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Monday, May 9, 2011

When I started blogging in 2007, newbies who put links to their blogs in the text of their comments were quickly corrected. I’m talking about this type of聽 “Click me!” plea:

“Wow! I love that outfit!

More experienced bloggers politely told the newbies that they didn’t need to include their URLs — or sign their comments in any other way — because the comment form itself allows you to put in your name and link it to your blog. (I pointed this out in my blog FAQ.) People got it and stopped including the unnecessary links.

I don’t know why, but in the past six months, lots of bloggers have begun signing their comments with their URLs. I LOVE all my commenters — do I not ALWAYS comment back on everyone’s blog? — but y’all are driving me crazy. Most comments with linked signatures wind up in my spam file, so, in the best-case scenario, I have to regularly check the spam file for legit comments. Once I move those comments out of the spam file, I think, “This is just ugly. The link is more visually prominent than the actual comment. Plus why does this person get extra advertising, while the people who DON’T create extra work for me get none?” Then I delete the URLs, creating yet another step for me and eliminating any benefit for you.

Of course, you should continue to include any and all relevant links (which nearly always get past the spam catcher) in your comments. If your comment is, “I love chartreuse skirts too!“, I’d be thrilled if you included links to your chartreuse-skirt posts. For that matter, I enjoy irrelevant links too: feel free to link to random-ass topics that you think I or my readers might enjoy. But please skip the generic linked signature. I can’t always indulge in the best-case-scenario comment moderation outlined above. If I don’t have time to check the spam file, your great comment — the comment that would remind me to read your blog and comment on it ASAP — will die a lonely death there. I would hate for that to happen because I’d really miss some of you URL-addicts. So help me out here, okay? Thanks, bitches!


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67 Responses to “For Bloggers Only … A Word About Comment Signatures”

  1. Helen F says:

    I absolutely agree- it kind of puts me off responding to people who do this.

    • WendyB says:

      Oh good, that makes me feel much less mean about it! 馃榾 It’s really come to the point where I’m going to have to start ignoring the spam file because it’s creating too much work.

  2. Wait…. so, what you’re saying is that you don’t want people spamming the crap out of your comment section? How selfish! 馃槈

    Some people will never learn. You should edit and link-jack their tacky comments. Fill them with embarrassing things, like geocities sites and pictures of women in ill-fitting muumuus. Then you win… and get a chuckle out of it!

    • WendyB says:

      I now want to start a blog called “Ill-Fitting Muumuus.” Or a rock band named that. Hmmm…which shall it be?

      • I’d say rock band, but only if you purposely (and thus, unironically) only wear tight clothing. Preferably leather. :)

      • Marian says:

        isn’t “ill-fitting muumuus” redundant? can someone show me a “well-fitting muumuu” please?

        all that besides, i think it has a nice ring to it, and would enjoy blog/band.

  3. DS says:

    My sentiments exactly! I tend to overlook it, but everyone is doing it again, and as you stated it’s not necessary. Your name is clickable, if you provide a link. Thanks for the much-needed PSA’s.

    PS: I love the anti-spam word, “hotstuff”, thank you very much.

  4. Franca says:

    Couldn’t agree more!

    but also, please don’t ignore the spam folder! my comments have recently started not showing up on lots of WP blogs because they ended up in spam! I don’t know why and feel jinxed!

    • WendyB says:

      I know! Some people just have bad luck with the spam catchers…it’s happened to me too on other people’s blogs. That’s why I’ve been diligent about checking, but now that I’m so overwhelmed with the link-heavy comments, I feel I need to scale back and just check once a week or so instead of all the time!

  5. Mai says:

    So glad you addressed this, as you are way more eloquent than I. Had this exact conversation with a friend the other day. It seems to me that people are all about just getting their url onto your blog and it bugs me, but I had a hard articulating why. Anyhow, thanks for this!

  6. Poochie says:

    You are 100% correct in this, and much nicer about it than I would be.

  7. We totally agree! We also dislike the “come follow me, I’ll follow you” requests. You should only follow a blog if it resonates with you, not to forge some sort of alliance.

  8. I totally agree. You shouldn’t feel mean. You are spot on. I re-tweeted this post because I think it covers some important blogger etiquette! Comments on my blog have been increasingly spammy, probably because I dropped off the face of the earth for six months, so my bar for what gets approved has been pretty high. Generally, if I see links in a comment, I am less likely to approve.

  9. Allie says:

    Great outfit!

    Just kidding! No I fully agree Wendy, not sure why this has become fashionable again but like jelly shoes this trend must die.

  10. Claire says:

    I don’t get comments from people who do that (because I only get comments from people I “know” I guess!), but when I see people who sign off with a link in other people’s comment lists I never click on them. It’s just.. OTT.

  11. I am so glad you posted this, I’ve already shared on twitter.

    I agree completely, and it isn’t just URLs to blogs. Some people include their twitter handles and facebook pages and more. I had to adjust my spam settings to let more links through because trusted commentors kept getting spammed out due to their links!

