There was a discussion going on, on one of the forums that I visit regularly about sites that only allow registered visitors/members to comment. I’m certain that at least 90% of the people that responded to the thread stated that if they encountered a site where they had to register just to leave a comment they closed the site and didn’t bother leaving a comment.
Oh, sometimes they’ll still visit the site and read the posts. It’s not that the posts aren’t good reads, it’s just that they don’t want to jump through hoops just to leave a simple comment.
I mean, with all the social networking going on, and different lists to join – just how many sites are you registered with already? Do we really need to sign up at even more sites and have to remember login info for all the different blogs we visit just so that we can leave a comment?
I have registered an account with the major free blogging sites like Blogspot, Xanga, WordPress.com, live Journal and Typepad, but I really didn’t want to get a membership to any of them. After all, I don’t have any of my blogs on those sites – why do I need a membership just to leave a comment?
The same goes for private blogs on their own domains. I’ve encountered several lately where you must register to leave a comment. At least with the larger blogging sites if you register you can leave comments at all the blogs within that service. With private blogs you have to register for each one separately.
If I really like a blog or a particular post I sometimes will sign up and leave a comment but I don’t like having to do so, and most people will not do this. It’s no wonder that the sites that only allow registered commenters have so few comments on their sites.
Here’s an example of a site I encountered the other day – One of the sites that registered for the do follow blogroll the other day didn’t have any comments that I could find, just a few trackbacks. People had to register to comment so when I spoke with the site owner I mentioned the registration for comments and he clued in and said “ah maybe that’s why no one leaves me comments”.
Perhaps you have a blog that requires registration and you’ve been wondering why you don’t get many if any comments? Well – it’s probably not that your blog is boring, it’s just that people don’t like jumping through hoops. Make it easier for them – open up your comments to all.
By all means put all your comments on moderation if you’d like – I don’t mind that at all, but don’t make it too hard to leave a comment or you’ll get far fewer than your site deserves.
If and when sites that have been registered members only do open up their comments I strongly advise that you either moderate your comments or get some kind of spam control for your comments – otherwise you’ll be dealing with a lot of spammers and that’s not pleasant either.