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Poll of the Week – Signatures in Blog Comments?

I don’t generally highlight previous posts but the comment thread in the Signatures in Blog Comments post is really kicking on and there is some worthwhile discussion going on there. I’m interested in your opinions so feel free to stop by and have your say.

I’ve also decided to add a poll to the sidebar of ProBlogger for the next week to see what public opinion is on Signatures in Comments. Tell us what you think by placing your vote for or against the practice (at the poll over in the sidebar).

update – this poll is now finished – view the results here.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Craig says:

    No from me. If a website link isn’t enough, people are just being greedy marketers. I don’t mind people including their link in comments but only when appropriate, not as sigs. They make a blog unsightly in my view. Still sometimes it is nice to know more about your readers. Its up to the blogger to decide what they want on their blog and what they dont.
    Your blog is very business orientated so its understandable that others want to market themselves to other like-minded individuals that read you.
    If you were to advertise before the reply box the fact that comment links were nofollow and ask that they not add sigs, less people would probably do it.

  2. Rimu says:

    you need a third option;

    no – and ban their IP address for life

    bloody spammers

  3. Lei says:

    I voted Yes because it should be situation-dependent. Darn, “sometimes” would have been a good option.

    I think this issue is more pertinent for blogs that receive many comments, but not for most that receive just a dribble. (No, I’m not whining…not much, anyway.)

  4. cosa says:

    I voted for No either. As Craig said, there’s already a website link, there’s no need to leave signature anymore. If I found an interesting comment on blog, I usually visit their site from their website link. So I guess web link is more than enough.

  5. Anthony says:

    As long as the commenters are genuinely participating within the conversation that occurs with comments then I have no issue with it. You the blogger receive the benefit of increased interaction while the commenter gets a link.

  6. I voted yes. I believe that it is alright to leave your name, and possibly alright to leave a ‘static link text’ of your BLOG. NOT ADS, NOT SPAM…

    If it gets out of hand, don’t allow it.

    J Christian Connett, CPM

  7. Ben Helps says:

    As per my comment on the post in question, I’ll Vote No*.

    * unless the comment system doesn’t support hyperlinks in names.

  8. Paul Kinlan says:

    I really don’t see what you are worrying about. SPAM is one thing, people leaving a sig as part of a post is another. I could email you and leave my sig at the bottom of the email, it really [in my opinion there are more important things to worry about] is nothing different.

    Your blog isn’t flexible enough for me to leave a link to a series of post.

    Additionally, If I stumbled accross your site, and I wanted to see if a person had a post on the subject, clicking the comment poster’s name is not a very obvious thing to do.

    I would personally be slightly offended if you emailed me asking [even politely] not to put a signature in. I haven’t seen any T’s&C’s for your site saying that I can’t do it, so you shouldn’t stop people from doing it.

    I am not adding a sig because I haven’t got a relevant post on my site.

  9. Nicole Simon says:

    Paul, if you have a relevant post about something in anohter blog, use trackback, use a link to it and comment on your blog.

    Inserting your complete sig is a thing I do only, when the system itself request registration and will just leave me as anonymous, then I use my name and the domain.

    You can always have your blog name added in brackets after your name here and intelligently mention it in their comment. which is the key: smart.

    I know at least two people regulary commenting on this blog which always try to put their name out first and leave most of the time irrelevant comments like “oh i do this also on my blog XXXX!!!”

    Which is fine with me too: Because it tells me a hell lot about those people and how they work, which hurts them more than they gain. It is unprofessional and embarrising – for them.

    I do support on a high profile blog like this a nofollow for links in the comments but not the links of the name of the commenter.

    Nicole

    In general, if people leave

  10. Darren Rowse says:

    Paul – let me clarify. I have no issue with people leaving a relevant link. What I mean by a signature is leaving a link to their blog’s home page on every comment that they write at the bottom of their comment in addition to their link in the URL field.

    I don’t mind relevant links in comments – that’s a part of blogging – keeping conversations going.

  11. Paul Kinlan says:

    Hi,
    Hmm, maybe your right. But I still don’t know. I don’t experience a lot of participation on my blogs. However, I have had a little more time to think about it now. [not that my original comment was rushed].

    Personally I voted “Yes” about the sigs, because I don’t mind them. Sometimes I will follow them, other times I won’t.

    I do sometimes leave sigs on other peoples blogs, but only normally when I ask a question. If that makes sense.

    Nicole – I have never been a big fan of trackbacks. How could I use trackback on this site for instance. I can blog about it myself easy peasy, but how do I let the author know about my question? If it is to email the author then thats not really “Bloggy” and open. I would personally put a question or comment in the authors blog and expand on it later in my blog. The author can read it to their hearts conent then and pass comment on my blog.

    I still stand by the fact that in most blogs, the link in the comment authors name is not a very good way to point to my article on my blog.

