We started with the Bloggers Code of Ethics in our blog exercises on site policies, starting you off on the right foot by knowing where you will draw your lines in the sand when it comes to your rights and responsibilities as a blogger. In this Blog Exercise, we are going to tackle the next of the site policies you may be required to have on your site: Comments.
The basic policies required to be on your site are copyright, disclosure, comments, liability, and privacy. Different countries and cities have different laws for what policies you are required to have on your site. While these pertain specifically to commercial sites, which include any site with advertising, sales (direct or in-direct), non-profits, and government agencies, these are good policies to have on your site to protect yourself and your readers.
A comment policy does multiple things.
- It protects you from commenters.
- It establishes the guidelines for acceptable comments.
- It sets the rules by which you may edit or delete comments.
While a comment policy serves to protect you from commenters, it also sets the tone by which you will comment and respond to comments. Like writer’s guidelines, learn how to comment properly so you do not spam other sites with inappropriate forms of comments nor your own site.
The guidelines for “acceptable” comments can be anything. You may wish to ban profanity or open up the door to it. You may wish to restrict language and subject matter that offends or is derogatory. Do you allow personal attacks? Or maybe your site thrives on that. Either way, you must clearly state what your rules of engagement are on your site.
Liz Strauss, queen of blog comments and social web interactivity, summed up her blog comment policy for many years with two words: play nice. She didn’t need to explain it. Everyone understood the rules of the sandbox. You don’t play nice, you’re out of the sandbox. Your comment policy may be simple and precise, or expansive.
- Blog Comment Policy – How to Write a Blog Comment Policy
- The Legal Issues with Comments | The Blog Herald
- Comments on Comments « Lorelle on WordPress
- Mean Spirited Comments and Blogging « Lorelle on WordPress
- How NOT to Comment on Comments
- Editing Your Blog Comments « Lorelle on WordPress
- Blog Exercises: Comments and The Blog Bullies
- Blog Comment – Avoid Blog Comment Spamming
- Time Wasting Blog Comments, Comments Policies, and Comment Etiquette | The Blog Herald
- Are You Becoming a Little Over-Sensitive Over Comments? | The Blog Herald
- Does Your Blog Have A Comments Policy? | The Blog Herald
- Air Force Web Posting Response Assessment (PDF)
Your blog exercise is to create a comments policy on your site.
Add it to your Legal or Policies Page on your site, or add a subPage titled “Comments Policy” or “Comments Guidelines” to help your readers find it. After publishing it, you may wish to announce it on your blog and social media sites.
Remember, your policies may be featured separately on one or separate web pages (called Pages in WordPress, not posts) titled “Policies” or “Legal.” The structure of your Pages depends upon how many policies, policy points, and how verbose you are with your policies.
If you wish to share this blog exercise with your readers include a hat tip link back to this post to create a trackback, or leave a properly formed link in the comments so participants can check out your blog exercise task.