Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Crazy Little Thing Called Blog: Part Nine - More Questions

Recently one of the sweetest bloggers your could ever meet logged on to find she had a new Follower-- A Follower whose profile photo was an up-close and personal picture of a woman's um, err, ahh-- "private parts"!

Seriously. A va-jay-jay was staring back at her!

When I first read the email she sent asking for assistance to remove said private part, I laughed, really hard, until I realized it wasn't a joke. A Follower photo of this type is not funny.

I checked around and found out how to remove the Follower and emailed back but fortunately my blog friend had figured it out and the photo, and Follower, were gone.

Here's how to block a Follower, and their photo, in Blogger:

1. Go to your Blogger Dashboard
2. You will see a test link for Followers--it includes the number of followers you have. When your cursor is over Followers the type turns orange. Click on Followers
3. A window will pop-up
4. Click on the nasty photo/follower
5. You will see another box and the words "Block This Follower"
6. Click on "Block This Follower" and they will be gone forever

I took a closer look at my Followers and realized that, although I did not have a bird's eye view of a you-know-what, I too had a few sex blogs in my posse. Perhaps that explains my increased number of eye-opening comments promoting a slew of "toys", teenage contortionists, male "enlargements", celebrity nudity, and grandmas doing the wild thing.

I promptly dropped the questionable Followers and hope my comments lighten up to PG-13 again. But if anyone can tell me who the Anonymous commenter is that continuously thanks me for helping with college work, I'd greatly appreciate it. It's totally bogus and I'm pretty sure the "Follower" is up to no good.

I'm also still getting various "Anonymous" comments selling junk, promoting questionable financial offers, and the likes.

Can anyone tell me how do I eliminate Anonymous Comments on Blogger? I don't understand the difference between "Registered Users - Includes OpenID" and "Users with Google Accounts" (In Dashboard under Settings). Which is the button I check and will it still allow everyone else (with a user name) to leave comments???

That brings me to my last question-- Are there subjects you won't blog or comment about?

Considering I've blogged about growing marijuana in my backyard and my Botox and cosmetic enhancements, you'd think little would be off limit for me. Au contraire.

Generally, I will not blog about...
--My husband's family. They can start their own blogs if they want their stories in print.
--Sex. In the event that it could ultimately bite me in the butt should I decide to run for and elected office, I'll keep this topic to myself.
--I don't write to "send a message". If I have something to say to someone, I'll do it in person before I do it in print.

On the other hand, I generally will not comment on...
--Sex-- No matter how funny or how well written the post may be.
--I try not to judge and tell bloggers what they "should" do.
--If I can't say something nice I won't say anything at all, at least not in the comment section.

How about you?

Are their subjects you won't blog or comment about?
Do you have any other blog "how to" questions?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna
Photo Credit: © sgursozlu -


  1. This is so timely for me! I just got my first spam comment, which is weird, since my blog isn't searchable on Google. And I was wondering if it's possible to block a non-follower from commenting, if they have a Blogger account.

    I, also, will not blog about sex. Nor will I air dirty laundry about family or friends. I also try to stay away from politics and religion, unless there's an issue I'm feeling particularly strongly about. I definitely avoid snide remarks like "of course we all know (Obama/Palin/the Pope) is an evil (communist/Nazi/alien) who hates (America/animals/me)" I generally try to stay positive, though I do have a "rant" tag for my posts!

  2. Well... re the settings thing, I suppose it's not a great deal of help to say that it's easy on WordPress. Is there anything on blogger that allows you to specify the "rating" of avatars you will show on your blog against commenters?

    Registered users (with open ID) SHOULD include anyone with a blog account on all the major systems, but NOT anonymous users.

    As to your other question - named or easily personally identifiable friends and family is a subject I would think very seriously about staying away from.

    Generally, as far as comments is concerned, like you, if a can't say something nice, I tend to stay silent.

