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QotD: Comments

Question: Do you leave anonymous comments? If you run a blog, do you allow anonymous comments?

My Answer: I sign my name (and email address) to everything I have to say. If it's worth saying, it's worth signing. Words without a method of contact for further discussion are nearly as worthless as no words at all. I allow anonymous comments currently, but I'm tempted to turn them off. They tend, in my experiences, to offer very little value. They're dead ends.

The discussions at Whitespace are some of the best I've seen, and while he writes less frequently (and more cogently) than I do, he also disallows anonymous comments.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

17 Responses to "QotD: Comments"

  1. Hmmm, never thought I would hear the day when someone says that I write less than them. Anyways, I never leave anonymous comments because if there ever is a need to leave them, then usually the comment is useless. People who post anonymously on blogs amuse me, because it seems they do so out of fear. If you have something negative to say and it goes against what the author is saying, there is nothing wrong with expressing your opinions. Just make sure you do so in a mature fashion and you will be alright.

  2. you have to put in a name and a e-mail, but it can be fake, nothing is checked. Who knows if when I upgrade to movabletype 3, that i will employ the register comments thing. I mean, I am not trying to build a forum type thing. But, i guess, it might be nice. But, you can always tell who is typing, even if they don't leave a real name, if they are regular visitors

  3. I don't believe that it's always possible to determine which of the 50 anonymous posters you might have left a comment. I can't be bothered to try to remember which IP address likes to overuse the word "thoroughly," for example.

    Anonymous comments are hit-and-run and offer little value.

  4. I've left a few anonymous comments before. Particularly when I was new to blogging. Then a friend of mine set me up with a website, explained to me that people won't spam me just because I commented and left my real e-mail, and told me that it was standard practice to leave the personal information requested.

    It's easy to assume that most of these people are just being a pain in the ass (especially when their comments are revealing as much,) but I'm betting that there is always the small chance (~1-2% maybe) that it is just some new blogger that doesn't know any better.

    I'm big into giving people the benefit of the doubt.

  5. I have, usually at blogs where my political ideals are diametricly opposed. I don't generally and have even gotten phone calls from blog comments (via CalPundit) That was a wake up call, and one reason I wish WhoIs data was at least a little bit obfuscated.

    I regularly leave psudomenous comments, I'm Genady at Slashdot and quite a few other sites, but it's not a hard job to track me down if someone is determined.

  6. I only allow talkbacks..

  7. I always leave a name, URL and email address. It's the polite and proper thing to do.

  8. Unless the identity of the author is going to be authenticated, leaving contact info. is meaningless. For instance, do you really think I am steve@apple.com?

  9. Unless the identity of the author is going to be authenticated, leaving contact info. is meaningless. For instance, do you really think I am steve@apple.com?

  10. Well, "steve" I think that a fake name and adress are the same as not leaving one at all. The purpose of leaving contact info is not to authenticate that you're a real person (I'm sure that you are a real person somewhere). I'd think that the purpose is to let people know what person you are, in other words, who it is that thinks the way you do.

  11. How about this then,

    I don't currently have a public url to give out and I don't want my email address to show up in your html. I don't mind you knowing my email address I just don't want it to be available to the spambots. I guess I could stick my real email address in this form and provide a fake url to cover it up but that just occurred to me now and it doesn't really seem all that much better.

    Maybe you should edit your comments template to never display email addresses even if there is no url to cover it. This (plus a note that the system works this on the form) might get you less anonymous comments.

    Just some useless input from a semi-anonymous reader.

  12. Bob, your input is not useless. I like that idea. On my main index page, folks who don't leave either an email address or URL are shown without a link made for their name. I personally won't comment anonymously because some bloggers respond through email to comments.

  13. I leave my user name and a URL to my provider's home page. One should be able to work out what my

    e-mail is from that if they need to contact me for follow up.

    I posted my full address once (this very blog in fact) and saw a noticeable and measureable increase in the

    amount of SPAM I was receiving. Very depressing. As a result, I have shifted to the procedure I am

    using now. Sort of psuedo-anonymous, but 100% honest.

  14. chuckers, if you posted a URL when you posted your address, your "spam increase" was not due to that post. C'mon now…

  15. Eric,

    I think he was pretty clear when he said he started posting a url after the spam increase. Meaning he probably had a naked email address on one of your comment pages.

  16. Bob gets it in one!

    I didn't think what I wrote as all that cryptic.

  17. I tend to post with my name because I'm generally proud of what I say, but I have a unique characteristic of being the only user on the internet that (currently) has the nick rizzn spelled the way I do (have held that obscure honor on the net since 1995), so I don't have to post an email addie if I don't want to. I have come to not like, but not really do anything about, anonymous posts. I broke up with a girl earlier this year, and she had made a crapload of posts to my comments section masquerading as other supporters trash talking me. If I had a slightly better logfile system in place I would have busted her on it, but, alas, I did not.


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