The main purpose of a blog is to provide a person or a group of people a place to express their thoughts and opinions. However, more and more, blogs are a place for interaction in a “web 2.0″ fashion.
The main place for on page interaction is the “Comment” section that usually appears below each blog post. Although there are many variations of the comment section including social media plugins, most of them include 4 important components which are all too frequently improperly used:
Name – Many people abuse the name field, since, this is what will become the “link text”. But this is the place that should contain your name or the name that best reflects your current “persona”. Your persona is the name associated with the current hat you are wearing related to the content you are interacting on. Many of us will have a personal persona and a business persona, which can actually be quite different. If you are representing a business, it may be appropriate to put the company name in this box.
Email – Most blogs require an email address. Many commenters are reluctant to leave a comment since an email address is usually required. However, nowadays it is usually quite safe to leave an email address. Completing this box is not subscribing you to an email list… or, at least… it shouldn’t!
Website – Sometimes labeled “URL”, this is probably the most overlooked box… and, for the commenter, it is probably the most beneficial self-serving pieces of information. This is the place where you are supposed to put the complete URL, beginning with “http”, to your website or blog. If you do not have a website, this is where you can put your Facebook URL or any other relative URL that will link your name to your place on the internet where people can find out more about you. You should complete this box. Many times viewers want to find out more about the person that left such an insightful comment. Your URL gives them an opportunity to do this and at the same time, potentially increases traffic to your online web presence.
Comment – Use this field to simply add to the conversation. If you have a question about what the writer wrote, ask for clarification here. If you have a differing opinion, put it here. If you want to add something to the conversation, this is the place to do it.
Do not use the comment section to self promote your material. Chances are, any spammy comments are going to be moderated out anyway.
What are your thoughts? Do you usually use the “Website” field or will you be trying this for the first time by leaving a comment below?