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If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork

Articles about blogging tipsI was recently at a meeting with a lot of bloggers and I overheard a group of them spouting off about “stupid people who leave stupid-style comments on their blogs”.

There was a lot of talk about the idiotic things people leave on blog comments like “Wow, this is so useful”, which you would think would be a nice thing to say but old time bloggers think it’s a waste of comment space. Why not say “Thank you for your valuable point of view. Here is my perspective on the subject…” and continue the conversation.

I heard one person say that part of their personal responsibility in leaving comments on blogs is to encourage other readers to comment. I liked that.

There were also jokes about people who don’t know how to leave a link in a blog comment, breaking the comments area of the blog with a 120 character link stretching across the page and beyond. And those who post code in comments that screws everything up.

They all agreed on the idiocy level of people who put their email addresses and other private information in their comments, and how they delete personal information, and even the comment itself as punishment for stupid thinking, unless the comment adds to the conversation.

But the one that really made me laugh was when a woman said:

“If I find a blog comment signed with their name, my dork-o-meter goes red alert.”

The words were hysterically funny, but no one else laughed. I choked my giggles down and leaned in closer to the group to hear their response.

It was unanimous from the sound of it. Everyone agreed very loudly that people who sign their blog comments are dorks. Idiots. Top of the stupid class. Pointed heads. Wearers of the dumb-guy baseball cap.

In “How Not to Comment on Comments”, I talk about some points you need to consider when leaving a comment on a blog, and in “Editing Your Blog Comments”, I describe how leaving your name or signature on your blog comments is redundant and makes you look like a novice:

Comment Signatures – Don’t Sign Your Comments
Today’s blog comments feature a fairly consistent form. You fill in your name or blog name, email, and website address and then type in your comment. When it appears on the blog, your email should be hidden, but your name becomes a link to the website address you just gave. And most say “Lorelle says:” or “Comment by” and then your comment appears.

So don’t sign your name and include a link to your blog in your comments. It’s redundant. It makes you look like you don’t know what you are doing.

A comment isn’t a letter.

I’ll say it again, just so we’re clear about this: A comment is not a letter.

A blog comment does not start with “Dear Lorelle” and end with “Yours sincerely” and name, address, email, phone number, or website address.

These types of comments are usually left by people with little or no experience with blogs, blogging, or commenting.

Some people argued that signing a blog comment personalized the comment. I disagree. Your comment personalizes the comment, not your signature. I find no personalization in “Thanks, Fred” or “Yours truly, Alice”. Doesn’t do a thing for me. You?

Why do I think this way?

Think about it. If you sign your name to your comment, it looks like:

“Lorelle says: I agree with your point, Lorelle.”

It’s a little odd, isn’t it?

A blog comment is a part of an ongoing dialog. Over. A conversation. Over. This isn’t ham radio talk. Over. Where each comment’s end must have a signal that it’s finished. Over. Then the next person can talk. Over. Signing your blog comments is old fashioned, letter-writing stuff. Over. Anything that gets in the way of the flow of dialog stops the conversation. Over.

Come on, who talks like that?

While I’m still giggling at the phrasing, I have agree. You do look like a dork when you sign a blog comment. When you add your name and blog URL, you look desperate.

Remember, a blog comment is not a letter. Blogs break many rules that the printing and writing world forced upon students in grammar lessons for the past several hundred years. Blogs change the whole concept of communications and publishing media. Blog comments come with your name and URL, if you provide them.

So don’t sign them.

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  1. Posted April 20, 2007 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Seriously, who cares if someone adds their name at the bottom of a comment? If you disregard a comment because they are a “novice” at commenting, then you’re possibly just as big an idiot as you think they are.

    I choose to leave my comments open and unedited and only delete obvious spam, beyond that I really don’t care what people leave. Here’s how I see the deal I signed up to when I decided to become a blogger: I write what I want in my posts and in exchange I allow people to write what they want in my comments. I even let them write their names if they want to. Simple really.

    This sort of sniggering about people who might not be as blog-savvy as you, really shows you in a bad light.

  2. Posted April 20, 2007 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    I have no problems with people signing off a comment with their name and URL, but I do find it redundant. Very redundant.

    And well, Ian, I am sure Lorelle isn’t “sniggering about people who might not be as blog-savvy as her”. I think she is merely sharing her point of view, and she is entitled to it, no? 🙂

  3. Anonymous
    Posted April 20, 2007 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    I agree: who cares if people add their name on at the end? The discussion reflects much more poorly on the sniggerers than on the people who sign their comment.

