3 Comments Guaranteed to Irritate Bloggers

by diannejacob on January 10, 2011

One of the first posts I wrote, after reading dozens of food blogs, was “What’s the Value of ‘Looks Delicious?'” I was frustrated by seeing dozens of boring comments, and wondered if they were just thinly-veiled attempts to get visitors to the commenters’ blogs.

Lately I’ve been thinking about what else can go wrong in a comment on a food blog. Here are three effective ways to irritate the writer of the blog post, and make yourself look bad in the process:

1. Adding a link to your own post. I’ve done it. And then I’ve regretted it instantly, because it looks like free advertising. I would have been better off with a condensation of my main points.

Some people say, “This is the web, so everyone adds links.” Not true. There’s no reason to go to a post on corn muffins and say, “Hey, I just wrote about this. See my post!” It just makes you seem a little desperate, and competitive.

Adding links that are not your own content are much more noble, however, and a good way to add value to the discussion.

2. Adding a link to your own Amazon Affiliates program. A blogger told me someone had put this kind of link into a comment (where the commenter would get money if a reader clicked through and bought an Amazon product). The blogger deleted the comment, saying there was no way she was going to send her readers to someone else’s points program. Can’t blame her.

3. Writing a sentence that shows you have not read the post. Sam Hoffer of My Carolina Kitchen sent me a link to a negative review of a restaurant (not on her site). Some of the comments were: “Looks like a wonderful restaurant and sounds like a delicious meal,” and “Will bookmark the restaurant.”

I know we’re all busy, but if you leave a comment like that, anyone can click on your name, and look for more evidence that you are one taco short of a combination.

Let’s have a few laughs. If you have a blog, what’s the most outrageous or lame comment you’ve ever received?

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Last week, someone told left me (and others, a cut and paste comment) a comment saying that Dorie Greenspan’s mushroom soup was a nice colour for paint. Seriously? I am sure Dorie would be thrilled, not!

I also sometimes get comments saying things like “I would love you to stop by my blog sometime” which I find irritating, because, you know what? Maybe I am stopping by their blog but just not commenting. With over 200 blogs in my reader and, well, a life, I find it hard to comment intelligently on every post I read. So if I can’t think of anything, I might not comment. Doesn’t mean I am not reading… But pleading for me to stop by won’t help ๐Ÿ˜‰

The comments that irritate me the most are the ones that show the reader has not actually read the post. Why bother, indeed? As you say “I know weโ€™re all busy, but if you leave a comment like that, anyone can click on your name, and look for more evidence that you are one taco short of a combination.” I am actually laughing out loud at that!!!

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Glad to have given you a good laugh. A nice color for paint? Well, it’s original, you’ve got to give them that.

Oh yes, good one! That should be No. 4, Mardi: “I’d love you to stop by my blog sometime.” It’s best to give the blogger a REASON to be intrigued by you and want to go to your blog. That would be by writing an excellent comment.

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Yes I mean, I think it goes without saying that if someone consistently leaves interesting comments – or even pithy snippets! – I will be certain to check out their blog. If someone continually leaves “this looks great but you know what you could do better” or a lame “Yum” for example, I won’t be inclined to visit.

brhau January 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I haven’t yet had any truly zany comments, but I guess my favorite–and this has happened a couple times–is when a commenter is clearly unaware that they had already left on comment on that same post.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Exactly the same comment? Perhaps they thought it didn’t post? Or do you mean they rewrite it a little bit. I find that in my comments sometimes. I just press delete.

brhau January 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

Not exactly the same comment. Sometimes people comment more than once, but usually they acknowledge having already commented—or they are offering a separate observation. In a couple cases, the second comment clearly implied that the post was new to the reader. I honestly think they didn’t remember having visited the post before. Maybe that’s a good argument for reading the existing comments: to see if one of them is yours! ๐Ÿ™‚

Annelies January 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I haven’t gotten any irksome comments thus far but will agree about links in comments. If a link is pertinent to the subject matter and adds fodder to the discussion, I am all for it.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Me too. People have added some terrific and germaine links in the comments on my bog, and I truly appreciate them.

emvandee January 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I wrote a post about ribs once where someone wrote in to tell me I had a nice rack, and that he’d love to show me what he does with his meat. The addition of a few winking emoticons made it clear to me he had no interest in BBQ.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:06 pm

OMG. That is too much! Unless you married the guy.

emvandee January 11, 2011 at 9:31 am

Ha! No. Certainly not. I have never hit “spam” faster than I did with that one. And wouldn’t it be nice to be able to deal with creeps in real life by simply clicking a link? Sigh.

