Thursday, April 15, 2010

More To Consider

Okay, I've gotten a lot of great emails from you guys re: blogging. Thank you! I love reading and responding to them. And you guys are like, writing my posts for me, so there's that too. *smiles*

So I thought I'd share a little bit more. Just things that personally annoy me (like the neonity of blogs) or that I think make blogging harder. And we all know that we don't want our blog to be hard to like or hard to read or hard to comment on.

So consider:

1. Music. Please, don't. I often (very often) have music on already, and I don't want to listen to yours. Rude? Probably. (Sorry!) It's okay to have a player, but set it so it doesn't start automatically. Then, if I'm interested in your music, I can have the freedom of choice to play it myself.

2. Comment verification. I know this can be a tricksy little bugger. If you feel like you MUST use it (I recently took mine off, and have less than 5 anonymous spam comments), please use the pop-up window that already has the word in it.

If you're opposed to pop-up windows for some reason, use the full-page form with the word already in it. Waiting for my verification word to load is annoying. Like, seriously annoying.

Here's how you do that:
1. From your dashboard, go to SETTINGS and then COMMENTS of the blog you want to alter (Hey, I have four).
2. In the COMMENT FORM PLACEMENT choose either "Full page" or "Pop-Up Window."
3. Scroll down.
4. In the COMMENT MODERATION area, choose "Older than [fill in blank] days." Then you can approve all comments on posts that are over a certain number of days old. Mine's set at 14 right now, just because that's the blogger default, I think. That way, if someone is commenting on posts older than 2 weeks, I must approve them.
5. Right below that, in SHOW WORD VERIFICATION FOR COMMENTS? choose "No." Of if you must, say yes, and if you've chosen full page or pop-up window, at least then I don't have to wait for your verification word to load before I can sub my comment.

Easy peasy. And this will make your blog an easier, happier place to leave comments. At least for me.

3. Follower widget. For the love, put it at the top of your blog. I don't want to scroll through a millionty awards to follow you.

What else? I feel like I've dispelled all my bloggy opinions/knowledge, so I think this might conclude this whole blogging series. Me = *panic face* What am I going to blog about now?? Guess I better put on my "What If?" hat.

104 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

Great advice Elana, thanks as always.

Now I have to go look at my comment settings.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Are you in a rush today Elana? Whoah, I feel like I just popped a speed pill reading through that. It really came through in your writing. LOL. Hope all is well!

Cheree said...

Great post, Elana. I'm also one that's annoyed if there's music, or any sort of sound coming from pages if I don't want to listen to them. I instantly go for the mute button.

Aubrie said...

I've never thought of changing my comment settings. I'll go do that.

Also, can I add to your post that some blogs have so many widgets that it actually slows my computer down and sometimes freezes it! Yikes. I hate that. :)

Jen said...

Oh Elana you are right on the money with this one!! The music often startles me to the point of exiting out of the blog and not going back plus half the time we don't have the same taste so it really doesn't fit!!

Comment verification I have recently changed to make it easier for others as well!!

YES! If you want to be followed you must make it accessible I only search for so long!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

If I'd written this post, I'd have said exactly what you did!

Especially the word verification option. I average commenting on 40 to 50 blogs a day, and I could increase that by at least a third if I didn't lose so much time waiting for and typing nonsense words.

My preferences are set so that I must approve all comments left on posts more than two days old. I catch and delete 95% of spam comments that way. And my readers can leave me a quick word and be off to enjoy the next blog.

So glad you brought these points up! Have a great day :))

Jana Hutcheson said...

Thanks, Elana! You always give the most practical advice!

Steph Su said...

Dunno if you want to include this, but I've had several of my followers email me saying that placing the followers widget towards the very top actually froze their computer, so I would recommend placing it slightly further down the page, maybe just past the initial screenshot that loads?

Great advice otherwise!

Crimey said...

I don't like music on blogs or websites for that matter either. It's annoying and my computer is slow and music slows it up even more.

Sheri Larsenッ said...

Good point about the comment window. I've wondered about that. Hmmm...gives me something to think about. Thanks.

Janet Johnson said...

Totally agree about the music.

I know what you mean about word verification, but understand the reason . . . I'll have to think about it.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I with you on the music. I can't read when it's on. I don't have an issue when someone has it on their blog because my computer is on mute most of the time. But it does freak me out when I haven't muted it and loud music suddenly starts playing.

I had the work verification turned off and ended up with 2 spam messages within 24 hrs. Maybe I'll turn it off again and give it a week trial.

