Why Log In To Post Blog Comments

By Mike Maddaloni on Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 06:56 AM with 3 comments

photo of Chicago subway carOne of the great features of blogging is comments. Getting feedback from people who read what you write, where not always on your side, is important to having a conversation. Not all blogs allow comments, though, for whatever reason. One reason often mentioned is content spamming, where people who don’t care what you write and are only interested in getting links on your site is their reason for leaving a comment. Where spam is a reality of life, it is unfortunate if it stifles a dialog on your blog. But do methods to prevent spam also stifle conversations?

A medium for some blog owners is to require someone to log into their blog to post a comment. By doing so, the commenter has identified themselves which “legitimizes” the comments they post. The login account a commenter creates may be specifically to that particular site or to a particular blog platform, such as WordPress. There are also many third-party authentication and blog comment services, such as OpenID and Disqus, which some blogs use. And in some cases, you can even use your Twitter or Facebook login to identify yourself prior to posting a comment.

Any type of login or authentication, in general, will prevent people from interacting with you. This doesn’t apply to blogs only, but any other Web application including eCommerce. If you take a look at adding a login to a blog from the user’s perspective, you could be in essence blocking people from commenting on your blog. The need to create yet another login account to add to the burgeoning list they already have will prevent some people from doing so to leave a comment, especially if they are reading your blog for the first time. Even using the third-party services I mentioned previously, some users don’t understand how those work, and by creating an account with them is adding to that burgeoning list even more.

By requiring people to log in, you are blocking anonymous comments. Some people may wish to contribute something to the conversation on your blog, but they may not want to identify themselves. Whether they simply choose not to identify themselves or are concerned with their name being attached to what they are saying, anonymous comments can be legitimate comments. Think in real-life how you may have a chat with someone in passing, whether at a bar or on a subway car? You may never know who they are, but what they had to say was a contribution.

I present this opinion not only to initiate a conversation, but also to easily pass along my opinions on requiring blog login the next time I run into one. Comments are open, no login required.

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