To preface this: I mean no offense to anyone in this post.
Ok... So I've been thinking about posting something like this for a few days now, and I'm finally giving in and writing it... It's actually making me a bit uncomfortable to write it because blogs are supposed to be a fun community place to share thoughts, and this whole subject just makes me feel unhappy and confrontational, so I apologize for the tone of this post - it's not fun.
This is concerning comments left on blog posts - specifically ones where the commenter includes a link to their own blog. This practice has always bothered me, but until recentlyI thought I was just being finicky about it, so I just left them alone. I wasn't getting many of them anyway. But a few weeks ago, I read that a couple of bigger bloggers* also disliked these sorts of comments and were actually going to begin deleting them from their own sites. It was nice to know that I wasn't alone in my distaste for them, and I found out many of their readers agreed based on the comments left on the matter.
I am bringing this up now, not only because I know I'm not alone in this, but because the number of posted comments I get with these link-backs on this blog have been increasing. I've been silently deleting them for the past couple of weeks; but I realized that I am, in a way, being unfair and doing an disservice to these people by removing their comments when I haven't told them I don't want them to do it to begin with. So, here it is -
It is absolutely inappropriate to leave a comment on my, or anyone else's, blog with a link back to your own blog.
Leaving a link to your site, in my opinion, is like a 'subtle' attempt at self-promotion/advertisement. Something like that on a public site (such as makeupalley) is fine, but when it is done on someone else's personal page, it is wrong. My page is not somewhere to advertise your page.
It starts to appear as if you are leaving a comment solely so that you can add in that link at the end, and that comes across as very disrespectful and inconsiderate to the author.
In fairness, I do not actually believe that most of these commenters are rude people. I think what happens is that they go to someones site, see that other people have added on their own link in comments, so they start doing it in theirs as well - and the cycle continues when someone new sees these comments. New bloggers see this and think that it's commonplace - it's not.
I'm not at all upset at the people who have been leaving these links. Perhaps they don't realize/have never been told that it's inappropriate to do this. I will never call anyone out on this nor do I want/need any sort of apology or explanation from anyone who was doing it. But, now that I've explicitly shared how I feel, there is no excuse. Know that I absolutely will delete any comment with a link back to the commenter's blog.
Please don't take this to mean that I don't like comments - in fact I love them! You know that I have very few readers and, therefore, very few comments; so each individual one means the world to me. I don't post as often as some bloggers, but I put a lot of time into all of the posts that I do write, and comments are the only real way I know that anyone is looking. They let me know that someone has taken time out of their day to read what I've written, and it makes me feel awful when I have to take that person's comment down because of that link at the end. The main reason I decided to write this was actually the hope that I wouldn't have to delete any more of these nice comments.
So please, continue commenting. If you have something to add to what I've written about in a post, do it! Or even if you just want to say 'hi, I was here", do it! But please don't link back to another blog, because I will delete it - no matter how lovely the comment that goes along with it is.
If you read this, please leave your two cents. Do you agree about link-backs in comment posts or do you not think they're a big deal? I'll take no offense if you disagree with me.
*If you'd like to see someone else's views on this, Nouveau Cheap was the first blogger I saw address it publicly (link here). If you read it, please also take the time to look through the responses she received on the post, and you'll see that this is a widely held view among both bloggers and readers alike.
Thanks for reading.