Monday, June 9, 2014

New (and Improved?) Commenting Tool

So.  There it is.  Right there.  At the bottom.  Right where the default commenting "widget" by Blogger was.  Only now it's...better?  You tell me.

Introducing the new and (hopefully) improved, 3rd party commenting tool ("You're a tool."  HA!  Beat y'all to it.) by Disqus.  I found out about Disqus via a Google search on the known Blogger commenting issues in, um, well, Blogger's default commenting system from here.

As with anything, there are pros and cons.

Pro:  I can now edit comments, if desired.

Con:  It requires yet another (albeit free) web-site account to sign up with.

Pro:  It's actually quite easy to set-up and you can import and even sync Disqus with your 'native' (in my case Blogger) commenting system.  If you sync the comments, you can revert back to your native system should you ever decide to terminate your account with Disqus.

Con:  Formatting choices are limited.  As with so many things these days, you're pretty much stuck with either "light background" or "dark background" (or "auto") choices.  I do not see any way (off-hand) to change actual text fonts or colors, but to be fair, I haven't looked that hard.  It's a new system and it may be capable of a lot of things.  May be.  But it will take time to investigate and I'm not sure I necessarily want to.  Not at this point, anyway.

Pro:  It supports a bunch of different blogging systems:  Blogger, WordPress, and others I've never heard of.

Con:  You do need to log in to your Disqus account from time-to-time.  At least, I think so.  The terms say something about making an account "inactive" after 6 months (?) of "no activity", but I'm not sure if adding new comments would count as "activity", but my guess is it means you need to log in every now-and-again.

Pro:  Instead of having a lengthy debate with someone in the comments, you can actually move to an "off-line" e-mail debate, if desired.  Now, I think it's handled through the Disqus servers, so the comment poster doesn't actually get your e-mail address, nor you theirs (at least, that's how I understand it - I could be wrong) - kind of like how allows you to communicate with a vendor (if you've ever ordered anything through and then had issues with said order).

Con:  It *may* require an e-mail address of some type just to leave a comment.  I'm not sure about this, so someone else will have to tell me.  Obviously, you would need to provide a valid e-mail to use the "discuss by e-mail" ability.  But if you are required to enter an e-mail address, and you don't want to, as long as it matches the known format of "characters@moreCharacters.validExtension", I don't think it'll check for a valid e-mail address - most don't.

Pro:  You can embed images and video links in the comments (woohoo!).

Con:  Since it is hosted by a 3rd party web-site, it take a little time to load once the page is first viewed.

I don't like systems that "require" e-mail addresses.  I'm perfectly OK with anonymous commenting.  The one good thing about Blogger's native commenting system is that it had a "Name/URL" option and the URL (website) entry field was completely optional, so all you really needed to provide was a name.  I really liked that.  I do not know if Disqus has that option or not.  I do know that you can choose to log in with one of several accounts:  Facebook, Google, Twitter, and (of course) Disqus, or you can "pick a name" - but there are (3) fields associated with this option:  Name, E-mail, and Password.  Not sure what the "password" is for...maybe it's for this specific Disqus commenting instance associated with this blog???  And I'm not sure which, if any, are optional.  Once again, you tell me.  But there is also a check box for commenting as a "guest", which I'm pretty sure would be the "anonymous" option (your name presumably would appear as "Guest").  Still not sure if the e-mail and/or password fields are required or not.

Anyways, for better or worse (hopefully better), it's here.  If you actively don't like it, let me know.  If you provide some specifics like "I wish it would let me do [this]", I can see what I can find out and/or send in a request for such a feature through Disqus.  No promises though (of either sending such requests nor of it actually being implemented, 'cuz that part is out-of-my-hands, naturally).  If certain key-people who may or may not know who they are don't like it, or if I get a lot of negative feedback on it's use, I might change it.

After all, I did change the last one.

EDIT:  OK, well, Disqus is supposed to be compatible with IE8+, but when I tried viewing with IE8, the comments section did not appear.  I will have to look into why this is.  It *may* have something to do with my blocking all cookies (except "per session" cookies).  So if you are using IE, you may just have to wait.  Sorry about that, chief.

EDIT 2:  So it seems, for me, at least, it looks like the issue with IE8 is "compatibility view" (CV).  If CV is "on", turn it off.  With CV off, I was able to see the new widget (*whew*).  If anyone else has any issues, let me know.


  1. Empress Mizzaroo09 June, 2014 14:52

    Still no problems commenting from my phone.

  2. Testing testing

  3. Yay! that was painless :)

  4. Well, I am open to suggestions. I will admit that I did not do anything near to a comprehensive search for a 3rd party commenting tool/widget. They popped-up and their "terms of use" were not too objectionable, so there it is.

    Point me in some directions and I'll have a look-see.