Ban People Who Forget to Use Their Real Name?

Quick question:

Should I delete comments from people on this blog who post with names like "Affiliate Store" or "Forex Business Credit"... a handle instead of their real HUMAN name?

fake-namesWhen you do that on my blog, I feel like I can't use your name when I reply to you... I feel like you're only here to get linkbacks to your site, and it messes with my search engine relevancy.

You market the most effectively when you can show you're a real person... that's why so many people put their picture on their sales letter, create video, use their real names on forums, post blog comments with gravatar images, and sell using webinars.

Should I delete those comments, yes or no?

Filed in: Personal

Comments (64)

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  1. Dave says:

    Tough call. I would say that depends on the quality of the page being linked to. But that is way too much work. An easier standard would be the quality of the comment.

    Obviously comments of the ilk “great post. I love the info” and a link to a pharma splog are out. But if a comment provides unique content – don’t parrot a previous commenter – allowing the link can be seen as an exchange that profits both parties.

    Whatever the decision, the standard itself must be easy to implement on your end.

  2. Halsey says:

    Yeah, I think you really need to consider the comment. A quick “nice post” with a link, toss it, though too many of those from the same person, even with a name would probably bother me as well.

    That said, if they are adding real value to the discussion, I think how they choose to identify themselves is fairly irrelevant. Yes being identified as a ‘real person’, may get the best results, but I think people should be able to build a brand under any identity they choose.

    The other side is, business names can be obvious, but a real name, vs. a pen name, or ‘screen name’ not always. That’s my real first name on this post, and I use it regularly online. I quite often get asked my real name online…

  3. Hi Robert,

    I think it’s okay unless they link to a totally unrelated site selling drugs, or if they make a comment like ‘Nice post, I’m interested in this subject’.



  4. Adam Maywald says:

    I agree with Halsey. What really matters is the discussion they’re bringing, not so much the link. Everyone wants a link and for me, it’s a small price to pay for a good comment/viewpoint.

  5. You might want to make exceptions to the rule. For example, when I post comments on blog, I use the following on the name field (just like I did with your post):

    “Bryan –” or “Bryan – After5PC”

    Sort of like a signature line, with a name and title


  6. Sorry… this is a follow-up to my earlier comment.

    Of course, you have to consider the content of the comment, as the others have already suggested.

    On my own network of sites, I don’t mind as long as they are contributing to the topic at hand. I’ve had to delete those that clearly were just meant to spam. Their comment had nothing to do with the article or topic, and you could tell they are just promoting their link.

  7. Ron Barrett says:

    Hey Robert!

    After reading the post and comments so far, I think (and I may be totally off base here) that the point is being missed.

    If you re-read the headline, the most important word is ‘forget’.

    Do these people really ‘forget’ their names or are they intentionally entering a bogus one?

    I totally agree with the comments that if the content is relevant, sure, allow them, but if it isn’t, delete/spam/block the person/bot who is leaving it.

    As for whether or not they ‘forget’ to use their real name…absolutely not, it’s done intentionally.

    But, that’s just my two cents.

  8. No, because when I respond I am responding from my business.

    Also, like ohers have stated, providing the comments are relevant and are not attempts to blatantly spam, mislead others, promote products that have nothing to do with your market or do anything unethical (and building backlinks is not unethical) then you should leave them as is.

  9. Again, most important is the quality of the comment. But I, too, would consider the quality lower automatically just because of the false name.

    And, after all, to comment you say “Name (required).” I think that makes it pretty clear you expect a name.

    So I think you’re justified in blocking those without a name.

    As a reader I’m more impressed with a comment from a person than from a thing. Not just more impressed with your site, but with them, so more likely to take an interest in them. For example:

    I used my full name here, and my website. And you do include the link in your comment pages. So, if someone is interested in what I sell based on what I wrote, they’ll click. And, since this comment has nothing to do with how to create a sales page website easily using, they probably won’t. But… oops… I just made it about that, which I usually don’t, but if I do get a click it will be a much more valuable click. Real interest, instead of a passing view.

    So, better for all if you use a real name. And a full name, so much more believable.

  10. Matt Bisogno says:


    Delete the link – leave the message.

    I hate comment spam, but I love comments.

    That’s what I do to get the best of both worlds…

    Keep up the good work Robert.

    Matt Bisogno

    p.s. your action popup tripled my opt-ins – good work fella! (as we say in London)

  11. GUILTY!

    Don’t know if you were referring to me or not but I try to add good content but I am also aware that if I link my page to a relevant keyword that will help me even more so.