And definitely use the Followers Widget. As soon as I added mine (seriously, what took me so long), I ended up with 40 new followers in four days. And the number is still growing. :D

Amalia T. said...

I am so with you on the music business. Beyond Words. In fact, I think music on ANY web page needs to go AWAY. all auto-play, auto-noise sites should be automatically-disabled!

I'm bad about the verification, but I see your point!

Kelly said...

I agree with the music thing. It startles me sometimes! Due to my love of music and two of my manuscripts having to do with music, I do have music on my blog weekly, but my blogger buds can choose whether or not to play it.
I changed my verification due to your advice earlier. (I think you had that tip in an earlier post.)

Christine Fonseca said...

great advice as always

Jaydee Morgan said...

I'm not a fan of the music either but I'm one who still has comment verification loaded. It's something to think about.

Lisa said...

Great advice! I agree with the music comment. I don't care for it either.

VR Barkowski said...

I don't like auto-play music on blogs because I usually do my blog hopping after everyone else has gone to bed. No matter how much I like NIN or Bach, I'd prefer not to wake up the household.

Plus, I'm a multi-tasker and often have more than a dozen blogs open. Sometimes I can't find which blog the music is coming from because of a delayed start, and I have to close them all. That drives me absolutely nuts!

L. E. Neighbour said...

Haa ha on point #1 I TOTALLY agree. Just blogged about that the other day :P
point #2 y'know, I don't even know if I have one on mine... I shouldn't, since I mod comments anyway :-/ I'd better check that LOL
point #3 YES amen! I just blogged about that too. Srsly, you've got to think about WHAT you put WHERE. If I have to go searching for the following widget, it won't be long afore I give up ;)
Great post. Everyone needs to follow this advice :D lol

Cassandra Frear said...

I love your practical emphasis here.

BTW, I wrote about social media, writing, and living well today at the Moonboat -- I'd love to have your thoughts on it. (More fodder for your posts I'm sure.LOL.)

Candyland said...

Preach it sister!

foldingfields said...

I'd like you to blog about "Control Issues." thanks, okay, bye. :)

Lisa and Laura said...

You're such a smartypants! Thanks for the tips, E.

Jonathon Arntson said...

You're too cool for school.

Oh, and my music choices would be an exception, right?

The Beatles and Death Cab for Cutie?

No, okay, well that's why I have never added music to my blog.

Susan R. Mills said...

Well said! I agree with it all.

Carol Kilgore said...

Yes, all great tips. Thanks.

Piedmont Writer said...

Thanks for saying all the things I wanted to say. For a long time now.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the practical advice. It'll help me when I set up my blog. Maybe you can do a post on getting started blogging & how to get others to follow/know about your blog at the beginning. How do you announce it besides Facebook or Twitter, if you're on it. I'm not as of yet.

JayceeKaycee said...

Thank you so much for mentioning the placement of the follow widget. I cannot tell you how many blogs I've wanted to follow but didn't, simply because I could not find the follow widget. Why wouldn't everyone make it easy to find? Thanks so much, Elana!

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

I definitely agree about the music.

The group of bloggers I first connected with, we all play a game of making up hilarious definitions for our verification words, which is one of the reasons I keep it, but please, yes, have it already there, don't make it reload. I've accidentally exited out and lost a comment because I didn't realize it was going to reload to ask me for a VW. And then it's far too annoying to go back in.

I just changed my settings to the popup window, though, because I think it does make it easier if you want to comment on something on the blog - you can more easily jump back.

Okay, sorry for the book. You just always make me think :)

Bish Denham said...

I'm beginning to understand about that extra word verification thingy. It's a bit of a hassle! And I don't want to listen to music on someone else's blog either.

lynnrush said...

I wish Wordpress had the follower option. It's so fun, but they don't. Doesn't sound like they are going to get it, either. :-(

Great post. I'm not a big fan of music on blogs, either. I have actually clicked out when music comes on before. . . it totally drives me nuts. LOL.

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks guys! I definitely feel like I'm repeating myself, but you guys make me feel all warm inside. :)

Allomorph, I wrote this last week. It feels rushed? Yeah, okay. Short posts and all that. :)

foldingfields -- You want Control Issues? Trust me, I'd love to blog about CI... Maybe soon. ;-)

Christina Lee said...

Good stuff, you! So glad you brought up the music thing-- I am one who said it in your comments on another blogging post you did.