Jerry (CbsoP) January 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

The most inane comment I’ve gotten lately was a huge “thank you” for writing about bulk herbs and spices. While the comment was posted on a recipe for herb roasted chicken, there was no mention at all of bulk spices (nor were any used).

Another laughable comment was sort of sophomoric and does not bear repeating. Granted to say neither of them was approved.

Links to relevant content or other recipes that add usefulness don’t bother me. (I.e. if someone links to a different variation of a recipe or to a recipe that didn’t work out.) Random URL’s are summarily ignored as an attempt to gain traffic or back-links, which I give freely to people with good content.

Krista January 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm

My blog is new, and while I don’t accept advertising, I’m not ruling it out for the future.

A reader commented kindly on one of my posts and I thanked her. I wrote a later post on pot roast being easy to cook when you’re injured, and she commented again. But this comment was all about how healthy grass-fed beef was (omega 3’s etc.), and she just happened to represent this grass-fed beef company, and by the way, here’s a link to this grass-fed beef company. It was like the Amazon link, where she was clearly getting paid a cut of whatever was sold via her link.

I edited her post to remove the advertisement and emailed her to tell her why. Suggesting a type of product for specific benefits is cool. Trying to make money off my blog when I’m not even making money off my blog is not cool.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I love that last line. About sums it up, doesn’t it? I think it’s great that you edited her post and explained it to her. Maybe she thought twice the next time.

Christine January 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Ironically, the type of comment that annoys me to no end is from one of my acquaintances. She has a food blog herself. So she’ll say stuff about how she “made” the same dish weeks before I did, but just that she didn’t post it in her blog until after I did (we used to chat every once in a while, so she did tell me every now and then what she’s making but NEVER did I steal her idea). Pretty much accusing me of stealing her ideas. Great. Or this certain person would say that she made the same dish, and thinks that her pictures and food actually look better than mine. Competitive much? I mean, yeah she is a better photographer. But writing a comment about that on my blog? Sound a bit narcissistic to me. Glad I deleted my old blog and now I know better to review the comments before publishing them.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:12 pm

So you know two food bloggers who leave comments that are accusatory and self-congratulatory at your expense. Wow. I hope you’ve tried to talk with them about it.

Christine January 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm

There was only one person (fortunately, world doesn’t need too many of those kinds). I did try talk to her, but she didn’t think she did anything wrong. So I stop talking to her altogether. Save the headache..

Ricki January 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Uh-oh, guilty here of leaving links to my own recipes on occasion. Sometimes the original recipe is so close, or the person mentions something that makes me think they might appreciate the recipe. . . oops. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: irritating comments, I used to get comments from one reader (who seems to have stopped reading–or commenting, anyway) within seconds of my post going live. Quite frequently, it was obvious the reader hadn’t actually read the post and would leave comments much like those about the restaurant, above, things like “Sounds great!” when the content of the post was about how my hubby and I were both sick and that was why I was making soup, etc. .

Apart from the spammy comments that have nothing to do with the post at all, comments that ask me to exchange links irk me. I have a pretty extensive blogroll and do include a lot of new blogs, but I much prefer them to be of my own choosing.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Well, maybe you did it in a nice way. But maybe you won’t do that any more!

Sorry for laughing, but that example in the second paragraph really got me going.

Yes, that’s another good one, asking to exchange links right in the comments. Talk about awkward.

@amwaters January 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Interesting. # 2 and # 3 would bother me, but #1 doesn’t. If people drop a link in my comments section on my blog saying they have made something similar (assuming we are talking about something a bit more elaborate or obscure than corn muffins), I really don’t mind that at all. I guess I am a bit of a Pollyanna then. I just figure people are reaching out, trying to make a connection with someone clearly of a common interest. For example, I sometimes talk about my Mom’s Danish cooking that I try to recreate. If someone dropped a link about their attempt at a Danish dish, I would be thrilled to find another person looking to protect their culinary heritage.

What does bother me are those that have to ‘one up’ the message of the blog. You see them EVERYWHERE having to have to weigh in on EVERYTHING.

