One year ago this coming Saturday I announced here on SuccessCREEations that we were going to start rewarding quality commenters.

In that post I announced two things. I installed the Show Top Commentors plugin (original version.) I had some challenges with the plugin when I updated the blog and theme. Andy Beard, an SEO/Internet Marketing guy I highly respect, pointed out some significant problems with the plugin. The reality is that wasn’t really a reward so I quietly removed the plugin.

The second thing I did a year ago was remove the “NoFollow” attribute from my comments section. Back in 2005 Google stopped passing link juice on for links tagged with NoFollow to help reduce comment spam. It was a good idea. Trouble is it hasn’t deterred comment spammers at all.

So I used the dofollow plugin (original version) and put up a nice NoMore NoFollow badge from Randa Clay.

No Follow Lists

One side effect of that announcement a year ago (and posting the badge) is that SuccessCREEations made it onto several different lists assembled by internet marketing & SEO types telling their communities about blogs that removed NoFollow.

While it’s nice to be noticed, I started attracting some unscrupulous types that obviously were just commenting to get a little Google juice instead of being interested in participating in conversation here.

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Fair enough. I understand human nature well enough to get that.

In the last couple months I’ve started noticing some folks coming here leaving comments with links to Turkish language sites. Even though I don’t speak Turkish (I did have a Turkish coworker until recently) I’m savvy enough to see that the Turkish traffic is coming from some forums that are sharing different known NoFollow sites along with their Google Page Rank.

SuccessCREEations makes these lists because we have a decent Page Rank.

I don’t see it as completely a bad thing. I worked closely with a Turk for several years. And folks who know me know that I have friends from all over the globe.

Even so, it is time to lay out a refined comment policy here.

Original Comment Policy

I formalized my first ever comment policy in that same post a year ago. Here is what I said at the time.

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.

While that policy has served well it needs updating and some amplification. So here it is.

SuccessCREEations Comment Policy

A big part of the reason the blog exists here at SuccessCREEations, Inc. is to stimulate discussion in the areas of Social Media and Business Blogging. We appreciate and encourage your comments here.

In order to encourage meaningful conversation by everyone we’ve got the following comment guidelines in place. Failure to follow these guidelines will likely cause us to take some action. We reserve the right to edit or delete any comment made on our site as we find necessary to facilitate ongoing discussion by all.

Keep in mind this is our house. You have the privilege of determining whether you will be considered a welcomed guest or not.

If you follow these guidelines you will probably do just fine.

Be Nice
Treat others as you’d like them to treat you. You can disagree with anything found here. Just don’t be rude about it or use personal attacks. If you are unsure how a comment may be interpreted by the person it is aimed at then you probably should consider re-wording it before you hit “Submit Comment”.
No Profanity
Foul language will either be edited out of your comment or may even cause your comment to be deleted. Our mothers have been known to read our blog and we don’t want to scandalize them.
Please use English
SuccessCREEations, Inc. is an English language blog. In order for everyone to see the value in your comment we ask that you keep to English for most of your commenting here.
Don’t Spam
Spam is the scourge of the internet and will not be tolerated here in it’s many forms. We show our appreciation for folks commenting by removing the “nofollow” tag from comment links. We ask in return that your comment adds value to the discussion and is relevant to the post at hand. If you obviously comment here just to get a link back to your site without engaging in conversation you run the risk of your comment being removed or marked as spam.
Names are Preferred
We value you as a person. Therefore it is preferred that you use a name or pseudonym when signing comments rather than business names or SEO type anchor text. We assume you are commenting primarily to engage in discussion and it is harder to talk to Fire Town, Natural Health, Technology, Money Earner, supersmoker, voipBlogger, or Guru (all actual commenters here) than it is a person. While this is not an absolute requirement, perceived abuse may be dealt with accordingly.
Refrain from Gratuitous Spammy Links
Because your comment will be getting a link in the signature block please refrain from adding another link at the end of your comment. The extra link is unnecessarily redundant, a bit tacky and may get removed. However we do encourage links to relevant content on other sites that add value to the discussion.
Link Responsibly
Please don’t link to nastiness. Remember Mom sometimes reads sometimes and we don’t want to send her to some offensive web page. In fact, we don’t want to go there ourselves. So just leave it out.

I’m thinking that should about cover it for now. What do you think? Is a comment policy a good idea? What would you include (or leave out)?

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