I surf through other blogs regularly, not just to gain ideas and information, but really to live a little bit of the lives those writers are living, to enjoy what they have to offer in their simple, often unstyled, realistic ways. And I would love to be able to meet up with them, through their comments page, by leaving them a few words about what I enjoyed on their blog, what I didn’t like, what I have experienced myself.
It is getting to be more difficult to interact, though. With some blogs it is almost downright impossible. You’d think that they weren’t interested in having comments, in knowing what their readers think and feel.
I’ve almost given up commenting on any blog hosted by Blogger. Now and then I will still read one or two, but nothing more than that. Too many of them have their moderation system set up so that you can only post a comment when logging in through Google or OpenID. I have no problem with either, but I don’t want to send them off elsewhere, in the case of Google, should they wish to find out about me. My Google Plus page is not representative of me, this blog is. And OpenID? A fine idea, but really, must I sign up for AIM, WordPress or even Facebook to post a comment? I think not.
Although, to be fair, there are some Blogger blogs where the owners (a loose term since the owner is really Blogger!) choose to offer a wider range of possibilities including a Name / URL box for those who wish to be more personal.
And then there are the hosted WordPress blogs. This is a real pain in the butt, to put it bluntly. To leave a comment I need to have a WordPress account – not the same as using WordPress on a standalone like this – which is then tied to a blog address which, because I don’t use it, doesn’t exist. And I have to sign in each time too, for one short comment.
And then there are those sites which insist that you sign up for their services, just to post a comment! You agree to their terms and conditions, hand over your details, and can then leave a few words of inspiration, thanks or whatever.
I pass here too.
Even those which don’t require a log in or an ID from someone else can make things difficult. Have you seen the Captcha images recently? Or any image that you need to interpret and put in a box to comment? I mean, a photograph of a house number… pass.
I appreciate that people want to have some form of security, want to have something which shields them from spam and rubbish, but, and this is a big but for some people, can’t they just make it easy for us real people and then moderate the comments coming in? Does it really take so long for an ordinary blog? And, a big plus for me, if you moderate, you’re more likely to reply, to interact with your commentators, and that, believe me, is a good thing.
Dear new blog owners looking for interest in the Internet: think about it. Wouldn’t it be so much better to devote a little bit of time to reading what someone has read and letting them comment easily than to scare them all away? I am at the stage where I automatically check, before reading a blog, whether I can comment easily. If not, I’m gone. I avoid WordPress and many Blogger accounts. My loss, you’ll agree, but also a loss for you, the blog writer.
- Viktoria Michaelis.