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Friday, March 16, 2012

Encouraging Comments – Make it Easy

Preparing for the Challenge is a lot of work. We have twenty-six posts to compose for April. We’ll put great effort into making each one count. Be a shame if we didn’t receive many comments though. That’s why we need to make it easy for visitors to leave comments!

Here are some of the stumbling blocks:

Word Verification

Most people don’t even realize they have it on. The new word verification is difficult, though. There are those who won’t even bother with blogs that have this feature. During the Challenge, be sure your blog is word verification free. Both blogger and Wordpress have excellent spam filters. If you’re still concerned, you can set up no anonymous comments or blog owner approval. For details on how to remove word verification, see J A Bennett’s very easy directions.

Embedded Comment Boxes

Blogger has improved this feature, but often the page has to load twice. If your blog contains many gadgets or images, this slows the process. Check your comment box to be sure it reloads quickly after a comment is made. Some bloggers report challenges with embedded comment boxes. If your page is slow reloading after a comment is made, consider switching to a pop up comment box instead.

Miscellaneous Hurdles

Some blogs require the answering of a math equation, the re-typing of a long code, or a comment of a certain length. Considering removing these things before the Challenge begins.

Eliminating these challenges is in your best interest. You’re participating in the A to Z Challenge not only to discipline yourself but to make new friends as well. Make it easy for visitors to leave a comment. Not only will you receive more comments, but those people will return to comment again!


Ninja Captain Alex is one of the A to Z Challenge co hosts and can be found HERE

Don't forget to vote for your favorite A to Z video.  Click tab above that says "Vote for your favorite video".




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65 comments:

  1. Thanks for mentioning the embedded message box. Never thought of that so I changed mine to pop-up. You know that I support Captcha Free Zone :)

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  2. Absolutely! I myself do get a little annoyed when I have to type in word verification which I can barely read! Switch it off and go with pop-up comment boxes. Thanks for the reminder Alex.

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  3. agreed, it is awful... it should be turned off... then stuffed in a trunk taken to the river, covered in cement... then thrown into the river... i am only talking about the word verification...

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  4. Whoa. Math equations? I've never seen one of those. Clearly, this is proof you read more blogs than I do, Alex.

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  5. All sage advice to welcome comments. I hate the word verification because I can never tell what the heck the letters are.

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  6. Great tips, Alex!! The new word verif is so annoying. You can hardly tell what the letters are now and you have to type two! Hopefully the A-Zers follow your advice. :)

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  7. I would suck-it-up for a math equation. I've never seen that before and thank goodness.

    These are great tips. Hopefully fellow bloggers take your tips to heart a do them.

    Even if it wasn't for the A to Z Challenage, I hate them just to comment on an everyday post.

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  8. As noted at JA Bennett's post, I am having a hard time removing the word verification. I have been trying to accomplish this for a coupe of months now. I am on Blogger and I don't' have the option to return to the old interface. I don't get why not and I am mad. Does anyone have any ideas for me? Thanks in advance!

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  9. Jeremy, sure you are!

    Matthew, I visit three on a regular basis that have those.

    Sebtown, co-host Jenny at Pearson Report also did a video explaining how to turn it off. Maybe that would be more helpful?

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  10. Please, please, please, listen to Alex! He knows of which he speaks!! :)

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  11. Word verification for comments is a challenge for blog readers, indeed...and if it's one thing that we can do without, come April, it is a challenge within a challenge! lol

    I had to giggle at the bit about math questions. There are some that I've come across that I generally don't mind as much as the captcha thingys.


    The Madlab Post

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  12. Pop up comment boxes are the way to go :)

    Also, word verification is a bad, bad idea. I hope all A-Zers disable it :)

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  13. Excellent presentation. Short, simple, and to the point--like April posts should be.

    I'm of dual thinking about the embedded comments now that I can't subscribe to comments on the pop-ups. And the pages have mostly been loading fast for me these days.

