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Monday, January 05, 2015

Inviting Comments To Your Blog Is Not Cut And Dried

Blog owners are periodically asking themselves
How do I invite my readers to leave comments?
Some blog owners think of commenting as the most important way to get new readers.

One of the most seemingly insignificant components of the Blogger template is the link to invite the readers to leave comments. This is not a simple feature - it varies according to where the comment form is placed, and to different language and style decisions.

Variations
There are four comment form placement options, for Blogger blogs.
  1. Embedded.
  2. Full page.
  3. Pop up window.
  4. Dynamic template.
There are two display contexts.
  1. Main page view (archive retrieval, label search).
  2. Post page view.
The placement option, added to the display context, creates a combination of various needs for phrasing the simple caption, which I will call for example
Please, leave a comment!
That simple invitation can vary according to the the nationality of the blog owner, and to the nature of the blog.

Blog Language
Comments is an English word. Every blog that's published in a non English language has a different word for "comments".
  • en français: commentaires.
  • in italiano: commenti.
  • en español: comentarios.
And some languages phrase plurals significantly.
  • 0 comments.
  • 1 comment.
  • 2 comments.
Very few blog owners publish a blog in (USA) English, and want the blog captioned with "1 comments", or "2 comment".

Long ago, somebody decided that inviting comments would be easier, if a blog with 0 comments was captioned with "No comments". Then, another grammar expert (lawyer?) decided that "No comments" could be interpreted by some people as "We don't want comments!".

Blog Nature
Then, some blog owners don't like the word "comments", they feel that the word should be changed, to reflect the nature of their blog. For my blog, "Chucks Musings", I would use "musings", instead of "comments" (but with dynamic templates, that option is not yet available). Other blog owners have used "dreams", "introspections", and "wanderings" (to name a few).

Form Placement
One of the most controversial features of comments is the limitation of displaying the individual comments, and the comment form, only beneath the individual posts. On the main page, for all comment placement options, you will see the comment caption "No comments", "1 comment", etc - which then links to the display of existing comments - and to the form to publish a comment.

All existing placement options now display existing comments only beneath the individual posts. With the full page and popup window options, a link captioned "Post a Comment" then leads to the comment form itself.

With the full page and popup window form, for the convenience of the owner and reader, existing comments are displayed there also. And, wherever the comment form is displayed, so must be the hated CAPTCHA form.

The Reader's Language
To further the confusion, some blog features are automatically translated into the readers language - when the reader is logged in to Blogger / Google, and when the reader's login status and Blogger profile can be determined by the blog display. In some cases, the readers location is used.

Sometimes, both the blog owner and reader could read / speak different languages, neither being English. Not every world citizen understands "Please, leave a comment!" - or even "Post a Comment". And some blogs are published in French - and read in both Italian and Spanish.

The Tower Of Babel
The Tower Of Babel is not going away, in this lifetime.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Angelina Lenahan said...

absolutely! "no comments" to a non-English speaking person could very well mean "do not comment". someone at Google might want to change this! n'est pas? why not just drop the "no", or why not leave it up to the blogger? something like "your thoughts are appreciated", or "feel free to comment"
great stuff, as usual chuck. thanks.