Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Comment Policy

One of my favorite things about Shower of Roses is hearing from my visitors in the comment box. Living in a rural area and raising a large family without much support for Catholics and Home Education is challenging. I'm so grateful for the friendships, prayers and support I have been blessed with through blogging.

However, the comment box has gotten a little out of control the last couple years, which has resulted in me trying to find different ways to manage the comments that come through, including requiring word verification at times, and ultimately moderating each and every comment, most of which are spam, and which ends up taking more time than I have to spend on the computer.

It is time to make a few changes, starting with installing a new commenting system for all new posts. Hopefully this will make leaving comments easier for all my visitors and also cut back on the time it takes me to moderate comments, leaving me with more time to spend with my family and still continue blogging.

I've listed some clear guidelines below for what is allowed, and more importantly what isn't allowed in the comment box here at Shower of Roses:  (Note: Please read the section titled "No Personal Attack Comments Permitted" and remember that this is my family and a little glimpse at our lives that I am sharing here and not a generic "resource website.")

Comment Form Guidelines: The comment form must be filled in with a proper or legitimate sounding name and URL. Comments using keywords, spam or splog-like URLs, or suspicious information in the comment form will be edited or deleted.

Email Privacy: Email addresses are required for commenting, and they are not published on the blog, nor shared. They may be used by the blog owner to privately contact the commenter.

Commenter Privacy and Protection: All email, snail mail, phone numbers, and any private and personal information posted in any comment will be deleted as soon as possible to protect the privacy of the commenter. To prevent such editing, never share this private information within the blog comment.

No Personal Attack Comments Permitted: This blog is a digital scrapbook for our family. As much as I love and enjoy sharing what we have been up to here at Shower of Roses, I do not welcome debates or attacks on me, my family, or my faith in my comment box. I do not claim to be an expert on any topic I blog about, nor do I have any sort of authority in the Church. I am just another Catholic mother doing my best to raise the children God has blessed us with and entrusted to our care. Even though many visit this blog looking for ideas to incorporate in their own homes, just because I post something doesn't mean it is the best option, or that it is even a good idea. My children look back and read through the posts and comments and I do not want them reading comments left (almost always anonymously) about what is wrong with the craft they lovingly created, or how any particular book, activity, our Holy Father the Pope, or even canonized saint(!) that I blog about isn't "Catholic" enough. The First Amendment gives you the right to express your opinions on your blog not mine. In short, any comment that I do not want my children to read will not be published.

Blog Nicknames: Please refer to my children by their blog nicknames. All comments that include their real names will be edited or deleted.

Language and Manners: This blog is “family friendly” and comments which include offensive or inappropriate language, or considered by the blog owner and administrator to be rude and offensive, will be edited or deleted.

Limit Links: This blog is setup to automatically hold any blog comment with more than two links in moderation, which may delay your comment from appearing on this blog. Any blog comment with more than four links, or which includes affiliate links, could be marked as comment spam. You may, however, post a link to your site or your most recent blog post.

Questions: I do my best to try and include as much information and links in my posts, when possible. If I missed something, you are more than welcome to post follow-up questions in the comment box. If you have a question, chances are you are not the only one. Therefore, I would much rather receive your comments on my blog than via email. It is a better use of my time to address everyone at once rather than answer several emails.

Comment Spam: Any comment assumed to be possible comment spam will be deleted and marked as comment spam.

Commenters Blocked: Anyone who violates this Comment Policy may be blocked from future commenting on this blog.

What To Do If Your Comment Does Not Appear: If you leave a comment on this blog and it does not appear in a reasonable time period, and you know that it does not violate these Comment Policies, please send me an email at jessica(dot)showerofroses(at)gmail(dot)com.

Responses to Comments: Comments on this blog will only be responded to in direct response to the blog comment when possible. I will not respond privately via email or other communication method to a blog comment, so be sure to check back or subscribe to replies if you leave a question.  If I haven't responded to your question, please feel free to send me a reminder.

All Rights Reserved: I reserve the right to edit, delete, move, or mark as spam any and all comments and block certain IP addresses as necessary. By leaving a comment, you also grant me a license to post your comments. This license is worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, and royalty-free. You grant me the right to store, use, transmit, display, publish, reproduce, and distribute your comments in any format, including but not limited to the blog, in a book, a video, or presentation.

Hold Harmless: You retain ownership of your comments. I do not own them and I expressly disclaim any and all liability that may result from them. By submitting a comment on this blog, you agree that the comment content is your own, and to hold this site, Shower of Roses, and all subsidiaries and representatives harmless from any and all repercussions, damages, or liability.

Trackbacks Are Comments: All trackbacks will be treated inline with the above Comment Policy.

Social Media:  You are more than welcome to follow me at Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter (I've never really posted much there), or on the Shower of Roses Facebook Page. I plan to go through my personal Facebook page soon and reduce the "friends" list back down to just close personal friends and family. Usually what I post on Facebook is shared from Instagram anyways.

Note: Comments will continue to be moderated through the new commenting system as I test it out. I will work on adding approved friends and frequent commenters to a "whitelist" so their comments will be published immediately. Thank you for your continued patience during this transition, as I work on setting this all up and working through any technical difficulties, here at Shower of Roses. 

I LOVE getting comments, questions, and emails. I really do! I work hard to answer as many comments and emails as possible, but no matter how hard I try my inbox always fills up faster than I can empty it. In fact the only time it has been emptied completely, for about a day, was when I switched accounts back in the fall of 2011. At this particular moment I have well over 300 emails that have been "saved to answer later" sitting in my inbox...

I DO read every single email (and comments too!) but if I tried to reply to every single one I wouldn't have any time left to live the life I blog about here at Shower of Roses, or even sleep for that matter. Please accept my sincere apologies if you haven't heard back from me and thank you for understanding! You are welcome to email me again if you'd like - I usually have every intention of responding but your email happened to come through at an extra busy time and was quickly buried...

Thank you again for all the kind comments, emails, support and prayers. Please continue to pray for us and know that I do pray for all my visitors. May God bless you all!