    I also want my page click upon by visitors and am aware that if I make it different than all the names listed it will draw more attention.

    I’m going to read everyone’s opinion about this.


  12. I like the name and signature line in the name idea. It personalizes it and yet acts like a headline.

    Again I do see the need for content


  13. Fox says:

    Robert, on my blogs we will delete the link but keep the comment if it’s relevant and provides value to the conversation.
    I’m not an SEO expert by any means. You’re comment links are No Follow so, does that really take away any SEO/link juice to you? I know it doesn’t give the commenter the SEO love they’re probably searching for.
    Am I wrong on these last questions?

  14. Gren Bingham says:

    Hi Robert,

    Possibly you could emphasise that you want a HUMAN name in the Name (required) slot, not an organisation or handle!

    Generally I agree with the people saying it really depends on the quality and relevance of the comment. If it is pertinent, well written, and interesting I am happy with it.

    Best regards, Gren.

  15. JanPaul says:

    Delete the link and the comment Robert. You owe it to the serious vistors of your pages. There is the risk that your targetgroup doesn’t come back, when it gets too spammy.

    By taking away the comments as well, you really give them the finger.

    Also it’s a clear sign to big G, that you are not a spamsite. You don’t want to get slapped because of some silly posters, do you?

  16. John Counsel says:

    When there are no consequences, the wrong lessons are learned.

    In the training profession, one of your most important roles is to ensure that the right lessons are learned — so you have to ensure that consequences occur.

    Push the envelope, run the risk.


    Makes bladerunners think twice, and serious readers know that you, too, are serious.

  17. David Hooper says:

    Most blogs ban these comments. I definitely do. It’s just people trying to get links to their sites and most of the work is outsourced or automated.

  18. Steve says:

    Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

    Your house, your rules.

  19. Ryan says:

    I agree that for the name it should be a real name but also allow one anchor text on the bottom of their comment – which you can approve or disapprove if it’s abused. I would disapprove if the anchor text link goes straight to an affiliate sales page.
    I would also delete comments that just say generic things like – nice post etc.
    I was so excited about getting my first comment to my blog which said “I like your writing style…..blah, blah, blah” until I checked with Google and found there is software that searches for blogs that allow comments and posts these generic comments automatically. There were thousands of the exact same comments posted to thousands of blogs.

    Digital Photography Tips – Turn Your Hobby Into A Business

  20. Bryan Bliss says:

    I want to weigh in and suggest separating the 2 issues.
    I would choose to implement ‘keywordluv” plugin that actually allows users who are looking for keyword in their link to submit that IN ADDITION to their name, to make it an option .
    I’m fine with a dofollow comment link, AND a top commentators link on my blog too.
    I would also choose to exercise personal veto rights and delete any comments that do not satisfy my quality criteria.
    I would even extend this quality control to censoring/deleting good comments and links to sites just because i disagree morally with the site or business model itself.
    I have a real disdain for MLM and gambling sites and have seen other parasitic type sites that I would not even let a comment get through regardless of the quality of content that they supplied simply because i do not want to be associated with sleeze-merchants even IF they have valid, compelling interesting points that my readers might like.
    My blog, my rules
    but enjoy links and keywords if I like your site and comments.
    all others if I dont want you in My group on My domain then piss off.
    Just my 2 cents.
    im not offended with self promotion or keywords, just scammers and “me too” wannabes with no personality or contribution.
    thanks and take care
    bryan Bliss
    aka “Faceman”
    p.s you dont owe anything to anyone, its your show, your domain, your rules, like it or leave.

  21. A lot of the time, people have valid posts to make, but don’t necessarily want them indexed under their name.

    The reasons, in these days when all the world is connected, should be obvious. A lot of people have jobs where running their own business, even if in their own time, would breach their conditions of employment.

    Further, when applying for other professional jobs, most employers nowadays do a thorough study of potential employee’s online activities.

    The sensible solution, to post either under a fake name, or a representative name. Personally, I find the latter far less offensive and it looks less like a deliberate attempt to mislead readers.

    If you are posting your opinions as a member of a business, again you would want to use the company name to make it clear that it is a business response, not a personal response. For most people there is a wide difference. The opinions I would be expected to post as an employee are not always the same ones I would give if posting from a personal perspective.

  22. Scott Thrall says:

    Interesting question. I guess it depends the side your looking from.

    If you are the blog owner, comments that are so blatantly directed at only advertising the commentors interest just has no place.