I have a love/hate relationship with word ver. As soon as I turn it off, I get too many spammers to count. So yeah I use the pop-up window and hope to make it easy for readers.

Michelle Stephens said...

No music, no music, no music!

If it's a player I can start, that's fine, but auto playing music will pretty much ensure I never return.

Elana, your reason is spot on. Also, I'm at work a lot of times when I read blogs and I don't want to disturb the office suddenly with music.

Stephanie L. McGee said...

You could blog about the secret society living in the Wasatch Mountains who are plotting ways to take over publishing one unicorn at a time.

Sorry, I'm in a punchy mood this morning for some reason.

Seriously, though, you should consider it. I'm just saying.

Theresa Milstein said...

Awesome!

I know you had mentioned a pop up window preference once before, but I hadn't bothered to figure it out. Now I just followed your instructions. Thanks!

Iapetus999 said...

KILL THE G-DAMN MUSIC PLAYERS.
I have half a mind to unfollow any blog that has one.
They are a PITA and they kill my computer. Not everyone has 3Ghz quad processors.

As far as CAPTCHA goes, I'm sticking with it. Any spam is too much for me.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
I also don't allow anonymous comments either. :p

Slamdunk said...

I am with you on 2 of the 3--and had not thought about the other.

I was instructed (thank goodness) to remove comment verification for new posts and leave it only on old ones. It did increase spam management a little, but makes it much easier for regulars.

Music is not my fav either--especially when our youngest cranked the laptop volume to the max and I unknowingly visit a site with music.

I did not think of the follower suggestion. My widget is 1/2 way down the page--I did not want new visitors to think that I was boasting or something, and I usually use the follower tool in the dashboard for me. I'll have to think about this one--good stuff.

Elle Strauss said...

I took my word verification off long ago (I don't remember how I did it, so I'd have trouble passing that tidbit on...) and I haven't had any spammer problems.

I don't really like it when bloggers add music. It usually come on a bit after I started reading and scares the geebers out of me.

L. T. Host said...

Is it bad that I'm not even sure what comment features I have on my blog?

Yes, it's bad. I'll check it out and fix it. Thanks for the heads up :)

Carolyn V. said...

Is my word verification on? Do I have a widget on my blog page? Oh my gosh! I don't even remember...I'd better go check.

Laura Marcella said...

Word verification doesn't annoy me because it takes only a second. Now I know it annoys others, though! I'm checking my settings now to make sure the word verif is in a pop-up window. Thanks for the tips!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Yes! You nailed my top three peeves. I HATE the word verifications. But you already know that! He he. :-)

Stephanie said...

I so agree about the music!!!!! I used to have a player on my blog...till one day I realized that every time I went to my blog, I hit the pause button! I deleted it after that!! And the word verification....yuck!!

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Thanks for all the blogging tips. It's been a great serious. And, as always, you rock.

Jennifer Walkup said...

i so agree about the music. i usually go through my dashboard and click all the links i want to read so they're all open at once. if one has playing music, it drives me nuts and i usually find it and close it without reading.:p

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Wonderful wonderful advice - as always ;o)

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

JEM said...

Thanks for the post! If you're looking for things to post about, I would love to know about blogging etiquette. As a fairly new blogger, some of the conventions of following, tagging people, and these "meme" things escape me. I'd appreciate your enlightenment.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Those are all good ones! I think Im going to remove my comment verification, I only put it up bc I WAS getting so much spam.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Elana Johnson: Making the blogging world a smarter, more efficient, less obnoxious place--one post at a time.

I think we might need to get you a cape for your superhero efforts. :)

Krista said...

Wow, Elana, I removed my comment moderation right before I came here! My comments are on a pop-up window with word verification, and a few weeks ago I turned my auto-play music off. So, now I just wait for my followers to pour in, right? ;D
Thanks for the excellent advice!

Michelle McLean said...

yep, I used to have music on ALL my sites - however, I found that it did annoy me when I went to other's sites and had their music mixing with mine. So, out my music went ;-D

Angie Paxton said...

Thanks, Elana. I've been wondering how to make those changes on the commenting, but had no idea. I quite enjoy your bloggy wisdom. I bet if you dug deep you'd find more to impart.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Ugh! Word verification, a bloggers worst annoyance! I took mine off too!

How about Idol last night??? Boy, I was excited Adam sang!

Angel-Star said...

i got rid of the wierd word verification, save everyone that annoying step!

Falen said...

thank you SO MUCH for writing about all of these things.

