Blogspot Friends, Could You Help Make it Easy for Us to Stay in Touch? #Blogging

I used to blog via Google’s Blogspot, or Blogger, for about 8 years– it ran parallel to this one until last year, when I merged the two blogs into this site. In all those years, I made tons of friends on Blogspot.

I still visit as many of you as I can (never enough, but still), and sometimes I wish I could talk to all you friends on Blogspot, tell you my wish-list as a visitor, commenter, and friend.

Here’s a list of things I’d appreciate from my Blogspot friends in order to make it easier for us to stay in touch: (Some of you have them all covered– this is for those who may not have thought of these points)

  1. Make it easy to follow you: Blogspot doesn’t provide a good follow system any more— have you considered adding a Feedly widget? Here’s a post on how that will help your commenters and followers.
  2. Give us an option to comment via Name/ URL: A lot of Blogspot blogs do not allow a visitor to comment unless they’re logged into Google plus or Blogspot. By allowing the Name/URL option as well as OpenID, you vastly increase the number of bloggers who can easily comment on your posts. Check out how to do this, here. If you’re afraid of spam, you could enable comment moderation!
  3. Add a Tweet button and connect it to your twitter account: This button makes it easy-peasy to tag you on twitter while sharing your post– so you can RT it or respond with comments on twitter. Check out how to do this here. The buttons below my posts allow you to share my posts on social media. I’m ever so grateful for the shares I receive. Some days, I’m too tired or unwell or busy to comment on your posts– but I’d still love to share them. Please make it easy to do so, and you shall have my grateful thanks.
  4. Make comment verification easy: A lot of my commenting and sharing happens on the phone. Please do not make me click on these picture thingammijigs — they’re a proper nightmare on a small screen. Having to tick a box saying ‘I’m not a Robot’ should be enough, right?
  5. Create a Gravatar: When you comment on my blog from a different platform, I often find no way to find you unless you take the time to type in the right link. A gravatar makes it easy for you to leave your links while commenting on blogs on platforms other than Blogspot. This is how to create one. It will take five minutes to create it– once done, add your links to your profile page– gravatar lets you add links to your blog and social media.

Afterwards, just stay logged in on Gravatar– when you leave a comment on a self-hosted blog like mine, or on WordPress, or any of the other platforms, the blogger you’ve visited can easily visit you back by clicking on your gravatar. For instance, my gravatar is here.

We all want to visit and comment on as many blogs as we can. We also like receiving comments. As a self-hosted blogger on WordPress, I’d love to still be able to keep in touch with all my Blogspot friends, and this open letter is a step in that direction.

What blogging platform do you use? Do you find it difficult to leave comments on blogs on other platforms? Is it tough for WordPress users to comment on Blogspot, and vice versa ? As a blogger on Blogspot, is there anything you wish a WordPress blogger would do to make it easier for you to comment or share?

Have you faced problems while leaving comments on this site or sharing my posts? I try my best to make it easy, but I’d like to iron out any remaining kinks, so please let me know.

——–

I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post the last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity. You could add a link and a badge to one of your regular posts that weeked, in order to participate.Writer's Retreat

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community. If you liked this post, you can have biweekly posts delivered to your inbox: click the SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL button. (Feel free to share this post if you like it. You’ll find icons to re-blog it via WordPress and Blogger to the left of this post.)

Save

Save

Save

I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

99 comments

Add Yours
  1. G.B. Miller

    I was on BlogSpot/Blogger for 10 years before giving up the ghost and moving to Tumblr. Before closing up shop I had the brilliant idea on cross-posting content from my Tumblr blog to my Blogger blog, but I couldn’t get a definitive answer from the Blogger help forum on whether or not I could do it (it would’ve been same content different post title and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t run afoul of their spam-bots). Thus, on the same day I started in 2008 (May 25th) I stopped in 2017.

