Want to know the fastest way to shut down conversation on your blog?

Moderate comments.

(And if you’re going to hold comments, you should at minimum have a process for getting them approved quickly.)

Case in point: I followed a link to a terrific blog post the other day. Good information, well-written, and well presented. I left a comment, and then tweeted out the link to my community.

What happened next? Nothing.

“Nothing” is not a good response.

My comment never appeared. Nor did any other comments–which means either no one else tried to respond or their comments ended up in comment limbo as well. So what do you think the chances are that I become a regular reader? Put that business on my radar screen?

Silence isn’t always golden.

First contact can be the start of a beautiful friendship.  Don’t squander it by shutting down a conversation before it even begins.

Photo by Katie Tegtmeyer (Flickr).