For the music, too, many of us read blogs at work (secretly) so if there's music on your blog, it just means i don't read it (can't mute comp due to work programs)

I've still got word verification on, but i did have some spamming and also, i play a word verification game on fridays so it's a bit fitting

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Great advice!

I hate music.
I hate word verification
I hate searching for the follower widget.

And that's all I have to say about that!

Krispy said...

Just moved my Follower widget up! Haha.

So with you on the auto-music though. I usually have multiple tabs open, and I hate being blind-sided by autoplay music while I'm looking at something else. I end up frantically clicking around, trying to find the source of it.

Liza said...

I agree with the tip on music. I don't listen to my own while I blog, I'm a quiet living kind of girl that way; I jump about a mile out of my seat each time someone's blog music starts up on me. I figured out the deal on moving my follower widget up a few weeks ago; it's a good tip.

Mary Campbell said...

I agree with you on the music thing - hate it. I recently turned off my word verification too - we'll see how it goes. Thanks for all the tips Elana.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I agree with the music and the word verification. I blog in a quiet classroom or at home when the kiddo is in bed. The last thing I want it music suddenly blaring.

I turned off word verification over a month ago and haven't been spammed. You can also set it so comments on old posts have to be moderated if worried about spam.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I didn't know people were so annoyed by the instant music. The kids turn the sound off on the laptop, so I rarely hear it. I've never tried to put it on my blogs. I changed my comments to the pop-up but still have the word verif. I think the words can be funny, too, so they don't bother me, but, yes, we want this to be slick and efficient, so will consider taking it off. Too bad wordpress doesn't have an easier system for followers. I like blogger for that reason. Great post! Write on!

beth said...

AMEN to no music!!!

Also: Personally, I prefer the comment section to be at the bottom of the post, instead of the top. It makes it much easier to read the post, then comment.

Patti said...

I'm so glad someone else feels the same way about the comment thing. That drives me nuts. More than once I've quit the page, just to see the word verification pop up.

Maybe I'll turn mine off as well.

I love how you're so blunt, it's awesome.

Alison Eckel said...

Thanks for the turorial!

KrysteyBelle said...

I agree with everything you said, and have one to add. I don't like blogs with 11,000 ads. I have a fast connection, but a slow computer, and if it takes a full minute to load the page, or it crashes my computer on a regular basis, I'm not going to follow that blog.

Yours works beautifully, FYI, so I read it on an almost daily basis. =)

Talli Roland said...

Thanks Elana - great tips! I hate blogs with music. It's so annoying!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

seems we're all in agreement with the music thing.
Rockin' advice here, Dude. Keep it up!

Tess said...

oh, yes .. the music has got to go

and, the follower tab...hmmm..I'll see exactly where mine sits. good thought. I just am always sad when people don't have a follower tab AT ALL .. cuz I don't have enough brain power to actually remember their blog.

Liz H. Allen said...

I turned off my comment verification too. I have yet to receive spam. And I can't tell you how annoying it is to me if blogs have auto-play music. I hate it on all websites. It really irks me. Another think that bothers me, dark backgrounds with light colored writing. I understand if you are going for a look but there is a reason why the best websites in the world have light colored backgrounds - they are easier on the eye!

Natalie said...

Amen! I hate blogs with music. It's come on loud before and woken up my 2-year-old (and that's about the worst thing a person could do to me!). I'm considering un-following people who use it, it's so annoying to me.

I turned off comment verification a month or two ago and so far I haven't had any problems. There will probably be a time when I'll have to use it again, but I'll wait until then.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Elana, you caught me at my blog before I could turn off my word verification
*blushes*

Amy Jo Lavin said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I've incorporated some of them on my blog. When I set up my blog, I kept most of the default settings, but I now I know better. :)

myletterstoemily said...

thanks for the great advice.

do NOT enjoy slamming into
music on blogs. it is sort of
like invading the space bubble
or something.

Caledonia Lass said...

I think I have my blog pretty down pat. I too hate looking for the Follow button. lol! And the music always clashes with the voices in my head... Er... music I am playing. XD

Good post!

Lydia Kang said...

Hey, great advice as usual! I should do the comment thingy. I did the first thing you blogged about and I already notice when other people don't have it!

Jennie Englund said...

Good tips!

Shelley Sly said...

Yes, and yes, and yes. I really don't have anything intelligent to add except that I'm so glad you posted this. Thank you!

Cynthia Watson said...

Followed your advice.

Thanks!

Jemi Fraser said...