    I’m now on Tumblr, but it’s hideous for commenting directly on a post. If you want to comment on a post, you have to click on the “ask” button, leave a comment (either with a Tumblr account or anonymously), then wait for me to post your comment and my response to it. So for all intent and purposes, you can look/read my blog, but you can’t really comment on it, unless you catch the link on my public FB page, where I often cross post the link.

  2. Debbie D.

    Many of my blogging friends are using Blogspot, so, thank you for this! Number three especially, is a big PIA, because, if I like the post, I will hunt for the proper Twitter account name and share it there. Way too time-consuming! If only everyone would get a Gravatar account. Comments would look so much better without those multiple generic icons.Thankfully, those awful Captchas have, for the most part (from my experience), been replaced by the ‘I am not a robot’ checkmark. One pet peeve about Blogspot comment moderation: There doesn’t seem to be any way to whitelist frequent visitors. Everybody gets moderated, every single time and your comment disappears until it’s approved. I set up a Blogspot account to make commenting easier. The single page blog has links to my WordPress site and social media accounts: Debbie D. (“Doglady”) Online

  3. Christy B

    This is a post that is sooooo needed! I cannot easily share posts over on blogspot, comment or find my blogspot friends easily. I’m hoping these tips are helpful for those who use that platform. The interaction problems have kept me from creating a blog over there!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Mary, this isn’t so much advice as requests– I hate losing touch with old friends. After 10 years of blogging I like to think I’ve made a few good ones.

  4. dgkaye

    Great post D! I’ve encountered most of the problems you wrote about here when trying to comment on blogspot blogs. Many times it won’t accept comments and also I’m surprised to see many without share buttons. I hope this post helps many. I’m sharing around. 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Shalini, since I’m on WordPress, I have my blind spots– I’d rather someone on the blogger platform told us about the difficulties of interacting with those on WP.

  5. Rajlakshmi

    One of my blog is still on blogger. I need to add the feedly button as you suggested. That’s a great point. Even I am not a fan of Google Plus comment option.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Blogger is a great option if there’s a good way to follow and comment. I find Feedly very useful.

  6. Vinay Leo R.

    I use WordPress, but I am a part of a couple of Blogspot blogs and comment often on Blogspot blogs too. Yes, I do find it difficult to comment at times. But not on every blog, thankfully. 🙂 I agree with the verification point, that’s for sure. And the name/URL. but Blogspot needs to tweak that Name/URL option slightly. not very fond of the current option. G+ comment system or Disqus or some style like that is nice.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Sure, the platform can be improved, but since that is not within our control, we do what we can– chat with each other, and find ways around issues. The name/ url option is not ideal, but it is still a way.

  7. Ramya Abhinand

    Damyanti, I agree with all your points. I have had issues commenting on many blogspot comments. Most often I am unable to do so and I am forced to either abandon commenting due to the paucity of time, or i let the blogger know through social media, if we are connected. I agree the platform is easy, but wish things would improve and make it more friendly.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Well, yes, Blogspot has its challenges, but there are some excellent bloggers on there, and I try and keep in touch even though it does take extra minutes to leave comments and share posts. The platform is what it is, imo we just have to make the best of it.

        • Damyanti Biswas

          Yes, when a blogger is unreachable on their blog, it helps to reach out on social media–no blogger I’ve ever come across on a public forum has been completely disinterested in interaction.

  8. TheLastWord

    Oh lord! Blogspot / Blogger drives me nuts with it’s complete disregard for any interaction. Nowadays, if I see a blog post on this anti-social platform, I just stop reading and slink away. There’s no point, because people just seem to NOT want any interaction, it seems. They clearly don’t want to talk, so I don’t.

    All those captchas, comments that disappear into thin air with no warning. Even the OpenID functionality is a hit or miss affair.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I wouldn’t say they don’t want to interact– Blogspot bloggers do interact, as you would find in this comment thread– some of my oldest and best blog friends are on blogspot.

      Instead of turning away when I face a difficulty commenting, I’ve chosen to talk to the bloggers on Blogspot–I used to be one– and tried to find ways in which we can make interaction with them smoother. I’ve seen some fantastic and very popular, interactive blogs on that platform.

