There has been a few posts about commentating in the last week from myself and from blogs I subscribe to so I thought it would be best to address all of these in the one post 🙂
On July 31st I announced that the top commentators list was being removed from Blogging Tips. I made this decision as I noticed that every month since I installed the plugin there has been one or two bloggers who have turbo commentated their way to the top of the list and have not returned to the blog afterwards.
Top commentators list removed from Blogging Tips – The Reaction
I suspected the reaction to this decision to be negative however I was both surprised and pleased with the support I got from regular Blogging Tips readers. The majority of commentators said that they understood why I chose to remove the list.
I am disappointed at your removing the top commentators list.
Should you really punish us, regular commentors, just for the sake of keeping those spammers away?
I do try and reward and help out those who comment here regularly but I truly believe that there are many better ways to do this than using a top commentator list. For example, this month I am giving away $100 each to the top 2 replies in my blogger vs wordpress.com debate. Not only does this reward commentators, it encourages them to take more time when they are replying to a blog post.
The Top Commentator List – Pros & Cons
Cash Quests wrote a post a few days ago entitled ‘How To Comment As A Top Blogger’. The post referred to my post announcing the removal of the top list from Blogging Tips :-
The same people that just a few months ago were raving about “rewarding commentators” and “giving back the community” are now turning off their ‘Top Commentators’ plugin, removing DoFollow and considering disallowing signatures in comments. Why? Because the people that are being rewarded are the ones that are writing the spammy, useless comments on the blogs! I definitely sense that the positive mood towards commentators has changed in just the last few months!
I have encouraged bloggers in the past to add a top commentator list to both encourage comments and to reward those who contribute to their blog often. My opinion on this has changed slightly. I am now of the opinion that a top commentator list is a worthwhile addition to a new blog to encourage comments however popular blogs may unfortunately suffer from the same problem I did eg. bloggers who are only commentating so that they can get their blog listed on your top list.
I disagree that the only ones being rewarded are the ones which are leaving spammy comments though. For some blogs this may be the case however with Blogging Tips it was just a few bad apples who were spoiling it for everyone else, the majority of those who reached the top 5 commentator list here were leaving good comments. Infact I’m on the top commentator list for 1 or 2 blogs myself and I have never commentated just so that I can reach the top list of a blog (for example at Brian Heys blog).
The fact is, a few people can ruin it for everyone else and consequently give you a moderation headache. What is your opinion on top commentator lists on blogs?
Bloggers pretending to be someone else
In the last week both Tyler Cruz and John Chow have unfortunately had some childish bloggers with too much time on their hands pretend to be them on various blogs by leaving comments designed to make them look bad. This is something that a lot of popular bloggers have had to deal with and I’m sure it’s very frustrating.
Unfortunately, I believe the options available for a blogger which is on the receiving end of this are limited. John Chow mentioned at the end of his post that he would hate to require people to register before they can comment. I don’t believe that this is even an option. It’s very doubtful anyone pretending to be you is going to leave a fake comment on your blog as you can simply delete their comment or mark it as spam. The problem lies with them being able to leave comments on other blogs using your name.
If your blog has suffered from fake comments though, requiring commentators to register is definately something you could do ie. if BloggingTips was getting fake comments from bloggers I could require commentators to register so that it could not occur at Blogging Tips.
Requiring commentators to login to comment will definately lower the number of comments your blog gets though.
So what can you do if someone is pretending to be you on other blogs? The first thing you should do if you see someone else leaving a fake comment to make you look bad is contact the owner of the blog. Explain that the comments left were not left by you and ask if the comments can be deleted. If the post has caused you to get a lot of heat then it’s worth posting about the situation on your blog and explaining that there are people posting comments and claiming to be you.
If you are extremely unfortunate and you have someone leaving comments on other blogs on a regular basis then taking a ‘no comment’ stance may save you a lot of time and energy ie. you would only give your opinion on something on your own blog and would publicly state this.
Has anyone ever pretended to be you on another blog? If so, I would love to hear how you handled the situation 🙂