Thursday, July 12, 2007

FAQ: Comments and E-Mails

These FAQ have been posted at Coconut & Lime and have been in effect for both sites since 2006. I am posting the ones pertaining to comments and e-mails here for ease of use.

I left a comment and now it is gone/it never appeared on the site. What happened?
I generally don't delete comments. However, if it is spam, very unclear/incoherent, not relevant to the post, abusive, asks a question covered in the FAQ or if it appears to be made in duplicate, to be solely self promotional or made in error, it may be deleted. Comments and/or questions that require a response are best e-mailed to me directly.

I may on an extremely rare occasion respond to a comment in the comments section if I have no other way of contacting the person and then delete it and my response after I feel comfortable the original poster saw my response. However, I have disabled anonymous comments so if you do not have an OpenID or a Google/Blogger log in and have a question you will need to e-mail me directly or contact the company concerned.

I have comment moderation enabled, your comment will only be posted after approval so there might be some delay between when you post the comment and when I get a chance to approve it. Keep in mind that I have the ablity to schedule posts to appear in the future. I am not always in town or available when a post goes up and as a result it might take longer for me to moderate your comment. There is no reason to post the same comment more than once in a 24 hour period.

I'd also like to point out that the comments section of a recipe are not the place to lecture me or my readers on fitness, nutrition, or health issues. Please keep comments as positive and relevant as possible. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but sometimes someone else's blog isn't the best place to express it.

Why do you have comment moderation?
I am not “screening” my comments per se, I am trying to eliminate spam and unrelated comments from the blog. It also helps to keep duplicate comments made in error or unrelated questions from appearing on the site.

I e-mailed you and didn't get a response. What happened?
I try to reply to every email within 24 hours. However, I get upwards of one hundred blog related e-mails a day and it can be difficult to keep up. If a number of days have gone by and you still haven't received a response, feel free to e-mail me again; I might not have received it or it might have been accidentally filtered out as spam. Please do not e-mail me the same question or post the same comment twice in a 24 hour period. I am the only one running this blog and it can take a while for me to moderate your comment or respond. Food Maven is the place where I post simply for fun, my full time job is developing recipes for Coconut & Lime and my clients, my recipe columns, food writing and my public speaking. Occasionally I have to put Food Maven on the back burner to deal with my paying work and clients. Again, I have the ablity to schedule posts to appear in the future and as a result I am not always in town or available when a post goes up and it might take longer for me to respond to your e-mail.

I asked a question in the comments section and it wasn't answered. What happened?
I get so many comments and e-mails between the two blogs, occasionally I miss that a comment has a question in it. That is why I always suggest e-mailing me directly if you have a question that needs to be answered.

I have a question about a product...
I do not work for the companies that make the products I post about and thus have no "insider information" as to where to buy them or what ingredients make up the product. I am also not a spokesperson for any company. Food Maven is a blog I created for fun where I can post short profiles of products I personally have tried and enjoyed enough to share with the general public. I am not necessarily an expert on the products posted or interested in spending time debating their relative merits. What I post is generally either the only information I have about the product or what I felt was the most interesting or relevant.

If you have questions or concerns about a product, it is best to contact the company that makes the product directly. Again, I have no special connection to these companies and only know what any consumer would.

A quick note about questions:
Google is your friend! A lot of the more general questions I get (what's the address of that store you mentioned, where can I buy XXX, what are goji berries etc) can be answered via a quick Google search. While I try to answer these questions and will try to get back to you, I do get a tremendous amount of comments and e-mails each day, so it will quicker to look for the answer yourself.

You can look and see what store sells a certain product in your area just the same (better, even, because you know where you live and what stores you like to shop in) as I can. I frequently travel and purchase new products to share with you all over the East Coast and frankly I don't always remember where I tried or bought something. I also might try something many months before I post about it which makes it even more difficult to remember exactly what restaurant or store I found it in.

Most companies have a website and when possible I link to it so you can click through for further information, use their retail locator, shop at their online store or contact the company directly about their products or where to buy them.

You can also call around to your local stores (as I do!) for help in locating specific items. If they don't currently carry it, many stores will special order a product for you. While I do like to help, it can be a bit much to respond to each and every "where did you buy this" question when you can find the answer in less time then it takes me to respond.