Sunday, March 7, 2021

Reader Comment – Reader Comments

This morning (East Coast time) a reader posted a comment to a blog post from this weekend, asking me (or maybe my readers, not clear) to look at the web site for a cybersecurity firm. Looking at the comment, I can not tell for sure if it was an attempt to get an SEO link or if it was a genuine request to see if I would be interested in something on the firm’s web site. After a bit of thought, I allowed the comment to be posted, but it made me realize that needed to explain again how I handle comments on the blog post.

Every blogger has to try to figure out how they will deal with Reader Comments. On (the Google site that hosts this blog), comments can be generally blocked, simple but it does tend to upset some readers. Comments can be completely unrestricted, which can lead to unproductive flame wars and posting all sorts of unrelated junk. Or, comments can be moderated, the blog owner (me) sees each comment and either allows or blocks or marks as spam before they are posted (or not) for the public to see. The later is what I chose for this blog.

The lay out of the blog on the screen kind of reflects that decision. If you are coming to the site in general and looking at the list of latest blog posts, you have to be pretty careful to see when comments are added to a particular post, a link to the comments (if any) is found in very small type at the bottom of the post. If you link into a particular post it is handled a bit differently, there is actually a small comment section (if any comments are presented) at the end of the post.

To be truthful I do not get a lot of comments about my posts and most of the ones that I do get are posted on social media sites (I am on TWITTER® @pjcoyle and LinkedIn® Patrick Coyle). While I would like to think it is because my work is flawless and profound (its not) I think the real reason is that the readers that I attract are busy folks that do not waste time posting “yeah, me too” or “you suck” comments on blog posts. When comments are made by these readers, it is often to point out a mistake or expand on something I said, or more likely missed. Those comments always get approved and frequently get a separate blog post pointing back at the comments so everyone can see it.

Most of the comments that I receive are obvious attempts at getting SEO links for completely unrelated sites or advertisements for weird or illegal stuff (recently heavy into online purchasing of methamphetamines). Those comments I block. Again, no great thinking or work there. Google has made the process easy. I do not waste much of my time and none of my readers’.

The comments like the one I received this weekend is more problematic. It is from an established cybersecurity firm, but not one that appears to do any significant work in the ICS sector. There is some Iot stuff on their site, but no industrial IoT that I could find in a quick click through. I think this was done pretty much to get an SEO link, but SEO is important in internet commerce and the site is somewhat related to what I cover here, so I approved the post of the comment. I would probably do the same for most ICS related sites, but I might not for the next unrelated cybersecurity firm, depends on how I feel that day. Just remember, the comment is not going to drive a lot of traffic your way.

But if you really want effective SEO, post a comment about something I wrote about in that post that you disagree with, or expand about what I wrote or otherwise engage in dialog. I will then almost always (as I tell my wife frequently “I don’t always do anything”) write one of these ‘Reader Comment’ posts. I will even mention your company name (yes with a link if you provide it) if it sounds pertinent or if you really make me think about the topic.

Now if you really want me to look at something new (yes, even your new product, though I do not do a lot of product reviews) or you want my thoughts on a particular aspect of a problem that I have not addressed in my blog, feel free to drop me an email (the link is also in my blog profile; click the link below the ‘About Me’ blurb to the right of this post. I don’t always reply and I have been known to ‘lose’ and email thread, but I am always looking for new blog post topics.

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