Should Millennial Living eliminate Comments on Articles and Blogs?

I’d like to take a few minutes just to talk about leaving comments on Millennial Living. I’ve noticed recently that many of the comments add little value and are self serving. That’s certainly not why I have invited comments on our articles and blogs.

Rather than making the decision alone, I am asking you to provide some constructive feedback and share in the decision on whether or not to just eliminate comments altogether or do something else. So please leave a comment after reading what constitutes a draft Comment Policy for Millennial Living

I’ve also noticed that our readers use the comments sections of blogs and articles as follows:

  • Ignoring them completely
  • Abusing them by automatically posting lots of self serving and irrelevant comments with links to unrelated sites like resume writing or personal quotes. The latter are nothing but spam.
  • I’m not really reaching our readers, because most of the recent comments are of the self serving type.

Between ignoring comments and spam are many different approaches to comments by readers. Each blogger has their own standards of what is and isn’t acceptable on their blog – some allow virtually any comment – others have language standards, others don’t allow signature links etc.

I’m totally fine with the variety of approaches to comments – however I want to communicate to our readers of Millennial Living where I stand below. After I post the draft policy I’ll see how the comments go and decide whether to continue with the following policy or just to remove commenting altogether. The latter is very easy to do.

1. I really like comments on Millennial Living - they are as important as anything I write myself or our other authors. But they have to add value. If they add to the knowledge of community that we have here, then comment away whether you are a beginner or an expert – feel free to have you say.

2. I am going to aggressively begin deleting spam – I have spam filters in place which automatically catch the majority of automated spam comments. I don’t put up with them and if any slip through the filters I delete it immediately.

3. Relevant links in comments are actively encouraged - if you’re leaving a comment on Millennial Living and want to point to a link on your own or someone else’s site that is relevant to the topic then please feel free to do so. This adds to the conversation and improves Millennial Living.

4. Irrelevant links are not encouraged – if you leave a comment with a link in it that has no relevance to the post you’re commenting on, it could be deleted. This is a trend that I see happening increasingly on Millennial Living. If you really want to annoy me and others in the community then the way to do it is to do this on multiple posts. You may be banned from the site if you persist.

If you engage in this practice I would encourage you to think about the impact that such an approach has upon your reputation. Build your blog’s or website’s profile through genuine interactions and participation in the community here by all means – but spammy linking in comments could do more damage to your reputation than it is worth.

5. I allow signatures in comments, but…….  My initial thought to signatures in comments is that there isn’t a need for them. I see them as verging on the spammy end of comments. However, I decided not to delete comments with signatures as long as the comments were relevant and added something to the conversation. However, if you write a comment that says ‘nice read’ or ‘good post’ or ‘great blog’ or ‘try viagra’ and then leave a signature on your comment then it could well be deleted.

I hope this clarified where I stand in the matter. Of course I invite your comments on the Comment Policy.