Thursday, November 21, 2013

Take your blog off the web

Suppose Blogger made all of its blogs invisible except to other bloggers.

Imagine that Google rolls out a new version of Gmail, better in every way except it can only send and receive email from other Gmail accounts.

Or maybe you can send email to anyone, but non-account holders must open a Gmail account to reply.

The web is about being connected. Is a private email platform even email any more? Or just an oxymoron?

None of this is happening. Google isn't crazy. But something very similar is in the offing with the optional new commenting system for Blogger.

Earlier this year Google rolled out Google+ comments for Blogger.

You can switch to this new commenting system from the Google+ page of your blog's dashboard.

G+ comments are integrated into Google+, which creates a new channel for people to learn about your blog and your posts. They are exquisitely available, shareable, and plus-able in G+.

Here's the catch: Only Google+ account holders, logged into those accounts, will be able to comment on your blog. Comments exist only in the Google+ layer. They are visible to all but, if you are not a member, behind glass.

Google is upfront about this restriction. Early on in its "About Google+ Comments" page Google says,
Readers will need a Google+ page or profile to comment on your blog.
Its "Google+ Comments FAQs" page includes the following:
What if my readers don’t have a Google+ profile or page? Can they still comment?
No, but they will be prompted to create one when they attempt to comment.
There are other issues with Google+ comments, including some problems with the rollout, especially with comment notification.

You can enable G+ Comments from your dashboard, but choose carefully.
Also, some users are grappling with a very different paradigm about Google+ versus traditional comments. (In G+, authors own their own content, so while you can unlink a comment from your blog, you can't delete it from the G+ layer that discusses your blog.)

But the big show stopper is the segregation of Google+ Comments from the world wide web. The world can look but not touch.

For some blogs, the benefits of the new will prove compelling. For others, not so much.

(Update: I've written a post about the potential benefits of Google+ comments.)

The bad news is it's either or. The good news is it's up to you.

What will you decide to do?


  1. Great way to describe it. I'm not planning on implementing G+ commenting on any of my sites for just the reasons you've outlined. Which is a shame, 'cos I'm heartily sick of the amount of spam I'm getting.

    1. Mary, G+ is not spam-proof, though presumably its easier to shut spammers down because the accounts are not anonymous. G+ comments are still filtered for spam.

      One issue for the early adopters is that they report they are no longer notified of comments flagged as spam (and, in certain situations, regular comments).

  2. I have Google+ commenting on my blog and I will not be concerned until I am spammed then, I'll take action.

    1. @Semirah, what an attractive blog!

      Google+ comments offer many advantages, which is what makes this such a tough choice for many of us.

      Personally, I'd like to have both kinds of comments available on my blogs.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hi Adam, I have just recently started my blog, and I am only a teenager. Do you think G+ comments are good for me in the beginning or not? Also, how do you expand your followers? Thanks a bunch in advance!

    ♡ Gina from

    1. Gina, what good questions.

      The whole G+ Comments decision is one we each have to make for each of our blogs. Ultimately it depends on your goal and vision for what you want your blog to be.

      Unfortunately, not all of us know what that is! Especially when we are just starting out.

      Here is one consideration. If you start to use G+ comments, but then switch, you will erase all of your G+ comments from your blog. However, if you stay with old-fashioned Blogger comments and later switch to G+, you'll keep all the older comments.

      So maybe it makes sense to stick with boring old Blogger comments until you have a better sense of where you want things to go.

      You have to weight that against the benefits of the new commenting system, described persuasively by my friend David Kutcher at the link in my blog post above.

    2. Your second question, how to get followers, is a really good one. I'm tempted to write a blog post about it.

      In the mean time here are some fragments of an answer.

      First, you need content to have followers, so keep blogging.

      Second, think of non-obnoxious ways you can promote your blog. Maybe put it in the sig line of your email account. Make sure there's a link to it from any pages you have on YouTube or Google+. Things like that.

      Finally, you can cultivate reciprocal relationships with other people blogging about similar things. I see your blog is about, among other things, makeup. So, read what other people say about it.

      If you find something genuinely interesting, say a post about the history of eye liner, leave a comment for the author. Ask a question. Follow the blog.

      You can showcase the post or the blog in a post on your blog: Hey everybody, check out this great thing that so-and-so wrote! Curated content is part of blogging.

      If you do that regularly at least some people will return the compliment and perhaps follow you. I've made some wonderful connections that way.

      Finally, if you pose this same question on Blogger's help forum, you will get some great answers.

      Good luck with your blog, and thanks for stopping by here!

    3. Wow! Your advice was really helpful! Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out..I have decided to not use the G+ comments for the time being like you suggested until I get more experience..As for the tips on how to get followers, I will definitely try that! :)