    My blog, like yours, is set up to allow twitter handles and URLs, etc. There is simply no need for so many links in that case!

  12. Kristin says:

    A reasonable request if you ask me!

  13. Well said. If I get a “come follow me and I’ll follow you” I ignore it xx

  14. Dear Wendy, in answer to your question it’s by Antik Batik and I bought it on Ebay for 拢70 a few years back xx

  15. There are blogs, yours certainly, that you just feel so good about and leaving a comment is just a hello most of the time, nice thoughts. I hope that bloggers come to understand as well that sometimes they’re read and enjoyed but the reader doesn’t have time to comment.

  16. Vix says:

    Too bloody right! Completely agree with Christina, too. Anyone who leaves a “follow me?” message is always ignored. xxx

  17. Laura says:

    See I always sign off with my address, just because I’ve always done it. I don’t expect you to visit my site. I don’t really mind it to be honest, everyone likes to do abit of self promotion. Especially the little people, like me. Not everyone is going to click on your name through to your blog. Those who do great!
    I’ll break the habit of a life time and not sign off. haha

  18. Christy says:

    This is definitely a mistake that I made when I was first starting out, then when people started doing it on my site I realized just how annoying it is. When I was on the receiving end of it I just felt like the commenter was just using me to further their own cause.

  19. Eli says:

    when you mentioned this in the IFB post about clueless bloggers asking you to follow back, I was 100% on board with you. Now if we can do away with CAPTCHA’s that show up after you post a comment, it will be a better blog world

    • WendyB says:

      OMG, what is UP with that? Why can’t the CAPTCHAs just be there on the first screen so we don’t have to do two clicks!

  20. Susan Tiner says:

    That does sound like a lot of work. Good for you, not putting up with it. Am off to retweet.

  21. Aimee says:

    Love this post! Just came across your blog via the tweet to this link from IFB… Great advice for the newbies, I think.


  22. Tanvi says:

    I get it works for WP, but with bloggers I like when people sign their comment with the blog url embedded ‘coz its easier to get to their blog via that than clicking on their profile and finding their blog. Disqus is all together another issue, which I do not even wanna rant about. And it connects to my twitter and not blog. So I guess unless someone is using WP where the name directly leads to the blog, on other portals I like URL signed comments.

    • WendyB says:

      I started out on Blogger and you’re right, that is an extra step to get from the profile to the blog, but I still got tons of traffic that way. I still do, actually, because I still have a Blogger profile that I use on blogspot blogs. I don’t know what to think of Disqus. Sometimes it runs very slowly for me.

  23. stacy says:

    I find it annoying and pushy. It seems as though they are not really interested in reading and commenting on a post, rather they are using their comment as an advertising platform. Posting stuff on my FB page is even more irritating. I’ve “turned off” that option because I got so sick of deleting garbage from my page.

    Great post. taffetadarlings at blog…. JUST KIDDING!

  24. Anna says:

    I can’t understand why to use your url as signature, when all the blogger (to whom you comment) can do is click on your name and be transported to your blog. duh!
    But I agree with you on providing urls for similar posts (like chartreuse for example :P), though I had some qualms whether one can think of them as “spam” too…

    • WendyB says:

      Oh, I don’t mind those conversational links at all. In fact I don’t mind links that are like “Totally OT but I saw this and thought of you” as long as they’re for real and not from a crazy cheap-jewelry/fake Louboutin spammer!

  25. Cara says:

    I’m so glad you posted this. Every time someone who previously hasn’t added their URL starts adding to their comments, a little bit of blogger me dies inside! I will admit, I did try it for a little bit to see if it impacted visitors to my blog. It did. Negatively. No more URLS for this girl!

  26. elena daciuk says:

    aww…wendy – always bringing wisdom to the people =)
    i did this at the beginning…because it was taught in a social media class…then i started seeing it on mine…and thought…wow – not sure i’m liking that…so i stopped…i just wish i had a clever link to post…but alas…i do not…happy monday!

  27. mystyle says:

    Hi there-great post and too true too!! xx Adore your YSL skirt in the previous post, it looks adorable with the Prada flower shoes xx

  28. Great post
    Maybe you need to do a series of posts on blog etiquette. but I’d rather that you did another one of your book reviews. It’s been a long time.

  29. lisa says:

    Well said! The whole “link as signature” thing has always seemed very self-serving to me.

  30. drollgirl says:

    thankfully i haven’t figure out how to add a signature link to my comments, so i know you are not bitching about me. lol!

    there are MANY MANY MANY annoying habits in blog land. i could write a book on them, but i think any of us that have been blogging for more than a month could do the same (for example: awards, tags, STUPID COMMENTS like “nice post” and “love this”, etc.).

  31. Great post, Wendy. You totally echoed so many of my frustrations. I feel like I vented them just by reading what you wrote haha

  32. Yay, Wendy! Thanks for being you, rightly outspoken. You said what I haven’t, for example, dared.

    Your shoes rock. You leo-fashions give goose bumps and your GaGa inspirations make me giggle. That’s a lot from from feisty lady!