  3. You can go to settings, then comments and under "who can comment" just click "registered users only." But, really, you should just install Disqus. It's the easiest both for you commenters (no damn word verification) and for you to reply to them.

    So far I've found very little I won't blog on. If I can make it a well-written, entertaining piece I'll give it a shot, and if the subject matter interests me, of course.

  4. Some times I wish my family didn't read my blog need to vent some. Especially my MIL....and a few sisters!

  5. I've also got the "thanks me for helping with college work" comments, I think they're spam...

    I would not blog about other people unless in general reference, details about their life is their own, and as you said, they can start their own blog

  6. Although I vent with an occasional rant, the purpose of my blog is to remind me of how great life can be.

    No sex.
    No personal ladies parts stuff or anything that would qualify as TMI.(my best friend doesn't want to know that stuff, so why would you?)
    I am careful not to post anything that will hurt someone I know should they stumble across my writings.
    In a political argument I tend to come out sounding like an idiot, so I stay away from that. Organized religion too.
    Actually, I try to avoid most topics that may at some point result in making me look like an idiot... unless I'm poking fun at myself and my handling of a life situation.

    As far as spam goes, I'm not aware of anything in Blogger that will sort out the little weasels.
    Wordpress has the advantage in that respect, and even then some gets through.

  7. I will not air any type of dirty laundry on my blog, or call anyone out.

    I won't blog about politics either.

  8. Well now, I haven't ever seen a private body part as the image for a follower. That sure is a new one I haven't heard of before.

    I am just now starting to get anonymous comments, both from actual people, and for ads. I was blogging for a good six months before they recently started showing up.

    As for taboo, I do not write about sex, religion, politics, abortion, personal family matters (unless it's harmless funny stuff), or my job. However, I do comment about them on other blogs in response to a post that they have written about one of those topics. I never give my opinion about these issues on MY BLOG, but I do when responding to THEIR post.

    As for "how to" questions, I still can't figure out how people make "buttons". Such as one that identifies your blog, or for awards, etc. I saw instructions for doing them, but darn if I can follow them. They are just too technical for me. If someone could post a very simple, as in VERY SIMPLE "how to", I would love to make a blog button that identifies my blog.

  9. we pretty much have the same list. i don´t blog about politics- which living the basque country is a hot topic- and erase all comments that try to impose their basque views on me.... so much fun... hugs!

  10. My list is pretty similar to yours although I will comment on posts about sex as long as it is either a tasteful or humorous post that has been written by a blogger who I enjoy reading.

  11. I won't talk about sex or anything personal related to family problems or conflict. Some things are too personal for the public.

  12. I would only tough the subject of sex in a humorous manner, I would not blog in any slandering way or that might be hurtful to any one. As far as comments go, well if ya'll can't be nice just don't leave a comment.

    God bless ya'll and have a fabulous day!!!

  13. I started getting occasional spam comments after I dropped word verification. I went to settings and under commenting, I put comment moderation on posts older than ten days. I find spam most often is on older posts. That way I can reject the comment before it reaches my blog...and I usually have half a dozen or so per week that need to be rejected.
    I have family and friends that read my blog, so I only blog about things I would not be embarrassed to have them read. I do blog and comment about sexual topics, but only in a humorous and I hope inoffensive way. I won't blog about politics or religion, although I have occasionally commented on someone else's post if I agree with them. (I don't want to get into an argument about politics with anyone.)

  14. To answer your questions u should really address them to the forum... They have helped me out alot... I bet u are getting spammed w/the anonymous... could the anonymous be the one u blocked? The forum could probably look into your site and see where the IP's are coming from...

  15. is there anything I won't blog about?

    well, obviously i write present all slices of the Mrs. Hall pie...

    but, I am poetic, not pornographic about it.

    and really. that's the power of my blog. mine is a personal narrative type blog.

    so yeah.

    good luck with the toy/viagra comments.


