IN THIS CHAPTER:
34 Using Blogger's Commenting System
35 Implementing Blogger's Show/Hide Comments
36 Display Recent Comments Links on Your Blog
37 Moderating Comments with Blogger
38 Implementing the Haloscan Commenting and Trackback System
39 Using the Haloscan Commenting System
40 Using the Haloscan Trackback System
41 Moderating Haloscan Comments and Trackback
One way to increase readership and build a community around your blog is to allow users to leave comments on your posts. Comments provide an outlet for users to weigh in on posts you've written, to offer alternative perspectives on situations, or to tell anecdotes that might offer guidance in some situations. If you have a very popular or controversial blog, you might attract a swarm of negative and nasty commentshence the topics in this chapter on comment moderation.
When comments are enabled, readers are more likely to return to your blog than if you simply publish a post and appear not to welcome additional discourse. This is especially true if you play an active role in responding to comments and continuing the conversation. Comments also allow you to discover new blogs because users typically include their blog URL as part of the signature in their comment; other people reading the comments also discover these new blogs, and the community grows. In addition, trackback pings can continue a thread; when a user writes a post that references another blog entry, he can send a ping back to the original entry, indicating the thread has been continued on his own blog. Readers interested in the topic discussed on the first blog might see the trackback ping and follow it to the second blog and onward.
Blogger includes comments-related functionality by default, but also allows you to turn off those functions if you so desiresuch as if you do not want readers to comment on your posts or if you want to implement a third-party commenting mechanism. If you enable Blogger comments, you also have the option of turning off comments on a post-by-post basis. The Blogger commenting system does not currently offer trackback functionality. If you use a third-party commenting mechanism, you will get trackback functionality as well as additional management tools, but you will not be able to disable comments on a per-post basis.
The topics in this chapter will familiarize you with how to use the Blogger commenting systems as well as a popular third-party commenting system: Haloscan ou will learn how to modify your Blogger template to display the comment-related elements, and also how to use the various management tools offered by each system, so that your blog remains a pleasant place to visit and isn't bogged down by comment spam or nasty commenting trolls.
All topics in this chapter assume that you are familiar with navigating around the Blogger management interface and modifying your Blogger template.