I am not opposed to ‘Looks Delicious’ comments either depending on the situation. If someone’s blog is a bit of a drought for comments, I bet a ‘Looks Delicious’ (if sincere) can be a bit of a boost. But if it is the 250th comment of ‘Looks Delicious’ on a particular blog post then it does get tiresome. Much like a very long receiving line.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Okay, that makes sense. It is nice if people share their experiences with you, I suppose. Somehow it doesn’t seem so competitive when you say it that way.

One-upsmanship is definitely irritating. That’s a good one.

Good point about when “Looks delicious” is okay and when it’s too much.

Christine January 11, 2011 at 9:25 am

Ah, the one-uppers. Not only do they have to weigh in on everything, but they also have to have the last word. Probably my favorite representation of these kind of people is Kristin Wiig’s character “Penelope” on SNL: http://www.hulu.com/watch/11931/saturday-night-live-penelope–traffic-school.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 10:11 am

Ha ha! I hadn’t see this one, Christine. Thanks.

Nate @ House of Annie January 10, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Single links back to the blogger’s or another’s site is fine if it’s on topic and not “spammy”.

Sometimes I get a spammer leaving a comment that is a copy of someone else’s comment higher up in the thread. I guess they figure I won’t notice the similarity and then so approve it.

I gotta roll my eyes at comments or questions that show they haven’t read the post.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Someone copying a comment that’s already appeared on the post? Wow. Maybe they just have the same thoughts? Sometimes that happens on my blog, where thoughts are very slightly different.

Gilda Claudine January 10, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I can see how number 2 and 3 are outright irritating, but as a new blogger I kind of like the idea of being able to leave a link to my blog in a comment. I haven’t done so yet, mostly because (at least on this blog) I am able to leave the info for you as part of the “Leave a Comment” procedure. I think it would be kind of cool to show a blog or website address as part of the signature line in a comment. However, leaving a link to a specific recipe or post does seem rather self-promoting…and irritating. Then again, since I’m in my blogging infancy and have received only a few comments on my blog, feel free to leave your self-promoting link for me at http://www….just kidding!

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I suppose it depends how you say it. If you imply in any way that your version of their recipe is more superior, that is definitely not cool.

Gilda Claudine January 11, 2011 at 5:32 am


art and lemons January 10, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Someone once took the time to write “get a life” in response to one of my posts. I have one, thank you, I said aloud as I deleted his words. Not only did the commenter lack imagination but it was also a personal attack which is never okay.

It was the only comment like this that I’ve received yet I wondered why he bothered to write it. Comment policies are a must-have…

Christine January 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Wow. That was downright mean. Get a life? He’s the one who needs to get a life.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Personal attacks are never okay. That is quite serious. I suppose he couldn’t care less if you had a comment policy.

I once wrote a post about when to delete comments, and a few snarky people wrote nasty comments just to see if I would delete them.

Jamie January 11, 2011 at 1:06 am

I had a similar type comment from someone on one of my posts on the Huffington Post. I wrote an introduction that led into my recipe. On Huff Post, my recipes are set off against a background of a different color and outlined so one can easily see the recipe. One commenter wrote (after complimenting me on the recipe):
“I wish that in order to get to the pot of gold I hadn’t had to wade through a florid and ostentatioยญus prelude that would have served better in a book than in a blog.” Ouch! I did respond that he could have easily skipped the story and gone straight to the recipe. It makes you wonder why people feel the need to write insults. I think on my own blog (very luckily) most people do comment about my story so when someone leaves a comment that blatantly shows that they’ve not read it (okay, that I get) or – worse – has only read the first paragraph and commented on that in order to make me think they read the whole thing, I can tell and it makes me unhappy although what can I do? At least they took the time to visit although they don’t inspire a return visit from me.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

A florid and ostentatious prelude! Wow. It’s so easy to write insults on the web, isn’t it? That is sad.

I wonder if it occurs to people who have only read the first paragraph that you can tell by the way they comment, or if they care? I suppose we should be grateful for commenters, even those kind.

Kelly January 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Actually, the spam has been pretty interesting. It seems the spangles are real people now, making more evaluative comments than some commenters. As much as I enjoy comments, I don’t get hooked up on the whole “how many” thing. I read and enjoy ore’s recipes, blogs, etc. But don’t have the time to comment on all of them, but refrain from leaving a “YUM” comment for obvious reasons.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Yes, refraining from saying “yum” as your only comment is admirable, Kelly.