    As an ethical blogger and commentor…comments should be of value to the community. If you write those then you would be proud to let people know who you are…

  23. Mike says:


    In general, I have to agree with both Halsey and Matt, despite their partially opposing views.

    Obvious spam should always be deleted, of course, while good, relevant comments ought to be kept.

    So, if you get a good comment with only a website URL as the name of the poster, then show it but disable the link. That way, the identity of the poster is still recognizable to you and your regular commenters over time for personal decisions about that person’s character and true interest in posting to your blog, while anyone really wanting to visit the commenter’s site can still find it via Google or another search engine easily enough.

    To do this automatically (if you don’t moderate the comments yourself in real time, which clearly would keep you from other tasks), you would have to adjust your script to filter the Name field for the at-sign, slash, colon, ampersand, underscore, question-mark, and anything else not likely to be part of a real person’s name. Exceptions would be hyphen, period, and comma, which do occur in personal names. Then, disable the link if the filter indicates a URL-like name.

    On the other hand, if the required Name field is blank but the Website field has an entry, you can either follow a strict policy of rejection or suspend acceptance until a non-URL name is supplied (not a repeat of the Website field entry).

    Another technique you can bring to bear on this problem is to filter comments by word count whenever (and only when) the Name field is either blank or contains a URL. You decide what that word count should be, and do not publish your decision. Then, comments below your secret required length in these cases can be rejected (without revealing the mechanism as the reason), while longer comments (more likely to be relevant) can be kept. You can test the cutoff length over time to find its optimum value, and update your script accordingly.

    Do you think implementing these suggestions would enhance the value of your ActionComments script? I’m already on your update list. 😉

    Anyway, thanks for posting this issue, as it certainly is a question on many bloggers’ minds.

  24. John Edgley says:

    I think that several very different issues are involved here. Firstly there’s the obvious “spam content” issue and they should be immediately deleted – after that it gets more complicated.

    I have no objection in principle to handles (nicknames) and in some forums, imo, they are more appropriate, and can be highly amusing. Emails can be sent to nicknames, and they will read well, however in many cases these “names” are not even handles – they are just blatant plugs.

    I also believe it is cowardly to hide behind an alias of any sort when levelling criticism – at such times it seems to me that real names are definitely called for.

    It doesn’t affect the link in any way except to make it more obvious that it is a link – and that isn’t necessarily a good thing – I certainly avoid them like the plague (or should that now be “swine flu”) unless the comment quality is exceptional.

    If I have used a nickname for a post or comment I usually sign off with my real name anyway, and some forums have a place for both, which I think is excellent (you haven’t Robert – perhaps that’s a plug-in in the making!).

    For me 8. above is unacceptable, not least because it’s ridiculous (if I type my reply from the bathroom should I call myself “bogsitter”) and is’nt even signed off with a real name – it would be deleted if it were down to me.

    Furthermore, whilst link building may be ethical it isn’t the primary purpose of Roberts blog/comments and it certainly isn’t his problem. Maybe a couple of other “names” are questionable, but the majority are ok.

    In general using a real name shows respect for the blog owner (even if you are disagreeing with something) and tends to indicate that the writer has sufficient integrity to “own” his comment or post. It is also, therefore, more likely to be treated with respect.

  25. People in many niches will find your blog posts relevant and appealing, so just as long as their comments are on topic, I’d go ahead and allow the comments from people who use a pseud or site name rather than real name.

    The posts I tend to erase are those that blatantly promote products within the body of the comment, or are seriously off-topic.

    Liz Nichols

  26. Pol vanRhee says:

    I just wonder about those poor people whose parents named them in the 60’s. How do you know some hippy commune born fellow isn’t named “Backlinks Generator”? After all we have Dweezil and Apple and Blanket.

  27. Mike says:

    Robert, I also must agree with the following commenters who posted while I was writing my earlier comment:

    Ryan — Good idea about the single anchor text and standardized position, though it could be time-consuming to check the destination URL effectively. The type of text appearing in automated comments can be identified with a rule-based approach (and I know how, if anyone is interested).

    Bryan Bliss — Certainly the blog owner has and should exercise these rights continuously and consistently. State it in the Terms of Service as Rules to Be Followed When Commenting.

    Impact Productions — Valid points, so perhaps there should be TWO Name fields, one for a personal name and one for a business name, and at least ONE of those MUST be filled in (with something other than a URL), while the other would be optional at the discretion of the commentor. Leaving both blank would trigger a pop-up reminder of the requirement, which — if ignored — would block the comment — or even cause it to vanish on the spot by flushing the comment box to emphasize the strictness of the rule.

