Thursday, July 06, 2006

I smell something funny here...

I've been a poor blogger for the last month (okay, actually the last couple of months), but I've also got no regular computer access right now (this is a lesson for anyone who doesn't back up their hard drives: GO GET A BACK-UP SYSTEM. Yeah, I learned the hard way--and now all my lovely food porn pics are in jeopardy--praying to the computer gods every night).

Anyway, I was notified by email today that I got a comment on an old post, in fact my "I LOVE TO EAT A CHEESE SANDWICH" post from february. I'm sure it's not the best memory for everyone, but this new anonymous comment that was written recently was extremely, well, "fishy sounding". Here's the text:

It's unfortunate that you had a bad experience. A friend introduced me to Say Cheese! recently and I love it! The pesto sandwich is fantastic .. granted some of the pesto drips out but that's what makes eating a sandwich so great - especially eating a good sandwich. I'll take a Say Cheese! sandwich with a side of tomato soup and some character.

Say Cheese! and bring me an extra napkin..

Does this seem like someone from the "inside" is writing this? I really don't want to delete comments that are obviously NOT spam, but this just seems odd...maybe just a tad too smooth in the way its written. Or am I reading something into this that's not there?

Has anyone every experienced something like this before? What have you done? Have you written a response that implies that you think it's an insider comment? Have you just deleted the comment? Kept it up?

This Post was written byRose from The Hungry Rose


William Conway said...

On my blog, if something even remotely looks fishy, I'll can it. I can't stand spam commenters and it gets my goat that they'll take advantage of my hard work to advertise their product. The only exception I've come across so far was a comment linking to a commercial site that was so relevant to the discussion, so obviously written by a person who reads my blog, that I left it up.

I've seen a lot of posts on FBS concerning the sticky business of comment moderation. Personally, I take a completely fascist approach. I work hard to create a tone on my blog, and I feel it's my right to exercise full editorial control over what's written.

It sounds pretty harsh, but I've gotten enough porn spam comments to force me to this. My mom reads my blog, for goodness sakes. In reality, I delete very very few comments written by real people, and only then because they get pretty nasty sometimes and it makes me sad.

Kalyn said...

I guess the fact that they mentioned the name of the restaurant THREE TIMES makes it seem a lot like advertising more than a comment from a regular person. I'm assuming there's not a link back to who left the comment. I remember your post, and you were saying good things about the restaurant already, so there was no need for it. I certainly think if you feel uncomfortable with a comment for any reason you have every right to delete it.

My personal pet peeve is bloggers who leave a link to their blog in the comments. It feels like they are using my blog to advertise their site. Once you let people do it, others will copy the idea, and soon enough your comments are full of links. I have to admit I'm quite ruthless about deleting those, although I sometimes send an e-mail and explain why I can't allow people to do it, especially if the person is a fairly new blogger.

Sam said...

I think I would have to give this commenter the benefit of the doubt because I am just one of those pathetic too bloody nice for their own good kind of people who always trys to see the best side in anyone and there is no actual proof they are connected with the restaurant. BUT - if that comment had included a link to somewhere spammy then it would have been deleted straight away.

As long as they aren't racist or abusive I allow people (unhappy customers) to leave negative comments about the places on my restaurant reviews so by the same count I have to leave these types of ones too to keep a balance.

The thing is - the reader can make up their own mind too.

Why can't I be more tough like all the other bloggers, damn it?

mostlymartha said...

I tend to take the facist approach as well. One of the reasons I went to Moveable Type was how much control I get over what gets in and what doesn't. I had a previow site just hijacked by that crap, so I don't have much patience.

Also, I once interviewed for a job that I thought was writing ad copy, but which turned out to be viral marketing online (I didn't take it. The hit to my karma just seemed to severe). That comment sounds exactly like what they were asking me to do. I'd trash it.

McAuliflower said...

I'm surprised at your pet peeve about fellow food bloggers links in your comments Kalyn.

I like them and want all my commenters to have a link to their site if they have one. Esp if they have a post relevant to my posted subject.

I don't see capturing an audience to be a competition that warrants no outbound links.

Note- I'm not talking about comment spam (topic irrelevant) with these thoughts.

Sam said...

mcAuliflower - i missed kalyn's peeve, I read it thinking she meant when the links were to spam sites. I am with you - I love it when commentors add to the converssation in my comments with their own links and I am often leaving links to related information in other peoples' comments all over the web. Note - I am not always linking to myself btw, I am just as often linking to someone else's site where there is related information.

Just the other day (non food related) I went to a friends site where they described a gig they had been to and left a link to the drummers own blog. Now another completely unrelated freind had been to the same gig and did a beautiful illustration of the band which she also blogged. So I left a link to her illustration on the drummer's blog.The band were delighted with it and she has been invited to see them free the next time they are in town. See, Kalyn, some good can come out of letting people link away in the comments.