Christina January 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Thanks for this post. I’m sure you hear this frequently, but your blog is brilliant and so helpful! I’m hooked! I don’t think I’ve committed any of these faux pas, but I’m thankful you are all helping me dodge them in the future.

I agree with Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite who reminds us that we are all reading many posts with only time to comment on a few.

I’m new to food blogging, but serious about getting better about it. Am I wrong in thinking that comments on a blog add a level of credibility to your work (affirming, even if only to the author, that *someone* is actually reading what I’m posting in cyberspace)? Is there etiquette for requesting comments on your blog?

I often see closing remarks like: What do you think? or Share your favorite story…

Are there other ways to request your readers respond that are appropriate?

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

You’re welcome. No, I don’t hear that all the time, so thank you for saying so.

You are not wrong for thinking that, particularly if you want to get freelance work blogging elsewhere, or writing a book. You want to show that you have an audience.

Here’s a post on that subject, Christina: 22 Ways to Get Comments on Your Blog.

Christina January 11, 2011 at 10:22 am

Thanks Dianne! ๐Ÿ™‚

Dragana January 10, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I am from the former Yugoslavia and posted about doughnuts and a recipe that we traditionally make on New Year’s Day. I received a snotty comment that doughnuts did not originate from my part of the country but his, and how dare I suggest otherwise, along with some partisan political scolding. Needless to say, I did not publish his comment since my blog is about cooking and not politics.

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Good for you. I don’t know why people think they can get away with snotty comments. That’s what the delete button is for.

Liz January 24, 2011 at 4:56 am

Pity he didn’t put more thought into it, because then he would see how similar your two regions are, as opposed to accusing you of stealing his culture.

Christine January 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm

One of the most annoying comments came from a reader about my post on meeting David Leibovitz at a book signing. It covered his time as a pastry chef at Chez Panisse and in Berkeley. Here’s the comment: “What fun. Nice insight into your view of his personality. Wasn’t it Zuni Cafe? I don’t think he was every at Chez Panisse. I know he was at Zuni, for sure.

You would think if she was so sure of this, she’d look it up before writing it in a comment. This commenter also does a variation of โ€œI would love you to stop by my blog sometimeโ€ with “miss your visits.”

diannejacob January 10, 2011 at 9:34 pm

That’s funny. It’s not that hard to look up. Especially because David has a section about working at Chez Panisse on his blog.

This person sounds annoying!

Jen Yu January 10, 2011 at 9:41 pm

It’s neither lame nor outrageous, but it’s the most common question I get and it’s annoying: What camera do you shoot with?

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 10:25 am

And I suppose you’ve written a post on that, Jen, so you direct people to it each time. Since you’re such a great photographer, people think they can the same results if they had the same camera?

Elizabeth MInchilli January 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm

First of all, I love your blog, and so sorry I’ve never left a comment before.
The craziest comment I’ve gotten? A death threat. I kid you not. In response to a light hearted funny piece I wrote on the Atlantic site. I guess it wasn’t my own blog, but their site, but still. It was very upsetting.
And actually, I like when people post links in the comment to my own blog. I love to see what other people are writing about, especially when it’s the same topic or related. I don’t always have time to catch everything, so happy when someone points it out.

Jamie January 11, 2011 at 1:14 am

Oh dear, thank heavens I never got a death threat but I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post (granted, it is a political paper at its origin) about not celebrating Thanksgiving although I am American and briefly discussed the dilemma many expats in mixed marriages have when facing certain holidays. I then offered a recipe for a wonderfully festive cake that I said would make any dinner a celebration whatever you do or don’t celebrate or some such inclusive, holiday-ish comment. Boy, did I hear it from a few people who basically called me un-American, accused me of being unpatriotic or snooty and bourgeois! All because I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 9:59 am

That is ridiculous. But sometimes controversy makes your post more fun to read, and bumps it up in the ratings. I hope you didn’t take it personally.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 10:13 am

Welcome, Elizabeth, and thank you. Hope to hear from you again. A death threat! That’s crazy. You must have been terrified.

Re links to the same topic, I guess it depends on how they say it.