    Robert, you’ll have to raise the price of your script if you add all this in! 😉

  28. HI Robert,

    this discussion has been quite educational…

    I don’t seem to have too much of a problem with those grey zone type comments. Either people make a contribution (and those generally use their own name) or they’re spamming me, in which case they’re deleted pronto, and mostly before I even see them (thanks to Akismet).

    I didn’t realize that a link (one link) in the comment was spam, especially if it was part of the sig line or was to a site that provided relevant information.

    I also agree with Impact Production’s comment about the need to be discreet, lest the boss finds out about one’s online activities. Some people have more sensitive professions than others, so this makes sense. And a handle is indeed more “honest” than a fake name.

  29. Sharon Deloy says:

    I see that when I leave a comment that my name is required. That is my real name. I have a nickname, but only use it occasionally.

    I think the website connected to the name needs to be scrutinized. It can lead to many objectionable sites.

    You should be able to yank out any posts you see fit. Some bloggers read the comments before they are posted.

    Whatever way you go, I will always be here to support you.

    Sharon Deloy

  30. Rich C. says:

    I suppose if the comment is of value – and not obviously generated by some blog spamming thing..then I’d leave it. On my own blogs, I get tons of “this is a very interesting subject, and I enjoyed reading about it” blah blah blah with links back to their affiliate links or whatever. Since I’m in moderate mode..those never see the light of day.

  31. Rodney says:

    If the comment has value, I leave it but that’s because I’ve put my keywords as my name sometimes too. I stopped doing it for two reasons:

    1. I thought it might get my comments deleted (or not get through moderation) and

    2. I want to make sure that I have links pointing to my site that don’t have my keywords in them so that linking looks more natural.

    In any case, if people put keywords as their names and you don’t like it, try adding something to the “Leave a comment” message that says

    “Please don’t put keywords into the name field when you leave a comment.”


  32. If they add anything of value then I allow the comment, depends on my mood too.

  33. LOL –

    My two cents is, if it’s a thoughtful and relevant comment, I’ll let it slide, but if the comment is borderline, and i cant quite decide whether to approve, then i delete it. – Loike Peter says, it depends on my mood too!


  34. Scott says:

    oops – I feel bad – was a live site!

  35. I like posts from humans who have names and contribute to the topic. Truth, honor and accountability are as important on the internet as in “real life”. So, if you have something to say and take the time to add your thoughts on the subject, sign it and I will post it. Anything else comes off as phony balony…or dare I say spam.

  36. Kevin Baker says:

    HI Robert,

    Yes just trash em they deserve it.

    BUT its a game of balance over reward. If the comment is reasonable then maybe drop them a line and request they be more respectful next time. Then if they don’t follow through erase them and advise them its been done and why.

    I expect people to Show some respect when they are in my house.


  37. Michael says:

    “Should I delete those comments, yes or no?”


  38. I prefer to use discretion in deciding whether a comment should be published. My general policy is that a comment that doesn’t have a real name starts with 2 strikes against it, especially if it also has a link to a web site, and needs to redeem itself with superior content. Most comments without real names are low quality but there are exceptions. There are ways to automatically filter out some of the spammy ones but a human moderator can generally spot junk in a few seconds.

    As publisher of web sites that appeal to physicians as well as other entrepreneurs, I see a few more of the types of spam comments you might expect promoting pharma affiliate links and other unsuitable destinations, but human moderation ensures that they never see the light of day. There is a cost to providing human moderation but it provides value to our readers, as do well-written articles.

    Thank you for sponsoring discussion of a great topic!

    Jose DeJesus, MD

  39. Kevin you’re assuming this is a matter of disrespect to use a keyword in your name. I disagree. This, in itself does not denote spam or disrespect. Not replying with a good comment SOLELY for the purpose of leaving a one way link back to ones site is desrespectful.


  40. Phil says:

    If you’re into moderating posts Steve Roye over at realfirststeps dot com has an idea.

    His problem is with spammy comments and he made lemonade…

    He edits the spammy post if it is on topic and deletes the offending keywords and links and puts anonymous as the name. He gets more content the spammer gets nothing.

    I’m not sure it is worth the time but it is one of the few ideas I’ve seen presented that makes something good out of it all.


