As I was working behind the scenes on the blogs, adding and deleting plugins, I ran across an interesting one. It’s named Greg’s Comment Length Limiter.

The premise behind this plugin is to limit the amount of characters a person who comments can enter. As they type their comment, the counter shows how many characters they have left remaining.
limit the number of characters in a comment

On the plugin page it states, in part,

Readers may be discouraged from commenting themselves (or reading comments at all) when they see very long entries left by others, and during times of high load, the significant performance overheads associated with retrieving and displaying long comments can slow even the speediest dedicated servers.

From the perspective of SEO (search engine optimization), very long comments also dilute the impact of the author’s original post by relegating it to a small proportion of the overall content available on the page.

Interestingly the plugin has been downloaded over 4000 times.

Today’s Lesson

Since we have been talking about post length, I thought it was ironic I landed on a comment length limiter.

Who knew?

With all of us enjoying comments from fellow bloggers, I would think the length of their comment(s) is the least of our concern.

The way I see it, if someone wants to leave a long comment on this blog, I have no problem with that. As I’ve said in the past and show in my welcome message, it’s in the comment section where most of this blog’s value lies.

I throw an idea out there and all of you contribute your thoughts. For myself and those reading the comments, there’s much to be gained.

I thought of how a person who is commenting might feel knowing their words have to be limited. As each character is entered, the counter is decreasing and possibly putting undue pressure on the commenter. I know for me, I’d be less likely to comment even though I normally don’t leave long comments.

Or, I might just say, “Great post” to keep it short.

What say you?

Today’s Assignment

Would you consider using a plugin which limits the number of characters a visitor can contribute?

How would you feel if a favorite blog of yours used this type of plugin?

Care to share?

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Look Who's Talking
  1. ElizaNo Gravatar says:

    I would absolutely NOT consider using this plugin. To me, it is the same as censoring people. I want to read what they have to say. And if it takes them paragraphs to say it, so be it.

    Likewise, if I knew my thoughts were being monitored character by character, I would feel censored.

    Is this really a big concern? (as I write a long comment LOL)

    Most people write 2 or 3 lines. When someone gets really excited about a topic they might write a paragraph or two. But, honestly, given the speed at which most of us zip from one interesting blog to the next, we generally do not get too verbose.

    /end of very long comment

    • TracyNo Gravatar says:

      I laugh at your definition of a long comment! HA! I can triple the length easily without breaking a sweat and that’s before I get to the main point.

      And yeah, I can’t be the only one who makes judicious use of the scroll bar and quickly zips past huge blocks of text and those known to yip and yap about nothing of substance.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Eliza,

      Great comment. :) I agree. Being told we have “x” number of characters which we can use to have our say does feel like censoring. I was thinking of how on Twitter we keep our messages to under 140 characters. but we knew that BEFORE we joined. How sad to it would be to land on a blog post that really moves us and then we’re told “sorry, keep it short….”

  2. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    My gut reaction is that it seems a bit too much like a control freak move to me and I question how much of a problem it would be on most blogs.

    I could see this being useful on sites like newspaper and television news where all sorts of whackadoodles write all sorts of crazy things but for most sites I don’t see it as being enough of a problem to require another plugin that might not play nice with everything else/slow load times and so on.

    Now a plugin that I would pay cash money for is one that administers a short pop quiz to make sure that the commenter actually read the post before commenting. 😉

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tracy,

      That’s true. There may be sites where this plugin could be useful, but I wonder, what’s to keep someone from leaving more than one comment?

      A plugin to ensure the reading of a post? Unfortunately I think one like that would discourage comments as well. :(

  3. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    I am fine with long comments. As for something that just says “great post”, I would check to see if it’s legit or just spam and keep or delete accordingly.

    As for limiting the length of comments. However, I have seen some sites displaying just an exerpt for long comments and give you a “more…” link to click on to expand it. I personally would favor that approach than straight out limiting number of characters.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      I like that idea over limiting characters; where the comment would have a “more…” link to it. Facebook does that and it appears to work well.