  16. Um, I think you know the answer to most of those questions as they apply to me. But you know, if you blog to please an audience that is sometimes nameless and faceless then you end up filtering and moderating yourself. Why bother writing at all. On the other hand, I have had things erupt - even innocent things - so brutal honesty can sometimes be a slippery slope. Still - I say what's on my mind. If that's offensive to anyone I apologize and completely understand if they don't come back.

    Sometimes I think an anonymous blog is the only way to go. Maybe some day I'll start one.

    Thanks for the blog tips Joanna. I love that you provide this service and maintain a va jay jay free zone.

  17. Joanna, I always love coming here. Usually I don't talk about politics, religion, and sex. Or if I do certainly not in an offending way. I just don't understand why some people leave the comments they do. I was on another blog once, and a scathing remark was left by a commenter, and were being left regularly, I commented that if they had nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. then I worried what if they start harassing me. but nothing ever happened...anyway lots to learn I guess. I expect the unexpected now and then hopefully I won't be surprised. The Vjay is a first. Taake care my friend.

  18. I don't blog about religion or politics. I don't really blog about sex other than to make a snarky remark or two. I would never go into great detail about it.

    I have been getting more spam lately too. I don't know why.

  19. I use comment moderation, that way I can delete all anon and objectionable comments before they show in my comments box.

    I will not comment about sex...
    I will however, blog about sex in a very fleeting way (like: Stew is getting lucky tonigh), but NO DETAILS.

    I will NEVER blog about religion... I have my view on that but respect everyone's right to their own views. Sometimes I have left a comment about religion, but only to point out that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  20. The lady in question obviously does not find it an attractive proposition to make a comment with her calling card on my blog!! LOL
    However I do freuently get thank you comments for my assistance with material for students 'degrees', 'essays' and debates. I know not why because a lot of what I say is under the unberella of 'creative writing' and is entirely fictitious humour.
    Also, unbelievably I get a full page comment now and then from someone offering the services of a dating agency. To these guys if you are watching, listen good, "I already have one Mrs Bluelights, another would be absolutely impossible to deal with no matter what additional attractions she may have." LOL
    Great post Joanna ~ Eddie

  21. Hi Joanna,
    Just wanted to let you know that I'm still here and wanted to thank you for your kind words; it means a lot.

  22. i had to put up comment mod for posts over 7 days old as anonymous was hitting older posts. it has cut back quite a bit now and is easy enough to reject when needed.

    things i wont write about...have yet to find one...other than i watch my tone and i dont get personal. well at least not with real names. smiles.

  23. I'll blog about any old nonsense (and usually do) However, if I post a comment on someone else's bog I always put my name rather than 'anonymous'

  24. Learn something new every day! Thank you for the how to block a follower information! Very cool. I didn't know this can be done!

  25. There are things I won't blog about mainly for fear of offending someone else. I won't blog about something that I would find offensive so I try to blog from that perspective. I'm pretty open minded about most things but draw the line on some other things. Now doesn't THAT tell you a lot! HA! I was kind of concerned when I posted about the spastic bladder thing but heck, if it might help someone else, I didn't mind "sharing" TOO much. IT HURT!! And it might save some other person some issues.

  26. There are things I won't blog about mainly for fear of offending someone else. I won't blog about something that I would find offensive so I try to blog from that perspective. I'm pretty open minded about most things but draw the line on some other things. Now doesn't THAT tell you a lot! HA! I was kind of concerned when I posted about the spastic bladder thing but heck, if it might help someone else, I didn't mind "sharing" TOO much. IT HURT!! And it might save some other person some issues.

  27. There are things I won't blog about mainly for fear of offending someone else. I won't blog about something that I would find offensive so I try to blog from that perspective. I'm pretty open minded about most things but draw the line on some other things. Now doesn't THAT tell you a lot! HA! I was kind of concerned when I posted about the spastic bladder thing but heck, if it might help someone else, I didn't mind "sharing" TOO much. IT HURT!! And it might save some other person some issues.

