SuccessCREEations Now Rewarding Quality Commenters

Encouraging Blog Comments

One of the best things about blogging is the dialog and conversation that develops within the comment portions of the blog posts. I have made new friends because they have taken the time to comment here or because I commented over at their place.

Blog comments are one of the features that make blogs more powerful than traditional web sites. That dynamic back and forth is completely missing from most business web sites (and scares the jeebies out of many business owners).

Comments also add tremendous value as far as the search engines are concerned because they add new content to the pages of your blog that is chock full of words that make your blog show up better in the search engine rankings.

As a business blogger I want to be doing everything I can to encourage comments here. So far my efforts have included making it easy for people to see their comments show up right away (no comment moderation so far), being kind to those who disagree with what I post and treating them respectfully, and intentionally responding to each comment quickly and personally as best I can.

But could I be doing more to encourage comments?

I’ve considered adding a “Recent Comments” section to my sidebar, but that one just didn’t resonate with me for some reason. I’m not sure why.

But this week I discovered something that I think really fits here.

Top Commentors Plugin

Over at Success From The Nest this week, Tony D. Clark posted Thanking You for Joining the Conversation.

In that post Tony pointed out a WordPress plugin that he added to his blog called Show Top Commentors. (Why the author chose that spelling is beyond me. But I suppose someone who adds an extra “E” every time he writes “CREEations” should probably get over it.)

This morning I added this feature to the sidebar over at the left. So now it will show everyone who is engaging in conversation here at SuccessCREEations. I’ve set it to reset at the beginning of each month so that it is emphasizing more current conversations.

Click on the links to go over to their blogs. Chances are if they are adding to the conversation over here they have lots of great stuff to say at home too!

I’ve also set it to count that link back to your blog so when you show up in the side bar Technorati should be counting that link when they calculate your ranking there!

So if you want to see your name rise on the sidebar, comment away.

Of course like Tony I’ve got to tack on an caveat to that. My intention is to stimulate quality interaction. So I recommend you don’t just add a comment that says something like “Hi!”, “Nice Post!” or “I Agree!” just to boost your ranking (or just to get on the list in the first place.) That gets to be looking a little too much like comment spam which, as you can see quite graphically from that link, is a huge problem. I delete comments like that every day already.

If you do try something like that I will probably just delete your comment initially. But if you keep it up, I will start marking your comments as spam and then you will likely get trapped in Askimet hell and have trouble commenting most anywhere.

I hate to have to do that. 99% of the people out there are wonderful and get it. But there are just a few that are trying to ruin it for everyone.

Links Like Money

I’ve heard it said that links are the currency of the internet.

They are one of the main ways people find new and interesting web content. I find something interesting, mention it in a post, provide a link and you can go off and see for yourself if what I said has merit or if I’m completely off my nut.

The other thing is that links are how the search engines like Google find all that stuff they want to index to have information for us human folk to be able to get back in our search results.

Because they are so valuable, they are like money.

But here’s the best part. It doesn’t cost me anything to give link-money to someone else. That’s why I set the Top Commenters to count the links in the sidebar.

Someone else gets value for something I can give but costs me nothing. For me that seems like a no brainer. Link away!

NoFollow No More

Which brings me to the other change here at SuccessCREEations.

This morning I saw a piece from WebProNews about Saying ‘Heck No’ to NoFollow, which ironically had been trapped in my spam box. :roll:

They bring up a good point. The NoFollow attribute is added to some links so that the search engines ignore that link. WordPress makes it the default attribute to (at least some) links in the comment section of WordPress blogs.

The original intention at WordPress was to take away the incentive for spammers by removing the search engine credit they got when they posted their spam comments.

It is a typical solution attempt when a large organization faces a tough problem. Often the easiest answer is to penalize everyone because the bad people are so bad.

In this case that particular solution didn’t do much good. Comment spam is worse than ever and worse than when they added NoFollow as a default.

If it’s not working as intended then why should I be penalizing all the wonderful folks who link here?

