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My Blog = My Home

Inspired by NaBloPoMo writing prompts for Tuesday, June 3 and Wednesday, June 4, 2014:

Who owns the comment section: the blog writer or the blog readers?
Have you ever deleted a comment? What would make you delete a comment?

(Note: I’m combining the writing prompts from yesterday and today into one post, partly because I missed yesterday’s due to Tangled Tuesday, but also because I feel the two questions complement each other well.)

Graphic Conversation

Image courtesy Marc Wathieu

When I looked at these two questions and stopped to think about how I would answer them in relation to my blog, Alphabet Salad, I realized that I tend to view this little corner of the internet as my online home.

The platform (WordPress) and theme (Thesis) are the foundation and structure.

The layout and design, all done by yours truly, are the furnishings and décor.

The “Posts” section is both my office and adjoining library, with post drafts sitting in my “Pending” or “To Do” file and finished, published posts added to my library shelves and made available for anyone who wishes to read them.

And the comments section? Carrying on with the idea of Alphabet Salad being my online home, I see the comments section of my blog as my virtual living room. It’s a gathering place where everyone – family, friends, and other interested parties – is welcome and invited to drop by and visit. It’s a place of both discussion and community where all are free to offer feedback on my published words and be part of an ongoing dialogue with me and their fellow Alphabet Salad readers.

Conversation - three women talking

Image courtesy Dan Mason

This invitation isn’t without limits, however – just as in my real-life home, I expect the guests in my online home to behave! Good discussion, lively debate, and the presentation of differing viewpoints are always welcome, whether in my living room or the comments section of my blog… but rudeness and disrespect are most certainly NOT.

As I mentioned in an earlier post about creating a commenting policy, I have been very fortunate in terms of the discussion that’s taken place in my comments section, and have never (at least to date!) had to delete a comment. But, just as I wouldn’t hesitate to show a badly-behaving guest the door in my real-life home, I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to delete an inappropriate comment posted in my online home.

My blog is my online home, so that makes me the boss of the comments section.

Seems fair to me!

How about you and your blog?
Who do you think owns the comment section?
Please share!

NaBloPoMo June 2014

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Alana
    June 4, 2014

    I feel the owner of the blog owns the comment section. Like you, I would never delete a comment that disagreed with my point of view, as long as it was respectful. Obvious spam goes into the spam folder where it is composted. Something that I suspect may be spam but where I’m not 100% sure (for example, something totally off topic but not containing a link) will simply get deleted. I have had to do that because Blogger, my blogging platform, does not have great tools for spam, and we don’t enjoy the same spam filtering software as WordPress blogs.
    Alana recently posted… Spring Things – Lilacs and RosesMy Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      June 4, 2014

      I’m with you – respectful discussion is definitely fine, whether or not we agree! It’s a shame there aren’t better spam removal tools for Blogger.
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Tangled Tuesday No. 5My Profile

  • Kimberly Eldredge
    June 4, 2014

    I’m with you; the comments need to be nice and respectful.

    I guess I ALSO view it as once you comment, it’s mine. It’s now my property. Just like reviews on Amazon.com become their property. And if I comment on somebody else’s blog, the comment then belongs to them.
    Kimberly Eldredge recently posted… How Long Should My Book Be?My Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      June 4, 2014

      Oh, interesting point… I hadn’t thought of that aspect of the commenting section! I suppose it’s a good argument for keeping comments short and exploring them further in your own blog.
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Tangled Tuesday No. 5My Profile

  • Doreen McGettigan
    June 4, 2014

    What a great question. I think we are certainly the moderators of our comment sections. I never shy away from a good debate as long as the comments are not personally attacking I do not delete them.
    The comments threatening to kill me and my kids get reported and deleted. Unfortunately (because of what I write) there have been a few.
    Doreen McGettigan recently posted… Blogging Common Sense, Post #400 and supporting the insecure #IWSGMy Profile

  • Lana June 4, 2014

    I love the way you likened your blog to your home. I’ve only been blogging for 2 months, and I did have to remove one comment because it was VERY inappropriate.
    Lana recently posted… Daniel Rainn Stitch FixMy Profile

  • Catherine
    June 4, 2014

    Great topic! I’m a personal trainer and have had a lot of interesting comments on my blog. At first I felt like I had to post them all, but I’ve come around. For example, I recently shared a post about why juicing and cleanses are not appropriate for weight loss and had a few people who sell cleanses write in. They told me I was wrong and that the body needs daily cleansing and that their clients over on (website url given) have seen great results. I agree in healthy debate, but the fact is this comment was meant to draw people to the other site. I know cleansing is not the answer to long term weight loss. I know we don’t need go on a detox, we have livers that detox for us! Leaving that post up there would just add to the misinformation I try so hard to teach my readers about so they can do things the healthy way. But, it was hard to spam it because I do feel like debate can be good. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂
    Catherine recently posted… Want a Free Nutrition Plan? You Could Win One!My Profile

  • I agree 100% Laurel. But it’s never happened at least not yet.
    Rena McDaniel-The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver recently posted… TO DO OR NOT TO DO–ALZHEIMER’S DIAGNOSISMy Profile

  • carol graham
    June 4, 2014

    I, too, like the way you described your blog as your home. Unwelcome or disrespectful guests are tricky scenarios. I thought about different people who have come into my home over the years who I tolerated, only to be polite but couldn’t wait for them to leave. In my store, over the course of many years, I had to invite a couple people to leave. But my blog, well, that is a different story. I have not had to do it yet, but if someone was clearly disrespectful or rude, I would have to either delete them or message them privately to find out why they did that and make a decision from there.

    On the other hand, sometimes it is interesting to put something controversial out there to see how people respond and get some good conversation going.

    But………if I don’t delete the comment and it is something that would taint my bloghome, I would delete it immediately — otherwise it is there forever.

    I read a blog today that was extremely offensive to me and it took every ounce of stamina not to comment. If I had, I don’t think I would have been very nice. I guess it goes both ways — I won’t comment but I also will not follow that person any longer.
    carol graham recently posted… There Is No Warning Rattle At The DoorMy Profile

  • Nibha
    June 5, 2014

    I loved the way to you said your blog is you online home and the comment section as living room!
    Nibha recently posted… They Knew Not!My Profile

  • Kajal June 5, 2014

    Agree….totally agree…

    My blog. My space. Period!
    Kajal recently posted… Love Is DevotionMy Profile

  • Shailaja V
    June 5, 2014

    Sister, I am going to say ‘Amen’ to that! I too have been fortunate enough never to have to delete a comment , unless it was from those anonymous spam bots, which automatically get filtered in any case. The picture of your home and your blog are both so inviting. I think I am going to drop by your real home some day 🙂 Lovely post, Laurel!
    Shailaja V recently posted… Tread lightlyMy Profile


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