  28. I'm going to have to check my followers to make sure there's nothing crazy there. I've been getting lots of spam lately, so I've gone to moderating comments, so the spam never is posted.

  29. I have to say, I had not heard of anyone using such a personal photo as an avatar. What are people thinking? Would they behave this way in real life? I started a post about this very topic (sans porn photos) yesterday. I haven't finished it yet.

    As for what I won't blog about, my list would be pretty much the same as yours but I would include politics and religion. I have my own feelings on both, but I don't generally share because I just don't care to debate them.

    I enjoy posting humorous "slice of life" stories the most, but lately, I feel a bit like you did a few months back. Like I'm losing my blogging mojo.

    I will occasionally comment on other's sex posts, but only if they are meant to be humorous. I would never share any personal details of my own!

  30. Unbelievable! A VJJ?? What will happen next? Good thing she figured out how to remove it. And thanks for the tips. I don't blog about religion, politics, or sex. Same as most of the others. Though I will comment on other blogs that have to do with these topics.

  31. Oh gosh, that's wayyyy too up close and personal. I took the followers thing off my blogs entirely, anyway. I can still be followed, I just don't display it.

    On my poetry blog, I will compose poetry about any subject, but I strive for beauty, humor or pathos, not shock or nastiness. Also, I am particular that it remain a woman-friendly space. I moderate comments more closely on the poetry blog than at my satire blog.

    I see comments, given or received, as equivalent to walking into someone's home. What's ok one place isn't ok next door. It depends on the person, and how well we know each other. I try to behave as i would if that person were standing in front of me.

  32. Thanks for the helpful information about blocking followers. So far I have not had any problem there at all but I do get spam comments. To the same old post every day. I have comment moderation on my blog so it doesn't get through but it is still annoying. I really hate the word verification step but when I put it up it did stop those, someone must have it set up to send automatically or something.

    As far as what I won't write about well my blog is tied to our farm/business so I don't write about anything too controversial. I don't write about sex, (well other than to joke about bucks in rut and their hormones but is a farm blog and that happens here. hehe) Sometimes I would like to start a anonymous blog so I could write about things like politics but then I realize I just don't need that much drama!

  33. Hmmm...I'm a pretty transparent blogger and just started a marriage blog. So far, I don't have a problem discussing anything, but I'm sure I'll soon be put to the test.

  34. Sometimes I feel like I go bee bopping along in blogland spewing my granny good advice. I have to watch that, because I sometimes (to my ears) sound like I know it all. Surprise, I am sure, I do not. This post is a wonderful help and I am saving this info. You are great. And when you run for office I will vote for you, even campaign for you.

  35. You might check out this blog and what she has to say on comment moderation, it may be helpful.

  36. Hi there, well I have a 'questionable' follower. He has made some nice and innocent comments on my art work but when I went to look at his blog thinking he might be an artist too I found that some of the blogs he is following are 'sex blogs' and rather rude. I haven't blocked him as in all fairness he's been decent enough to me but I have to admit, knowing the sorts of blogs that he follows puts me off interacting with him. So unfortunetly I don't respond to his comments that he sometimes has left. This has also led me to think about what I'm posting a bit more I do talk about my children and family from time to time but I'm reluctant to say too much and put up photos of them. So it's mostly an art blog, but that's what I started it for in the first place i suppose. One thing I can say about my experience with blogging as a whole, I have been quite taken aback and touched but the lovely people out there that I have met over the past 12 months so I'm really happy about that!!! :0)

  37. Great post and good info. I try to keep my blog interesting and fun and not too serious. I do touch on subjects that are important to me at the time. I will talk about health and family things, but nothing tooooo personal. I do not talk about sex, I don't think I've ever talked about religion and if I do ever talk about politics, it would be more of generalizations I think. I just like to talk.... :)

  38. I'll write about almost anything, but I'm pretty much of a prude when push comes to shove. I confess I'm a little racier in my comments... since I don't have to worry about employers or family seeing my comments.