  4. Deb DorchakNo Gravatar says:

    My opinion is write until you have nothing left to say, and if you find yourself getting too verbose, write it down and submit it as a guest post, or post it on your own blog and link to the one that gave you the idea.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Deb,

      I like your idea and have even used it. When we find a topic that moves us to write a lengthy comment, that’s often a sign it’s something we’d like to discuss further.

      In that case we can comment, thank the blog author for the inspiration and then link back to them when we publish. A total win-win.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Barbara Swafford, UrbanPanther. UrbanPanther said: RT @BSwafford: Come on by & share your thoughts on: "Size Matters With Comments Too?" – http://tinyurl.com/2edvzl7 <– I would feel censored […]

  6. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi B
    No I wouldn’t use this plugin, it would be an insult to those commenting.
    Most comments are a sensible length and the occasional long one is no problem.
    Good point about diluting the carefully crafted keyword density but how many bloggers ever consider that?
    Not very keen on really short comments “great post – thanks for sharing” always sounds a bit spammy.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Keith,

      Like you, I wouldn’t use this plugin either. It almost has a condescending feel about it.

      Yes. The “great post”, “thanks for sharing” type comments do appear spammy, whereas if we add a sentence or two why we think that would make for a more value based statement.

  7. Sam LiuNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I would never use such a plugin. In fact, if I came across a blog that did, I would not comment.

    If a fellow blogger or just a reader took the time to contribute their thoughts, I think it would be quite insulting if they saw they had a limit on how much they can say.

    And if someone has something quite substantial to say, then they should be allowed to say it. Comments are areas of discussions and debate, and should not have their size regulated by plug-ins. I can’t think why anyone would want to install such a device. Personally, I always feel very honored whenever someone writes a lot about my post.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sam,

      You’re raised some good points. As bloggers we do feel honored when someone takes the time to read and then comment on our work. It not only makes us feel validated, but comments often guide us in directions we may have not thought of.

      Landing on a site that uses this plugin would discourage me from commenting too.

  8. Mandy AllenNo Gravatar says:

    I would not use this plug in, equally I never say ‘great post’ as I feel it is polite to leave a more meaty response that others might contribute to. I have found myself agreeing/disagreeing/commenting on responses as much as the post content often, and two words doesn’t encourage this interaction. If I find a comment is long on a blog I am reading I skim read it if nothing jumps out at me. On my own blog I always read all the comments fully and respond to them to encourage return visits.

    Great post!

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Mandy,

      That’s true. It’s often the comments left by others that inspire our comments. With so many points of view displayed in a comment section, what I’ve also found is sometimes someone can change my mind (on a topic) based on their experience and what they’ve shared.

      Like you, I also read all of the comments left on my blogs thoroughly, and usually more than once. :)

  9. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi All,

    Just an update as I’m reading the comments. Me saying “great post” would be my way of leaving a “snarky” reply; I wouldn’t want to have my words limited either. 😉

    I’ll be back later this evening to answer your comments.

    See you then….

  10. If I used this plugin, I’d be limiting my own comments. :-) I have been known to write long comments on other blogs and as replies to other comments on my own blog. I seldom leave “great post” types of comments, though on rare occasions, I do just want the blogger know that I was moved or informed or inspired by their post even though I have nothing to contribute to the discussion. Generally, though, I only comment if I have something to contribute—and then I can end up writing a long comment. Even on my own blog, sometimes comments veer off in a slightly different direction than the post, and I respond with a long comment (which once in a while may end up turning into a new post). When I see a long comment, I am glad to see the commenter is engaged in the conversation.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      LOL Lillie,

      It’s funny you say this plugin would limit your own comments, because one of it’s features is to “Let administrator ramble at will” or “limit administrators too” To me that reminds me of “do as I say, not as I do.”

      Yes. long comments are a joy to see. Like you said, it shows our readers are engaged and to me, that’s what blogging is all about.

  11. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    I kind of think that plugin is useless in the area how we use blogging.

    I see what the plugin author is saying about SEO impacts of comments, but if that were the case, the blogger could simply close comments at any point.

    Not really seeing the big point of this plugin as bloggers like us use blogging for.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      I agree. For most of us, this plugin is useless.

      You know, I was thinking about the SEO aspect. If a blogger is THAT concerned about leaking SEO because of comments, then like you said, they may as well just turn them off.

