Sunday, August 15, 2010

321/the comment conundrum

As some who stop by this blog know, about a month or so ago I decided I had enough with the comment Spam that was invading my blogs more and more. I had Blogger's comment moderator set for about a year prior to this issue, and while it allowed me to see what my comments were and who they were from prior to publishing them, it was still a problem. I wish I had taken some screen shots to illustrate what I'm talking about. Most, if not all the Spam was in a language I unfortunately was not able to read, and it always included a link, which I'm assuming was harmful. Finally, one day I just got sick of sorting through the good and the bad and chose the option to close comments and invite folks to e-mail me if they would like. During this period of time, I actually got some really nice e-mails from some folks, including an British art magazine who inquired about featuring some of my work, as well as an animal rights group who kindly asked if they could use an image of mine. Recently, Blogger has upped the ante and now feature a new comment moderation system, since others were experiencing the same problem. I'd like to thank Bob and Susan for the heads up, with regards to this new feature. Strange thing is, I'm not as excited as I should be perhaps. In fact, as much as I liked reading some of the nice comments at my blog, I have now discovered closing the comments to be somewhat liberating. How, you ask? Well, according to blogger etiquette, when a person leaves a comment at your blog, it is proper to "return the favor" and leave a comment at their blog, to show some kind of support. I read this in a book last year (can't recall what book it was) and I've always made an effort to reciprocate in the past. Still, this seems kind of silly and it has made me think of the issue of comment sincerity. Not that I have ever doubted the sincerity of a comment at my own blog, or have lost a wink of sleep over it, for that matter. I would however feel guilty at times, when folks left a comment at one of my posts and I never got around to even checking out their blog after a week or more. It still amazes me that with the billions of things one can be distracted with on the internet, a person would choose to not only look at my blog(s) but even drop me a line. I never took that for granted. Anyway, I think I'm going to stick with the "comments off" despite the new Blogger feature. In a nutshell, it keeps things simple, for me at least. I'm happy with simply having a presence on the web and putting whatever it is I feel the need to put out there, out there. I've had no issues with Spam on Flickr, so comments are always welcome there, and anyone can still shoot me an e-mail with regards to anything I post at any of my blogs.