  33. Audi says:

    I couldn’t agree more! I’m also completely put off by the “Cute outfit. Come check out my blog!!!” comments. An intelligent, thoughtful comment will inspire people to follow the commenter back to his or her blog much more than shameless self-promotion.

    • WendyB says:

      I don’t mind the “cute outfit” comments, just the advertising that comes after! I mean, sometimes I don’t have much to say on someone’s blog but want to leave something simple and cheerful…but I don’t say “Come buy my jewelry!” after every “I love that color” comment!

      • Audi says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I think the short and to-the-point comments are just dandy, but when the emphasis is placed on the advertising, the initial compliment comes off as being less than sincere. If the whole point of the comment is to attract a new visitor, then I feel they need to work a little harder. I already KNOW that WendyB is awesome, but all these new peeps have got to prove themselves. 馃槈

  34. savvy gal says:

    LOL, know what you mean. don’t you love when they just put a link without an actual comment. : )

  35. I know we already semi-discussed this via e-mail, but here’s my take.

    Maybe I’m the only one, but I actually like when a commenter signs with a link to his/her blog. I know you use WordPress, but as far as Blogger goes, the commenter’s URL doesn’t automatically show up. I can’t click on the commenter’s name and go directly to their blog. Instead, the link takes me to their Blogger profile and then I have to take an extra step to click on their blog name. For me, it’s less of a hassle if someone simply leaves a link to their blog at the end of their comment.

    For example, THE-LOUDMOUTH is what shows up when I comment on a Blogger blog. If someone wants to reach my blog, they have to click THE-LOUDMOUTH, then click on my blog’s URL from there. For me, it saves time if someone leaves a direct link.

    I also like to know right away if someone has Twitter. I use it frequently, and many (not all, but many) bloggers have their Twitter link hidden somewhere on their blog. Instead of me having to click around their blog, trying to find their Twitter handle, it’s easier for me if it’s at the end of their comment. I can quickly click on it, head over to Twitter and tweet them.

    In conclusion, I’m lazy. :)

    But like I said, I’m not going to do it anymore on your blog. Lately, I’ve done it less frequently on other blogs as well. I thought I was actually doing a favor, but maybe I was annoying people. I’m not saying “HEY, VISIT ME!” I’m saying “hey, here’s the link to my blog in a visible and easy place so that you don’t have to hunt for it.”

    As you said, there’s a place for me to enter my website address here. Again, that’s where Blogger and WordPress differ. I’m so used to commenting on Blogger blogs that don’t have that option. Also, half the time my link doesn’t work when I enter it… Not sure why.

    • WendyB says:

      It’s true WordPress and Blogger function differently. I was psyched when I found the plug-in for peeps to add their Twitter handle to comments here and if I find more good plug-ins for linkable info, I’ll add them.

      It is very hard to find Twitter handles on some people’s blogs. I’m feeling like maybe my link on the right side is too subtle. I’m thinking of adding some Twitter and FB icons under my About Me paragraph.

  36. Elizabeth says:

    Yes, it’s YOUR blog and you should run it YOUR WAY!


    You are a strict鈥攂ut fair鈥攎istress.

  37. The Styley says:

    Wendy, thanks for the head’s up. As a blogging world novice myself, I really appreciate the etiquette lesson (and needed it, apparently!).


  38. FutureLint says:

    Ugh, so annoying! And their comments are usually generic and seem like they were made for myspace…

    OMG! Love you\’re blog! (note the misspelling)
    禄-(炉`路.路麓炉)->MY BLOG!<-(炉`路.路麓炉)-芦
    I\'d love to follow you if you follow me!!!!!
    (炉`路._.路(炉`路._.路(炉`路._.路 路._.路麓炉)路._.路麓炉)路._.路麓炉)

    A link to their blog, twitter, chictopia, weardrobe, lookbook, and tons of other shit I\'ve never heard of.


  39. Susan says:

    agree :) and I don’t like meaningful comments either… but that’s another topic! :)

  40. Tina says:

    This is all so interesting to me. I am not a blogger nor do I aspire to be one. There are several blogs that I enjoy reading and fewer to which I will comment. It always seems insincere to me when someone posts a comment and signs it with their blog address. I just did not realize what a hassle it was to the bloggers. Thanks for the lesson, Wendy!!

  41. JTwisdom says:

    Hi Wendy,

    I would leave my blog signature because my google is connected with my old blogger blog so I thought it would be easier for people to get to me.

    When someone from blogger clicks on the email that’s already there they will go to my old blogger blog that will say that I have moved and click on the link to take them to my blog on my self-hosted WordPress blog. I was including my signature not trying to get free publicity but trying to make it easier for them to get to me.
    I am going to have to work on this so if I comment on a blogger blog it will go to my latest blog.
    Also, a lot of times when I click on someones name that have commented on my blog it doesn’t always take me to their blog. I will go to a page where I have to search for their blog to comment on it.

    Sorry if I have left a signature in the past, I know I have.