Kirstin January 10, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I think the strangest comment I got was on a post that was several months old and had 10 or so comments on it already, and someone just said “Am I really the first person to comment on this amazing post?!”

Uhh, nope, but thanks anyway! I haven’t had anybody drop (non-spam) links at me until recently, I met a group of expats in Bishkek who all have blogs and I think there’s a bit of an unspoken competition going on, like “Oh hey this is a cool post, I wrote about the same thing a few weeks ago!” Well, good thing my family and friends back home aren’t reading your blog! Unless it’s relevant and constructive, I don’t think I would appreciate someone just commenting to advertise a link. And if somebody just comments asking for a link exchange, I delete it.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 9:53 am

That’s funny, Kirstin. At least it was a compliment.

Re the expats with blogs, I suppose if you wrote something event oriented, they’d want to chime in with their take on it. But it’s too bad they’re competitive about it.

Faith Kramer January 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm

My favorite most irritating comment (since deleted) was someone who commented (with link) on a recipe that her version was way better than mine

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 9:54 am

OMG, that is too much, Faith! Maybe you should have left it there so people could see what an idiot she is.

Linda January 11, 2011 at 12:28 am

I am not a blogger (and yes, I read the post), but one of my pet peeves as a reader is a row of 50 “Yummy!” comments. I know it means traffic, but I also expect some interesting comments, too.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 9:55 am

Yes, that is a dilemma for the poster, I suppose. If you read my post on that subject (a link in the first line) you will see that many bloggers are grateful to have them, though.

Nevine January 11, 2011 at 1:31 am

I once made two comments on a particular blog post (by a very prominent food blogger) and had my second post deleted. I was actually quite offended because I thought both comments added value to the discussion. I’m Egyptian and the recipe in question was a Middle Eastern dish that I hadn’t eaten since my grandmother died ten years ago. I mentioned some differences in preparation and thanked the blogger for reminding me of a long-forgotten dish.

A week later I came across another variation of the dish on a Pakistani blog. I went back to the comments and mentioned how interesting I had found it that the dish was eaten as far away as Pakistan and linked to that version. I honestly don’t understand why this second comment was deleted. Neither comment was in any way self-promotional (I’m not a blogger) and I always find it interesting to see how recipes evolve within different cultures.

Perhaps the blogger didn’t want readers to see that it wasn’t a very original recipe?

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 10:02 am

Well Nevine, you did link to another version of the dish. You may have answered your own question, even though you were trying to add value.

David Califa January 11, 2011 at 2:25 am

couldn’t agree with you more. as an israeli food blogger, i can tell you that’s these practices cross borders and continents ๐Ÿ™‚

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 10:03 am

Shalom, David! I suppose we’re still figuring out how to address these things, as blog etiquette is still a new subject.

Sally - My Custard Pie January 11, 2011 at 2:57 am

I think that the phrases ‘looks delicious’ and ‘yum’ are being pursued in the mediochre comments phrase rankings by ‘great combination of flavours’. It’s hard to be original and yes I agree that it’s nice to get any comments at all, and I’ve stared blankly at a comments form trying to think of something nice to write but failing miserably to generate the required ‘bon mot’ but that phrase seems like feint praise to my ears!

I agree that leaving your own link is bad ettiquette. There is no need to add a link for most blogging comment systems – you can link via the name if you are that interested.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 10:05 am

I’m in the same boat. Often I just don’t leave a comment because I can’t come up with anything original to say, or anything that would add to the discussion.

sarah, simply cooked January 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Yes, I see what you both mean. I try harder to come up with an original comment when it is a small blog and I know that my comment means more to the blogger. When I see a post that already has 50 comments, I often don’t bother because I wonder if the blogger or the other readers even look at them.

The Italian Dish January 11, 2011 at 4:00 am

Point #3 made me laugh. Once in a while I get someone who asks a comment in the question that shows they obviously haven’t read the post – for example, someone asking if you can make the dish ahead of time when I’ve already explained that in the post or asking where they could get a certain item in the post, when I’ve already included a link where to buy it. That does irk me a little.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 10:16 am

I guess people skip over some of the info and you have to explain it again. Listen, as a teacher, I can assure you that people don’t always get it the first time.

Claudia January 11, 2011 at 5:34 am

In a holiday post I went into great detail about forging new traditions after the death of my father. I did end it with a birthday wish for my father-in-law who was born on Christmas Eve. And of course, I received a “happy birthday to your father comment.”