    Anon Ymous

  4. Posted April 20, 2007 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Yeah I agree Pelf,

    When I said “You” maybe I should have used “One” I’m not directing that last line specifically at Lorelle.

    But “jokes about people who don’t know how to leave a link in a blog comment” is pretty mean spirited, wouldn’t you say?

    Plus, I don’t know if one has heard, but some people think that just by leaving a comment on a blog, one is a *dork*. (snigger…)

  5. Posted April 20, 2007 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    I really like that idea that part of ones remit as a commentor is to encourage further comments; I have never thought of it that way before.

    Of all the things to complain about though inexperience isn’t one I would concern myself with. Dismissing them as a dork is a pretty poor attitude really.

  6. Posted April 20, 2007 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    I guess this post really did hit home — I just hit the category of being a “dork” because of my futile attempts to leave some examples of code on some of my comments recently. Yep! I screwed it up — I didn’t know how to do it — Lorelle very kindly tried to help — but I still didn’t “get it”.

    Quite honestly, I didn’t know that one shouldn’t add a code example to a comment. I’m more used to forums. I was just looking for some help and advice. And, I did get quite a bit of that — for which I’m thankful.

    And, why do we always have to have some people classified as “secondary citizens” — “dorks”?

    Oops! I almost signed this ….

  7. Posted April 20, 2007 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    It’s signing, not a big deal. Yes, it’s repetative, but who really cares? It could also be the best comment you get ever, and to dismiss it right off the bat like that is just stupid.

    I’ll agree with everything else though. Which reminded me…

    I saw a plugin for WordPress that “warns” the reader that they’re reading an older post. Right in the description it said that it was made so people wouldn’t comment as much on things that are older.

    This makes sense in a forum where threads are ordered based on the date of the newest message in the thread. But when things stay in the order they were published in, doesn’t this go against the entire idea of blogging?

  8. Posted April 20, 2007 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    The delivery of that post doesn’t really seem to fit in with the rest of your blog. Telling about the discussion you overheard and that you found the comments amusing – Good. Sharing your opinion on how comments should be made – Very good. That is your stated purpose for this blog.

    But overall your article comes off as telling people who have been doing this that they are dorks, even though you use the wording “makes you look like a dork.” If I was a beginning blogger and commenter who had signed my comments then my trust in you as a teacher would go way down because I would feel that you don’t respect me.

    And by the way, some people put the name of their website or blog in for “name” in order to distinguish which version of them, or which of their brands, is commenting. Then they sign the bottom with their personal name.

    I hope I don’t sound too harsh. I’ve learned a great deal from this blog and generally enjoy your writing style. This post just took me aback a bit.

  9. Posted April 20, 2007 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I’d have to agree with several of the comments above. Signing a comment may be a novice mistake, but isn’t that how people learn? The more comments they read, and subsequently leave will let them see the error of their ways.

    I’ve left a few comments to the effect of “Wow, nice find”, or “This is really useful”. I don’t see comments as solely the continuation of the blog post. I see them as a way for the readers to make ‘comments’ to the poster. If that comment is nothing more than “This is really useful” then so be it. Perhaps not the most intelligent thing to be saying, definitely doesn’t help carry the conversation in any fashion, but it does provide some feedback to the poster. It lets the poster know that someone is in fact reading their posts, and that whats being posted is useful, helpful, or generally appreciated.

    Maybe my views are shaped by the fact that I am a novice blogger, and haven’t had to deal with “dorky” comments.

    Personally, I’ll accept any dorky commenter out there, along with their idiotic comments, as long as its not spam or filled with foul language.

  10. Posted April 20, 2007 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Well, I’m glad to find that most of the comments to this post (so far) are in alignment with the way how I felt when I read this post.

    Excluding spam or hateful messages, any comment anybody leaves on my site deserves my respect. Sign it, don’t sign it, paste a long url or not, write a short “great” or a long opinion… I am truly grateful that the commenter bothered to take the time to read my post and say something about it. Clearly, some people whose sites have reached a certain critical mass, stopped feeling that way long ago, and I think it’s pretty lame that they now go off calling stupid on those people feeding their site stats.

