I encourage all comments that are respectful and nice. In fact, I’ve never not approved a real comment, though I don’t let the spam through. You’d have to write something pretty nasty for me to not approve the comment.
The first time you comment, your comment will be held for moderation. Later, if you use the same name, email address, and website (or not), your comments will appear immediately. But if you make an error with your email address, then the comment will again be held for moderation. It’s also possible that if you put multiple links into a comment that it might be held. That and holding new commenters for moderation is one way to prevent spam comments, which would quickly overrun the blog otherwise. But regular commenters see their comments published immediately.
You don’t have to use a real email address to post a comment. As far as I know, I’m the only one who ever sees your email address. I’m not in the habit of emailing folks who leave a comment unless they have asked me to, or unless I have some reason to want to send a private message. I don’t use these emails for any marketing purpose whatsoever. And I’ve never sent a bulk email to all subscribers. I figure if I want to tell everyone something, I’ll just blog it. But again, if you wish, you can make up a fake email in order to register a comment.
As for WordPress, I don’t think they ever use the email addresses either. I’ve never gotten spam that I could tell came via WordPress. That said, they clearly have access to email addresses and I can’t be responsible for what they do with them.
Thanks for your comments. Reading and responding to comments is a lot of fun, and I totally enjoy the feedback. Also sometimes interesting discussions happen in the comments section here, so keep ’em coming!
Thanks and Saludos!
El Gringo Suelto