  39. Wow, Joanna, lots in this post. The comments seem to say that most ( or at least many) of your followers are on the same page on what they will and won't blog about and comment on. I have had a lot of the same spam that was mentioned. I am way too much of a wuss to write about anything too controversial and I definately don't feel it is my place to write about serious things in other people's lives in a revealing way,

  40. JJ,
    I have only been following your blog for a short while but find your posts hit alot of commonality which is probably why your blog has grown in popularity.
    At one time I kept my blog anonymous so I could write what ever I was thinking or feeling and then eventually let a few friends and family have access. I now find I am considering starting a third blog so I can again be outrageous or uncensored if I so choose however I'm probably likely to remain in the safety zone and tend to avoid talking about sex, politics or religion. It might be fine though for other people.
    I have come to view my blog as my own journey into self awareness and self acceptance so what other people think seems less important to me at times.
    Whew, that was a long one. Peace.

  41. Good info - your comment section still shows the 'anonymous' selection. I notice someone above suggested Disqus - I switched and think it's great. I had gotten some spam comments before but never enough to be a problem.

    Oh, I avoid from very personal things, politics, religion, hot issues. I really want readers to relax and lighten up a bit.

  42. I try to keep it PG-13; I don't want to offend but at the same time it is my blog, so I try to stay true to myself. I won't go into politics or religion much, but I don't mind if other people do.

  43. I have to be careful what I write about because family reads mine.

  44. I just blog about life and what catches me that day. I've pretty much stopped checking out a bunch of other blogs, I know that seems dumb, but I'm happy with my little circle of "friends" and don't really need to expand. But staying "small" also keeps me safe in a way. I think some spammers think I'm too small to bother with.

  45. Politics is generally off-limits for me. And I can't imagine writing about anything that I don't want my kids reading.. because they do.

    I think if you click on Registered Users in the Comments Settings, you'd eliminate Anonymous comments and leave the rest intact. I get those paper-writing comments too. And those which say that my blog is getting better but I should try posting some photos. Almost all I do is post photos. :) I have no idea what they might be gaining by doing that.

  46. Good to know!

    And, really?

    A vajayjay just staring back at her? Some people really fly their freak flags high, don't they?


  47. Oh my... funny and scary! I'm on Wordpress and we don't have the Followers thing...

    I don't ever blog about anything private, and never write anything I wouldn't be proud of my kids reading.

  48. I'm with you on what to not blog about. I would never blog an email that was meant for one person and then displayed for the whole world to see. That's between the author of the email and the receiver of the email, only, unless given permission. I will also not divulge information concerning my kids or Boo's emotional, physical or spiritual state of mind unless they have given me permission and even then, I don't think it gives me the right to blog about it. I think that some bloggers overstep boundaries on what to reveal and what to keep to themselves. I can be honest about things that I feel may help others but I don't believe in shock value blogging.

    Good info on blocking followers.

  49. Va jay jay <3 that, and that is just foul! your poor friend! people suck!!!

    As far as I know there is something in the settings where you can see all your comments and delete them,... but i am sure you already know that,....

    As far as what I won't talk about, most likely not and certian peeps that read my blog, moreover in laws and mother,.. their crazy train speaks for it's self,..however I have thought about writing a secret blog so I could let people in on the crazy sandwich I have been served up,... boo!

  50. The spam thing is getting annoying, I may have to add the word verifying thing. Bothersome.

    and I keep the blog content tame, because like others have said, my kids do and may read, and some stories are not mine to tell.

  51. I have been being plagued with spammers lately. Including one dude who keeps talking about the day we can trasfer our brain to an electronic device. I can't quite grasp why anyone would even dream of such a thing. I'm quite partial to where my brain is located right now! I also get a lot of those x rated Chinese comments. The first few times I felt violated, but by now I'm so used to them I can delete them without getting into a tizzy.