    The only thing I need to confess may bother me when I read a comment on somebody else’s site is excessive fanatical praise for the author. This often happens on celebrity sites. I wouldn’t dare to call such commenters stupid or idiots though. I’m sure the author loves getting the praise, and the comments are directed to the author anyway.

  11. Posted April 20, 2007 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I would rather be a dork than an ungrateful idiot. I feel complimented every time someone leaves a compliment on one of my blogs. Some of my favorite comments are the heart-felt kind that come from people who have obviously never commented on a blog before, and may not even understand that they’re not reading some extension of Google. Dorks? I call them ordinary folks, and I think that getting more of such people to read out blogs should be one of our goals as writers. But hey, if you want to belong to an exclusive group of blogging cognoscenti, that’s your right.

    I can kind of understand the point about wanting comments to continue the discussion — especially if one’s idea of a suitable blog post is a long quote and/or link plus one sentence of reaction. In that case, clearly, it’s all about the conversation. But people should realize that that’s just one style of blogging, no more valid than any other style. Those of us who put several hours into each post are perhaps more open to comments that merely express appreciation for the effort. Most of my own comments on the blogs I read fall into that category.

  12. Glenn
    Posted April 20, 2007 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    This post surprised me. It all seems pretty harsh for what is basically a ‘you say tomayto, I say tomahto’ situation.

    As you choose to sign your own posts, maybe it’s tongue in cheek. Your single page posts are structured ‘Lorelle on WordPress’ [post] Lorelle, almost identical to the structure you think looks odd in comments. Assuming someone is stupid because they don’t use the same blog/comment style – I really hope this isn’t meant to be serious, its just seems so out of character with the rest of your content.

  13. Posted April 20, 2007 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Hmmm. I have a habit of signing off my comments. Why? Well after twenty years online (yes you read that right) and using everything from usenet newsgroups to mailing lists to IRC and so on, I’ve got quite an ingrained habit of signing off.

    You sure you wanna consider that dorky and amateur? A sure sign of a noob? Your call, I suppose, but the web didn’t start with, nor will it end with, blogs…

    Just pointing out something you might not have considered.

  14. Posted April 20, 2007 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    A blog is supposed to facilitate open communication with your audience. Deriding some members of your audience as “dorks” or “newbies” because they don’t know the secret handshake is the opposite of this.

    Sincerely, your most humble reader, et cetera, et cetera.

  15. joe banner
    Posted April 20, 2007 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    God bless Dorks that have enough balls to leave comments and damn the arrogant Geeks that don’t publish them.

  16. Posted April 20, 2007 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I don’t think I have ever signed off on a blog comment, now I am really glad I haven’t or I wouldn’t be able to hang out with the “Kewl Kidz”.
    Though there is some genuinely useful information in your post it might have been better to just write it as a guide for newbie commenter’s.
    One point in particular I would raise:
    “There were also jokes about people who don’t know how to leave a link in a blog comment, breaking the comments area of the blog with a 120 character link stretching across the page and beyond.”
    I always try to avoid this, so much so that at times I don’t leave a comment because I can’t immediately tell whether or not HTML is allowed and the blog owners haven’t provided the information. Also, quite often there is no “preview” option to allow the commenter to see how the link will present. Sometimes I leave a TINYurl instead, not because I don’t know how to add a link, just that some blogs are not very user friendly.
    Maybe if those bloggers you overheard made their sites easier to use they wouldn’t have so much to whinge about.

    StevieB (oops!!!) 😉

  17. Posted April 20, 2007 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Some people who write long comments use the “name” field at the top to describe the associated link, and place their real name at the bottom. I like it. I would do it now if my comment was longer.

    I find the statement “a comment is not a letter” to be rather anal; I would much prefer to receive letters in this format than none at all.

  18. valerie
    Posted April 20, 2007 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I read this in my rss reader, where right below the post’s title, it says “by Lorelle vanFossen”. So it says “If you sign your blog comments, you’re a dork” by Lorelle. Then the text signed “by Lorelle” again. Guess Lorelle’s a dork too. We’re all dorks somehow.

    Even on the actual site, you see the top header graphic that says “Lorelle on WordPress”, the post, and then ends with the custom signature saying Lorelle. Like the others said, this seems uncharacteristically nit-picky at any rate and was definitely not worth the space taken, which exposed the attitudes of the other bloggers Lorelle was with. It can’t be good practice to insult your readers.

  19. Posted April 20, 2007 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    My goodness. I guess I’m a ‘dork’ with feelings hurt.

