In this life of fast food, fast technology, instant information, and instant communication, is it any wonder that people expect the whole "comment leaving" experience on blogs to be easy? Simple? Fast? Instant?
I get it. You want my name. [And really? I want you to have my name.]
I get it. You want my email, but you promise not to publish it. [And really? Mine are plastered all over the internet for all and sunder to find so why I want to be so secretive, I'll never know. I'm already getting spam that's filtered straight into its very own folder.]
I get it. You'd like my website address. [And really? I SO want you to have it.]
But anything else? Is way too much. Also, I have a confession to make. Lately I've been bypassing comments on blogs if they have those Captcha puzzles on there. Maybe I'm too lazy. Or sometimes it's because I get it wrong and have to re-enter it. Several times. [That's annoying.] I know. I know. I'm too impatient. And I get where you're coming from as well. You don't want to be spammed in your comments, etc., etc.
But lately I've noticed a drop in comments on my blogs. And just between you, me & the gatepost, there are some days I wouldn't mind a spam comment or two. At least I'd know someone was reading what I'd written. [Maybe.] Seriously. Then I'd laugh. Shake my head. And hit the delete button. Easy-peasy and I got a good laugh. [And I'd probably tweet about it too.]
Also, most of the time I'm reading blog posts on my iPhone. Those Captcha thingies are too hard to do on there. But if you leave a question on your blog that I can answer or *gasp* we're related and I want to tell you all about it, it's a little difficult.
The point is that it's important to foster a community and to foster a discussion on your blog so that people want to come back. Again and again and again. And that's hard to do when your comments are closed awaiting for you to approve whatever your reader had to say about what you wrote. If someone does leave something inappropriate, you can delete it just as fast as you can approve it.
I've noticed more and more lately that companies and organizations are adding blogs to their sites, which is excellent. [Can you feel the 'but' coming on?]
BUT then they have comments turned off. *Big Sigh* and *SMH* Blogs are a part of the social media realm, and the whole point of social media is fostering a social network ~ communication ~ between their organization and their potential customers and current customers. Why? So that if they are in need of what they have to sell to them to solve their problem later on down the road, they remember the company or organization that helped them. And companies don't want to be remembered as not caring about what a reader had to say in response to a blog post. That is, if the reader remembers the company or organization at all.
Sometimes, I get the feeling that companies and organizations don't care what I think and that they don't want my input at all when they don't have comments open or if they make it really hard for me to sign up to leave a comment [i.e., 3 web pages to register in order to leave a comment and then it doesn't take me back to what I want to comment on. Seriously?]. What if I wanted to tell that company how great their product or service is and what an awesome impact it has had on my life? Don't they want to hear that? Don't they want other readers [potential customers] to hear that?
Blogs are not just a place for one-way communication from the company or organization to their readers, but a place to interact. They aren't just a place to post your press releases either. Sure, they can [and do] post press releases on their blogs, but it should be sandwiched in between blog posts that are fostering communication between the company and their readers. No one is going to check back into a blog to read press releases. [Well, almost no one.]
Your blog can be so much more than just a bulletin board. Don't waste it.
And? Make it easy and fast. I'm impatient. ;)
More about blogs for beginners to professionals coming soon on my blog BloggingGenealogy.com, where comments are open and welcomed. And where I invite you to subscribe to that blog's mailing list. [And you can sign up for this one, too, in the top right hand corner after scrolling up.]
Please feel free to leave comments here, there and everywhere. Really. Please.