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#1 Most Important Thing… About Guestbooks

Posted on Oct 30 2009

If you’ve put Guestbook modules on your lenses, and you have 10+ published, you’ll be very familiar with the kind of comments I’m talking about here.

If a guestbook comment doesn’t say anything interesting, and add to the conversation, DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT DELETING IT.

Don’t think just because someone left you a comment you have to publish it for all the world to see.

We’re not interested in having our lenses full of rubbish comments, are we?

Every time you approve a comment that isn’t useful or unique, you risk diluting the content on your lens.

Don’t be afraid of offending anyone. The kind of comments you should delete will be from people who write so many of them they won’t notice anyway.

I delete all comments that say nothing but:

+ Well done, great lens
+ I rated you 5*
+ Please check out my lens
+ This lens is good
+ Thanks for the info
+ This was helpful thanks

Well meaning, yes, but pointless.

Here’s a good general rule:

Only approve comments that will be useful to other readers.

That’s what I’m sticking to…

– Lewis ๐Ÿ™‚

Lewis Smile

Lewis Smile is a Writer, Blogger, Web Geek, and very much a daydreamer. He helps people for a living, and works online. See the Contact Info page to say hi. Find out more about him here.

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  1. AJ says:

    Yep, could not agree more. We need to remember who actually OWNS our Guestbooks and not be afraid to demonstrate that ownership ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. CherylK says:

    I agree but there are also exceptions to that rule. There are some really great lensmasters who function as Squidoo leaders in one way or another. Many times I’ll receive a short “Well done” or “Love this lens” or something similar from one of them.

    I’m very pleased that they took the time to stop and I know the comment is short & sweet because they’re visiting lots of lenses in a very supporting capacity. I won’t delete those kinds of comments.

  3. Joan Adams says:

    We need a tutorial on Squidoo about how to comment!

  4. Patricia says:

    I disagree. People still took the time to comment which gives you traffic. I don’t think it looks bad to have those type of comments on a lens. And for some they may not get alot of comments like you so they are grateful to have even those. Just my take.

  5. CherylK says:

    Good thinking, Joan. I think I’ve seen something like that, somewhere, but can’t remember where…maybe a lens?

  6. Any acknowledgement is of course welcome. I believe that practioners of Transactional Analysis call such recognition a ‘stroke’, and we would prefer a negative or bland stroke to no stroke at all! I’ve been pondering about comments for a while and believe that they can add a richness to a lens, so the more fullsome the comment the better. As for being a commenter (commentator?) if we see comments as ‘micro modules’ then we should care about them as much as we care about modules on our lenses. In fact they could even become an indicator of the quality of our lenses as much as a contribution to the lens/post that we are commenting on.

  7. Frankster says:

    Whether to delete a comment or not is something I sometimes struggle with. I usually only delete spam type comments that talk about their site and add no value or don’t even mention my site.

    However, I agree with CherylK, a lot of very talented lensmasters say something very short which I appreciate and approve.

  8. Guestbooks are a great way to get “user generated content” on to your lens. Search engines love this sort of thing, but only if it’s relevant to your topic.

    It’s such a shame when 90% of comments are just “nice lens” or “good job”. Best reserve that space for the quality conversations.

    It will influence what comments you get in the future too.


  9. Kathy McGraw says:

    Every platform has issues with the comments section, and many times the person only skimmed the lens. I can’t figure out what some people get from just a “nice job” comment, even if it is from a busy lensmaster. Everyone’s busy, we all have lives outside Squidoo….

  10. Here Here!! Very well said. I am constantly deleting comments that say “visit here for the best diet information ever”. At least say something unique if you’re going to try and slide your link in there.


  11. Cherylk says:

    thefluffanutta has a point. I do try to make my comments specific to the lens but I also do read the lenses so it’s not difficult. So how do you generate quality comments from others?

  12. Jason says:

    Tim Ferris gives instructions for his readers. Here is what swiped from one of his blog posts on his blog

    (Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation!)

  13. patinkc says:

    Thanks for this conversation. I am one of those that leaves short notes sometimes. I will make more effort from now on to add to the conversation. Many times I just want the lensmaster to know that I appreciate their work. In that case, it’s just for them and ok if they delete. If I have featured their lens on one of my lenses, or if I have lensrolled their lens to my lens, I like to let them know.

    I really hate the messages that says “please visit and rate my lens xxxx”.

  14. Many of us belong to groups on Ning and are often asked to visit and rate lenses by other group members. Sometimes I read several in a row and I know others do the same. Sometimes these are lenses I would never otherwise visit about topics I have little interest in, but I do want the lensmaster to know I was there and took the time to read it, even if I can’t think of a lot to say about it. I do try to say something unique, but sometimes if it’s really late, my brain just isn’t working any more. I think this is probably the case with others as well. Although I wish a generic commenter might have said something more specific, I would not delete such a comment. I think I’ve only deleted one comment, and it was pure spam. I appreciate knowing who visits my pages, even if they don’t say a lot, and someone who rates and leaves without commenting leaves me in the dark as to who was there.

  15. Don’t get my wrong – I like to receive comments on lenses that let me know people have visited and liked them. I read and appreciate every one.

    That doesn’t mean I have to publish them all on the lens though…


  16. Mickie G says:

    I usually try to have a question or a leading remark in my “guestbooks”. Sometimes it really bugs me that visitors do not read the intro to it and do not make a comment that applies. Still, I know that group leaders are really busy and I appreciate it when they take the time to leave a short message.

    Right now, unfortunately, not enough people leave comments on all my lenses for me to worry about deleting.

  17. MrLewisSmile says:

    Opinion seems divided!

    thefluffanutta’s last comment sums up the issue I think:

    “Donโ€™t get my wrong โ€“ I like to receive comments on lenses that let me know people have visited and liked them. I read and appreciate every one.

    That doesnโ€™t mean I have to publish them all on the lens though…”

    Some comments are for YOU to see, some are for the world to see.


  18. Diana says:

    Hope I am not too late to join in this discussion which was in October. I have only recently started posting lenses on Squidoo, and every time I get a comment I am still momentarily thrilled as it means someone somewhere in the world has seen fit to read my production and tell me that they have done so. Some of the comments might be as bland as vanilla icecream on a white plate, but they are mine, all mine. I haven’t really received all that many, and I must confess it has crossed my mind that, if I do eventually receive a string of comments, I might delete the less meaty ones. I’m still waiting for a rude one, so that I can respond with acerbic wit and heap contumily on the abuser’s virtual head.

  19. Alexkazam says:

    In some ways comments are like currency- when you are new and have no comments you’re more likely to accept poor comments and as your lenses grow in lensrank which attracts more comments you can afford to be more selective.

    I have a plexo on one of my lenses where I have to weed out irrelevant links with people simplying spamming their links. I do, however, allow more relevant links in.

    • MrLewisSmile says:

      I agree completely!

      I still remember the first comment I got on one of my lenses. I said out loud: “Wow! A REAL PERSON read my lens!”

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