    Are we setting up a dismissing of civility on blogs? Just because one is commenting on a blog, does that mean the ‘salutations’, ‘pleases’, and ‘thank yous’ become dorkily redundant when used?

    If I held a door open for someone -and they walked through, would they be redundant by saying thank you? Would the mere walking through be thanks enough?

    Let’s allow for a little humanity in our comments and posts. Doesn’t hurt, doesn’t cost a thing.
    It helps build a better community, I think.

    “Guided by the Ancestors”

  20. Justme
    Posted April 20, 2007 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the people who say the sniggerers are showing more about themselves than the people they deride as “dorks” who take the time to comment on their blogs.

    Maybe the sniggerers have oh so many commenters that they don’t feel any gratitude for someone reading and taking the time to comment.

    As someone said, some people use logons (e.g. typepad key) that aren’t necessarily their proper legal names, and hail the brave hearted who take ownership and actually put their own names!

    And not every blog is a “conversation”, take for example the blog for Freakonomics. One of the authors stated he never engages in conversation in the comments even though he reads all.

    Other blogs are places where signing one’s name is appropriate part of that blogs culture.

    It’s truly annoying when someone breaks the site with bad code, but maybe it’s a problem with sloppy webdesign or CSS such as fixed-width formats that the blogger could fix! Maybe the blogger could put information stating here’s the html examples for making something bold, or italic or adding a link so the real newbs have some guidance.

    Jeesh! Please tell me who these other bloggers are so I can avoid leaving a comment for them. I’ll take my energy somewhere else.

    Just my two cents,


  21. Posted April 20, 2007 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    This is the first…and last blog post I’ll be reading of yours. I agree with the majority that it was mean-spirited and you could have better spent the time educating those of us who are newbies.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  22. Posted April 20, 2007 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    totally agree

    Jermayn Parker

  23. Posted April 20, 2007 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never been a big fan of just flat out saying you’ll never be coming back like some people right above me have stated. But then again, I’ve never been a big fan of only reading one blog post and deciding what to do from that either.

    In all honesty though, this really doesn’t seem to come from the same person as anything else I remember reading here.

  24. Posted April 20, 2007 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    I am sorry for my above post but those bloggers above that you talked about are total morans and if they do not want people commenting on their blogs, they can come over to my blog 🙂

    The thing that is great about blogs is that there is the freedom and ability to express yourself in various ways and how cares how they do that? If they post a link without using the a tag, so what, fix it up. If they sign off with their name. At least you know their name 🙂

    In reading people’s opinions I think most agree with me and not the ‘up-themselves’ bloggers you laugh with.

  25. Posted April 20, 2007 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Well, I have a habit of signing my blog comments, and really don’t care whether or not you consider me a “dork” for doing it. So be it. Hopefully the blog owner will still read my comment and consider and respect it for its content, not the salutations. If not, then it’s not worth commenting on their blog to begin with.

    As someone mentioned above, I got into the habit of signing my comments on net fora and bulletins boards, in part because my user name often was not “Keith” but rather something like “ioman” and signing “Keith” personalized the post or comment and made it seem more to the reader like there was a real, breathing, thinking human being typing the words.

    You, Lorelle, use your name (presumably your real name) on your blog and in your comments, as do I. But many, many people do NOT. Which feels more substantial (notice my word choice) to you, “Comment by CosmicBlogCafe” with no signoff, or the same with the comment actually signed by “Craig”?

    And what about the blogs that have multiple contributors? Sometimes when someone from that blog comments on mine, I get the blog’s name, but not that of the individual contributor. So how do I know which of the 10 contributors actually made a good point I would like to reply to?

    Is blogging really about blogs conversing with blogs, software to software, icons to icons, gravatars to gravatars, or is it about people talking with people?

    When you sign a comment, you are not being anonymous, you are owning the comment, personalizing it. Too often people make comments using (hiding behind) those meaningless usernames that they would not dare say if they actually signed the comment.

    Additionally in my case I am often signaling to the blog owner something by the way that I sign off. If it’s “regards,” I am trying to be neutral. If “best regards,” a bit warmer. “Warm regards,” friendly. “sincerely” or “respectfully”, cold and formal. Similarly when I sign off in Spanish or Portuguese (my blog is in all 3 languages, and I comment on blogs in all 3 languages). When an Argentine reads my comment ending in “Atentamente” or “sinceramente” they know I am being respectful to them (in much of Latin America such civility is practiced more than in the US). “Saludos atentos” a little more casual, and “un abrazo” warmly like a friend.

