The A to Z Challenge is a great way to find new blogs to read and to find new "blog buddies." One of the best ways to make new friends is by commenting on their blogs and replying to comments they leave on yours.
This sounds like a simple enough job to do, and for the most part, it is: Wordpress users have no problem commenting on Wordpress blogs, and Blogger users have no problem commenting on Blogger blogs. But, what if you're a Wordpress user who wants to comment on a Blogger blog, or a Blogger user who wants to comment on a Wordpress blog? The two commenting systems are like chalk and cheese, and both have their idiosyncracies. What I'd like to do now is to give a few pointers to users of both systems so that commenting will be a breeze (more or less) for the users of the other.
The controls for simplifying commenting for Blogger users are on the Settings > Discussion screen.
- Checking the box beside "Comment author must fill out name and email" will give users who don't have a Wordpress account (or who aren't signed on to Wordpress) three lines under the comment box for the user's name, email, and optionally the URL to their blog. (Note To Blogger users: although it isn't required, it's a good idea to enter the URL to your blog in the space provided. That way, the author can find you.)
- Unchecking the box next to "User must be registered and logged on to comment" allows non-Wordpress users to comment.
The controls for simplifying commenting for Wordpress users are on the Settings > Posts, comments and sharing screen.
- It's a good idea to set the "Comment Location" to "Popup Window." Blogger can be fussy, and sometimes when you have this set to "Embedded," a person trying to leave a comment who's either doing so anonymously or with their name and blog URL can get stuck in CAPTCHA hell, having to play the Picture Game over and over until CAPTCHA is convinced you're not advertising porn, CBD oil or online casinos. I and several others found this didn't happen when the blog uses the popup window.
- Google, in their infinite wisdom, decided to do away with using Open ID as a way to identify yourself when leaving a comment on Blogger. Now, you can either allow anyone (including anonymous users), only users with a Google ID, or the owners of the blog to comment. I know there are a thousand reasons why you don't want anonymous comments, but that's just the way Google set things up. So, set this to "Anyone (including anonymous users), knowing that users who don't have Google accounts will be required to check a box to prove they're not a robot, and you might want to set Comment Moderation to "Always" or "Sometimes." (Note to Wordpress users: if leaving an anonymous comment, you'll want to add a footer to your comments (a manual process) with your name and a link to your blog, so that others can find you.)
- Please turn off word verification. This will also turn off the CAPTCHA Picture Game.
When commenting, you can leave a link to your own blog OR leave the title of your blog from the Master List. There are a lot of people who believe in reciprocal comments. They also believe if they can't find your blog in the first three tries, they'll (rightly) give up. Here's where they are most likely to look for you:
- The link you left on the comment form on their blog.
- Your Blogger or commenting profile, if their blog uses that and yours works.
- The name of your blog on our Master List. (Which only works if you've given that information.)
So, you could sign your comments with your URL. Or as "John Doe of Blog Name."
I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions, leave me a comment.