I seem to be falling behind in the 31 Day Comment Challenge. I had good intentions of working on the project yesterday but instead found myself immersed in a good book. So tonight is the night to start looking on the past day’s tasks and begin to work my way through them. It seems that I’m moving sideways through the daily challenges instead of forward because I’ve already blogged about Day 13 and completed Day 12’s task. Now as I read ahead into Day 16: Go Back and Catch Up on Something I think this blog posts fits well for that day too.

“We’re here at a little over the halfway point in our 31 Day Comment Challenge and from what I can see, a lot of us are feeling a little behind. Worse, a lot of you are totally stressing about it, too! Don’t put so much pressure on yourselves, people–this should be fun!

So here goes today’s blog post about Day 11: Write a Blog Comment Policy

“As a blogger, you’re responsible for the overall tone of your blog and the comments that are left there. Like a party host, you create a particular kind of atmosphere on your blog and when it comes to commenting, having a comment policy is the best way for you to establish commenting ground rules.”

I’d never thought about having a blog comment policy. I suppose that in my mind I’d already decided that anything that was on my blog had to be appropriate for all audiences. As an educator my blog is available to my peers, parents and even students for reading. I also thought that as the creator of the blog I’m the one who decides what comments are posted. I’ve approved nearly all of the comments I’ve received except for the ones that seem to originate from a bogus address. As I read Blog Herald‘s post “Does Your Blog Have a Comment Policy?” the following points were made.

As the blog owner, you have the following rights:

  1. Control over content and comments.
  2. Ability to edit comments.
  3. Ability to censor comments.
  4. Ability to delete comments.
  5. Ability to prevent comments by specific persons or groups.

The blog post cautions against complete censor but states that whatever you decide your audience should be aware of the playing rules.

Neville Hobson has a complete terms of use for his blog that includes the reason he writes his blog, using his blog and writing his comments. Lorelle on WordPress writes about the debate on deleting comments. She writes about her past worry about deleting comments but ultimately the publisher of the blog is in control of the site and has to live with the comments authorized. Lorelle also cautions about taking a few moments to think before you send off a quick comment back to a comment you disagree with. I really like Michelle Martin’s guide to using her blog: The Bamboo Project. I like the tone of her guide and the way it is friendly instead of a set of rules. I would use the guide to show my students how to use blogs.

So, where do I stand on comment policies? I’m not sure if I need a written policy on my blog or not. I don’t think so but maybe it’s because I don’t have a large readership. Were I to have more readers and a broader range of readers I may reconsider. I might write a guide to using my blog or my class blog because that appeals to me more. How many of you have a comment policy? Do you believe they are important or not?