So, with Round of Words running, I’m spending a lot of time blog hopping to check in with other members. In the last two check-ins, I discovers a range of bloggers pre-screening their blog comments!
Of all the things bloggers do, this one bewilders me the most. Open commenting does so much for a blog, and losing that open communication channel really hurts what kind of feedback you’re going to get.
One of my favorite things here is when you guys get together and chat with each other. Seeing conversations inspired by things I’ve written is an awesome feeling! From a more practical standpoint, the additional information in comment sections can raise the value of a post quite quickly.
When you pre-screen your comments, you take away this discussion as people have to wait for you to approve every comment.
The second thing open commenting does, at least in my personal experience, is raise reader engagement. When I take the time to comment on a post, I check back a few times to check for responses, both from the blogger and other readers. When I get blocked by a pre-screen option, I often never return to check on the status. It’s discouraging.
This is a really big scary thing. While I’m not going to compare it to government censorship (it’s nothing like it), pre-screening makes it very hard to tell if a blog is deleting comments simply because they disagree. While a blog is a personal space and can be dealt with as that person pleases, allowing disagreement and a little conflict is good for bringing more than one side to an issue.
So do yourselves and your readers a favor: Don’t pre-screen your comments, but do have a specific comment policy on hand to keep real abusers out.