The WebProNews article pointed me to this post about Removing the NoFollow Tag in WordPress which in turn pointed me to the DoFollow Plugin.

I installed the plugin and fired it up.

So, as of this morning, SuccessCREEations is now a supercharged Link-a-palooza spreading link love far and wide!

Feel the love!

A Comment Policy

Of course all this new link love means it is high time I formalize a comment policy for this place. I promise it is on my to-do list.

But until I get that deep down my list, here are a few expectations that I have for folks comments here.

1. Be Nice
2. Don’t use profanity
3. If you must, disagree with ideas, don’t attack people
4. Don’t spam
5. Don’t link to nastiness

That’s about it. How I deal with comments that run afoul of those guidelines varies. But if you stick to them you should be OK.

Bottom line is SuccessCREEations is my house. I have a responsibility to protect it regardless of who may not appreciate my efforts.

The good news is I haven’t had a problem here yet.

And that’s because y’all are wonderful folks!

Hope you have an inspiring day. Comment away!

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Comments

  1. Hey, look at me. Somehow I’m the top commenter. Looks like I like your blog a little too much.

  2. Aw, common, Dawud. We’re products of the MTV Generation. Too much is never enough, right? ;)

  3. “Hi” Chris,

    “Nice post!” “I agree” that too much is never enough (except when it comes to ice cream.

    I think that should about cover violating all the rules. No, wait.

    “*$$&*! I can’t believe that Dawud character is number one!!”

    There.

    Cheers,

    Mike

    (With apologies to Dawud, who deserves his ranking)

  4. Chris, I saw on Technorati that I had a new link from you so naturally I was curious and I came to check it out. Obviously, just in time to rise a little on the standings.

    Since my own target this year was to engage with more bloggers to see what I can learn, my noodle’s about to burst! I’ve enjoyed visiting many new sites and I often comment. My goal is to ask more questions to bring out even more on a topic!

  5. This is one of the best things I’ve added to my blog to promote the community. Community is one of the main reasons I blog, so having a way to give back to those joining in, is great.

    Now, I need to go find 7 more posts to comment on to catch up with Dawud.

    Just kidding ;)

  6. Thanks for pointing me to this, Chris… something like the do follow plugin is sorely needed, especially since we now have much better spam protection and moderation. I’ve installed it on one of my blogs, and will go on the rest after a little trial period, just to make sure that it doesn’t break anything. :)

  7. Mike, you… you… @*$&&^##!!! And here on my blog too! Seriously, though, thanks for making me laugh today. Again. :lol:

    Robyn, I hear the words “target” and “engage” in the same sentence and I start having flash backs to my naval aviation days! I think you are doing a great job on your new initiative.

    Tony, like I said over at your place, thanks for pointing the plugin out in a post because, “Ah ahm naht ah smarht mayan. But Ah know what laynks ahr.”

    Lyman, I’m with you. There are better ways to accomplish spam control than NoFollow.

  8. Best Forrest Gump impression in written form – EVAR!

  9. A big chunk of that movie was filmed here in Savannah. I practice a lot. :)

  10. Liz Strauss sent me here. Awesome post. (And I’m not just blowing smoke.)

    I’ve felt the same way about “recent comments” plugins. This new plugin is a really good idea for building community.

    And if blogging isn’t about relationships, I don’t know what it’s good for. We’d all just be shouting our ideas into the void. Can’t have that.

  11. Well! Dawud, you realize this challenge cannot go unanswered! Avast, and engarde! (Not to mention, Eureka!)

    Kidding! :-) you deserve it, man.

    Chris, I LOVE the idea, and thanks to Tony, too. What a great way to reward your commenters – by turning it into something of real value.

    Hmmm… looks like yet another reason to move mine over to WordPress…

  12. Hey Mark! Welcome to S-C! I like what you did with your template over there at your place. Makes it look studious. Feel free to poke around, sample what you like. :)

    Robert, I started out on Blogger too. Great way to figure out if blogging is really your thing or not. I feel for you, though. Once you start to get the WordPress bug it can be a really hard thing to shake!