    The math equations are usually simple like "1 + 3 = ?", but I usually don't see them easily and are annoying from that standpoint. I've gotten to the point where I just whiz through most of the WVs, but it is maddening sometimes.

    I hope you've opened some eyes today.

    Lee

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  14. Agreed! It's much easier and less time consuming to comment when the CAPTCHAs are off. Since I've had the blog, all spam has been caught by blogger, so yes, they are very good at that.

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  15. Thanks for the advice on the commenting, I just switched to a pop up window :)

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  16. I do not know why people cling to the word verification on their blogs. I've had over five thousand comments on my blog and out of those maybe five were spam. And it was quicker to delete them than it is figuring out one of those new captcha word verification puzzles.

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  17. I have never used word verification and get maybe one spam a year. Thankfully, most of the blogs I visit don't use it.

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  18. these are good to use all year around, not just during A to Z. feel free to visit my site and rate how difficult it is to leave a comment.

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  19. Great advice! I have never used word verification for my blog and am very annoyed at those blogs I visit who make you write out the new Captcha words. It's a pain in the butt.

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  20. Great advice. It never occurred to me about the page having to reload. I will need to change my comments to pop-up box.

    Wow. I have never encountered a math equation.

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  21. Great advice! It really does help streamline the process.

    Happy weekend!

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  22. 'Some blogs require the answering of a math equation'

    Srsly? Yowch.

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  23. I have one to add - keep the posts short!!
    Karen

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  24. Thanks for the tip on word verification. Going through the process of turning it off, I also realized that it was set to only allow comments from registered users. I'm sure that has cut down on the comments I have received.

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  25. Thanks so much for this post - I had no idea it was even turned on!

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  26. Thank you Alex for the mention, once again! Now I feel even worse for not doing the A-Z, but I will be a staunch supporter of the cause!

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  27. What you say is true, Alex. There are times that I don't even notice the verification box because once it's not in a place you see until you click submit. You think you're finished and move on.

    I've had a few come back and say, I thought you were going to stop by.

    I did.

    I don't see a comment there.

    So I go back and find out that there was a verification box that came up after the submit process and the comment didn't post because I didn't see it!

    Verifications lettering is a pain to read, too.

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  28. Nicole, they're easy, but thought I'd mention it.

    LG, Amen!

    Mimi, that made me laugh!

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  29. great post! thanks for saying it!

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  30. Hope everyone follows your advice. There are a few blogs I visit nearly everyday that have so many graphics to load, it seems to take forever.

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  31. Hi Alex .. one word from Master Cassa - and it's all change - goody I might be able to comment more easily .. via pop up boxes .. cheers Hilary

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  32. Thanks, Alex! I'm glad I've never come across one of those math question blogs.

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  33. I think it was during last year's challenge that I changed my comments to a pop-up box - and they've stayed like that ever since! I prefer not to have to reload the page to then comment on other posts...

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  34. Great advice, Alex. I've never run into math equations for verification, but this mathematicians does think that's kinda cool...but certainly NOT for this challenge. And if it's just 1+3, then that's not truly an equation. It's just a math PROBLEM. Equations have to have at least one unknown element, you know, like x. Don't mean to sound like an elitist math nerd, but I have a migraine...
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

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  35. Another suggestion for people whose blogs are on blogger -- please consider enabling name/url sign-in. I far prefer signing in that way than with my google account which is often the only choice I have. I also far prefer having a direct link in someone's name on a blog than having to wade through the information on their google page.

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  36. good point - I need to change back to pop up comment boxes... I think...
    Lx

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  37. I never knew how to get that pop-up comment box. I've always wanted that and now I changed it. Thanks Alex!

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  38. Susan, I bet my blog is a little guilty of that...

    Rachel, exactly!

    Beth, mine's enabled.

    Nancy, great!