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 10:18 am

Oh, that is a little awkward, isn’t it. That person surely won the taco award.

p.s. BTW, my uncle was born on Christmas and my grandmother named him Noel.

Claudia January 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm

That name always makes me smile.

Aparna January 11, 2011 at 7:23 am

I’ve had both #1 and #3 in my comments but haven’t seen #2 so far.
Yes, the “yummy’/ looks delicious/ good job” comments do sound a bit depressing but then maybe its because my post failed to elicit any more excitement than that in the commentator! ๐Ÿ™‚

Two types of comments do upset me. One is where my readers actually address me by some other name while leaving a comment. Maybe they have multiple windows open at the same time and get confused while leaving comments. But to me, it seems like they can’t even be bothered to know whose blog they’re reading and that feels insulting.
The other type of comment is probably well meaning, but telling me that your keyboard is covered with drool after reading my post/ seeing my photographs is not going to make me jump with delight.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 10:20 am

I wouldn’t blame yourself for “yummy” and “delicious” comments. Sometimes that’s all there is to say. Maybe that person with the “drool” comment was trying hard. She or he failed, of course…

Oh yes, that’s a good one. Not remembering your name.

Jeanne January 11, 2011 at 10:33 am

I have to say, I am never displeased with a short and sweet comment that says “looks yummy.” I honesty don’t get the problem with those types of comments. I don’t want to get into the business of mind-reading each and every one of my commenters to determine whether or not they just did it to link to me. The concept of judging or deleting these comments seems to over-the-top snotty to me. Or maybe I’m just too small for it to be a problem. ๐Ÿ™‚

The comments I don’t like are the ones that are clearly spam. Ones that say something that has nothing to do with my post. The ones that say: “our brooms have twice the broom power as other brooms.” Hello? I have a baking blog.

My funniest comment was something like: “It’s clear you like food and this is something we have in common because I am from Spain and in Spain we like food.” Totally cracked me up!

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Yeah, I can see your point. I am not suggesting people analyze each comment. Most of the time bloggers can tell if someone’s leaving comments just to promote their own blogs. No, you are not too small for it to be a problem, Jeanne!

How odd that you get spam like that. I have to say that it is very rare for me.

Charmian @Christie's Corner January 11, 2011 at 10:57 am

I sometimes actively ask commenters to leave a link (to a favourite cookie recipe or tips on perfect pie crusts, for instance). If the link is relevant, then I don’t mind it. In fact, I think it’s a benefit of a blog. I also have Comment Luv activated as a thank you for people who take the time to comment. Sure, I get some “looks delicious”, but most people have something worthwhile to say.

The other two points infuriate me. As do spam comments that are so generic they could apply to anything. Fortunately, Akismet filters out most of these for me.

And people actively asking me to drop by their blog? Mardi sums it up perfectly.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

That’s so nice of you, Charmian. I will have to look into Comment Luv. I just installed ReplyMe, which sends people my comment so they won’t have to go back to my blog to look it up.

Charmian @Christie's Corner January 12, 2011 at 8:11 am

Oooh, didn’t know about that one. I’ll look into it myself! Thanks for sharing that feature.

Paula January 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Thanks for the tip about ReplyMe. I have been wondering about that for some time now.

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle January 11, 2011 at 11:19 am

The only comment I’ve ever had that was blatantly bad was a fellow who was apparently well known for his scathing commentary. It was a post about Nainamo bars which are a Canadian treat and he let me know that this type of post was not up to he or his wife’s intellectual and gourmet mentality. He went on to slam me personally for the demeanor he felt I displayed in my writing.

Although I admit some surprise at the level of his attack; I felt it unwarranted (we’re talking about a damn cookie for crying out loud!) so I decided to leave it and the entire comment stream turned into a defense of me. While admittedly heartwarming I subsequently removed it; I think the Doc was getting way too much attention for his bad behavior!

Regarding the quality of comments that are left and addressed by Jeanne; I and other bloggers welcome comments; as a matter of fact we might actually crave them! I don’t care what verbiage is used if the comment is well meaning. I don’t even care if someone leaves a link back to their site as long as it’s not a regular thing and is within context of the post. I enjoy something conversational and informational and if a link helps to create synergy…go for it. I could complain if someone left a link to Amazon if Amazon hadn’t closed all the affiliates in Colorado so though I don’t want my comments used solely to market affiliate links…I can’t even profess to getting disturbed about that!

