Leave the subscription to comments unchecked

By Daniel Scocco

The “Subscribe to Comments” WordPress plugin enables readers to subscribe to a certain post when leaving a comment. The plugin will then send email updates whenever there is a new comment on that post.

As you can imagine this is a very useful plugin to promote the sense of community and to improve the interaction among the readers. There is one mistake, however, that many bloggers commit when installing the plugin, and that is to leave the “Notify me of followup comments via email” box checked by default.

Why could this be a mistake? Because some readers, particularly those not familiar with blogs, will not pay attention to this feature. They will leave their comment and not necessarily be interested in following the conversation. Should the post they subscribed to (unconsciously) get more comments those readers will be bombarded with emails from your site, which is quite an annoyance.

If you leave the box unchecked by default you will make sure that only the people who are really interested in following the conversation will receive the emails.

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43 Responses to “Leave the subscription to comments unchecked”

  • Sam Jackson

    For me personally, this is what I’d prefer–especially since I use CoComment. But for my users, who I think are perhaps somewhere in the middle of the tech-savviness spectrum, leaving it auto-checks really does draw them back, and I haven’t gotten any complaints yet. So I feel like on a blog the size of mine I would be missing out on the opportunity to recapture interest if I did so at the behest of a very small minority.

  • Daniel

    Hey Sam, I do agree that sometimes the auto-check feature could bring back some readers. But I fear that the damage it might cause by spamming users that were not aware of the plugin might counter-weight this benefit.

    I guess for certain bloggers, where you know your audience, you could use the auto-check though as you said.

    Thanks for commenting.

  • Sridhar

    I disagree w/ your views. Leaving the chk box on by default is the right thing to do in my opinion. If you are commentiong on a blog, higher chances are that you want to know the replies of the blog author or fellow visitors.

  • Daniel

    Sridhar, it is true that readers leaving comments are already more likely to be interested in following the replies, but leaving the box unchecked will only force them to place an additional click.

    It could be a matter of opinion, but personally I would not risk sending out unrequested emails.

  • Sridhar

    Certainly Daniel. It’s a matter of opinion. There’s no absolute right or wrong in this decision.

  • Ian Delaney

    I also use subscribe to comments and left on the default setting without much thought.

    If I take the time to leave a comment on someone’s blog, then I definitely want to know if there are any reactions from the author or other readers to that comment. Wouldn’t anyone?

    It’s a convenience for me that an email gets sent. If I make the mistake of leaving it checked on sites that get 100s of comments on every post, then I accept that it’s *my fault* for overlooking it.

  • Thilak

    Some of my friends leave that box unchecked, but I always end up regretting that I forgot to check that box.

    So In my opinion, Checking the box by default is cool.

  • engtech

    That’s a great tip.

    I’ve been hit by this one a few times.

  • Bes Zain

    This is a very important tip. It is almost the same as opt-in email subscriptions [like newsletters]. Opting people in by allowing them to opt in themselves in is better than opting people in on your own and allowing them to opt-out themselves. I agree with you that the damage caused by opting people in automatically is not worth it.

    Never force your readers to do something; convince them to do something instead. I had to double check after reading this post to make sure my site allows people to opt-in themselves. Thanks for the great tip.

  • Maysa

    Great tip!!! 😀

    Posso comentar em portuguese? hehehe.. meu ingles eh bad, muito bad 🙂
    Espetacular seu blog… jah assinei

    Ateh logo
    Maysa

  • Antibush

    Bush goes ballistic about other countries being evil and dangerous, because they have weapons of mass destruction. But, he insists on building up even a more deadly supply of nuclear arms right here in the US. What do you think? How does that work in a democracy again? How does being more threatening make us more likeable?Isn’t the country with
    the most weapons the biggest threat to the rest of the world? When one country is the biggest threat to the rest of the world, isn’t that likely to be the most hated country?
    If ever there was ever a time in our nation’s history that called for a change, this is it!
    We have lost friends and influenced no one. No wonder most of the world thinks we suck. Thanks to what george bush has done to our country during the past three years, we do!

  • Matthew Jabs

    I use the STC plugin for my wordpress blog and I leave it checked by default because I hate when I’m leaving a comment on another blog and I forget to check it.

    Another reason I leave it checked by default is because every email contains an “opt-out” link! So if anyone is getting emails that are unwanted…all they have to do is opt-out!

    I wrote a post on this same subject.

  • Mexxgw

    test

  • Slav from Abc Car Parts

    I noticed that on very busy blogs, leaving the checkbox on causes some users to report the notifications as spam, causing your IP to be blacklisted, which is not good!

  • Mr Car Parts

    I use certain e-mails for blogs that get tons of post but most of the time a few here or ther is great for me. It also helps people to find the way back.

  • Car Parts Guy

    Seems some one is scouting this blog out for a spam test. And I’m a fool who clicked that little Box. “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail”

    What was I thinking ???? Just great…

  • Daniel

    deleted them. akismet sometimes just sleeps over spam comments

  • Car Parts Guy

    Still have a few more leftto remove.

  • lomig

    Well,
    when i come on a blog and leave a comment, i like that the box is checked by default…
    so why should i do something else for my readers…?

  • dEEPAK

    I agree with you Daniel.. It’s always good to give the readers the freedom of coice rather than forcing something on them.. I had kept it checked by default but removed it now 🙂

  • Daniel

    lomig, depends who you are creating the website for, yourself or your readers.

    Just because you like something it does not mean that your readers will, too.

  • lomig

    hi Daniel,
    thanks for your answer.
    Well, in fact it’s just that i blog, and always imagine i’m a reader.
    As a reader, if i post a comment on a subject, it means i’m interested, at that time. If later i realize that i’m not intersted anymore, i juste have to click on the link in any of the mails…
    Don’t you think it’s a better way : the risk of loosing a contributor because he didn’t see the unchecked box is, to me, greater than the risk concerning someone not interested anymore by the discussion.

  • Classics

    Hi !

    How is it possible to check the box by default ? I haven’t got such option on the subscribe to comments interface.
    Do i have to change the code ?

    Sorry, it’s not the subject but if you’d have the solution, i would be great !

  • blog

    it’s fantastic 🙂 thank you.. !

  • How to Lose Belly Fat

    I always check the box when i leave a comment so i find it a convenience if its auto checked

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  • Maksimjo3

    Ñîáñòâåííî ñàáæ.
    Ïîäñêàæèòå ãäå ìîæíî ñêà÷àòü ôèëüìû ïî ïðÿìûì ññûëêàì?

  • Ñâàðî÷íàÿ ïðîâîëîêà

    I have read this somewhere, but that one was written in a different style.

  • Kratom

    I think it depends… A case by case situation. Sometime you want to know the follow up comments, sometimes you don’t. I like having a choice.

  • Dave@ joomla Development

    yeah i also read this is some other site i think . but was a bit longs or something

  • Bruce

    I think unchecked is the way to go for sure. good post thanks

  • Felipe

    Do not regret that I spent a couple of minutes to read your blog. Write often, even inevitably’ll come to read something new.

  • BizExpert

    Very useful information, but the main problem was not disclosed and not understandable.

Comments are closed.