Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Setting Up Comments

First of all, let me apologize for not updating the tutorial as I promised and intended. Adsense canceled my account because of Jennibugg's Blogg (you can read more details by clicking here and/or here) and I got more than a little discouraged. I created the tutorial to try to help others in similar situations, but the monetary aspect of the site backfired. I lost not only the money that Jennibugg's Blogg earned, but the money that all of my websites have earned since the fall of 2008 as well. I guess that shouldn't discourage me, though. Although the money amazed me, the true blessing of the site was the feedback that others left for us, and tonight that's what I want to make sure others working on similar projects are able to do.

Making Sure Anyone Can Comment
The first step to getting great feedback is making it easier for your readers to leave it for you. There are people out there who might find your blog and leave nasty things, but you can always delete those and if you need to change your settings back, you can undo everything in this post later.

To do this, first log in to blogger. As soon as you have logged in successfully, the login screen will be replaced with your dashboard. You'll need to look for the "settings" link and click on it.

Once the settings page loads, you'll need to look for the "comments" tab and click on it.

When the comments page loads, you'll see that there are quite a few things you can change about the way comments work for your blog. To make things easiest for your friends to post comments, I recommend the following settings. Take note of the emphasis. Settings I have bolded are the most important. Settings that are in italics probably won't make a noticable difference.
  • Comments = Show
  • Who Can Comment? = Anyone
  • Comment Form Placement = Embedded below post
  • Comments Default for Posts = New Posts Have Comments
  • Backlinks = show
  • Backlinks Default for Posts = New Posts Have Backlinks
  • Comments Timestamp Format = whatever you think looks best
  • Comment Form Message = anything you want your commenters to see before they post
  • Comment Moderation = Never
  • Show word verification for comments? = No
  • Show profile images on comments? = Yes
  • Comment Notification Email = whatever email you check most regularly
Congratulations! Once you have completed these steps, most of your visitors will be able to quickly and easily leave you comments. Unfortunately, there will still be some folks who need that extra nudge in the right direction. For your readers who are having a difficult time finding the comment form, you'll need to show them where it is located, and there are two ways to get there.

The first option is to click on the title of the post. At first, this will appear to make no change at all because what changes is at the bottom of the page. If your readers scroll down, they'll see the comment form. Leaving a comment is as simple as filling it out and clicking on "Post Comment".

The other way to get to the comment form is to scroll down to the bottom of the post and click on the comments link. This will reload the page as well, but should remain focused on the bottom of the post, where the comment form will appear.

I hope you enjoy the feedback!