    My advice is to take the plunge sooner rather than later. Everyone I know who has is now glad they did.

  13. Chris,

    You have always been very generous with your link, so it didn’t come as a suprise to me to see you implementing this plugin.

    I’m not sure I can beat Tony for this. ;)

  14. Renée, I bet Tony would go for something chocolate. A Klondike Bar, perhaps?

  15. Chocolate works. Actually, food of any kind. I likes me some eatin’ ;)

  16. I can see that I am going to spend all my day commenting when I should be writing.

    Great idea though.

  17. Trevor, Writing posts… writing comments… It’s still writing, right? ;)

  18. Great blog! It’s nice to see more bloggers are catching on to the death of no-follow.

    I have also disabled no-follow on my own blog.

  19. Want to tell everyone that you’ve turned off the nofollow in your comments? Check out my new “ifollow” logos- grab one for your sidebar!
    http://randaclay.com/archives/the-i-follow-movement

  20. Mark Robinson says:

    This is becoming quite a movement – it’s great.

  21. Great move, and I’m sure all of these things will help encourage more people to comment at your blog. I first discovered it through the movement against nofollow (as I’m sure you’ll know ;), but I’ve taken some time to read through some of your post, and it should suffice to say that your feed is now on my list :)

  22. Hey Lars-Christian! Thanks for the endorsement. I really appreciate it. I’ll do my best to keep the good stuff flowing into your feed reader. :)

    NoMore NoFollow!

  23. This movement is great and just in time for me as I have just set up my blog which is barely a month old. Hosting a dofollow list and following it to visit, read and comment on the many wonderful blogs has taught me a lot, given me much enjoyment and launched my own blog to a good start. Hurray!

  24. Thank you for explaining this so well.

    I just modified my template to do this. Having just set up the blog this Sunday, it would have been nice if there were a simple switch in the setup or “configure” mode to add/subtract the NOFOLLOW option.

    I realize it’s just a tiny bit of code, but I didn’t know I needed to do this until browsing a bunch and tripping across your site.

    DOFOLLOW is how I thought it worked in the first place. Being able to turn it on/off with a button in the customize would be convenient.

  25. Haha. I ironically came across your blog while doing research for the Cree Indians stationery project we’re working on for the CHRD (Cree Human Resource Development). I have now spent an hour of my working time reading through some of your articles, so I thought since you were encouraging comments, I would leave one and say great job! :)

    I hope you have a good week and thanks for the procrastination fix.

    -Kate

  26. Kate, I’m roaring that you found me searching for the tribe I share a name with. :lol: Even though I have a few drops of Native American blood way back, it isn’t from the Cree tribe.

    Glad you like what you see here. Always glad to help out with a little procrastination. ;)

  27. I think that No Follow and Top Commentors are a great solution to the problem of bloggers finding easy ways to help each other out. Over the last few days I’ve added both to my blog and hopefully it works for everyone.

  28. Chris,

    You have just been stumbled. Hopefully that can bring you a couple more visitors ;)

  29. Steve, Welcome to the NoMore NoFollow Party! It’s one of those places where everyone wins!

    Thanks Craig! Stumbling is the best!

  30. I’m a new Dofollow convert. I really like it because it reinforces blogging as a community act. I’ll have to look into the top commentators plugin if and when I have an actual problem with comment spam.

  31. Welcome to the DoFollow club, El Yanqui!

    I think you are onto something. No blog is an island? :)

  32. Using nofollow seems completely pointless. Spammers don’t care whether you follow or not, and will still spam your site. They’ll just keep increasing they amount of spam they post to make up for the nofollowers. It would only work if 100% of people did nofollow on comments, and that’s just not going to happen, because some of us like sharing the love :)

  33. I have changed my mind on the issue of nofollow. I do-follow links now on my Aussie housewife blog. After a long time procrastinating I have seen the importance of dofollow and using the “do follow” principal to help keep the Internet better connected. http://www.reallyreally.net – Take a look at my dofollow blog and feel free to comment. Thank you, Regards Bree.