    Occasionally I also sign off with a more overt indicator of state-of-mind, such as “confused,” “excited,” “puzzled,” etc. And then there’s the “aguardo su respuesta” (“I await your reply”).


  26. Posted April 20, 2007 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I would like to figure out HOW TO GET people to sign comments they leave on my blog.

    My blog supports my business as a healthcare consultant. The theme of the blog cuts across many subsectors within healthcare and consumer technology — pharma, medical devices, IT, consumer electronics, doctors, hospitals — you get the point.

    Knowing who made a comment adds context and authority to a blog posting….it help advance the objectives of my blog — to get people in various industry sectors to understand how others in closely related sectors view the world.

  27. Posted April 20, 2007 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Vince, that’s a topic I cover frequently. The information in the comment form lists the name and URL of the person commenting, thus, why should they repeat the information in a signature? If it is critical you know who and “what” your commenters are, add to the comment form an option for them to write in their title, business, name or other information you need for your blog and blog readers. If your commenters’ expertise is critical to the conversation, give them the option to showcase it.

    A blog that invites comments, and does not challenge readers to comment, is a step in the right direction. Having something worth commenting on makes a big difference. Not all posts need or deserve comments.

    Blogs shouldn’t come with signs that say “don’t sign your comments”. If people sign them, they sign them. It’s a comment. Cheer.

    However, if you are serious about learning how to comment on blogs, don’t sign your comments. Like the bloggers described in the article, I’ve been told by many bloggers that while they welcome your comment, they wish you wouldn’t sign them or write them as a formal letter with Dear John and sincerely yours. It doesn’t sound like a natural conversation. It changes the tone of the blog conversation. A blog comment isn’t a letter or email. It’s unique to itself.

    The one thing bloggers want is to get their readers talking, to them, and to each other, quickly and easily, a flowing natural conversation filled with Q&A, debate, and great information and opinions, not signatures that seem to be the end of the discussion.

    It’s amazing how what someone else said has suddenly become what I said. Very interesting. A lesson in how close readers pay attention to details before responding. 😉 I said signing your blog comments makes you look like a novice and can actually get in the way of a blog conversation, in keeping with my many years of teaching people how to blog. Another blogger made the “dork-o-meter” reference. I hadn’t heard the term “dork” since 5th grade. A funny word I never thought was offensive.

    What is clear from this discussion is that the issue of comments is very important to bloggers and to blog readers. Understanding how blog comments are different from other forms of communication is important. Comments are evolving on blogs, spreading from blogs to social networks and beyond. Not long from now, you will be able to click a link and record your response and have it transcribed alongside the recording on blog comments. Possibly even done with video. It will be interesting to see how online communication improvements change blogs.

    For those still unclear on how to comment or not to comment on blogs, see How NOT to Comment on Comments.

  28. Posted April 20, 2007 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Dear Lorelle

    I agree with you totally.


  29. Posted April 21, 2007 at 2:31 am | Permalink


    I stand corrected! You are right, I didn’t read the post very carefully. You were only repeating what others said in the conversation.

    And, you are also right about the word “dork.” I haven’t heard that word since fifth grade, either. (Except when I playfully call one of my children that, LOL.) But, I did react to it. Maybe and old scar?

    I’m heading off to read your post, How NOT to Comment on Comments.

    Head in my hand….

  30. Posted April 21, 2007 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    I have been a regular reader of this blog for several months and always find it informative, interesting and genuinely helpful. I can’t believe how much blog real estate that this topic has generated. Surely it’s OK to be a novice, not everyone can be experts. Who cares? Newbie users are always welcome. Let people be who they want to be and to use the internet in the way that they want to. I am annoyed when I read articles that berate people for “incorrect behaviour”.

  31. Posted April 21, 2007 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    I’m also surprised by this post. This is a great blog but I have to agree with most of the other comments that this is in the “Who cares?” category.

    The most interesting part of this post is your statement “I heard one person say that part of their personal responsibility in leaving comments on blogs is to encourage other readers to comment. I liked that.”

    That’s a really good point, but it may get lost in the noise.

  32. Anonymous
    Posted April 21, 2007 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, the title of your post is: “If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork.” And later you wrote: “It was unanimous from the sound of it. Everyone agreed very loudly that people who sign their blog comments are dorks. Idiots. Top of the stupid class. Pointed heads. Wearers of the dumb-guy baseball cap.” Both of these things makes it sound like you’re right on board with the sentiment.