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  39. Captcha is pure evil. ;)
    Thanks for this post. Just coming from another challenge, my kids thought there was a wild animal in our kitchen with all the captcha groaning I was doing.

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  40. Word verification is horrid. Most spam on the two blogs I administer comes from the Anonymous comment option, so disabling that one is another excellent suggestions.

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  41. Followed the direction and got rid of the word verfication. Super easy when you know how. I'm with @Arlee about the pop-up thing. That option gets rid of commenting notification. You know the person isn't coming back to read the responses. Doesn't that discourage bloggers from responding to comments?

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  42. I think that new word verification was invented by pod people.

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  43. I don't get comments at all not that its private but just that I don't have enough freinds here ....hope i get comments on my A to Z challenge :)

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  44. I don't get comments at all not that its private but just that I don't have enough freinds here ....hope i get comments on my A to Z challenge :)

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  45. Some blogs actually require a math question?? That's like saying, "I have stuff to post and I don't want any back talk". Crazy.

    Great post Alex and so diplomatic. Maybe you were a Cassan governor in another life??

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  46. Thanks, Alex. I never even considered how long a page with tons of badges and gadgets might take to load and reload. I have always admitted that I am a computer idiot, but I think I am worse off than I originally believed. I don't even know what embedded comments means.

    Thank you, thank you for continuing to spread the word about the dreadful word verification on comments.

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  47. Yes! The word verification should be turned off because it is very annoying. Great advice!

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  48. I disabled my word verification a while ago, and I hope it's still off. Thanks for the great advice Alex! Julie

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  49. Jennifer, that's funny.

    Maurice, if I've asked a question, I'll go back and look. Responding shows that a blogger interacts with those who comment, which is even more important to see. (And for me, I visit a hundred blogs a day - I do NOT want a hundred emails as a result!)

    Youmna09, then the Challenge is for you!

    Chuck, maybe!

    Melissa, I know mine takes a moment, that's why I don't have an embedded comment box.

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  50. Captcha gets on my nerves. I've removed mine a looooong time ago.
    Great advices :-)

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  51. I didn't know this was a separate blog, Alex. Great stuff here!

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  52. I removed word verification for the A-Z Challenge last year, so that's taken care of!

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  53. Good advice. Sometimes I've wanted to leave comments on blogs and gave up because the word verification thingy wouldn't except anything I typed in.

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  54. As I figured it took me several minutes to scroll down to leave my comment... LOL.

    Great advice. Thanks Alex/

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  55. I've never had a problem with embedded comments, and I've got it on my own. I prefer it because I can chose to get email comment notification. Does it really make a difference to have pop up boxes? (As if to prove my flimsy point, this box just took about 15 seconds to load!)

    Is there a way to get emails from pop-up boxes?

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  56. Good points. My blog is word verification free. I've always had a pop-up comment box (knowing the embedded form causes issues for some) UNTIL just recently when Blogger/Google took away the option to subscribe to comments by email in all comment forms EXCEPT in the embedded. It's a function I value and use, and so I am annoyed it's been removed.

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  57. Hi Alex,
    This is really a timely piece.
    Good tips on the eve of a to z challenge. I am sure many will take note of this and do it accordingly to make path easy to get in to their spaces. :-)
    I visited many posts they have this hurdle called word verification and i leave a small note on this to remove as you said. But i am doubt my blog got some extra gadgets is anybody getting trouble/slow thing etc to get in pl. check and let me know. Here with my comp i can do it easily will you pl. check and let me know so that i can remove few more gadgets.
    Thanks
    Phil @ Philipscom
    An ambassador to A to Z Challenge @ Tina's Life is Good
    And My Bio-blog

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  58. These are the same issues each year. One thing's for sure - my blogs will be comment friendly!

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  59. Thanks for the helpful advice. I'll keep looking for more!

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  60. Thanks for the post. It made me wonder if these issues have impacted on potential commentors before, and how many conversations didn't happen because my blog comments feature was frustrating.

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