Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Commenting poll results

filling out ballot votingI know you've all been standing by with bated breath (yes! bated breath! don't deny it!) to know the results of the commenter poll.

Just wondering: Does "bated breath" make anyone else think of fishing? I guess it's because I usually use the word "bait" more than the term "bate." But I'm not imagining everyone standing around with fish breath.

Where was I?

Oh, yes, the comment poll. I'm just drumming up more suspense. Can you STAND IT?

Here are the results:

How do you feel about comment access?

You have to scroll sideways to see the full text plus the numbers. Sorry — I couldn't figure out any way to make the text wrap.

And note that, since voters could select multiple items, percentages won't add up to 100% in any given category.

To break it down for you:

The majority of you (73%) comment from a Blogger/Google profile, so I guess that's pretty easy for most of you. The rest are more likely to comment from a verified profile (20%) than anonymously (10%).

There's not as much animosity against word verification as I expected (43% dislike all; 16% are OK with Blogger's; word verification is the fiddly little code words you have to type in to prove you're not a robot).

It sounds like comment moderation (where there's a delay in comments posting because they have to be manually approved by me) is not too big a deal for most of you, but that you'd rather not have it on current posts.

Something that surprised me was that most of you (56%) do not subscribe to comment thread updates (vs. 26% who do). And here I was feeling guilty for not responding to comments in a timely fashion! I'm gonna drop that guilt posthaste.

A significant amount of you would be bothered to receive spam in a comment thread email. I hear you. It bothers me, too, of course, which is what led to this whole analysis.

Several of you (30%) think CommentLuv would be nice. I agree. I'm hoping the tradeoffs are worth it (see below).

To the 20% of you who think I'm thinking too hard, bless you.

And to the one voter who doesn't leave comments but did take time to vote in my poll, welcome out of lurkdom, even if in a sheltered and anonymous fashion. Baby steps!

And here's what that means for Hobo Mama:

I've gone ahead and turned off anonymous commenting for now. If there's an uproar from legitimate anonymous commenters, I'll turn it back on. I know 10% of you say you comment anonymously, but I don't think requiring an OpenID verification is too much of a burden. It might be more cumbersome to log in than not, I realize, but I figure many of us are automatically signed in to sites we comment on frequently, so I think it's workable. The reason for this change: ALL of the anonymous comments I've gotten since opening the poll have been spam. Every single one. I say this emphatically, with the confident expectation that I might be forgetting one or two that weren't. Ha ha! But, seriously, the spam comments are by and large anonymous; the legit comments are by and large not. If I turn off anonymous, I figure I'll be turning off most of the drive-by, opportunistic spam, and that's some of the nastiest. There'll still be comment spam by people who want to drive traffic to a specific site, but those are less frequent and usually less disgusting, since they know they can be tracked.

I've left on comment moderation for posts older than 60 days. That shouldn't affect too many of my regular commenters, but it will seal off some of the older posts that are, for whatever reason, a target for spammers.

I've left OFF word verfication for the convenience of my commenters. You're welcome. (Don't say I never give you anything!)

I am totally slacking off about replying to comments. If y'all aren't reading my insightful follow-ups (ha!), what's the point? Thanks for letting me off the hook there. Can I say here that I appreciate and read every comment (they get emailed to me), but I am very lazy about responding. Sorry if you expect better, the 26% of you who subscribe to follow-ups. If the 56% of you who don't subscribe to follow-ups knew that I usually do try to post a response, would you subscribe then? Just curious if I should renew my efforts or not bother.

I am looking into installing CommentLuv. I have discovered that the current set-up of CommentLuv for Blogger involves installing a comment system called IntenseDebate. IntenseDebate is a completely separate comment system from Blogger's, with different moderation capabilities, different log-in options, and different functions altogether.

What does all that mean?

That this poll was completely pointless. Because if I install IntenseDebate, then I'll have to do a whole other poll about all the features there. Or maybe I should do a poll about whether to install IntenseDebate...


A great big THANK YOU to all 29 of you who voted (I'm not counting myself), and for the commenters on the comment poll who made it all so very synergistic. I broke my rule and did delete a very rude spam comment from that post. Usually I get funny spam, but one was...not funny. But this other one was fricking hilarious, and I let it stand:

From (who else?) my dear friend anonymous:
Hi!!! www.hobomama.com is one of the most outstanding innovative websites of its kind. I enjoy reading it every day. Keep it that way.

Was that one of you guys?

All right, any new thoughts, now that you've seen your fellow commenters' stance? Any last opinions on my changes or the idea of installing IntenseDebate/CommentLuv? Anyone think it would be preferable to keep anonymous commenting active but turn ON word verification? Anyone observing that I'm making you do the work of deciding things for me?

Photo courtesy Kristen Price on stock.xchng


Lisa C said...

I just want to say that I never subscribe to posts anywhere because the chances are that I won't get a response to my comment but I'd get a ridiculous amount of email when other people comment. (That is how it, works, isn't it? I'm really a dummy when it comes to blogging, I am really am.) Kind of a pain, but I actually go back to all the individual posts that I've commented on. If I don't see a response within a few days, I assume there never will be one. But that's just me.

Melodie said...

This is really interesting and I'm guessing that a lot of it is general too, not all 100% pertaining to your site but just how a lot of readers are when reading blogs. So it's informative for me too. Thanks for running the poll.

Anonymous said...
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Lauren Wayne said...

Purba: You're welcome to write a respectful comment disagreeing with me, but I'd appreciate that it be on topic to the post and not use inflammatory language that seeks only to insult my readers. Thank you!

Lauren Wayne said...

Well, hey, as long as I'm replying to this long-ago thread:

LIsa: I imagine you won't be reading this. :) But I think it depends on the kind of comment traffic a site gets. I usually subscribe, but then if it's the kind of blog where 50 comments a post is the norm, I tune out and start deleting the replies.

Melodie: I do think it must carry over. It was definitely eye-opening for me!

Tashmica said...

I think this is interesting. Good info to keep in mind for my own blog. Great idea to do a poll.

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