  41. John Collins says:

    Hi Robert –

    What I did was edit the comment form and between the Leave a Comment and the name field I say – Place no keywords in the name field. Names only! No inappropriate or offensive comments. No links to inappropriate or offensive sites. Comments must contribute to the discussion.

    I do have the ability to edit all the comment fields including the Name, Website or delink anything. Even so I tend to uphold the comment rules I have established. Put something other than a name in the name field and I will delete the comment. Dems da rules. Don’t like it don’t comment. Play nice and so do I.

  42. Trevor Baret says:

    I find the comments of “Impact Productions” – whoever they are – to be very interesting.

    They say –
    “A lot of people have jobs where running their own business, even if in their own time, would breach their conditions of employment.”

    If they do not intend to comply with the conditions of employment, then they should not remain employed. Also, I would not like to be dealing with someone of such low integrity, and I would not like themn commenting on my blog.

    They say-
    “Further, when applying for other professional jobs, most employers nowadays do a thorough study of potential employee’s online activities.”

    If you are writing something which you don’t want to be seen by a future prospective employer, then you should reconsider before clicking “send” or “submit” Also, I would not want to employ someone who is writing ill-conceived comments on blogs.

    They say-
    “The sensible solution, to post either under a fake name, or a representative name. Personally, I find the latter far less offensive and it looks less like a deliberate attempt to mislead readers.”

    I think the sensible solution is to be careful about what you write, and to avoid breaking any laws contracts, agreements or employment conditions.

    They say that using a “representative name” “looks less like a deliberate attempt to mislead readers” – but the fact remains that such people ARE misleading readers.

    I am glad that my businesses are never represented as being lacking in integrity and making attempts to deliberately mislead other readers.

    So – Robert…

    I am in total agreement with you – real name or go away…

  43. Trevor Baret says:

    By the way…

    I would be very happy to include my photo with my comments, but I have not figured out how to do this. Would someone please explain this for me?
    Perhaps this would be a subject for a future post, Robert…


  44. Robert Plank says:


    Register at … that will make your picture visible when you leave comments on many other blogs as well.

  45. Thanks Robert

    Now let’s see if my pic shows. I’m the ugly one. My son is the cute one.


  46. Wayne Cochrane says:


    To keep it short: if people hide behind an alias or use a business name without their personal name I find it alienating.

    I would block them.


  47. Hey Robert,

    My rule of thumb is as others have indicated – if the comment is worthwhile I will approve it regardless.

    I love getting the comments like:

    “Top notch info! Keep going.”

    And of course their link leads to some viagara site.

    Judge by the quality, not the name of the poster.



  48. Michael Carey says:

    Although I occasionally use a pseudonym when requesting “free” information from someone I don’t know (for tracking purposes), I prefer to use my real name.

    While a hobo however, my “real” name was Snapshot, as is reported in several books.

  49. Sounds like there’s a book in there Snapshot


  50. Tom says:

    YES. Delete them, immediately, without reading them.

    If someone injects shameless “non” self-promotion at the top of their comment (after all, the “name” field is the very first thing they fill out) then they aren’t 100% vested in communicating with you anyway.

    It really DOES junk up your blog. Don’t tolerate it.

  51. Well, you opened a can of worms with this one, Robert!

    I am going to go with those who say you should weigh the value of the content of the comment on a case-by-case basis.

    As a general rule, the shameless self-promoters don’t add much if any value, so you can ban them without hurting anybody. They are so busy spamming they probably won’t even notice.

    If they are chronic repeat offenders, you are helping them by banning them, since they are just wasting everybody’s time — including their own.


  52. Dane Morgan says:

    This is one of those ‘there are no “right” answers’ situations. There are only right answers for you blog. Some bloggers make hard fast rules about nothing but “real Names” and end up having to delete good content because someone posted with a handle. Others make hard rules (and publicize them) about not deleting things and end up having to live with things that they don’t particularly like.

    I tend toward the idea of value. If a comment, on the whole adds value it stays, if it reduces value it goes. If it’s a toss up, I look for ways to nudge it into the add column. Like for instance emailing the commenter and asking for their name or their relevant business / blog / site name to edit into their link field.

