May 28, 2009

Blogging Tip #15: Don't Moderate Comments Unless You Have To

I have not written anything in the blogging tips series for quite a while, so I thought it was time to do a quick one. This will indeed be a quick one, as the title gives away the tip. However, let me take a moment to explain why I think this is important.

I don't know anyone who isn't at least a little bit annoyed when they press the submit button after writing a thoughtful comment on someone's blog only to be rewarded with a message about how the comment will be visible after it is approved by the blogger. When we submit a comment, we want to see it appear right away.

When I am commenting on a top-tier blog, this is understandable. The blogger is likely swamped with comment spam, trolls, and the like. Comment moderation is essential in such cases to prevent the thread from filling up with garbage. But why are so many low traffic blogs with next to no comments moderating?

My advice in this tip is simple indeed: Do not enable comment moderation on your blog unless you have to. Unless you are receiving considerable comment spam, it easy to delete the rare inappropriate comment and/or ban the offender after the fact. Your readers will appreciate not having to wait for you to moderate their comments and are likely to leave more as a result.