots using SnagIT. Resize to 450 px then add the extra text. Then I upload to my blog. And don't resizing after you've uploaded into a post (in your dashboard). If size is wrong then upload new image.

  5. Hi Sue, thanks for the tip. I'll go back and re-size in Snag-It and then add the text. Do you know how I can avoid having text dangling along the side like I do next to the first and last images? Thanks!

  6. That gets back to your image size I normally use 450 wide if I want it to take up the width of the post. If I want to wrap text I use 250, 200 or 150 wide. Upload the image and insert. Then click on image and click on the Insert/Edit image icon. I change to align right (depends on your template some of them only allow align left). In the horizontal and vertical space boxes add 5 to each (this means the text won't wrap too close to the image). Then click save.

    I've used the idea from this post to create my own comment pet peeves with tips for Edublogs and linked to your post. I hope that's okay?

  7. [...] As a blogger you need to make it really easy for your readers to leave comments. Unfortunately many bloggers don’t realise their blog’s settings hamper the commenting process. So let me share my comment pet peeves to help you make it easier for your readers to comment (this post was inspired by Claire Thompson’s excellent Comment Pet Peeve post). [...]

  8. Sue, thanks again for the photo tips, I will go back and make the necessary adjustments. I'm delighted that this post inspired your post Are Your Comment Settings Making It Harder For Readers To Comment. You've got some great tips and I'll have to think about whether I need to re-gig my settings.

  9. What Sue suggests is probably the easiest solution when you can set the size of your images. If you have an image with a different size (smaller than 450) you can just but up the horizontal space until the wrap disappears. This is just adding margins to the image. I don't use an editor when I use Wordpress so I don't know what your exact options are, but when you put in a picture you must have an align option. Both "Left" and "Right" will wrap text. A "None" option will typically keep the image inline with the text so you can control wrapping by breaking the line before and after you insert the image (this will essentially left-align the image). If there is a "center" option, that will also prevent wrapping, and of course nicely center the image.

    As far as commenting goes, I don't mind the captcha phrases and I understand how they help reduce spam. I have always disliked how blogger takes you elsewhere to enter the comment, at times, not commenting when I might have otherwise. Just me, I guess.

  10. Rick, thanks for more photo tips. The Blogger habit of taking you to a separate comment window, if that is what you are referring to, can be controlled by the blog owner. So all you Blogger types out there, consider changing your comment settings. You can do this easily by selecting 'settings'-->'comments'-->'Show comments in a pop-up window?'-->'No'. It is tedious to be taken to a new window to comment.

  11. I was concerned about the word verification and spam until Sue talked me out of using it. I have only had 2 spam posts in 9 months and I just delete them when they turn up. If I got a huge amount of spam, I would turn it back on again.

  12. Sarah, do you use any spam filters at all?

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  14. Thanks for dropping by Mary.

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  16. Hmm, Jack and Mary, are you real people or spambots? I noticed that Mary left the same comment on one of Sue Waters posts. What's up?

  17. [...] Here is the link to Clarify Me from Clare THompson [...]

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