  12. JoyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I wouldn’t want to use this plug in. I enjoy my readers comments–I think the discussion is as important and insightful as the post itself..to me the sense of community is fostered by honoring each voice.
    I wouldn’t comment on blogs that used this plug in..if one is counting words my actual content doesn’t seem to matter, just the word count..

  13. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Joy,

    I hear you. When we blog, we want to be heard and it’s via comments that happens. If we were to limit the words of our readers, like you said, we’d no longer be honoring their voice. How sad would that be?

  14. I would never use that plug in. Simply because no one should restrain thoughts as it flows. When a thoughtless plug in interrupts and does not allow the commenter to proceed, thoughts are abruptly sabotaged. It is like asking someone to come for dinner and as they reach for another helping, we stop them saying: Enough.

    The spirit of the comment and the commenter is lost.

    Now this was a nice topic to think. I did not think anyway as I knew the answer while I read the post: NO.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Susan,

      I like your analogy, and that’s very true. We certainly wouldn’t tell a guest in our home, “Enough!”.

      With comments adding so much to a blog, as you said, we certainly wouldn’t want that spirit lost

  15. sharboriNo Gravatar says:

    well Barbari, I would just be repeating myself as I am in agreement with most of the people here. I too would not use this plug in as some of the lengthier comments posted on my blog are substantive and hence worthwhile.

    However, If I ever have a very high volume blog and receive hundreds of comments each day, I would do it as it would make life easier for me and others to read and respond to. secondly, i think it also teaches us to express ourselves succinctly and to the point.

    Btw, i have taken to restricting my blog to within 1000 words and the lesson was learnt from your blog. I find this helps me to express myself better.

    thank you.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Sharbori,

      I know what you’re saying. Lengthier comments can hold tons of value.

      I realize this type of plugin would encourage commenters to refrain from being chatty, but I wonder if it would also discourage some from commenting at all. Just thinking…

  16. Use it? Er…

    Am I, the author of a blog *more important* than my commenters?

    Somebody build me a statue :)

  17. HI Barbara,
    No freaking way! I love my comments and my readers too too much to download this limiting plugin.
    Also as you already know, I can be very annoying and write very long comments too :) (like I’m doing right about now) I think it would put a damper on my blabbery style too 😉
    But, on a more serious note, no no no no no….i want to know who those 4000 people who downloaded this plugin are….I will send them a stern email..and tell them, close your comments rather than insult the commenters with this gimmick.
    I love how the post comes alive in the comments…how can anyone want to limit that? Its like being invited to a party and being told, “hey eat only 1 starter and shut up”
    I know this kind of evoked my not so pleasant side…but what can I do…I dont like limitations….I prefer vast openness…that i can fill with whatever I want…
    Much Love~
    Z~

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Zeenat,

      I’m with you. If someone is that concerned with lengthy comments and/or their SEO juice leaking because of the comments they might receive, it would be best if they just turn off the comments. I see that being a better choice than limiting how many characters their commenters can share.

  18. Hi Barbara,

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog and haven’t seen the number of comments after your post. Did you change something? I liked seeing how you usually have 120 comments within an hour of posting.

    On the topic. I say no limits to comment length. The more the merrier.

    How do you do it?

    Julie

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Julie,

      You’re funny. 120 comments? I don’t think so. :)

      I have taken some of the number stats off of my blog, but the comment numbers are still there if you go to the home page and scroll down.

      I’m with you – the more the merrier.

  19. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Boy! Someone was bored to death when they made this plugin. No, I would not install it. You get what you put out there. If there is a limit, then you would get one liners…. that is certainly not true here.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      Like you, I wonder how the idea of this plugin even emerged. I realize comments can affect our SEO, but limiting the character limit may not be the best choice. Instead I could see someone stating “please stay on topic”. That way anyone who comments knows to reply to the post and not veer into other directions.

      That’s true. If we land on blogs which limit our words, we’re more apt to just say “great post” or… and move on. Or, not comment at all.