What I don’t like is my or other sites being used to build site rankings influenced by links. Leaving a vacuous 2-5 word comment simply as a way to build links back to your site is annoying. I call them ‘First Responders’ – they’re right there at the top and their comments are always a combination picked from a ten set word list. I’m not trying to be a mind reader but patterns emerge and some of those patterns become pretty obvious. It’s assumed they don’t even read the post. I don’t delete the comments but I don’t appreciate them either.

diannejacob January 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm

You sound like you have a balanced approach, Barbara.

Yes, of course all bloggers welcome comments. Where would I be without them? I am totally dependent on comments to have a conversation and learn. But we can’t help be annoyed by some situations. I like your name for some, the First Responders.

Re that commenter, getting so worked up about Nanaimo Bars ( I just made some last month, from my mother’s recipe!) is silly. I thought it was great that you left the flame, but agree that maybe he was looking for attention, so it was best to delete.

Claudia January 12, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Somewhere in my life, I am going to steal? appropriate? the term “first responders.” Just tickled me.

veron January 12, 2011 at 11:36 am

I, like most bloggers, welcome comments. I am seldom annoyed at the two-word comment because I am guilty of leaving them myself, but I think it’s because from reading too many blogs, it has become hard to think of something creative to say. But I have changed recently. I have trimmed down my blog reader and started including blogs that stimulate my interest and learning in food. I want to build resources and community, not only a mutual readership. In return, I try to write posts that are carefully thought out and will be useful not just for myself but for others with like-thinking and interests. My latest post on ramen and foodies have gotten thoughtful comments which I am glad for because I really put some thought on that topic.

In other news – I just bought the latest version of your book “will write for food” for my ipad. Traveling for a long trip and will try some writing exercises on the plane. ๐Ÿ™‚

diannejacob January 12, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Wonderful, Veronica! I like this change. Thanks for reading my book — on an ipad, no less. Sounds exciting.

Krista January 12, 2011 at 9:52 pm

It may be because my blog is new, but I don’t mind the “yummy” comments – at least my post prompted a response!

I must say, however that the comments that stymie me are the ones left on facebook (where I announce a new post) instead of on the actual blog post. I’ve tried to get those folks to comment on the blog, to encourage a conversation, but they don’t seem to want to make those extra clicks. And I think it’s unethical to copy and paste from FB to my blog.

diannejacob January 12, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Yes, you can’t do that. The people who comment on Facebook don’t necessarily want to do so on your blog. Sometimes I ask them to do so, though, particularly when they’ve made a really worthwhile point.

My Carolina Kitchen January 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Diane, thank you for covering this most interesting subject. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading each comment about what others think of the comments that are left on their blogs.

I find it interesting that when you first start to blog you crave comments. As you become more experienced, you become more aware of what people are reading and responding to (or not reading as the case may be). I can easily spot the people who leave a comment just for the sake of leaving a comment. I don’t delete comments unless they are spam. I personally feel the comments you leave speak to the kind of person you are.

diannejacob January 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm

It’s been a fun post and comments, I must say.

I still crave comments. How many years does it take to not care whether you get them?

Linda Capeloto Sendowski January 13, 2011 at 9:12 pm

‘Yum! this looks delicious’ just sends me off the deep end. If you haven’t read the recipe I would prefer no comment. I read the comments sent to my blog before I approve them. Most comments are insightful or a question or genuine praise but some as you say with that wonderful phrase are one taco short of a combination. Thanks for the fun topic.

diannejacob January 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Glad you got a kick out of it, Linda. Some people really don’t mind “yum” etc. and are just grateful for the comments. That’s what makes the world go ’round.

Liz January 14, 2011 at 9:39 am

Great topic! Well, first off, my blog is vegetarian and Israeli. My favorite ridiculous comment was this screechy, caps-lock diatribe from a vegan. And then I’ve gotten a few comments along the lines of “this isn’t Israeli, it’s Palestinian” (it wasn’t, but the commenters clearly hadn’t read a thing).

How about a post on the bizarre e-mails bloggers sometimes get? That would be a whole new field of fun.

diannejacob January 17, 2011 at 8:49 am

I think we’re covering that right now, Liz! Your blog somehow gets into politics when you don’t intend it to, eh?