      • TheLastWord

        If it’s a new blog I’m visiting for the first time, I do try to comment. 95% of the time, I’m turned away. It’s just too many hoops, create a new login id, use a non-preferred ID that won’t connect back to my blog. It all seems very one-way communication to me.

        I’ve tried many times to explain why I can’t comment. I have reached out to them via other means, FB, email etc. They have either not cared enough to do something about it, or they don’t know how to.

        I used to be on Blogspot too, until I merged all my blogs into this one.

        I’m sure there are people out there who do manage to allow comments. I’ve just been turned away so many times, that I no longer feel like wasting my time trying to interact with people who, I feel, don’t want my company.

        • Damyanti Biswas

          Sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad experience. I’d like to point you to the blogs on this comment thread that are hosted on blogspot–they’ve been good friends who do reciprocate and interact. I encourage you to reach out to some of them. If we do not expand beyond our comfort zones, we do not grow– that’s my motto.

  9. Lynda R Young

    Great post. Re the verification, mostly on blogspot you don’t have to click anything even though it asks you to. It only insists when you’ve commented on a LOT of different posts.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      For good pace in commenting, I try to comment on all the Blogspot blogs one day and the WP blogs on another. Returning comments is when I tend to mix both up. So I guess I do comment a lot on Blogspot blogs on some days.

  10. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)

    I’ve had a Blogspot blog for the last seven years, and don’t intend on changing, so I appreciate this knowledge. I didn’t realize (although I have problems commenting on Blogspot blogs using myiPhone, so I should realize this) how difficult it could be for some non blogspot users. Nor did I know the importance of gravatar. I have always allowed commenting by name and URL. I wish blogspot offered better spam filters, but because my blog isn’t overly popular, comment moderation does work for me.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks for being so appreciative. I’m just trying to start a conversation here.

      I’m a regular on your blog, and love the ease with which I can comment. I remember your twitter handle now, so I just hootsuite to share your posts, but would very much appreciate a twitter share button connected to your twitter handle!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I ran both blogspot and WP, and had visitors on both, but then, I got too busy to maintain two blogs and clubbed them into this one.

  11. John Holton

    When we start getting ready for A to Z for next year, would you mind if I reposted this? A to Z has split into the Blogspot camp and the WordPress camp, and I’d like to fix that…

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Oh, please go ahead and share, John.

      Yeah, not just A toZ, but all of the blogiverse I visit is split into Blogspot camp and WordPress camp.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks for being open to the suggestions, Chrys! I’m only trying to start up a discussion so we can all interact regularly and smoothly.

  12. cheriereich

    I hadn’t heard of Gravatar before. A long time ago, I did create a WordPress account so I could comment easier on WordPress blogs. I do like the like button that WordPress blogs have, but I must admit I forget to click it when visiting a blog with it. Heh.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      You’ve done a fab job of keeping in touch cross-platform, Cherie. I find it very easy to comment on your blog. For sharing on twitter, would you consider installing buttons that connect to your twitter account so we can share your posts easily? 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I comment on your blog without any issues, it allows name/url– and have messaged you about the other stuff 🙂

  13. Vinitha

    I too started off in blogger, later moved to WordPress. Thankfully, most of the blogger blogs I visit has a name/URL option on. Then again, I am already signed in my google account, so commenting hasn’t been a hassle other than the blogger comment platform’s loading issue which all of us face from time to time. This post so useful with all the helpful links, Damyanti. 😀

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Yeah a lot of blogger blogs I finish have the name/url option on. I do comment through Google plus as well and leave my blog link as a hyperlink. With this post, the idea is to try and start a conversation and raise awareness.