    I also suppose it raises an Interesting question about getting a better way to communicate over blogs. Why can’t we have an intermediate site that holds or embeds all the comments and comunications for a blog [Not Trackback :)]

    Currently it is:
    Blog A:
    -Comment -> Blog B

    I would like a system that says:
    Blog A Blog B
    Where Blog B automatically shows the converstaion of Blog A and likewise with Blog A showing the article in Blog B. Then it wouldn’t matter so much about the commenting system.

    I am not too sure if I have explained what I mean properly.

    I am sorely tempted to put this comment on my blog and provide a signature here :)

  12. Thom Singer says:

    I don’t think it is bad….it is like having a return address on a formal letter….As long as it is a relevant post and their blog is on topic.

    I am sick of the posts that read “I love you blog, you have very good posts. Hey…check out my blog on underwater cutlery of the Aztecs”….since my blog is on business development, networking, marketing, sales, etc…. I hardly see the relevance of blogs on face cream, beer making, jewelery and stock picking software (okay, I admit….I did visit the beer making site)

    But if the person is on or near topic….then I encourage such signatures.

    (I was going to sign my name here and leave my URL….but I wasn’t sure if people would find that funny or think I was spamming).

  13. Mike Sigers says:

    If all it takes is for people to be able to identify themselves, why not just let the URL show, without being live ?

    You’ve already gathered it, so you don’t have to add a box to your form.

    It doesn’t have to be a live link, just show it.

    We have hundreds or thousands of new people reading blogs every day. Some are from cultures new to the internet, some are just new to blogs. A LOT of them have no idea about the link/name relationship.

    If you do this one simple thing, won’t this be a mute point ?

    Of course, all it would really take is for those that comment to really add to the post or not comment. This seems to be the only sticking point, for Darren and several others.

    Then again, several of those who are against it would complain if we hung them with a new rope. They’re just enjoying the opportunity to cry and whine.

  14. DrDel says:

    Absolutley URL addresses should be included in signatures

    So long as it isn’t obvious spam and so long as the comment adds to the discussion then let them post whatever they want in their sig

    I actually look forward to reading people’s signatures … it’s a form of entertainment in itself to see which websites contributors to this website represent

  15. DrDel says:

    I agree with comment Number 8

    people are confusing spam with signatures

    2 very different things

    so long as the signature isn’t spam then it is okay…

    .. and most signatures AREN’T spam

    if there is spam (splog) then report it to a splog reporting website.. simple as that…

  16. Paul says:

    Actually I would prefer to see the URL spelled out somewhere in the comment. Perhaps beside the name link as in Joe (www.mysite.com) or whatever.

    Seeing the URL gives me another decision point when I”m thinking of clicking thru without having to mouse over the name link.

    In any case the name link is sooooo un-obvious that only hardcore bloggers even know about it :)

  17. nickel says:

    I agree with Paul that it would help if the link url was actually spelled out somewhere (like but unlinking the commentersname and then explicitly including the link alongside the name in parentheses). This would probably go a long way toward stopping people from including their url in their comment. And it would take away any excuses for doing so.

  18. Just a minor thought on the idea that the link on the name is enough. You realise that many many systems actually link the name to an email address? On some it can be either an email link or url.

    Also many commenters get confused when asked for a URL and invent one thinking they can’t leave it blank. This of course leads to bad links which discourages the clicking of the name link in the first place.

    On this very blog a while back someone wrote they couldn’t find the home link, which is “obviously” the ProBlogger logo at the top of the page.

    Just because its obvious to you, doesn’t mean it either makes sense or really is obvious.

    I’d suggest at the very least a link which is actually intended to encourage people to visit the person’s site should spell out a site name and url, not the persons name. The whole convention of linking the name to a URL comes mainly from personal blogs, not Pro-blogs.

    When I have some time I think I may tweak my comments templates to address this.

  19. can of worms you opened up here Darren ;-)

    the more I read all the comments the more I come to realise that we’re coming at it from being “professional” bloggers. WE know that the name part is a link to the commenters blog. Looks like alot of people might not know.

    So, it begs the question whether the “name” title should be changed to something more appropriate. Or simply add another line to the input area – the name (no links), the email address and a URL. Then it would appease everybody and there would be no need for sigs as a clear website link would appear under the name.

  20. Old Niu says:

    I vote for Yes. It does not bother me much as long as it’s not a spam. Besides, I agree with Martin, etc. that not everybody realized that the “name” will link to a website.

  21. Dustin says:

    Can those shameless self-promoters! It’s a blog, not a newsgroup.

    DVD Anthology – Track your DVDs for Free!
    http://www.DvdAnthology.com

    (ha ha, jokes, jokes.)

  22. Dustin says:

    Seriously though, a signature line can add more to your blog than you think. Some readers say, wow, “the owner of (INSERT YOUR COMPANY HERE) reads Darren’s blogs. Darren must have something to say!”

    While most of the time I don’t think that way, sometimes I do.

  23. I really think that a thoroughly written response which is consistant with the topic at hand, should be allowed to leave a link. Afterall, it’s just as valuable for you to get a response as it is for a responder to leave a link at your site. However, short effortless responses should be ignored. Mark C.

  24. Baz L says:

    May want to have the link or the post results.

    The sidebars gone. :D