    You write: “However, if you are serious about learning how to comment on blogs, don’t sign your comments.” This is so silly. Who are the arbiters of online conversation? Again, IMO, who cares? Yes, some methods of commenting might seem more natural, and some people might do things that look silly when you’ve been doing this a lot, but it’s such a minor thing. I’ve been reading and commenting on blogs for years, and I’ve never thought twice about a signed comment until now.

    And of course the funny part is that we’re all a bunch of dorks as far as the rest of the world is concerned. Do we really need to set up our own class system?

  33. Justme
    Posted April 21, 2007 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Lorelle said in comment 27 Posted April 20, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    “It’s amazing how what someone else said has suddenly become what I said.”

    and in her post Lorelle said
    “While I’m still giggling at the phrasing, I have agree. You do look like a dork when you sign a blog comment.

    and Lorelle titled her post, as Anonymous correctly pointed out,
    “If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork”

    So, Lorelle, regardless of what other people have said, it sure looks like you’re calling people who sign their comments “dorks”.

    You want a conversation in your comments, but you don’t seem to be hearing what your commenters are saying. Part of a conversation involves both parties listening. Listen to your commenters.

    Most of us seem to be telling you: It’s not nice to call people who comment on your blog “dorks”. It’s more important what people say then if they say it clumsy or with in-your-opinion-excess courtesy.

    It sounds to me like you’re saying “My way (of commenting) or the highway”.


  34. Posted April 21, 2007 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Hey Lorelle,

    Most blog systems today really have sufficient functionality for people to identify themselves through the name and website fields, and it is unnecessary for people to sign off their comments.

    I guess everyone has their own preferences, I don’t mind people signing off their comments on my blog, so long as they don’t sign off with those forum-type signatures where they blast off with marketing talk.

    The word ‘dork‘ can be interpreted as something pretty vulgar, so I guess the what you meant and what was read my many reader could have been different. Well… that’s English hur. 🙂

  35. Posted April 21, 2007 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    While you did not say the original statement yourself, you said it a different way by posting it here.

    By posting it and saying that you agree, it’s good enough.

  36. Just a dude
    Posted April 23, 2007 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    For f*cks sake, you people seriously need to get out more. I mean really, who gets either way?! Get a life!!!!

  37. Posted April 24, 2007 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Hrm… There are many blogging communities – especially medical communities – where semi-anonymous blogging / commenting do not require you to fill out name, etc. so you are known by your signature.

    I’ve also noticed that for those of us who have been around the Internet for a very long time, we have always signed our stuff. You know, since Usenet. I don’t really appreciate being called a dork for using what is considered a _written language convention_ that is much older than blogging – even older than the internet. Even post-it notes are often signed. You know the type, the ones that are found on your computer or refrigerator telling you so-and-so was by, or to buy such-and-such a grocery.

    You sign Usenet posts. You sign BBS posts. You sign E-mail. You don’t normally sign chat room posts – but your username is right there. No matter what you want to think, blogging is not the same as chatroom chat.

    I’ve seen this before – Internet types thinking the Internet will shift a paradigm completely. I’ve got a bit of bad news, blog comments are the next evolution in “letters to the editor” in newspapers – normally signed. Most people perceive things in terms that are familiar. And the closest analogy many people have are “letters to the editor.”

    This post puts me in mind of the “information should be free” thought forms of the mid-1990s when I was trying to explain – “Um… someone owns the copyright on that, you can’t just post that without their permission.” Guess what, I was right.

    Nope, blogging is not going to change over a 3000 years of writing convention. As there are more adopters, it will look more and more like that 3000 years of written convention.


    (And, though I am slow to adopt “Web 2.0”, I have been around a very long time.)

  38. Posted April 25, 2007 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    How very, very Interesting.

    I had no idea that I sounded bushleague or amateurish when I signed off in the way that I always do. 😉

    t @ dji / tbh.

  39. Posted April 26, 2007 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Lol. I think some people just get confused. 🙂 It’s normal to sign your name with email and such for example…maybe they see it more so as a one to one message than joining a discussion when they do that. I don’t know. I have little experience of blog commenter’s, but I’ve had one person sign their name as ‘Me’ in the past, which made me raise my eyebrows a little! 😀

  40. Posted June 12, 2007 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I don’t agree with you. I think it is nice even if somebody just salute you. The only thing I don’t like is when peoples just leave their URL.

