The problem with moderation

by Carl Natale on December 9, 2010

Talking about reader comments

Reader comments don't have to be scary. There's a good chance that your commenters will be civil and interesting.

You want scary? Enable reader comments on your web site.

That’s right. Let anybody and their mutant cousin write what they want on your web site. You’re going to have to have some control. Approve each and every comment before the world sees it. It’s called moderation:

The biggest problem with moderation is that readers won’t see comments immediately. If you only moderate comments a few times a week, it can look like your blog is a dead zone for conversation, even if you have a lot of visitors and comments coming in. It’s important for a blog to look busy and well-read — a purpose that comments serve better when they appear immediately.

Furthermore, if you have multiple comments on a post, you may have a useful conversation going — something that is bringing readers back to a page multiple times. Moderation can only get in the way of that sort of conversation.

via Is Comment Moderation Really Necessary? Maybe Not — Hyper Modern Consulting.

It’s a good news/bad news kind of situation. The good news is that you have engaging content being read by a large audience. The bad news is that they’re leaving comments. Makes you wish you could be more boring.

Here’s some more good news. It’s probably not going to be that bad. If you’re publishing focused content for a niche audience (a community), chances are comments will be civil.

And the best reason you could have for taking that chance: You never know what you’re going to get. You don’t know everything, and there’s a good chance someone who knows something you don’t will comment. You’re going to learn something.

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