  20. Tony SingleNo Gravatar says:

    I dunno… I think Tolstoy would’ve taken issue with the enforced brevity of the Comment Length Limiter. I do too. If I want to write an epic novel of a comment, then why shouldn’t I be allowed to do so? 😛

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tony,

      Yes, even epic novels should be welcome. I know they would be on most blogs and I’d be honored to have you write one here. :)

  21. DebiNo Gravatar says:

    I had to laugh – a friend of mine once rec’d a comment that, when printed out, was 20 some odd pages long – a rambling manifesto of pretty much nothing – and seriously, all his readers just loved it and laughed & laughed. I think you just let people free to say their stuff. Life is way too short to worry about the unimportant things.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Debi,

      That’s funny. Can you imagine how long that would have taken for the person to write?

      I agree. Life is way to short to worry about how long comments are.

  22. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    While there’s value in pithy and precise, I’ve been blown away by some long comments that were driven from inspiration and took the content to new places — a true mash up of the minds.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.,

      Don’t you love when that happens? It shows how just sharing our thoughts can affect another person, inspire them to reach for greater goals, challenge them to expand on what we wrote, change their life, or…

      It’s truly magical.

      • Yes! Exactly. There are days when I feel like I’m not getting any motivation to write or that I’m not connecting with my reader. Then suddenly, as if by magic, we can receive a long inspiring letter or even a short comment and see how our words are truly making a positive difference. Perhaps that’s the pay in blog writing?

  23. It’s never even occurred to me to limit comment length. Like you Barbara, I too enjoy my reader’s comments. I don’t want to limit them or put pressure on them to cut it off at some arbitrary length.

    And there have been times a post has struck a real chord in me and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to share the how and why of that with the post author.

    Maybe if you’re getting spammed by people who live to write oodles of nonsense, this plugin would be desirable. But really how often does that happen?

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Joella,

      That’s true. How often does that happen? Plus, if someone shows up and writes nonsense, we also have the option of marking their comment as trash or spam.

      Like you, some posts do strike a chord with me and I certainly wouldn’t want to be limited to what I could say, either.

  24. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    I do not want to limit my comments at all – I consider them a major part of the post.
    I do want to limit my comments length because it assists me in getting to the point and I want to add to the post – not “star” in it or take away from the authors great ideas and sharing….

    Another good thought process here and I read all of the comments!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Patricia,

      I like how you put that, “you don’t want to “star” in the post”. That’s what blogging is all about, isn’t it? We throw an idea out there and the comments left by others can often teach us to look at a topic from a different perspective, or may even make us realize we haven’t looked at a topic from all sides. Comments can truly be educational.

  25. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    That’s an interesting plug in, but what is the limit of words?

    If the number of words can be adjusted then maybe it is not a bad idea, lets say we can set it to no more than 400 words, so the commenter can explain his/her concept without much limitation, if not then personally I wouldn’t use it, and would be discouraged to make comments where I’m limited in what I want to say by the number of words I can use.

    This comment is not that long yet it already has 97 words!

    Raul

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Raul,

      The plugin is based on characters, and not words. Apparently the blog author can set the limit to whatever they choose. When I put your comment into a character counter tool (here) it shows you typed 492 characters. The sample shows 3000 characters which is a lot, however I think what happens is even though most of us could say what we want within that framework, it’s the thought we’re being limited that matters.

  26. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I have come across this plug-in – somewhere .. and didn’t think too much about it. But your readers have put forward some very sensible points & I wouldn’t limit readers’ comments – & I’d hate to get 20 or more “great post” – really irritates me – please say something relevant or not at all .. a short pertinent sentence doesn’t take much – does it?

    I have had another interesting experience a couple of months ago – I was asked not to comment!!!!!! To my little brain I cannot see why! I always added value – perhaps too much?! I don’t know .. apparently I was commenting when I’d just posted myself – but I was only posting twice a week and their blog was 7 days a week, which I usually commented on + two extra side ones – we’d been asked to contribute to .. I did a few.

    I sometimes saved commenting to make relevant comments rather than skip the posts – so would do a few at a time .. but I’m not leading a normal life – with my mother and the other background hassles going on, let alone moving .. so the whammy took me by surprise & upset me – then I realised my workload was considerably reduced – so I just got on with it .. funny old life?