  34. Well, it looks like I am little late but I just joined the do follow movement myself. Great blog!

  35. Got to love the dofollows. Just encourages more interaction and shares the love.
    You all know about Courtney Tuttle’s D-list (Dofollow list) right? About 200 blogs on there now: http://courtneytuttle.com/blogs-that-follow/

  36. Do Follows can really pull in traffic. Spammers will spam you whether you have it removed or not, so a good spam filter will be more effective at curbing spam than the no follow tag.

  37. Comments show how popular and “alive” your site is. It is no use to have a huge traffic if you have no comments, right? I love comments on my blog, it’s a discussion between me and my readers.

  38. I was quick to turn off the nofollow attribute in my blog. I feel I’m giving something back to my commenters if their link is of value.

    Also, it isn’t going to do me much harm either.

  39. I also added the follow plugin. Great site!

  40. I just switched to dofollows. I think it is fair to give some SEOluv to people who make your blog what it is…

  41. I think dofollow is good and this is the way it should be, just that you need to be careful with spam comments. What filter do you use? Akismet or an other one? I use Akismet on most of my blogs but sometimes I think to upgrade to something else.

  42. Nicely laid out comment policy – short and concrete:
    1. Be Nice
    2. Don’t use profanity
    3. If you must, disagree with ideas, don’t attack people
    4. Don’t spam
    5. Don’t link to nastiness

    Can I use it on my blog?
    Kerry

  43. I feel that when commenting on “dofollow” blogs it’s nice to use as many keywords as you can and optimize your comments as a sort of reciprocated nicety.

    For example because this blog is success based then using words such as successful and succeed could be useful. If all blog commentators took a little extra time to target their specific phrases then we could collectively reward those who don’t use “no follow” attributes.

    This could in turn encourage more dofollow styled blogs as there would be some major keyword benefits.

    Just a thought.

    ..and yes, spmmers will spm you whether you do or don’t.

  44. i started do follow commenting . there is no harm in it until and unless it is purely meant for spamming

  45. Dear Chris,

    I got your site from Randa Clay It’s amazing, a lot of people are already a part of this “u comment i follow” movement. I’m sure glad I am!

    Sincerely,
    Nobe

    I have two blogs following the movement. Yipee! :)

  46. I think the vast amount of posts on this blog says it all. Dofollow works. Not just that, but as more and more blogs use nofollow, the value of links from dofollow blogs goes up tremendously. Each dofollow link is worth more now that more people are using nofollow.

    You’ve also taken the correct approach, reward quality commenters and punish spammers. This is exactly how people should be doing this instead of taking the nofollow approach. There are many other innovative ways to approach comment spam. Ones I have seen include, filtering all comments and assigning nofollow to those that are spam and giving credit to genuine ones (this also encourages quality comments) as well as a reporting system where other commenters can report spam, a voting system where enough spam votes gets the comment removed automatically, there’s 1000 ways to skin this cat.

  47. I added the dofollow movement to my blogs not to long ago and I think its great. Good to help your readers out and is no harm to yourself. Increases traffic also which is always good. Thanks for sharing

  48. I also added the dofollow movement to my blogs. More links – More trafic -More money

  49. I will also spread your word. Nice blog!

  50. Can i use your blog conditions on my blog.

  51. I agree with you OnlineTravellerIt works Perfect.Very good Blog!

  52. Great website! Love the content you have on here. Please keep up the good work and I will be sure to visit quite often. Thanks much!

  53. What template are you running on this particular website ? I truly like it. Would you post exactly where you obtained it from ?

  54. I think your opinions are quite interesting, I enjoy reading what you write. Hope to hear more from you. Subscribed.

  55. I agree with you. My blog is do follow as well. I feel like the online community should embrace it but it seems like the spammers are ruining it for everyone…

  56. Totally agree with you after all Comments are the essential elements of blog. It gives life to the blog.. Do-follow sounds interesting. wheres no-follow boring.

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