  14. BellyBytes

    I lost a lot of my following ( luckily it wasn’t much) when I shifted to a self hosted WP site. I had to rebuild my following from scratch as it were and some of my lazy friends refuse to follow my new site 🙁

    • Damyanti Biswas

      We do lose followers when we move to a self-hosted site. All our visitors and followers are busy folk so sometimes it might seem to them that it is not worth following because of the additional effort. I’ve kept visiting those I’ve always visited and added new ones to the list– to visit back or not is their call– can’t do much about it other than write about intriguing stuff.

        • Damyanti Biswas

          No, self-hosted blogs do take time to build a following– also because they do not show up in search engines. If I still had my WP blog I’d be getting twice the hits I get today without much sharing etc–but I wanted the content to be protected and also the flexibility of widgets and plugins.

            • Damyanti Biswas

              I use WordPress, because it is easy to use, and encourages interaction. I’m yet to get back to the number of page hits I used to receive before my move– but I value interaction over page hits, and I still get more comments than I can answer satisfactorily on any given day.

              • BellyBytes

                Thank you so much and sorry for bugging you. I admire the way you manage to blog regularly and WRITE even more regularly. I wish I could be as disciplined and productive.

                • Damyanti Biswas

                  No worries at all– I welcome chats. I don’t really blog all that regularly when I’m writing on a project, but these days I’m on a bit of a break, so the weekly/ biweekly post. 🙂

  15. Zainab

    I really hope my blogger friends do this!
    I started with blogger and have such many friends & then I can’t comment many a times due to the glitches!
    Very nice post!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I wish that your friends and you sort out the problems of cross-platform tech issues– and hope the post helps in that direction!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I’m not sure of the statistics of blogging platforms, and believe that people should be choosing the platforms they prefer– monopoly, even by wordpress is not a good thing. We may not be able to predict any changes at blogger– what we can do is have conversations and sort out what issues we can to make things easier for cross-platform commenting.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Glynis, I don’t want to lose touch with my Blogspot friends and keep track of them on social media, but really, I’d like to be able to comment on their blogs in a quicker and smoother fashion.

  16. Joy Pixley

    THANK YOU for writing this! I have exactly the same problem with Blogspot and have almost given up reading those blogs, because it’s so frustrating to comment. I would love it if more of them took your advice.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I suppose things will change if we take the time to interact. I have too many old acquaintances on blogger to swear off the platform. This post is an attempt to start a conversation on what we can all do to help our interactions across platforms get smoother.

      • Joy Pixley

        I’d hate to swear off the platform myself — there are so many great blogs there. Your suggestions are great; I hope this conversation is productive!

  17. Pasduil

    Yes, I find it hard to comment on non-Wordpress blogs.

    Yes, I find it hard to comment on non-Wordpress blogs.

    On Blogger I haven’t found any way to get around having to jump through the hoops of entering my WP details every time, and doing prove-I’m-human stuff. And even then it often doesn’t work, and my comment still appears as Anonymous.

    There is also, unlike with WP.com comments, no easy way to keep track of follow up conversations, like responses to my comment, or other people’s subsequent thoughts on the post.

    So not only is it harder to comment, it is less fruitful because there’s less back and forth conversation.

    It’s a similar story with Squarespace blogs, I seldom comment.on those either.

    These platforms also suffer from not having a “Like” button, which many WP blogs have. That’s a quick and simple way of show my appreciation of a post when I’ve either not got anything to add, or don’t have the time to say more.

    (I found a kludgy way to get the Post Comment button to re-appear by inserting and deleting lots of blank lines after the comment text.)

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Yes, for WP bloggers, BLogspot is hard, which is part of the purpose of this post–I find that Firefox saves my details on most blogspot blogs I visit– so I try only using firefox. Despite trying our best– the nature of cross-platform is such that it is sometimes hard to leave a comment. In such cases I’ll try and contact them via social media and tell them about the issue in the hope it can be fixed.

      My idea is to work together as a community, irrespective of platforms and check what we can do to make cross-platform commenting easier on our blogs, and those of others.

      Apologies for the disappearing box when you comment– if you could help me with what browser and device you were using to comment, I can try and get it sorted.

