I love comments .. I hate Spam

I love when people leave comments to my posts. It provdes a sense of validation, in that someone out there is actually reading my posts, and it also increases the “value” of my blog by creating a conversation rather than a monologue. So I’ve decided to make commenting more fun for people and also say thanks by way to spreading some Google Juice to all who comment.

So, here’s what I’ve done. The blog now run these plugins to make things more interesting:

  • Gravatars2 is a plugin that adds Gravatars (Globally Recognised Avatars) to each comment. You can either get your own from the Gravatar website, but if you don’t have one, it automatically assigns you one from pool of around 100 images. So, you may end up being Homer Simpson today, or even an anime character!
  • Brian’s Latest Comments is producing the “Latest Comments” list that is at the top of my SideBar. This points people at the recent conversations happening on the blog and increases their net worth
  • DoFollow is a plugin that removes the evil NoFollow from WordPress‘ comments. Sometime back, this tag had been introduced by search engines to try and minimise comment spam but the truth is .. well it hasn’t. This plugin makes sure that people who comment get a link back to their site, both for people to click on and follow, and also for search engines to index. I would recommend this to anyone who encourages commenting on their blog.

Of course, there’s no way I could do all this without some proper spam filtering, and Askimet is still up there as one of my must-have plugins that everyone should turn on. I’ve added a little image on the sidebar that shows exactly how many spam comments it has caught so far. Impressive huh?


  1. I think that this encourages more comments. I had the latest commenters on my sidebar, but it was a form of clutter. The commenter plugger plugin is good too. I used gravatar but then they stopped showing up, I’ll try it again soon and I’m off to install dofollow.

  2. I also use the Do Follow plugin. I got it after I think it was you and Tricia on the PPP forums raved about it. Thanks for showing us the light 🙂

  3. Nice! that’s pretty cool…definitely gives the comments a more personal feel for both the reader and the blogger. I think i’ll try and impliment some of this myself in to my site.

    I’m gonna link this post on my blog

  4. Those are pretty good. But then you have sites like despairNU that force people to comment, so you’re not really getting readers, your just getting people who want something from you in return. ANd they make BS comments and it’s just no fun.

  5. I am trying to use the Latest Comments plugin and am messing something up. All I get is code in my sidebar. Any thoughts?

  6. Are the Country, OS, and browser icons part of Gravatars too? I’ve been using MyAvatars for my comment pics, but this one looks nicer. Of course I am not a Gravatar member either so showing MyBlogLog avatars works better for me and most of my readers. I should probably join that community anyways seeing as how at least some people use it.

    Owen I would also recommend the Show Top Commenters plugin as well to encourage people to comment more and come back. Sorry…too lazy to look for a link…lol That’s the name of it though and it gives a linkback as well from when commenters make the list.

  7. Thanks for all the comments guys.

    @Martin: Mildly amusing I agree. I was thinking of hacking the code to generate a hash of the commenter’s email so they always get the same image when they post on the site. Would make it a bit more amusing i think

    @Jimi: the Country OS and Browser icons are provided by another plugin called FireStats .. should have mentioned that.

  8. Yep, I use these plugins also… except I use MyAvatars (MyBlogLog avatars) instead of the gravatars as 99% of my visitors are signed up with MyBlogLog already.

    I love Brian’s Latest Comments and that’s the first plugin I installed when I made my new blog. I really like way it promotes discussion.

    Another plug-in you might want to look into is Brian’s Threaded Comments which “gives you threaded comments and a ?wandering? comment form”. It turns your comments into a mini-forum giving people the opportunity to reply to specific commments.

    I really like the look of this blog Owen. Very clean and neat and easy to navigate. Good job. 🙂

  9. Thanks for the blogroll link, Owen, and for this great blog. I snagged the DoFollow plugin and uploaded it! I’ll be back, reading and learning.

    By the way, I posted about your blog. You can read what I said here.

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