On Comments

Publicity still from BLT's production Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, Dec., 2009

The Boggle (Allison Wooldridge) explains the facts of the afterlife to Marley (Eric Hamlin) in BLT’s production of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, Dec. 2009. Orginal photo by Elizabeth Eller for BLT, cropped by Craig Orsinger.

It would be incorrect to say we get a lot of comments here. Typically, we get dozens a day. Unfortunately, nearly all are spam, which is junk mail for the Internet Age. We get offers to buy all sorts of wonderful products, advice on where we can go to make our website better, and quite a few things we don’t understand, because we don’t know the language they’re written in.

With so many spam comments to process each day, I worry that it’s possible for the comment of a new commenter to be lost, either due to the automatic software flagging it, or my mistaking that comment for spam. If that happens, you may think you’ve got our attention, but your comment doesn’t show up for days.

Here are a couple of ways you can avoid such a fate, both here and elsewhere:

  1. Mention things that appear in the article you’re commenting about. We get lots of spam that supposedly comments or criticizes an article, but never mentions anything about it. Just saying you love the article and you are adding it to your “favorites”, or you’ll come back often, will make it likely you’re going to be misidentified as a spammer.
  2. At least for your first comment, don’t include more than one link. Lots of links without much text are usually a sign of spam.
Publicity still of Michelle Flowers, Dylan Zucati, and Lance Zielinski from the BLT production of "The Who's Tommy", March, 2012.

Doctors Michelle Flowers and Lance Zielinski can’t diagnose Young Tommy’s (Dylan Zucati) condition, from the BLT production of “The Who’s Tommy”, March, 2012. Photo by Mike Wilson for BLT.

So, if you think we’re not answering your call, try commenting again with those two thoughts in mind. That’s good advice generally, by the way, if you’re introducing yourself just about anywhere on the Internet.

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