A few months ago, I quietly changed my blog comment settings to automatically close comments after 30 days. After this worked so well, I decided to reduce the “comment window” to only 14 days.
Here’s why I decided to do this.
Reason #1 – I’ve had quite a lot of work to do this year, and I don’t always have time to reply to comments. This is especially true for comments that are added to old posts. Once a post is more than a month old, the discussion has moved elsewhere and a new comment can be a hassle to deal with.
Reason #2 – In spite of sophisticated spam filters like Akismet, every blog is still susceptible to comment spam. What’s more, the older the post, the more spam it’s likely to attract. So by automatically closing comments in 14 days, I’ve literally eliminated my blog comment spam problem altogether.
Reason #3 – A 14-day comment window encourages people to comment now instead of later. Furthermore, those who decide to comment before the window closes are rewarded with a link back to their blog or web site. People who come along later do not get that privilege.
I know a number of bloggers who’ve decide to turn off comments altogether. While I’ve considered it, I actually like to get comments and respond to them.
So, for me, a 14-day comment policy is the perfect compromise. It allows me to keep comments open, but also: prevents old discussions from being reopened; eliminates blog comment spam; and encourages readers to comment before the 14 days is up.
-Ryan M. Healy
P.S. As of November 2010, I’m experimenting with a 90-day comment policy because my readers told me they wanted more than 14 days to comment.
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