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Why a Business Blog Should Keep Its Comments Closed
Posted on May 20th 2013
It isn’t just your imagination – the internet is becoming less of the “too nice” place that The Atlantic speculated it was turning into and advancing into a state of “social rudeness” where arguments are increasingly made public rather than privately discussed. A recent study from VitalSmarts that analyzed the interactions of 2,698 social users noted that 78 percent of online users had witnessed an increase in online rudeness, with an overwhelming 88 percent having no reservations when it comes to being less cordial online than in person.
One place where the rudeness seems to be found in endless abundance is the comment threads on message boards and blog posts. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr which all employ a stringent system of liking, favoriting, and hearting posts, comment boards get vicious fast and often on an anonymous basis. For some blogs, especially business accounts that require a certain amount of professional and tasteful replies, this means resorting to a system of closed comment threads, so you can read the post but you can’t comment on it. And while this system can be easily seen as alienating to a wide audience base, it’s actually quite beneficial to the blog for the following reasons.
Keeps the spambots at bay
Depending on how you promote out your posts, there could be an increased amount of traffic heading to your business blog with plenty of commentary in tow. The only problem is that said commentary is likely to be more related to cheap Louis Vuitton bags than actual feedback. If your blog receives a lot of spam responses like these, closing off the comments section is a good way to keep your dashboard from flooding with spam. However, you can also install a captcha code with the “leave a comment” forms if you still want to get feedback from non-spam sources reading the post.
Encourage readers to post responses on other social media platforms
If the blog’s traffic is strong enough, but a business has a weaker Facebook account, share the link to the blog post on Facebook and encourage readers to head over there to post a comment on their thoughts. It’ll be easier to manage the responses, as well as reply back and get a conversation going, and even allows you to increase insights on your brand’s page at the same time.
Closed comment threads = no deleted posts
This is a fine line to tread, especially for larger companies who have to sort through a massive amount of responses back, many of which may contain derogatory language and even convey a threatening tone depending on what the topic at hand is about. With open commenting policies, seemingly anything goes and making the decision to delete a post can backfire depending on who left it. By closing off the comment threads and outlining the reasons why you made that decision in a blog post, the audience will be able to understand where you’re coming from.
Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to close off the comments to your business’ blog is up to you. My company has a blog of its own that currently allows for replies to be made, but with a captcha code in place to better filter the spam with. Sometimes that code is all it takes in order for a blog to receive its peace of mind that less vicious or unnecessary comments will show up. But the nice thing is that should you ever decide to re-open the comments to your blog, practically every blogging platform from Wordpress to Blogger makes this an easy enough task to manage.