  53. After reading some of the comments i can say how it would go down on MY blog.

    I would look at those who dont understand anything about Business, who dont understand anything about promotion, who dont understand anything about traffic and backlinks. especially the ones who actually RESENT or despise those that DO have a Business and Do embrace SEO and promotion.
    i would actually ban THOSE as the losers that do not actually add any value.
    Regardless of how good intentioned or authentically posted , if they exhibit the kind of disdain for promotion that is needed to be one of the minority successful businesses, they dont really belong adding their negative views on a blog whose topic and relavency is “how to be successful online.
    Jason Fladlien sent me a somewhat promotional, part inspirational email the other day that speaks of the “97% crowd” and descibes those who just DON’t get it.
    the People who actually self destructively resent and bring down Positive, proven and useful business building techniques bring down those who really Want to succeed.
    He said “habits are more caught than taught. You usually pick up the habits of those that you most closely associate with. ” 97% of people won’t get it and shouldnt be allowed to poison the enthusiastic empowering entrepreneur

    Now, I am not advocating spam in any way.

    If the comment is just a spammy ‘Atta boy great post, I agree” I ban it regardless of the url or keywords of the poster.

    IF the reader automatically resents and dismisses those others whose posts prefer SEO or keywords over Name, while still adding resources, solutions and empowering education then I keep the entrepreneur and Ban the loser /hater.

    “dont do that! I hate that! you Business promoters SUCK!” does not add any value but a post thats intended to provide a resource, be a solution while also being keyword savvy is a welcome addition of content and deserves a little “keywordluv plugin” link love for the value its added.

    thanks and take care
    Bryan Bliss

  54. Love ya Bryan

    No one ever got noticed doing the exact thing everyone else does and there’s always someone ready to scream witch, oops I mean spam, at the top of his or her lungs after clocking out of the hourly paid job that he or she hates


  55. miker says:

    What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.
    Abraham Lincoln

    My .02 cents…


  56. John Nada says:

    OOOh, controversy…I LOVE it!

    I think like others have said, that there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about things. I don’t really focus on comment posts/SEO as a major traffic magnet so when I post, it’s to actually join the conversation.

    I’ve never just out & out posted with a blatant spam link back to my site, but I only just recently added my picture. I’ve always used my name. So for me it was just a small technical obstacle with gravatars.

    I don’t think banning them off the bat is right, but a warning to the offender and then banning after repeated offenses is absolutely just.

  57. What I often do is to use my name, but follow it with the site name. Blog comments are usually worthless for Google juice anyway since WordPress has rel=”nofollow” enabled by default.

    If the commment is using your site for Google juice and isn’t contributing any value, it might as well be spam. Ditch it. If it’s a good comment, perhaps they’ve earned their googlebomb, not that it’s worth much with rel=”nofollow” enabled.

  58. Alexander says:

    Hi Robert,

    YOU’re the King of your blog !
    YOU’ve to set the rules upfront: choose what you thinks is right and then put that rules above the comment section (like for example Tim Ferriss did on his blog).

    What I do on my blog is to tollerate “Name @ My Site” or “Name – My Site” if the commenter really brings in value, otherwise I delete the whole comment or I edit the commenters name deleting the site name.

    I don’t tollerate when they put in only “My Site” and they get deleted in any case.


  59. Andy says:

    Picture the person building an Online Business to escape 9-5, the last thing they want is to be discovered by their employers and work mates. So I think it should be fine to not use your real name i.e. use a Pen Name.

    Potentially damaging keywords appearing on your blog could be a problem though.

  60. My opinion is, it does depend on the comment. If the comment isn’t spammy and is adding value to the blog, then why not let it stay?


  61. Jeff Bode says:

    Hey Robert

    Although it may be more time consuming…

    why not remove their link and place another name in place of what they wrote? or remove the name altogether…

    Personality sells if you show who you are people are much more likely to trust you, as you know trust is very important!

  62. You’re really getting on the verge of ethics by replacing something that someone else wrote with your own text Jeff


  63. Hi Robert and all,

    First of all, I agree with Ron! It’s obviously not about “forgetting” to include a name.

    Personally, I rarely run into a problem where it’s tough to decide what to do.

    Most people who leave product names and such actually also leave clearly spun and/or worthless posts, so I simply don’t approve them.

    I have on occasion removed a link when someone posted something relevant but I didn’t like where the link was taking things…

    Mostly, though, I leave them intact if I approve the comments.

    Thanks for raising this interesting issue!


  64. Just noticed that Andy made a really good point here — about some people needing to protect themselves from being found out about their employers, who may frown on their “outside” activities.

    So yes, there are some alternative ways to identify oneself that are legit.

    Just thinking of folks like the Barefoot Executive, and of course the Rich Jerk, etc.

    So if it’s a name like that, that’d be okay.

    A name like “Viagra RX” or anything x-rated or otherwise clearly spammy on the other hand… Not so good.

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