  41. Patricia Farrell
    Posted September 18, 2007 at 11:42 am | Permalink


    I’ll sign my name if I feel like it, and don’t care who thinks it’s dumb. People who think other people are dumb (or “a dork”) are dumb. Thank God He made us all different, and that’s what makes the world go round. He made me to be ME and I WILL be me, and I don’t care who thinks I should be some other way. If you think that’s dumb, you have something to learn.

    Blogging is simply me online. If you don’t like me online, then you wouldn’t like me. If you don’t like me, that’s fine, it’s a free country and you can go read somebody else. But you’re welcome to my blog, if you’d like to come. Just be prepared for someone who doesn’t care about what bloggers think of her style. I’m a writer, so I write a certain way, like everybody else has their own style. I should think it would be refreshing to deal with someone who’s not hiding behind the corporate “logic”.

    Nice to meet you. 6:D


  42. Posted May 30, 2008 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    In the blogs I follow, common practice makes the rules and common practice is all over the map. It’s interesting how these “rules” seem to evolve.

  43. Posted June 1, 2008 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Wow. This post just snapped me out of the dazed semi-sleep condition I’ve been in all day. Great job Lorelle. It made me angry and it seems like it succeeded in making a lot of other people angry.

    And while I’m not sure that was your intent, this is a great example of how controversy can stir up the conversation.

    Anyho… here are is why I think your blog made us all so angry…

    As the geeks we are (and lets face it, we blog therefore we are geeks) we have always been looked down at because of our strange un-cool behavior, weird movements and gestures.

    That is what drove us to cyber-space. And here in cyber-space we discovered that we are the dominant species, the predator.

    And you Lorelle were one of our pack-leaders. With you we found our pride and rebuild our ego. Even established an unspoken feeling of superiority of the ‘cool off-line kids’.

    But with this post you actually revealed yourself as a ‘cool kid’. Not only that, but you actually hang out with ‘cool kids’ and make fun of us.

    This for many (of us) have brought back feelings of inferiority that when mixed with the even stronger feeling betrayal caused the anger that’s apparent in the comments.

    Wow. Very cool. This type of post might cause your reader base to dwindle, but it is definitely the most interesting one I’ve read here in a long time.


    (Damn, I couldn’t resist signing my name)

  44. Posted June 1, 2008 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    @ Yoav:

    Trust me, this post did not impact my traffic nary a bit. 😀 People did, however, miss the point. Part of the point is that I didn’t say the comment. Someone else did and it did get me thinking about how dumb it is to leave your name in a blog comment. It’s so redundant on a blog. It has nothing to do with personalities or psychology. It’s just a waste of time to read: Sally says, thanks. Sally. Looks odd.

    It is always interesting what people read in between words that aren’t there and where they take things that aren’t said. That’s part of the fascinating aspects that makes blogs more interesting than article writing. 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed the debate.

  45. Posted December 1, 2008 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    As for a Blogger user like me. When I leave a comment, especially on blog powered by Blogger, it will show my name(google account) as a sender. Since the name doesn’t link straight to my blog so I decided to write a link straight to my blog. What do you think about this?

    I did get what you’re stressing about. It’s like your friend John Doe send you a text message to your mobile phone, you know it’s from John, and still sign a signature at the bottom of the message “~John”.

    But for me, I’m okay whether the commenter sign or not. The most important thing is their message. As for me, I usually don’t leave a signature unless I have to (direct link to my blog) just as what I’ve stressed above.

  46. Posted June 29, 2009 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    that’s so true, but the your comment is being moderate is very annoying for the potential reader , so commentators also have some rights !

  47. Milo
    Posted November 5, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    “These types of comments are usually left by people with little or no experience with blogs, blogging, or commenting.”
    So what if they have no experience on commenting on blogs? Surely it is a compliment to your own blog that they have decided to comment on an article you wrote, when they don’t usually. It’s very elitist to say you automatically dismiss someones comment just because they were being or trying to be polite?