    & now this comment is way too long …??! Heavens Raul counted his .. how long is this one?! Happy Days – Hilary

    PS I love the interaction you’re getting from everyone – it’s great .. and that WP allows you to comment under someone else’s comment – that’s a good interacting tool

    • I cannot believe someone asked you to STOP commenting! Oh my goodness! You can come to my blog and comment 47 times each day and I would throw coins at your feet! LOL

      And, by the way, I don’t think your comment is long at all.

      :-)

    • Barbara SwaffordrNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hilary,

      Although I know I could count the length of your comment, it doesn’t make any difference to me. I love your long comments and cannot believe someone would ask you NOT to share your thoughts. What are they thinking?

      Like you, I’d hate to have to start receiving numerous “great posts” comments. It’s when our readers open up and share their thoughts we feel connected and believe what we write is making a difference. I say, “write on”. :)

      I hope your week is going good with all you have on your plate.

      • HilaryNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Barbara .. this one’s short! Thanks .. interaction is so important .. I honestly don’t know – though they did post a comment again recently after I’d visited again .. I did leave it for a while – maybe they missed me! I didn’t react – not much point! That lesson I’ve learnt! .. no point often in reacting to negativity – just breeds more.

        We have wonderful rain .. though I think there will be deluges causing flooding in places .. but the ground needs a good soaking .. (not my mother’s floor!) .. So you too have a good week & thanks for your support .. Hilary

  27. I usually leave short comments, but when someone leaves a long comment on my blog, I love that!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I’m with you. Long comments are not only a joy to receive, but a thrill to read.

  28. I am with the group on this one: what’s the point of that plug in? Perhaps there are sites that are having that issue but none of the ones I visit seem to have it.

    I have seen it on other sites but it doesn’t faze me one way or the other. I only tend to ramble on my own sites. :)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lisa,

      So you have seen sites which use this plugin? So far I haven’t but do wonder what I’ll do when I see one. Comment? Or just move on? I’m guessing the latter will happen.

  29. Absolutely not. I don’t mind when people leave long comments, and I’ve been known to leave a few long ones myself. If I’m on someone else’s blog and there are a lot of comments, I don’t mind quickly scrolling to the bottom.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Theresa,

      That’s a good point. If someone before us leaves a long comment or there are a lot of them, we’re not obligated to read them all. Scrolling down to the comment section so we can leave our thoughts only takes a second or two.

  30. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I value all my readers and their comments. I wouldn’t use anything to limit the comment length. I love hearing what everyone has to say, long or short.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      I’m with you. I love comments, long or short. In fact I feel honored just to have others showing up and letting me know they’ve been here.

  31. DanaNo Gravatar says:

    Hmm, I guess limiting characters depends ont he kind of blog you want. The core of real blogging, for the sake of blogging and not money, is about hsaring and communication. With this in mind I do not think that I would want to limit comments. No matter what the intention of your blog is, there is much value in other comments, sometimes just as much with the original post. Unless people are spamming you, which you can mdoerate anyway, I don’t see why you would want to make yourself the thought police.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dana,

      I like that, “the thought police”. And that’s what this plugin appears to do; put the blog author in control of limiting how much their readers are allowed to say.

      You’re comment made me think, I wish someone who uses this plugin would show up and defend it. So far I’m not seeing the benefit to it, at all.

  32. Hi barb,
    My readers comment are very important to build long term relationship,anyway great post

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nancy,

      That’s true. It’s via the comments we receive and leave on other blogs which build the relationships we form online.

  33. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    No question about it. I would not use that plugin; just don’t see the point. I get a kick out of those extra long comments; I think they’re endearing, lol.

    I imagine the commenter hunched over their keyboard, typing away, eager to get all their thoughts down before they loose them. They’re smiling because they like what they’re about to share; proud of it, or their brow is furrowed because they’re thinking so hard, or their face is flushed because they’re “biting their tongue” while they pound out their comment :-)

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Davina,

    Yes. The long comments are very endearing. And I don’t know about you, but when I’ve left a long comment I also feel I added value to the blog post.

    How sad it would be to make a reader feel their words are limited and the “clock” runs out before they’re done. :(

  35. Hi Barbara,

    I’m your very new reader and I think I learned so much from your posts.

