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A junk post about my commenting frustrations

April 15, 2009

The internet is a harsh mistress. She has acclimated us all to getting used to having things now. I remember when I was in 7th grade having to do a research project in the library with…books. Books! Can you believe it. I remember the same research project in 11th grade…we used EBSCO. InfoTrac. Hecks yes.

Yet, there are other times when this mistress, who has given us so much withholds her fortunes from us. And then I find that even though things are much more convenient than they would be without the internet, my patience is depleted to nothing.

So, one of the things I like about some blogs is how easy commenting is on them. And one of the things I hate about other blogs is how hard the very same task is.

WordPress gets pluses in my books. And I’m not just saying that because I have a wordpress blog (or am I?). WordPress makes it VERY easy to comment on a blog. You just put in your name, email, and website (if you have one). No need to sign up or anything. No muss, no fuss.

I couldnt make this up if I tried

I couldn't make this up if I tried

Now, I’ll tell you…Blogger/Blogspot annoys me. Its page to add comments is different page from the page with the article. So, you might be enjoying the lovely blog theme of your favorite blogger, but if you want to comment…EGADS, you get sent to an ugly, bland site.

You have to do word verification, which I mean, that isn’t a pain if you’re a human, but it still kinda is. And then you have to choose an identity.

If you have a blogger.com account, cool, you can use that. And since Google is in cahoots with that, it’s not too bad to set up. And it *is* true that you can use an OpenID, which will allow you to use your wordpress blog as a username. You can also just use a name/URL (kinda like WordPress), or you can post anonymously.

…but somehow, all of these options end up missing the mark. When using a Google (Blogger) account, you then have to sign up for and set up something completely different. And since I’m a wordpress guy, I don’t have time to set up a Google/Blogger page, and yet…I did.

Look at how barren my profile page is? And bland! Well, 90% of Google/Blogger pages will look like that…and for the other 10% (probably for Blogspot/Google Blogger regulars), it’ll look less barren, but then it’ll have some of the most useless ‘social’ info. Do I really care what your favorite movies, books, or music is? If I did, I’d have you as a facebook or twitter friend. (Note: I’m not altogether opposed to that idea.)

Now, check out the Contact part on the left side. I can link my blog, which is cool…but there seems to be no way for me to change the text — so it’ll forever just be known as “My Web Page.” To make matters worse, here’s a difference between WordPress and Google Blogger:

If I have a commenter in WordPress who has put information about his website, then his name will be hyperlinked to that website. So, if I click his name…oh wow, I go to his website. How intuitive!

Oh, nice site, dude!

Oh, nice site, dude!

…But if I click a hyperlinked name in Blogspot…then I don’t go to their website…I go to their blogger profile. You know, the one that is either barren or full of useless information. Fortunately, for blogspot regulars, if I want to see their website (with its title), it’ll be included in the main column (the right one)…in a section called My Blogs.

…But Blogspot botches this too! My Blogs is not at the top of that column. It’s underneath all the useless information. But My Blogs is also not at the bottom, so I can’t just scroll to the bottom…because at the bottom of the column is another list called “Blogs I follow.” And while this might possibly have been useful, really, it’s just design defecation. If I want to see blogs you follow, I’ll check your website (you know, the thing I’ve been trying to get to in the first place, but can’t because of the inane organization!) and then see your blogroll.

I would go into more about the various other Blogspot deficiencies…BUT…really, there was a worse comment feature I wanted to discuss.

Quite simply, I don’t know how Engadget gets any commenters. They have the worst comment function ever.

I do like to read their stories about new smartphone gadgets, so today, I read a review about the new HTC Touch Diamond 2. And as I watched some of the videos, I found something disheartening. So I wanted to comment on it. Here was my internal process.

“Oh, I’m a new commenter, so I just have to put in my name and email address.”

“Ok, so they sent me an email with a confirmation link…no problem.”

“Hmm…after I confirmed my comment, they send me a password. This password is kinda long and random and computer-generated-like, so I’ll probably not remember it. But if I don’t, I’ll have to go through the confirmation process again and again. ”

“oh cool, my name is highlighted…maybe that means I can click it and see where it goes…”

“…a profile page?! EGADS!”

I wonder what happens if I click this?

I wonder what happens if I click this?

*click*

*click*

*clickety click click*

WHY WON’T IT GO ANYWHERE?! I AM ANDREW S!

Now…I know, I know. There are starving children in Africa/North Korea/College Station, Texas. But dang it, can’t we have user-friendliness on the interwebs?!

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8 Comments
  1. I feel your pain.

    I do have one related question to WordPress. I found out how to put a gravatar on Mormon Matters (though apparently I do not have rights to do it), but on my blog, that functionality is not there. I tried adding a plug-in, but it didn’t help. Any suggestions?

  2. did you try going to en.gravatar.com and then signing up for the email address that you normally use on wordpress (whether on your blog or here)?

    It shouldn’t require a plugin, I don’t think. However, as long as you are using wordpress 2.5 or higher, you will just need to make sure that your *theme* supports gravatar…if you have access to the CSS, I think this page has the code to put in: http://wphacks.com/wordpress-25-how-to-add-gravatar-to-your-wordpress-theme/

    or maybe…

    http://en.gravatar.com/site/implement/movabletype

  3. mormonheretic permalink

    Andrew, thanks! I am faceless no more. I’m not sure why the pingback didn’t work, but I posted step-by-step instructions on how to do this for others. Here’s the link: Get a Gravatar! (Your links above led me to an even easier solution than adding code directly.)

  4. mormonheretic permalink

    Hopefully my above comment comes out of moderation soon. And in case you’re wondering, that’s a painting of Galileo, one of my favorite heretics. (No, I’m not that ugly!) 🙂

  5. cool, dude

  6. HAHA, I TOTALLY RESPONDED TO YOUR COMMENTS BEFORE APPROVING THEM.

    I R SMART!

  7. please note though, you can still use whatever name/username you want and the gravatar will work as long as you have the *email address* there when you post.

  8. FireTag permalink

    Thanks to both you and MH for this info. I spent more time over the last few days than I wanted trying to customize my wordpress header itself (No, it’s still under construction for other reasons so the link isn’t open yet) So practical hints about dealing with new tech isn’t useless at all.

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