Friday, April 14, 2006

Comment Type #3


There are two types of advertisement comments. The first is the most obvious, simply an advertisement for some product that is inserted into a comment section on a blog. This is typically done late in a blog article's life, when it is low down on the page and close to "rolling off" (that is, about to be moved into archives instead of the front page). Usually this is the same kind of advertising that gets spammed into your email box: bigger breasts, Viagra, gambling, that sort of thing. There is a distinct connection between the morality of the product and the willingness to assault people with unwanted advertising.

This kind of advertising is totally unwelcome, and tends to show up late at night when the blogger and moderator (the person keeping track of the comments to edit or delete them) is asleep. This kind of comment relies on it not being seen by the people in charge, but noticed by people reading comments. How effective they are is questionable, as most people despise this sort of thing and skip past it, but it's nearly costless to put them out, so it's probably worth the attempt.

Some blogs require you to type in a weird jumble of letters before you can post a comment. The image looks something like this:
Verification Image
This is used because only a human being at this point can reliably read and copy what the letters are. Computer programs that send out advertisements to hosts of blog comment areas cannot duplicate this image, and fail to spam the comment. Sometimes the word or letters shown can be difficult for humans to read and decipher due to fancy backgrounds and subtle distinctions between letters like L and I.

The second kind of advertising is someone who has a personal product or site and wants people to notice. This can either be a subtle attempt like this:
I've gotten a link from Malkin....


-by Graumagus

Or a more obvious attempts that directly link the website in question and tell people about it. Offhand I couldn't find an example (later updates will add one in when I see it, these are more rare).

This kind of advertising is less offensive or annoying, unless it is Spammed into the comment section and becomes a different kind of comment (Spam). Most bloggers and fellow commenters will not mind a subtle link or even an occasional obvious one, if you've got a blog people are interested in, or a link that's hilarious. The type people do not appreciate is a straight up advertisement trying to get people to check out your T-Shirts or book just to make a sale.

Entertainment or information is what people look for when they read comments, not your pet project or sales records.