    I have comment moderation on for anything older than 14 days and have been seriously considering no longer allowing comments from anonymous commenters. Some of my friends don't have online accounts and I enjoy their comments so I hate to make that they can no longer voice their thoughts.

    Thanks for this post!

  52. I keep a few cards close to my chest in my blog, but for comments I'm actually more forthcoming.
    Seems like blog spam is awful again--but weird followers, that's just nutty. Makes you wonder WHY?

  53. My blog got hacked thru Blogger. Everything you do it redirects. Had to stop using it for now. Be sure and keep your password really difficult.

  54. There are two things I will not post about and they are religion and politics. If someone blogs about these two subjects, I just come back when they have a new post. It is hard to believe someone would do that. Have a nice weekend.

  55. Pop in, i have something for you:

  56. I found it's hard to stay focused, whitin the scope of my blog. There are many things that hapen or that I find interesting, that don't realy fit in my blog. Sometimes people write provocative posts just to get more comments. I don't think it's worth getting comments at all costs, but then again, there are all kinds of blogs out there.
    Thank you for your post. Very informative, as are the comments people left on this subject.

  57. Thanks so much for the wonderful advice, Joanna! There are a few subjects that I avoid, for many of the same reasons that others have expressed in the comments, here!

  58. Interesting comments and fun to see how we all tackle topics.

    I do blog about sex and try to do it in a way that's sometimes funny, sometimes informative -never vulgar. I feel that as a mid-life woman the conversation is one that we/I ought to be having.
    I think we need more honest open, non-violent, non-exploitative dialogue about sex in our culture, so I go there.

    I don't in general blog about religion or politics because I don't want to force opinions on readers or bring up contentious subjects. I do rant about family, rarely, though I try to keep it clean and anonymous.

  59. When I was using Blogger commenting I was able to block Anonymous comments after receiving a very insulting one, but of course I don't remember how I did it. I have seen on other blogger blogs the comment form specifically saying that it does not accept anonymous comments.

    I will not blog about very personal details that are going on in my life at the moment. I won't just randomly bitch about my life. I will pretty much blog about anything as long as it can be done respectfully and does not slander someone.

  60. I can't believe I am just now stumbling upon your blog! I love what I've seen and can't wait to come back to explore a little more. I do have comment-envy though, I'll admit right up front.
    There's not much I won't blog about indirectly,including sex, politics and religion, but I try to keep it respectful (my mother and my 8th grade English teacher read my blog!) which means I won't use the F-bomb. Also, by request, I don't blog about my name, anyway. Otherwise, anything goes!

  61. Oh when I wasnt blogging for the past few months I found I was getting so many spam comments and the posts were so far back it was hard to remove them. So I changed my comments so that any I get that are more than three days after I post I have to approve them first. I dont think that made sense. So, at least it allows me to reject them now.

    As for the follower, mmm not good. I think I am like Mike Smith, he said on my latest blog post that he was an old fashioned duffer, lol. There is a time and place for everything.

    I do not blog about a lot of personal things (that could be contentious) because once they are out there its impossible to retrieve them. So I tend to keep my topics general really. No topics are off limits but you will not get me talking about too much personal stuff when I do discuss them. A bit of mystery is a good thing. I find it cringeworthy at times reading too much info about peoples lives. And I find I start to judge them which is not a good thing.

    It's tough really but I think you strike a very happy medium that works extremely well. I need to do more photos I think and I have found I lost my sense of humor while I was away. I need to get that back again...have a great Saturday where you are.

  62. Great post Joanna! I don't mind when people write about quuestioable things, but just like you said, if I can't say anything nice I will click away so I don't have to be unkind : ). Ii have been getting millions of offers for viagra too! It is annoying. I don't like the chinese character person who leaves SO many annoying comments for chinese porn... What in the world?

  63. I have a lil sometin for you over at my blog! have a great day ;)


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