Thank you for mentioning the music - that one drives me nuts! When I open the bajillion blogs to read, I can get multiple songs playing - and then I don't get my music at all because I have to mute the whole shebang!

Jessica Nelson said...

Agreed!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think you covered the top ones!!!

I HATE word verification!

Karen Lange said...

Good points. I don't care for music on a site either, not that it's not nicely intended...My computer has these slow times (when it is tired I suppose) and music tends to slow it down. Plus sometimes it pops on and startles me. Silly, I know.

Have been debating about the word verification on my blog; I may just ditch it. Things have been so busy around here haven't had time. Okay, rambling here, sorry.
Have a good weekend,
Karen

Jackee said...

Yay! I got the post I asked for!

Thank you so much, Elana. You are a Godsend to us bloggers... and us queriers.

L.T. Elliot said...

Oh, the music thing makes me INSANE. Most of the time, I just leave my computer "muted" while reading blogs because I can't stand the sudden blaring of a foreign tune.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Oooh, very good tips! Being a newly arrived to this blog block party, I need them! So thanks!

kimberlyloomis said...

OMG!!!!! You're SO right about the issue with the captcha. I hate writing a whole comment, plugging in my identity (sometimes I'm *not* having a crisis - yeah!) only to wait for that stupid word to load, then for it to "verify identity" before it successfully submits. That something wonky seems to happen upon occasion during that process only makes me have a big ole SASS face >:(

Mary McDonald said...

Thank you for mentioning the word verification. I hate those things. Half the time, I can't figure out what the word is.

Terri Tiffany said...

Whew, wasn't sure how my comments were coming up and now that you explained it--- I was good to go!

Horserider said...

Totally agree with you on the music! I don't mind when people have a playlist posted and sometimes I even scroll through the scrolls for a couple seconds just to see what's there. But I hate the ones that automatically start playing. It's just one more thing that I have to do before I can start to read the post I came to see in the first place.

G said...

1) I agree about the music. I don't have it on mine.

2) My comment screen pops in a separate window and the word verification is there automatically.

3) I moderate because I don't do my blog until I get home from work or early in the mornng prior to work, plus I've been stalked and harassed elsewhere in the Cyber World for the better part of two years, so I don't want potentially nasty/racist/homophobic comments left on my blog for hours on end.

4) Followers widget is at the top of my blog and is the first thing you see when you get there.

Overall though, very good advice.

Jamie said...

3. Follower widget. For the love, put it at the top of your blog. I don't want to scroll through a millionty awards to follow you.

Word. If I'm not really eager to follow, I might just give up and move on.

Sandy Shin said...

I agree with all of these! Especially the word verification part. It always irks me when I thought I were done, but really, I wasn't.

Christina Farley said...

Okay, I've made those changes. I have to say that I like the pop up windows and I never realized you could choose those! Thanks for this.

jess said...

i freaking love party in the usa. people judge me all the time. my password MIGHT be miley cyrus. ok, that's a lie. maybe. now i have to go change my passwords. xo

Palindrome said...

YES YES AND YES!!

That is all.

Jayne said...

Hi Elana. Thanks for this - I have just changed my comment settings as per instructions! I hope this makes it easier for folk - I didn't even think about it to be honest, but yes, makes perfect sense. See I said I was going to like it here! (Which probably only makes sense if you read my other comment first, come to think about it... :)

Terresa said...

I agree with you completely on these bloggy points.

Someone's blog music= lame.
Word verification= also lame. (I took mine off last year without a single hitch. I think bloggers much still have that on their own blogs out of habit/fear/misunderstanding.)

Fine post, girl.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great post!

I agree with all except one, only because there is one blog I read where the blogger has excellent music tastes.

Oddly enough, on all other blogs I find music annoying, but that one blog has some great music, and I don't mind it.

Thank you for your fantastic advice! I have been planning to re-work some features on my blog to make it better and putting followers up top is one of the ideas I already had.

Anonymous said...

The useful message

A Canadian Girl said...

I just found your blog through Shannon Whitney's and wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your "Building a Better Blog" section. The tips were really helpful and your instructions were clear and easy to follow.

loganeturner.com said...

Here's a question regarding the follower widget. I just started my blog and made the (perhaps) mistake of using WordPress, which I came to realize after the fact does not allow the GFC widget. Is that a turnoff to readers? Should I migrate to Blogger when my domain waiting period expires?

Gail Shepherd said...

Oh my gosh, you put your finger on the top three things that annoy me in other people's blogs! Thank you! May other bloggers everywhere tape this advice to their computer screens.

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