  18. Pasduil

    Talking of being hard to comment, the “Post Comment” button here disappears off the screen if I type more than a couple of lines in the comment box, and then there is no way to submit my comment!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Am glad it helped, Upasna. As bloggers we just need to help each other interact the best we can :). Look forward to your WATWB post this month!

  19. Jemima Pett

    Some useful things to check out for my blogspot page. Usually anything I do is connected to my WP page, though. But in the same way as Hilary says, I find it’s all getting too complicated these days.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Glad you found them useful. If you need a hand with any of this, you know where to find me. Always happy to help.

  20. hilarymb

    Hi Damyanti … so I don’t do Twitter or G+ – that leaves a vacuum …

    but I did sign up for free WP years ago – so that is automatically linked some how … even though I use a blogspot account –

    as Alex says we have no control over WV now … mine is off – but I remember Alex saying if you comment on a great deal of blogspot blogs it’ll rear its ugly head – which it does occasionally.

    Another challenge is the enlightened bloggers like you … and those pedants like me – we live in different eras or have different needs per social media. And I don’t fully understand your requests … one day I’ll get there!

    I make a plan and work round things – always have … if I really can’t comment – then that is it … but usually there’s a way …

    I write my posts in Word on the pc … but it is possible to use the ipad- not sure how … but I mix and match as best I can … cheers Hilary

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I don’t think not being on G+ or Twitter is an issue– though I thought I saw you on twitter?

      What I requested in the post was for blogspot blogger to comment on my blog using a link to their blogs. Alex comments here via his twitter, and I can usually find his link that way quite easily.

      You seem to have a profile on Gravatar.com with a link to your blog, and that way, it is easy to find you– it is just an extra click.

      For commenting on your blog, if you check your comment settings and enable commenting via Name/URL, that would make things smooth for commenters from outside Blogspot, like me. If afraid of spam, turn on commenting moderation 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks for stopping by, Sally. Yes, being able to share effectively makes the process more satisfying, doesn’t it?

  21. Shilpa Garg

    This is a much needed post and hope all bloggers on Blogspot do read it. It is certainly not easy to comment on Blogspot blogs and I think, I havent come across any Blogspot blog which has Twitter button configured to its account.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Shilpa. I think it isn’t an issue just with blogspot blogs– even with some WP accounts, the tweet button is not configured. The thing is, we’re always logged into our accounts, so we don’t know what problems another blogger may face when commenting on our blogs. I hope this discussion throws up any bloopers I have made, so I can fix them.

  22. how do we know

    Blogger, like other tech platforms has acquired a huge big brother aura. I refuse to go on google+ and I think google should understand that its not really a friendly thing to do. Loved your tips. I try and follow a few of them. But blogger remains my platform of choice..

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Blogger is very simple to use and the point of this post is not to advocate against it– but simply for the blogspot blogs to be more accessible to bloggers from other platforms, so we can all interact as smoothly as possible.

  23. ianscyberspace

    I commenced blogging when blogging started way back in the Yahoo era, they migrated us to Multiply which has since folded and I experimented with other sites but eventually was referred to this one which provides all the facilities I need. Not so keen on the Google site but have it linked to this one.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I’m a fairly new blogger compared to you– never tried much blogging before. WP really is a great platform, but I have nothing against those who choose others– I just wish cross-platform interaction were easier.

      • ianscyberspace

        You can link your WordPress to FB so whatever you put up on WP is automatically shown there as a link. Google has the same plan. I’m not sure of other platforms though.

  24. Almost Iowa

    I was once active on Gather.com, a site that was partially owned and heavily promoted by American Public Radio. It lasted almost nine years then collapsed financially. After it’s demise, some of my friends followed me to here.

    One thing Gather.com had, as does Facebook but not WordPress, is groups. On Gather.com, we had a lively and robust writer’s group.

    I would love to see something like that here.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Haven’t heard of Gather.com. My blogging began on Blogger and WordPress. An option for groups on WordPress would be rather nice: I would take part in the community, for sure.