Liz January 24, 2011 at 4:55 am

Well, I wouldn’t say my blog gets into politics too often, but for some people, even the words Israeli and Palestinian are political. And there you go, I’m also getting into politics without intending to!

In short, the anecdote by Dragana from former Yugoslavia rang a bell.

sarah, simplycooked January 15, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Thanks, Dianne, for the post; all the comments have made me think as well. Until I read this I thought leaving linky comments was a good strategy–though I avoided doing it on small blogs. When I leave comments with links on a group blog like The Kitchn I usually get a few dozen people clicking (which is a lot for my small blog). I don’t fell bad leaving links there because it’s more like a forum than a personal blog. But you’ve convinced me not to leave links on anyone’s personal food blog.

I might have figured this out for myself…. When someone leaves a comment on my blog I always go see who they are. They don’t need to leave a link–I’m intrigued enough by their comment.

diannejacob January 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I suppose there might be good reasons to leave a link, and not everyone seems to mind. But yes, a good comment will drive people to your blog faster than self-promotion.

Kat January 30, 2011 at 11:38 pm

My blog’s pretty personal, and since most of my readers are family and friends, I never expected to get these kinds of comments. Much to my surprise, I did. The visitor thanked me for the wonderful advice I gave on relationships, adding an invitation to check out their community site. It would’ve looked fine if the post wasn’t about a vacation I took without a word about relationships and such.

It makes me wonder if these people are real visitors, or just persons hired by the site they represent to help gain traffic.

diannejacob January 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Sounds like the latter to me, although maybe there’s such a thing as personalized spam.

Cyndi February 3, 2011 at 10:38 am

Will do my best to keep this long ๐Ÿ™‚

I get tons and tons of comments on my blog but very few are real. I went and looked up the stats for you all to see. I have 144 posts up and 278 approved comments. But there are 1101 comments that came through for moderation that were actually spam. AND 21,395 comments that Akismet caught for me in a spam filter (I do my best to go through them and have found maybe 3 or 4 total that were false positives…btw, if you use Wordpress and don’t have Akismet turned on, I highly recommend it).

Yes, spam is getting far more sophisticated. I have some that is so clever that it takes me a while to be sure it’s spam. One surefire method to tell is that the same “person” or someone else leaves an identical comment on another post. I always click on the link they provide to their own website. That usually tells you. I don’t care if someone gives their blog to something unrelated (I mean from the “website” box when you place a comment). But a lot of the links go to porn, viagra or other spam sales, auto-generated sites, etc.

Most of the spam is automatically generated using bots. No person is actually reading your blog or even glancing at it. The software takes keywords from the blog and chooses a pre-written sentence that seems to match. Once in a while, it will be such a good match that you’ll be fooled.

A small percentage is people who troll the net for opportunities to promote their own website and will leave comments on posts they aren’t connected with or interested it for this purpose.

Then there is a very tiny percentage where reps of a company will visit sites with certain keywords but usually offer relevant commentary. I wrote a post once about making my own gluten-free matzoh and a rep from the one (of 1 or 2) GF matzoh company that exists commented saying I should have told people about their product. But I had an entire paragraph about their product, with a link back to their website. I did let that comment through and replied to it.

As for worst comments (the real type). I wrote a restaurant review where I loved the food but said the prices were too high and the service was awful (I felt like they were looking down on me–it was a terminally hip type of place). The commenter said this was his favorite restaurant and I just needed to “get laid more.” Yeah, I wanna go back to that place real soon. I didn’t put that one through.

Then there was the (nonfood) post I wrote about places to stop on a particular car trip. Being chemically sensitive, drives are a minefield and I gave suggestions for such things as public bathrooms with no air freshener and where on the freeway to keep your windows shut because of heavy pesticide use. Well, someone must have posted this to a list because I got two very angry letters from farmers along the freeway in question who swore up and down that their spray drift stops right at the edge of the road and never affects travelers. I would have gladly put those through and had a conversation about it but both were filled with personal insults. My favorite was being told I have a big butt.

diannejacob February 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Being told you have a big butt! Cyndi, you really know how to end a comment with a bang. Hilarious.

I wasn’t thinking about spam when I wrote this post, but thanks for the lowdown.

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