    Yours Sincerely,

  48. Posted February 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Blog comments are a GREAT way to get backlinks and traffic! Not sure why more people don

  49. Sean Rasmussen
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    At most times, bloggers tend to leave their name and signatures and I do it most of the time! This way, there’s a sense of connection between a blogger and the blog owner. This is called having a personal touch of things. It’s true that there are tons of spam created on the internet on a daily basis but take heed on those good comments rather than disapproving most of them. And, I’ll add my signature here for everyone! 🙂

    Sean Rasmussen

    • Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      At most times, bloggers do NOT leave their signature. For many, it is a sign of spam. It’s also redundant. The one thing that professional bloggers take seriously is etiquette. 😀

  50. Posted September 25, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Oh no! I signed my comment about your 404 post the other day!

    In the support forums my username appears rather than my name, so I sometimes sign my answers—especially if the question/answers go on in a thread for a while. Also some of the forum users seem to think the folks who help in the forums are robots so adding a real name is more human.

    As for commenting on blog posts, sometimes I sign, sometimes not. I’ve had several people who commented regularly on my blog with “names” associated with their blogs, and I found it very welcoming when they signed their comments with a human name.

    In my opinion, I think a signature after a comment is a non-issue. (unless it also includes a spammy looking link to a website: those I note that I’ve edited that out)

    • Posted September 25, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      If your username appears, change it. Go to Users > My Profile and change the Display Name to what you wish it to be. That will fix that issue, and save you a few keystrokes.

      If you write like a robot, people will think you are one. If you don’t, the signature won’t help as the job is done.

      Forums are different from blog comments. Some forums expect signatures. Blog posts – not necessary.

      Signatures have been abused for ages. It’s up to you to permit them or not. This article was a commentary to get you to think about whether or not you should, and whether or not you should allow such signatures on your site.

      It continues to be a fascinating subject. Most people do not like signatures and think less of someone who does sign their blog comments (and posts as well), and those that tend to fight the hardest in favor are typically sales people, those pushing their agenda rather than kindness. All fascinating to watch as things evolve.


    • Posted September 27, 2013 at 2:41 am | Permalink

      Oh the username and not a display name is what appears in the support forums. You cannot override that.

      And you are correct: forums are different from comments on blogs and websites. Signatures (with links) in those forums, I remove or mark as spam (I am the English forum volunteer moderator). But someone simply adding their human name? That is not offensive, abusive, nor even a little unfriendly. I don’t “write like a robot” but was only observing that some folks assume that the support forums are corporate FAQs without personal concerns.

      Most people do not like signatures and think less of someone who does sign their blog comments (and posts as well),

      At any rate, I hope you do not “think less” of me just because I did sign my name after a comment. It was a subconscious action on my part.


      • Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:10 am | Permalink

        I believe you can change the username in the WordPress Forum profile. Used to be able to do that. On Forums. Should be the same – I’ll bring it up to the staff. Thanks for pointing that out.

        The Support Forums are mostly run by volunteers, those with the desire to help other WordPress users. There is staff for the “serious” issues but most are volunteers. Sometimes they get very personal in there. 😀 Good folks but they get thousands of requests a day, most of them on the same topics. I volunteer there myself irregularly. I enjoy it.

        I do not think less of you. This was a discussion about the general trends and attitudes towards signing blog comments. The masses say its spam, and it is becoming a standard, unlike forums. Like I said, it’s fascinating to watch and learn. 😀


  51. johncarlon34
    Posted February 18, 2015 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    This is called having a personal touch of things.

11 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork « Lorelle on WordPress […]

  2. […] Apart from being redundant information, it is also annoying for some people. For more on this topic read “If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork.” […]

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    I put a lot of time and energy into comment writing, both here and in other blogs that I read and visit, so I was interested to check out the latest comment writing advice from Daily Blog Tips: 7 Things…

  4. […] If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork […]

  5. […] Apart from being redundant information, it is also annoying for some people. For more on this topic read “If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork.” […]

  6. […] was what turned out to be a controversial blog post in 2007 by Lorelle who is one of the original wordpress […]

  7. […] Apart from being redundant information, it is also annoying for some people. For more on this topic read “If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork.” […]

  8. […] of Signed Comments: Like comment spam, if I see a lot of comments signed, especially signed with a lot of links, I think this is a blogger who either doesn’t care, doesn’t pay attention to details, […]

  9. […] Apart from being redundant information, it is also annoying for some people. For more on this topic read “If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork.” […]

  10. […] Apart from being redundant information, it is also annoying for some people. For more on this topic read “If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork.” […]

  11. […] If You Sign Your Blog Comments, You Are a Dork […]

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