      Considering WP already has automated comment notification on the site, groups would be rather easy to do!

  25. Alex J. Cavanaugh (@AlexJCavanaugh)

    I think I have that all covered. Word verification – we have no control over it anymore. We can turn it off, but after visiting so many blogs, it starts appearing on all of them.
    I’ve followed with Feedly for a while. Sad that the decline and pretty much death of the GFC widget destroyed the community of blogging.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      You do have most of it covered, and ticking for verification is very easy. Would wish for the name/url option for comments tho, saves me adding my link to each post while commenting via G+ 🙂

        • Damyanti Biswas

          Ah, the choices you list here don’t look ideal, Alex.

          OpenID should cover the majority of normal WordPress blogs, except self-hosted ones like mine.

          What I usually see is a Name/ URL option on the normal blogger blogs– Cherie Reich’s, for example. Maybe you could have a chat with her about this– I don’t have my blogger-blog any more, or I’d have entered the settings and investigated in order to check if I could help.

          I also noticed that your blog seems to have your own domain name– is it also self-hosted? If yes, that might be limiting your commenting options.

          There are other commenting software like Commentluv– and you could ask around if it is working out for those who use it on Blogger. Of course if you’re inclined towards choosing one of those, you need a good think on that– most of your visitors are on blogger.

          Some bloggers keep commentluv as an additional option.

          What I’m trying to do with this post is to start a discussion so that bloggers on WP and Blogspot consider routinely visiting and commenting on each other, since I have friends on both sides of the ‘divide’.

          The sense of division becomes clear when I’m visiting via IWSG or other blogfests: Blogspot and WP blogs tend to only attract visitors from their own platform. Both have huge reaches, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t want to access/ and make it easy for all the audience we possibly can, irrespective of platforms.

  26. Birgit

    I’m n blogspot and I like it except I am always using my iPad now and I can’t place pictures or write more than a few sentences without blogger being incompatible. I can’t download pics or YouTube stuff. I’m off topic…sorry. I don’t know any of these you mentioned except twitter and I am not on that at all.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Blogger used to drive me nuts while posting, as well.

      I love your blog and comment as often as I can– but it would be wonderful if you allowed comments from Name/URL as well :).

      For now, I comment via G+ and leave a link in the comment via html. I don’t really like leaving links in comments, but this is my only way to leave a quick link-back to my blog, because the G+ leads to my G+ profile, where you need to search and click on my blog posts.

  27. Tami Von Zalez

    I’m on Blogger. I signed up with Gravatar so I could comment on WordPress blogs.
    While I enjoyed the instant posting to Google+ I was a no-reply blogger so I changed that setting.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      That’s wonderful, Tami. It is so easy for me to find you now. I just have to click your gravatar here. And yes, the no-reply thing bothers a lot of commenters, so thanks for taking care of that.

      Your blog only allows comments from those on Google plus, so it would help a ton if you could allow comments from Name/ URL :).

  28. dkatiepowellart

    I have so many artists that I love but I cannot tell them that and frankly, now if I can’t I don’t bother to follow. Why visit when you look and leave!? I can’t even tell them that I can’t comment because it doesn’t allow me!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      This post is an attempt to smoothen out cross-platform interaction. Many blogspot users also find it hard to comment on WordPress blogs.

  29. Gary

    Hey Damyanti,

    Some good, practical advice. I do, however, find leaving a comment on your blog set up a right pain in the rump. If I try to comment via Facebook, for instance, it comes up as an error. Now, I have to go through all that rubbish of submitting my email address and name and website. It’s not much fun having to start a comment all over again. Copy and paste on standby 🙂

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Awfully sorry to hear it won’t let you comment with FB, Gary. That shouldn’t happen. May I know what browser you use? Firefox seems to save my details and predict the text as I type, and I find them easy to fill in on each new blog. Will check out the FB glitch– have you tried using your twitter or G+ accounts?