Monday, June 25, 2007

What's your comment policy?

Earlier, I was spending some time on Monster's blog. On first blush, this is a pretty solid company blog. The content is focused on the job-seeker's needs, and the sidebar links to additional sources that would benefit the reader. The blog even has a link to the writers' bookmarks!

Then I saw the company's comment policy on the sidebar, that reads as follows:
Comments are moderated; they should appear on the Monster Blog within one business day.

Is this a good or bad comment policy for a company blog? Dear readers, what say you?


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Anonymous said...

I could understand that during non business hours. In my opinion, it just illustrates how much they value the comments. Could you imagine trying to have a dialog with someone and it takes a day for them to acknowledge they even heard you?

Anonymous said...

I agree - it's not a bad idea. Much better to regulate the comment stream and be able to respond, rather than not responding at all. The result is more of a conversation than a wall (think Facebook).

Mack Collier said...

Pete what about the 1-business day wait time? That means if you leave a comment on the blog at 6pm on Friday, it might not show up till Monday morning.

You ok with that?

Anonymous said...

I think such a long wait time negates the positive of any potential interaction. Will readers come back, or subscribe to comments, in order to keep up with the conversation? Maybe, maybe not. If I were Monster, I would check how this is going over with the community and make any changes needed, quickly.

Anonymous said...

what a great logo you got for a graphic. A lot of business blogs I'm seeing are doing this. One even edited my comment after waiting a day (they did keep the integrity of the comment but they did take out one whole line). Ideally I think comments should just automatically appear...otherwise we bloggers just won't bother. On the other, I'm just glad to see some of these co's blogging.

That said, I don't content all co's should blog (but they all should listen).

nat said...

There are great reasons for why a company might want to restrict blog comments like this.
But, understanding the value points of the blog, what’s the point in having a blog if it has to be restricted in this way.
If the nature of the blog does not fit within your business requirements (considering benefits, risks, etc) utilise another tool that will.
We constantly keep talking about how online social networks are strong, growing and varied - lets not forget that its doesn't just stop at blogs!

Anonymous said...

ehhh, I say it depends on what it is in practice. Under promise, over deliver, right?

Enrique Burgos said...

Probably withing this 1 day dealy we are cutting the web 2.0 spirit, but as a marketing executive, its necesssary. The consecuences of very bad comments with the internet speed of propagation, is absolutely dangerous.

Mack Collier said...

I guess it comes down to how important you think comments are on a blog. IMO, it's a blog's lifeblood, and you have to do everything possible to make it as easy as possible for readers to comment. It's painfully easy to add in word-verification and kill the spammers. And if you're worried about some people leaving critical comments, well they are likely going to do that anyway, better that they do it in YOUR space, where you can reply to their points.

IMO a 1 business-day delay in approving comments is totally unacceptable.

Linus Kendall said...

Nice blog! Really have enjoyed reading it!

Anyway, this is pretty close to what I'm working with this summer so I'll leave my comment..

I think that it's cruicial that you keep it free but this puts requirements on you, that you have the corporate culture to support it (that is - we can take negative feedback) and that you are very active yourself (actually answering the comments quickly).

All in all, I would say that an organization has to look at itself and if it's ready to handle this.

Anonymous said...

I hear you Mack... I think the one-day rule is absurd. Great line here:

"And if you're worried about some people leaving critical comments, well they are likely going to do that anyway, better that they do it in YOUR space, where you can reply to their points."

The other thing that drives me nuts about comment policies on some blogs is requiring registration before a reader can comment. Even the Huffington Post, which generally I like and admire, does this... and I don't get why. Why throw up roadblocks for interaction?

Anonymous said...

Hey Mack,
I agree that one day is maybe extreme. However you cannot expect employees/executives to blog themselves and invest personal time into the blogosphere without cutting them some slack. I had a blogger post that I was not listening when his comment was not posted within the hour on a Sunday evening at 9pm... I see it as important in my case to screen comments to make sure that we do not post obscenities, private info (people leave their phone number on comments for support issues for example), etc...
Keep up the good work on this blog diagnostic series

Anonymous said...

If I were advising a client, I would share the pros and cons of moderating comments. On the other hand, I would urge that comments never be censored for what they say and only censored if they are spam, pornographic, and over-loaded with anger or cuss words.

I don't moderate my comments, but when spam or porn show up, which they do occasionally, I delete them and deny future access to that URL.

However, 24 hours is too long for moderation and discourages conversation. I would reduct that to an hour at most.

Anonymous said...

Should say that 1-hour recommendation is reserved for office hours only. If you leave a comment at my blog after hours or on the weekends, well, I may not get back to you right away.

Mack Collier said...

"Should say that 1-hour recommendation is reserved for office hours only. If you leave a comment at my blog after hours or on the weekends, well, I may not get back to you right away."

Exactly Lewis, that's completely reasonable. I have no problem at all with moderating comments (although when the blog first launches there's little need for this since there's no traffic anyway), my problem is with the 1 business-day wait to approve comments. As Ann said, that's a 'roadblock to interaction'.

Nudge Marketing said...

What they SHOULD do is have automated emails sent to someone inside the company who reads the comments as soon as they appear and then responds to them be they good or bad comments.

As for the people who think that negative comments could reflect badly on the companies "brand"? Don't you want to know when customers are upset with you? isn't this open/transparent interaction the whole basis for having a blog in the first place?

Anonymous said...

When it comes to moderation, I think that's fine (but that seems pretty well agreed upon).

I think stating a 1 day wait time is a terrible idea. It shows people they aren't what matter. It makes the blog come off as more a formality or a facade than an actual desire to have a conversation. It's just a CYA mentality.