Nothing here is new, but I can't find the post I remember reading a lot of these from, so I'll start afresh.
My definition of "Friendly" may be different than yours, but there are a few of YOU (reading audience) who do some of these things with your blogs and it drives me bonkers.
1. It's Hard To Comment
I cannot stress this enough. Commenting should be as easy as you can make it. Remember that post I put up about Your App Makes Me Fat? Do not waste my time with a ton of little questions.
For the record, Blogger is the worst I've ever seen about requiring me to make decisions and jump through hoops in order to comment.
When I come across a blogger blog, I have to do the following process:
- Read the Post (typically this is fun for me, but it's worth noting as a step)
- Decide to Comment (I try not to lurk too much? But there does have to be a REASON I want to say something. Sometimes on friend posts, it's just a "woot! You go!" which I know from personal experience is vital to making bloggers feel like they're actually reaching people with their words.)
- Write the Comment. Note that by the time I'm done with this, I already feel (as a user) that I am done commenting.
- Choose from an unfamiliar dropdown which WAY I want to comment. This always requires effort on my part, and I'm typically annoyed by the time I've chosen one. Why? Probably because I've been burned by this dropdown before.
- The page flashes and I am invited to fill in my name and url, which requires the use of both mouse and keyboard, and changes the UI from what I was just seeing to something else. It requires re-orientation and it further irritates me. I just want to say "woot! You go!" -- and suddenly it's taking me a lot more effort than I'd like.
- I submit the information, and I'm treated to the blog page again. I ALWAYS think that my comment has submitted at this point, and I almost always close the browser. But no, the comment is still in the textbox.
- I hit the Submit button. The page flashes, and I assume once again that it's fine. Only, wait, no, the textbox is still there. There is a weird red dot on my screen.
- I hit Submit again. The page flashes and now I am treated to a recaptcha, which I'm asked to prove that I'm not a robot.
- IF I care enough to keep going, maybe I do the recptcha. Maybe it's a freaking blurry google maps picture of someone's address and I feel creepy even helping turn that into text, and maybe I get it wrong, but most of the time? I have VASTLY over-used whatever brainpower I wanted to use in order to tell you "Woot! You go!" and I just close the window in disgust
Seriously. Most of the time, I don't even bother with Blogger. You, as a blogger, can go into the settings and make these hoops a lot smaller, so it's easier for me to comment, but you've lost 99% of your idle commenting audience with that nonsense. Nobody has time for that. You might as well hold up a "KEEP OUT" sign and turn off comments altogether.
Best commenting? Facebook and G+. Because I'm already logged in to their system, I just type and hit enter and I'm DONE. They even have a +1 or LIKE button I can hit for the super quick feedback.
My blog's somewhere in the middle, but since I don't require anyone have an account to get in, I at least want a little info about you so that I can try to weed out spam. I'm not 100% successful, but I'd rather have the odd spam comment get through than to make commenting an unfriendly place for my readers.
2. You Don't Police Your Comments
If I look at your comments and I see advertisements and obvious spam? I assume you're not reading your comments. And if you're not reading them, why would I waste my time leaving them?
3. You Don't Reply To Comments
This one applies mostly to smaller blogs. Egotistical Priest, for example? Was so big I couldn't possibly reply to all of them, though I READ all of them and commented when I could.
In my mind? The comments section is a discussion. Even if the comment that was left was a "Woot! You go!" I try to reply with a little heart or thank you. Why? Because they took the time to comment and I want them to KNOW I appreciated it.
4. You Don't Invite Comments
Say you wrote this AWESOME blog post. It was witty, insightful, clever, and made your readers think about their lives and re-examine their headspace.
Many times, there's not a lot to say to that. There's no obvious "oh, here is how that affected me" comment. So you get silence instead.
ASK a question. Did you tell a story? Ask your readers to reply with THEIR favorite stories! Rant about traffic? Ask your readers THEIR traffic woes! I try to make my blog a conversation rather than just a soap box. I don't always do a great job of that, but I try to trail off with a sincere invitation for my readers to reply.
5. You Are Actually Trying To Make Your Blog Unfriendly
This ... probably? Doesn't apply to you? But if you and your loyal readers gang up on everyone who disagrees with you, or if you openly insult your readers on a regular basis, or offend them, or tell them how NOT to reply?
Well, you're making your blog a pretty unfriendly place. Which isn't to say it won't be a POPULAR place. Humanity loves a good roast. I'm guilty of following these blogs myself, but even as I read them, I found myself commenting infrequently at best, and constantly hoping I wouldn't end up on the wrong end of that rapier wit.
I've stopped following those blogs these days because I value my time more than that, but I know they're out there. Lurking.
Your turn! What things TOTALLY TURN YOU AWAY from a prospective blog? What are your peeves and dislikes?