I'm against censorship as much as the next person but I've really had to do a double-take lately at the sheer number of insipid, vapid, and gratuitous comments I've been getting on my Madison WI real estate blog. I'm not referring to comments that any of my site visitors and clients have posted, of course, but the comments posted by other bloggers merely looking for backlinks. You know the kind of comment I'm referring to; the ones where you're showered with compliments about a post or your blog or website in general without referring to anything specific and without adding anything of any real substance to the conversation. So at the suggestion of my good friend and Davis CA Realtor Carloyn Gjerde-Tu (and at the risk of ruffling a few feathers in the blogosphere), I decided to put together a short blog comment policy to clarify under what conditions I will approve comments going forward. Please feel free to comment if you think this list should be expanded.

Blog Comment Policy

  1. I will no longer approve non-useful (ie purely gratuitous) comments on my blog.
  2. I will no longer approve comments that do not add meaningfully to the conversation.
  3. I will no longer approve comments from people who do not enter a valid email address (causes emails to bounce in my inbox).
  4. I will continue to reward people with do-follow links who contribute something meaningful to the conversation.
  5. I will do a better job of engaging the people who comment on my blog (responding to your comments).

Please understand that it takes an enormous amount of time and energy to maintain an active blog and that, despite the fact that I love to get compliments, praise, and accolades about my writing as much as the next blogger, if that's all I ever hear it's not only exceedingly boring for my subscribers but ultimately, counter-productive for me, the primary author of the blog. After all, it's not by resting on my laurels that I'll be able to take my writing - and my blog - to higher and higher levels but through thoughtful critique and purposeful examination of what's already been published.

To comment on this or any other post, please fill in the short form at the bottom of this post. If you're interested in being a guest contributor on the Lake & City Homes blog, please contact broker|owner Jolenta Averill at (608) 230.5553 or fill out the short contact form on our homepage at our flagship Madison WI real estate website.





Posted by Jolenta Averill on
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Desperate times call for desperate measures. I think this is a step in the right direction for your blog Jolenta. Not that this blog is guilty of publishing pure spam comments, these new initiatives will surely help promote a healthy blog for your site.

Posted by Shane on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 at 10:38am

I have to agree with you on this one. I have struggled with the idea of allowing posting on my blog for the very reasons you mentioned here. I don't look at this policy as censorship. It's more like quality control. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Stacy Jones on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 at 11:12am

I think a blog comment policy is a great solution to this problem. Now I need to go and write my own. I also think that there are a few too many agents who are paying people to make comments on real estate blogs for the perceived SEO benefit. Sometimes I think people do write "great post" or something else like that as a way of saying they stopped by but a good comment really should further the conversation.

Posted by Carolyn on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 at 11:44am

Your friend has given you really a great suggestion. This kind of comment policy will help reduce the comment spams that may affect the blog. Keep going.

Posted by margaret on Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 at 12:39am

Hi Jolenta,

I don't mean any disrespect, and hopefully this comment will add to your conversation. If you use do-follow on your blog, you can expect people to game it, and until you use a comments policy and stick to it, nothing will change. I think you are taking a step in the right direction, but as long as you are do follow, I think you are going to give yourself more work with comment moderation. I just created a do follow blog and I am already seeing the spam come in, but there are people that actually contribute quite a bit so I encourage it. The time to moderate may get the best of me someday as well...and I will have to setup a comment policy.

Posted by Lisa In Logan on Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 at 12:27pm

Hey Jolenta, I have several do follow blogs and I know what you mean in regards to spammy comments but unfortunately with a dofollow blog this will never change. You do have to take the good with the bad. The reason why anyone has a dofollow blog is to encourage and reward people commenting. I think it is a good Idea to moderate your comments and approve only ones you find worthy. Eventually the people who leave spam comments will figure out you are not approving their spammy comments and will move on to other sites that do. You still will always get spam but Askimet plugin will take care of most and you will just need to moderate others you feel are not worthy. Hope you will stay the do follow course.

I have actually built several relationships with people who consistently comment on my blog and have learned a lot along the way where I may have missed out if they never commented on my site.

Posted by Danny in Tampa on Sunday, January 17th, 2010 at 10:10pm

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