The Blogosphere can sure be a funny old place. One minute they’re telling you it’s supposed to be all about community, interacting, reading and sharing posts, and comments. Engaging one another in an exchange of ideas. The next thing you know you’ve been accused of being that most evil and egregious of blog villains, the Comment Spammer!
Very early in my blogging career I was talking with a journalist acquaintance of mine who, aside from regular printed pieces in several publications, has a blog. His advice to me was to ignore entirely the comments left on my blog. By all means allow comments, and if others want to exchange thoughts and ideas fine, but don’t reply to any comments – positive, negative or otherwise.
Well I guess for any number of reasons I wouldn’t make a very good journalist, as I figure if someone takes the time to read and comment on one of my posts the least I can do is say thanks. I feel I should let them know I appreciate the time they took from their busy day to read the post and leave a comment. Besides, I often enjoy interacting with those who comment. On many occasions these comments have included a link to a site that illustrates another point of view on the subject of my post, which I also appreciate. While I choose to think the person who left the comment was fostering lively debate, others would claim they were spamming! Due merely to the fact that they included a link to an outside site – perish the thought it should be a link to their own blog – they are deemed comment spammers. I say hogwash, bollocks and balderdash!
If I write a blog post about the fine art of crafting (Krafting?!?) peanut butter sandwiches, and another blogger reads it and has also posted on the subject, why shouldn’t they leave a link? Would it be better if they went to their post, copied it and pasted the entire thing in the comment section of my blog? I don’t think so. And if they manage to get a few blog visits via the link on my blog, good for them!
Unless you are flogging something that is totally unrelated to the post topic: Cruises, Online Universities or cheap Viagra for example, there shouldn’t be a problem. So long as there is some relation between the topic of the post and the comment link, it seems to me that’s what it’s all about. If a person leaves a link in a comment on my peanut butter sandwich post that leads to a page about, or selling, designer sandwich bread, so be it!
I think folks have to lighten up about spam in general. Spam is solved by one button – delete. It’s not a difficult concept. The energy wasted on griping about spam far outweighs the ridding of same. I’ve often wondered how Hormel Foods, the makers of the meat product Spam, from which the term comes, feel about all the negativity.
Subsequent to publishing this post, I tried to send it via Twitter direct message to a person who follows me. The message consisted of a short note and the link. But no … Twitter wouldn’t send it. I double checked to make sure the person had not unfollowed me, but all was well. I tried several times with no success. A little research informed me that in an effort to cut back on spam (evidently this is a favourite method of spammers), Twitter was blocking direct messages that include links! They seemed to have thought it a good idea to inconvenience the millions of legitimate users so they could reduce the spamming. I don’t get that logic – bit of the tale wagging the dog. I finally got the message sent by using the full link address instead of a shortened version.