Tuesday, July 5, 2011

to close or not to close comments: that is the question

Dear readers,

How many of you are bloggers? If you own a blog, whether you write occasionally or frequently, you are, for better or worse, a blogger.

My question to my blogger/readers
• do you close the comments of old posts?
• do you not allow comments for some posts?

Some of you are probably wondering why you would need to close/not allow comments. And I'm sure a few of you are thinking: you can do that!?

Okay, here's a true story. You might know I love to enter in giveaways, especially where fabric is involved. Scissors, metal tins and needles too catch my eye. I subscribe to blogs and forums which inform me where the giveaways are and I would do the hop and do the necessary to get my name in. On one such hop, I must have gone off-course because after submitting my comment, I checked to see when I should expect the results to be announced. To my horror, I had entered for a giveaway that had long ended. OMG. I was so embarrassed. And it was one of those annoying blogs like mine which moderated the comments so I could not take back the comment. Instead of just quietly going away, I wrote another comment to sheepishly inform the blog owner that I had realised my mistake and to ignore my entry. Then I rambled on and on about how embarrassed I was.

Of course right after I had submitted the second comment, I wanted to take it back.

It felt so lame. Why oh why? There's a Chinese saying,
yi qu bu hui tou
Once gone, there's no turning back

Okay, I dunno if this is the right saying. I'm not exactly the best person to learn Chinese sayings from. But you get it. There was no turning back. I know it's not a real tragedy. But the thought of the blog owner laughing her head off was just too much to bear.

Maybe something like this can only happen to me. But just to be sure, "as a public service", I closed the comments to my giveaways that had ended.

Some bloggers do write posts which attract a lot of comments and at some point they may have moved on from the event which triggered the comments. One way to stop getting any further comments on that post would be to close the comments.

And since there are a couple of you who probably want to know how to close comments, I've taken a few pics so you'll have an idea. This works for Blogger posts as well as pages.

In Edit Posts/Edit Pages, click on Post Options.
You will see 3 options:
• Allow
• Don't allow, show existing
• Don't allow, hide existing

If you totally don't want any comments, you will select "Don't allow, hide existing".

See where the arrow is pointed at? No comments icon.

To close comments to giveaways or certain old posts, click on "don't allow, show existing".

If anyone tries to leave a comment, she will get a message that new comments have been disabled.

Some of sharp-eyed readers might have noticed I referred to Pages. If you've never heard of Pages, they operate like posts except they are static. They do not get pushed to the subscriber's wall when first published.

I treat Pages differently from posts. My posts are chronological and I don't amend them once they are published. Yes, yi qu bu hui tou. If there are amendments, I will append the necessary and date it. For pages, I modify the information to reflect the current state. That way it's cleaner. And that's why I disable the comments to my pages. Seems more appropriate.

And that's all from your blogging "techie".


*Tea said...

i guess i am not the kind of person closing comments on my blog, but i have to admit: i didn´t even know i could do that *shame*

Sarah@PingsAndNeedles said...

This is a great post Jane. It's something I've thought about a lot. I have left the comments open on my blog pages as they are more archival, so their content isn't going to change.

As I add pages that DO get updated I think I'd do the same and disable comments.

I think disabling comments for expired giveaways is a genius idea and I think it's really good netiquette.

Yay! I do love your blog ...

Kandi said...

You know I've never even thought of that ~ what a great idea.
Kandi x

Little Blue Mouse said...

I didn't know you could do that but then I'm your blogging 'technophobe'!
Which is probably why I don't understand the Pages thing or even know what a subscriber's wall is.

What I would really like is something to attract more comments ;)

Linda said...

Thank you for the lesson. I didn't know any of that! I will have to read this a couple of times for it to sink in. I'm pitiful, but learning!

punkychewster said...

good point! i'm going to close my comments for giveaways from now on!

for my last giveaway, i just added a final comment to say that the giveaway has ended. but i think closing comments would prevent similar incidents from happening.

don't worry lah! i'm sure lots of people do that!!!
thanks for sharing though!


Gingini said...

Thank you for mentioning. I never thought of it!

antmee said...

Closing comments after a giveaway ends sounds like a good idea! I wouldn't like the comments to be closed on regular blog posts though, as sometimes I come across a post that helps my sewing projects (like your blog!) and I would really like the opportunity to say 'thank you' even if the post is a year old!

tamdoll said...

I don't close comments, because people are always finding my old pages and leaving messages there. It's kind of fun - because sometimes I have forgotten about things I've put up, too. I have learned to put dates in things though - when events are coming and going or when there are expiration of sales - otherwise they don't make sense when I go back to them later on.

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