Things You Should Know About Commenting

I am writing this page in response to the feedback I got back from this entry. Commenting is a very important part of blogging, and I want to make sure you know what you’re getting into when you provide feedback on something I’ve written. And also what you’re not getting. Like beer. I don’t serve beer in my comments section anymore because of the mess it made.

I Have A Huge Issue With Comment Spam
In order to combat comment spam, I have the ever faithful Akismet plugin. If your comment does NOT show up, please email me (misszoot@gmail.com) and tell me. Sometimes Akismet things your comment is spam and I’ll need to kick it’s ass a little to make sure it gives it back. Also – I have a long list of words that tells Akismet to moderate a comment. If you use one of those words, my blog will hold your comment for approval by me. I usually approve within a day, but if I don’t, PLEASE EMAIL ME. Update: As of 2/2011 this is still happening about once a month. Thankfully commenters email me about it and usually when I mark as “Not Spam” it doesn’t happen again, but please tell me if you think your comment hasn’t been approved! (I’ll need the email address you comment with to find it.)

Please Be Nice
There are times you may want to disagree with me or other commenters. That is fine and it happens often. But – there is a way to do it that won’t make me cry. Please do it in that way. I am overly sensitive and get my feelings hurt very easily. Ask my husband. Be gentle. Remember, it’s always better to say, “This is what works for me…” instead of “You’re such a dumbass and you’re doing it all wrong. Moron.”

I Read Every Single Comment Entered On This Site
Wordpress emails me every comment entered on an entry. This is so that I can read what everyone is saying and respond if needed, but it’s also so I can make sure no one is leaving comment spam. No comment goes unread by me – please remember that.

I Can Not Respond To Every Comment Without Neglecting My Family And My Bubble Bath Time
I hate having to say this because it makes me sound like a total jerk. But – some bloggers can and do respond to every comment. Since those overachievers are out there (Just kidding! Love you!) I have to qualify that I am not one of them. I am sorry. I spend a lot of time responding to comments, but I can’t respond to them all. I’m sorry.

I Will Try To Respond To First Time Commenters
If you are a lurker commenting for the first time, let me know! I don’t memorize every commenter on this site because my brain is still suffering from the years of following the Grateful Dead. However, if you tell me you are a lurker, I will probably send some sort of mushy reply thanking you and professing my undying love for your comment.

I Will Also Try To Respond To Meaningful Comments or Questions
I try to not check my comment email unless I have time to respond. If you put a lot of time/thought into your comment I will do my best to acknowledge that. It is part of my new comment philosophy. I want you to know how much I appreciate your time by giving you a bit of mine.

When I Respond – It Will Be Via Email, Not In The Comments Section
I do not like having to go back to a blog to see if the blogger responded to me. It’s a personal preference of mine to respond via Email to my commenters. Now – there are a few times I’ll respond to the comment in the comment section if I think it’s something future commenters would like to know. But I’ll Send The Response Via Email Too. Other times, I’ll make generic comments in the comments section, but those are usually pretty mundane and just a sign I’m spending too much time on my own blog and need to get out more.

I Respond IN The Comments Now. As of 2011, my new theme allows a commenter to respond to a specific comment. It works out great to encourage conversation. (Here is a good example: http://www.misszoot.com/2011/02/03/this-is-why-i-wish-every-recipe-had-pictures/) I will sometimes email you, but most of the time I will respond to your actual comment if there is any possibility that someone else would like to see our conversation. I know some people will hate coming back here, especially if there’s no reply, but I haven’t found a way to set up a notification system for individual comments yet. Just the entry itself, which can be cumbersome. But for now? I kinda like this new system!

I Have No Idea What The Etiquette Is In Responding BACK To My Responses
Now that I’ve started trying to respond to comments, several have asked me if they are supposed to respond back. I do not know the answer to that but would love it if someone would figure it out for me. THANKS!

I Do Have A DELETE Button
I am not a controversial blogger and I have moderate but not crazy traffic. Therefore, I’m spared from most trolls leaving the types of ugly and horrible comments I see on other blogger’s sites. I am very grateful for the number of times I’ve written about something that could attract the trolls and doesn’t. I consider my comments section a very safe and non-judgmental place to hang out. HOWEVER — if you leave a comment I find offensive to me or other commenters — I will delete it. Seriously, any hint of even “not nice” and it’s gone. Don’t even bother. The end. It has only happened a handful of times in four years. And for that I’m incredibly grateful. I do this because 1) I don’t like leaving comments out there that might make anyone feel crappy and 2) I don’t like it when the other comments rally in the defense of whomever may be insulted. Well, I like it when people defend others, but I don’t like it when it turns into some sort of attack on the original commenter. I prefer just to delete the comment. So…if yours has been deleted? That’s probably why.

Please Don’t Feed The Trolls
If you are nice and want to defend me from someone being mean or nasty, don’t bother. If they’re mean or nasty I’ll delete their comment, and then yours will just look weird. If I do delete your comment for just defending me, I’ll try to email you and explain that I deleted it because the comment it referenced was gone. Thank you for defending me, though. It’s really sweet.