It is a truth universally acknowledged that a blogger in possession of a shiny new post, must be in want of a comment.
Sure, most of us blog because we like expressing ourselves. For me, it's all about writing reviews. I like distilling my thoughts about the books I've read and choosing exactly the right word to convey a thought or emotion.
But most of us don't blog in a vacuum. One of the best things about being a YA book blogger is the community. I'm talking about the debate, the exchange of ideas, and appreciation for each other's work that makes the YA blogosphere a buzzy place to be.
And yet, I consistently fail at commenting. I read way more blogs than I regularly comment on. And when I talk to other bloggers, they often say the same thing. If we're pushed for time, commenting is the first thing to go.
So, if you're someone who likes getting comments, you probably want to make it as easy as possible for readers to leave them. Which brings me to a quandry: the dreaded word verification.
Since I started blogging, I've wavered on this. First I had it. Then last year I got brave, and figured since so many people hate those pesky little captchas, I'd get rid of the thing. For a while it was fine, but then the spammers discovered a couple of my posts and I felt like I was constantly on patrol, trying to delete the stuff. So I switched the word verification on again, and it's back under control.
Personally, while I don't enjoy word verification, it won't put me off leaving a comment. I know that some people hate word verification with the burning intensity of a thousand suns. And I see their point. It's time consuming, especially when you get the word wrong and have to take a second (or third) shot at it. But if I've got something to say, I'll say it, even if it means squinting at the screen trying to work out if that's a capital I or a lower case l or a number 1 I'm meant to be typing into the box before the darn thing times out. However, if I'm honest, on blogs which have that two stage version where I write my comment and press enter and then the captcha comes up... it's not unheard of for me to click away without realising I have to verify. Duh.
Now, I'm not especially convinced that I got more comments when the word verification was switched off. I think I get the most comments when I review a book a lot of people are interested in, which stands to reason. I'm also pretty sure that the more comments I leave on other blogs, the more other bloggers leave me. Some people make a real effort to 'return' comments, and I appreciate that. Still, if there are people out there thinking of a response and then not leaving it because the word verification irritates, inconveniences or straight up enrages them... that's a pity.
I could turn word verification off, but change my settings so that I have to approve every comment before it's published. That would give me greater control over spam without putting potential commenters off. Super. But for discussion posts? Well, unless I'm going to be sat permanently in front of my laptop poised to approve any comments as they come in, it kind of defeats the object.
So tell me: what's your preference? Do you hate word verification? Do you personally approve all your comments? How's it working for you?