Wilkie Martin - Surviving Publication

Author of the unhuman series of addictive comedy cozy mysteries set in the Cotswolds. This documents my encounters with publishing and includes things I hope will be useful later. It also covers some local writing competitions and reviews some writing events.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Add a comment policy

I read that adding a comment policy to a blog can increase the number of comments that visitors leave. As I would like to receive comments, I've added one. You can see my current policy after the end of the blog. I set it up as follows:

Setting a policy
  • 1. Logon to blog and select 'Settings'.
  • 2. Choose 'Comments'.
  • 3. To set the policy I ticked the following radio buttons or settings:

    Who Can Comment?->Anyone - includes Anonymous users
    Comment Form Placement->Embedded below post
    Comments Default form->New Posts Have Comments
    Backlinks Default for Posts->New posts Have Backlinks
    Comments Timestamp Format->as required
    Comment Form Message->I left this blank
    Comment moderation->Only on posts older than 10 days (I may change this)
    Comment moderation->I set this
    Show word verification->Yes
    Show profile image on comments->Yes
    Comment Notification email->I set this to an email address so I'd find out if a comment had been added.

Adding the policy to the blog

  • 1. Logon to blog and select 'Layout'.
  • 2. In the bottom (or left hand) panel, select 'Add a gadget'.
  • 3. In the 'Basics' list, select the + next to 'Text' 'Add some words to your blog - like a welcome message - with our rich text editor'. The one 'by Blogger'.
  • 4. Add the following (based on the settings above anyway)

    Title = Comment Policy
    Contents = "Comments are allowed, and are welcomed after any posts. All comments must pass an input test to check a user rather than a program is inputting them. I am emailed about all comments and will review them all. Inappropriate comments, spam and some old comments will be removed. The ability to add comments may be disabled if their use and content show it is necessary.'
    Thank you."
    Click Save
  • 5. Back in 'Layout', move the mouse over the new gadgets and drag them to the positions wanted. I've put them at the bottom near where the 'Comment' will appear'.
  • 6. Click the 'Preview' at the top to see what it looks like.
  • 7. Click Save.

Adding instructions of how to add a comment to the blog

  • 1. Repeat above for another gadget

    Title = How to add a Comment
    Contents = "If a comment box does not automatically appear then select the underlined 'Comments' text that appears after the posting date at the end of the post you want to add a comment on. Type your comment in the box. Choose the identifier to use, or you can choose to be anonymous if you like. Select 'preview'. You will be asked to enter a random string of letters to ensure you are a real person and not a spam engine. When you select 'post comment' your comment will appear immediately.
    If you wish to add a comment that isn't about a specific post, then first select 'GENERAL COMMENT' under the 'Blog Headings' (as this is a post I have added for this purpose) and then add a comment as normal."
  • 2. Go to 'Postings', select 'New Post' and save a new entry called 'GENERAL COMMENT' if not created already.

Adding a description of how helpful/unhelpful will be used and can be set

  • 1. Repeat above for another gadget

    Title = What are the Helpful/Unhelpful boxes?
    Contents = "The Helpful/Unhelpful boxes are tick box areas. If you click one of the boxes then the only thing that happens is that the counter increments. No data about you is saved. If they are ticked it gives me an idea of whether or not to add similar content. Thank you."

Editing/removing the comment policy or other gadget after you've added it

  • 1. Logon to blog and select 'Layout'.
  • 2. In the gadget panel, select 'Comment Policy'.
  • 3. Select 'Edit'.
  • 4. Amend the text as required, or 'Remove'.

Thank you for any and all comments added to this blog, and thank you also for ticking if you find this information helpful or unhelpful.


This is my blog wide comment area. Comments or questions are invited on my blog, on my website, or on my work.

Many thanks.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

New posting order

I started the 'Create a Blog' posting in draft form a while back and it took me some time to include all the settings. However, when I published it, it appeared in its original position in my blog entries and did not show as a new posting. This was unexpected, as the posting dates were changing to reflect the date I published them. I know now that if I keep a posting in draft but publish another entry first (assuming I want the first one to appear as the latest entry when published) that I need to copy the entry into a new posting and delete the old one.