I love it - it's like join the dots across the net, I find it fascinating to see how things relate to each other.

Maybe we as individuals should set this as user specification on our own sites, according to our individual preferences.

Sam said...

PS - that subject deserves its own ppost

Kalyn said...

I'm not talking about when the commenter has something to add to the discussion and leaves a link to some information about it. I agree, that makes it fun and interesting to follow the links. I have absolutely no problem with that, even if the information is on their own blog.

I'm talking about the person who feels the need to provide a generic link to their own site with whatever they say, even though their name is already there as a link to the site.
I mean people who write things like "I love the recipes on this blog, Their blog name Name, url." I don't know if you would consider them spam comments, since they are sometimes people that I "know" but they are links left there purely to advertise someone else's site, not to add anything to the conversation.

Even if the person "signs" the comment with an embedded link I don't really mind, it's the people who leave their blog url with every comment that bug me. I should have made it more clear.

Sam said...

aha - understood. i dont think i get many of those, the odd one or two maybe in the past. I totally agree that sounds irksome. why can't they just nclude the link in their comment identity?

Rose said...

I see there's a wide range of opinion on the subject.

I was at first going to write a response to the commentator, but after reading everyone's thoughts, I've decided to just keep the comment and not write anything. I think Sam hit a good point, the reader(s) can always make up their own mind.

This person obviously is not a spammer and is not linking to any other website. He/She likes the restaurant and wants to promote it. So be it. I'm still not going back, I've had my fill of their cheese sandwichs :-)

KT said...

As far as people who just comment to leave a link to their own blog, I agree it is annoying. I don't know if I would go so far as to delete the comment, but I would wonder if they even read my blog!

I too, would like people to read my blog, but I figure that if I make enough interesting and relevant comments, people will come to my blog on their own through my profile, whereas if I just leave comments on every blog to the effect of "Love your blog! (my url)" I will come across as just wanting to advertise my own site and turn people off.

I automatically delete any spam, but to be honest I generally only get comments from people I know, anyway, so I haven't had to think too much about it. I would agree with giving people the benefit of the doubt, unless it's obvious that it's some kind of viral marketing person.

McAuliflower said...

Another point to add here is that blogger is different from other blogging software in that a commenter's name links to their profile as opposed to their site.

As one who doesn't use blogger, i find this annoying cause I want to click through to people's blogs when I see their comment on others sites. To me, profiles don't say who that person is- their blog does.

In th enon-blogger world it is good ettiquette to have a link to your blog inyour comment on anothers site. It fleshes out your identity/falidity and isn't thought of as irksome.

Sam said...

McAuliflower- i dont think we mean that, we - or Kalyn was meaning people who in addition to the 'blogger' choice of an automtic link to blog/anonymous/or blogger profile, the commentor also leaves an extra embedded link in the text of their comment for no sufficiently good reason. that's how i read it anyway.

Blogger users with profiles can override that if the link to profile if they wish with the blogger system, with a direct link that makes it morelike other blogging software btw.

KT said...

I also think it has more to do with the substance of the comment than the fact that a blog is linked to.

If it was a comment that was relative to the discussion along with a link to the poster's blog by way of signature, that's one thing. But I have seen comments that are literally just like: "Love your blog, here's mine: [url]" and it seems more like the person just wants people to come to their blog than actually has something to say.

If I found I was getting several of those type of comments I would want to start deleting them too, because I think the comments should be about discussion of the post, not about advertising your blog, even if you do it in a nice way and are a fellow food blogger. At least take a minute to read the post and say something in response to what is there.

If someone was to post, say "I like that kind of cheese too, read my post about it here: [url]" I would be MUCH more likely to visit the blog than the type of generic comment above.

Sam said...

I am in 100% agreement with KT
I think that is what we have all been trying to say, Thanks for pitting our thoughts into words, KT!

Gabriella True said...

with blogger isn't the only way to embed links in a comment is to use "no follow" in the code? BC if that is the case, those two little words mean that the search engines do not view it as a link to count in their rankings so if someone leaves a "purposeless" link like that at least it does not help their site in the SEO world.

But of course there probably is some other way to embed a link in these blogger comments that I am totally clueless about that don't use "no follow".

Andrew said...

can you be a spammer with just one comment?

kitchenmage said...

can you be a spammer with just one comment?

Andrew, only if you do it really well. laughs

Judith in Umbria said...

Golly, I feel very differently. When someone leaves a comment and I know they have a blog, I feel hurt if it is unlinkable.
Blogging is still found suspect by so many. A lot of blogs still are sort of: shall I buy that purse or not...omigod, he blinked when he looked at me this morning! Erg.
I think of blogging as making a magazine on your own and the comments as letters to the editor. My blog is not strictly a food blog, and I like to hear from people who read it for other reasons-- like that it is now bilingual, that it is from this country or because they know me from elsewhere, even the real world and have looked me up.