    I don’t mind getting long comments from readers as long as it stay relevant to the topic. Comments stir good ideas and healthy conversations. And it gives you an idea that your readers actually read the post.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Paul,

      It’s good to see you here. What you said is true. Comments do help to stir up good ideas. What I’ve found is what others have written here often become the inspiration for another post. I love how that works.

  36. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I don’t really have an issue if someone wants to bloviate (there’s that word again) in my comments section. I appreciate the thoughtfulness that goes with a long comment. I know that many readers will just pass it by and that is okay too.

    George

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      *smiles* George,

      I think you like that word, “bloviate”.

      That’s true. Many of our readers will skip long comments, but as blog authors, we find enjoyment in them so it’s a win-win.

  37. JamesNo Gravatar says:

    The only reason I could see for using that plugin would be to cut down on some of the spam comments that list 3 pages of links, but I suspect it would not stop that anyways.
    If someone were to get intimidated by long comments by others, perhaps they are spending to much time by themselves writing plugins. Seems kind of a silly idea to me. Of course, that’s the beauty of WordPress – there’s a plugin for everything.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi James,

      I noticed in your comment on my most recent post you mention you haven’t added Akismet to your blog yet. One thing about them, or other good spam blockers is they will catch those long, spammy comments and that way you don’t even have to deal with them.

      That’s funny you said that, “there’s a plugin for everything” as that was the original name for this post. :)

  38. I feel like I often read a post and don’t stop to comment because I can’t articulate what I want to say right then and there. And saying “Great Post” doesn’t seem to fit. All of that to say that I don’t really think I’ve ever left a long-winded comment. If I’m writing something and it’s turning into an essay, I’m more apt to write a blog post about my thoughts and link back to the original author and start a discussion in that way.

    In regards to visiting another blog that’s enabled the plugin, so long as it doesn’t limit the characters to 20 or something like that, I think we’re good :-)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ricardo,

      I know what you’re saying. Some blog posts make us think deeply and it can be hard to construct a comment right on the spot. I don’t know about you but I often think I’ll go back and leave one, but then time gets away from me. *sigh*

  39. Chania GirlNo Gravatar says:

    I think I am going to chime in (quite late) on this topic as perhaps the only one who sees nothing wrong with the plug-in.

    While it is true that I value the contributions of my readers to my blog, I do think that many bloggers (often, by nature, writers) are in love with our own words. As such, we can wax quite verbose on a topic without ever quite getting to the point.

    You’ve had a post before (mentioned here) about post length, and many people chimed in about brevity and precision in writing. I believe the same is true for a comment. A plug-in that limits the characters used forces the commenter to weigh and choose words carefully – why is this a bad thing?

    From the point of view of the commenter, I find myself turned off by long comments. I do not read them … for much the same reason I skim over large blog posts in my blog reader.

    From the point of view of the blogger, I welcome what my commenters add to the discussion but must honestly admit that a long comment is more appreciated when it comes to me in the form of an email … or a future post by that commenter on his/her own blog.

  40. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Chania Girl,

    You’ve raised some good points. Long comments may be a turnoff to other readers, just as long blog posts can be, especially if we delay getting to the point.

    I like the idea of using a post as inspiration for a future post on our own site as it would give us the opportunity to elaborate on a topic and discuss it even further.

  41. No offense but I think the plug-in is a total waste of time. some of my commenters have left quite lengthy comments that I didn’t hesitate @ all in turning them into blog posts ’cause they were just too good to be left in a crevice ;-).

    Commenters should be free to air their minds at all times.

  42. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Udegbunam,

    Like you, I wouldn’t use this plugin either, although for some it could come in handy.

    Yes. When we receive leave long comments they’re often filled with tons of information worth sharing with our other readers in post form.

  43. Hehe I thought cheeky title until I saw the link to the post/article length.

    I don’t think that limiting comment characters is a good idea. And the SEO reasons invoked by the plugin author (ie. diluting impact of author article) are also a bit strange, I can’t see any blogger stopping every new comments on an article that has too many, which is what this comment does.

    On the other hand having a very high number (say 5K+) characters left, might be an encouragement for commenters to write more… humm, something to test.

  44. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Leo,

    You’ve raised a good point. If we know we have “x” numbers of characters available, might we be tempted to use them all? Kinda like Twitter and their 140.