Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Who Are You?

I'm a member of a number of email loops, and one thing keeps cropping up. People use an email address that does not indicate who they are, then don't sign their post. It's frustrating to read a post that comes from "cutesylittlename at whatever server," find no signature at the bottom, and thus  have no idea who's doing the posting. Maybe I want to send the person an individual email, but if that's the case, do I start off with "Dear To Whom It May Concern?"

Then, of course, there are blog comments by the ubiquitous "Anonymous." I recognize that not everyone wants to create a profile in Blogger or whatever utility is in use. But at least sign your work. Of course, this is most often the case when someone leaves an inflammatory or negative comment on a post. Come on, folks. You're entitled to your opinion, but have the courtesy (if not the courage) to back it up with your identity.

For those of you not familiar with Blogger, which is what I use to publish this blog, the owner has an option to pre-approve every comment before it's posted. I don't go that far, but I do reserve the right (also given me by Blogger) to delete a comment, once posted, when it's inflammatory or derogatory.

To save you going back through the archives of this blog, this hasn't been the case here...yet. But I've seen it in other blogs, sometimes going so far as to make the blog owner decide to stop posting. I hope that has never happened to you. 

Okay, I've said my piece. Now it's your turn. Should blog owners pre-approve comments? Do you think it's okay to post an anonymous comment and not sign it? I'm waiting to hear your thoughts.

Note to my readers: I'm being interviewed today on her blog by Joy Hannabass, and you'll have a chance to win a copy of my latest book, Diagnosis Death, if you post a comment there. I'll be dropping by to respond to your comments, as well.

Also you can get a sneak peak at Diagnosis Death today (May 31) on the romance writing site, RomCon. Hope you'll visit.


Timothy Fish said...

Preapproving comments has its place, but for most blogs it does nothing but kill discussion. And if there isn't discussion, people won't read the blog. People recognize that the people who comment do not speak for the blog owner (in most cases). The blog owner should delete comments that are offensive, are spam, or attack other people, but it is not necessary to read all comments before they are posted unless the blog is designed in such a way that the comments should not be seen until later.

Kelly Combs said...

Sometimes a friend of mine will comment on my blog who doesn't have an account, also don't want to leave their "real" name, so will leave initials or such.

I agree with Timothy that pre-approval takes away the instant gratification of leaving a comment on a blog, but you can turn off anonymous comments. My friend had to do that as she had a daily flamer. Once she disables that function, her flamer never came back.

Good thoughts today.

Richard Mabry said...

I've stayed away from pre-approval, and haven't prohibited anonymous comments. However, I'm notified of every comment, and if the commenter isn't playing nicely I take appropriate action. Nonetheless, I visit a number of blogs where my comment receives the notation that it's awaiting approval of the blog administrator. And, frankly, I can't argue with their right to do so if they wish.

Anne Payne said...

I've never posted anonymously. What's weird is that I've seen people post with anonymous and then leave their full name and email in the post. I have moderated comments on my blog in the past when I wasn't checking it very often but since I started blogging for books and joined The Book Club Network I don't do that now.

Carol J. Garvin said...

Mine is a Wordpress blog and there are various comment options, as I imagine there are for Blogger, that help minimize how much control I need to exercise. I've been fortunate that there's been next to no problem with objectionable comments and I appreciate that. It's wonderful to be able to have honest and spontaneous exchanges with the readers.