Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Maintenance Day; Real Content Coming Soon; No, Really

I stole the computer from Snuffles so he wasn't able to post today. You might be able to see that I'm continuing to modify the site. In addition to the new layout and Twitter feed, I've put up a new title graphic and replaced the comment system. I've also made some alterations to the FeedBurner feed and cleaned up some of the redundancies in the "please notice me" buttons at the bottom of each post.

In the past, we used to have the commenting system HaloScan, which was simple and elegant, and apparently also had a killer spam filter, because it never gave me problems. The people making HaloScan went out of business, and so we were forced to return to Blogger's default commenting system. We also lost all the HaloScan comments, except for a backup file I have no way of importing.

Comments dropped almost to zero at that point, and I was having some frustrations, especially in the form of pr4wn bots, which forced me to crank up the security, making it more difficult for everyone else to comment.

After a little kicking around, I decided to add Disqus, the new commenting system you'll see load if you click the "Comments" link at the bottom of this post. It has a spam filter and it appears to be a rather powerful system, though I'm not entirely pleased with it, mostly because it requires your browser to accept cookies and takes a little time to load, which isn't good on an old computer like mine. I think I've managed to get it so it doesn't refresh the page every time you comment, however, so new comments should appear in the thread instantly, unless I did something wrong or misunderstood what I was doing.

Disqus is bewildering at first because it lets you log in four different ways, using your Twitter, Facebook, Disqus, or OpenID accounts. OpenID, by the way, includes such things as your Blogger or Google account, if you have one. Disqus also integrates with and can cross-post comments on some of those useless but popular services like Twitter and so forth, which is kind of cool, I guess, though I still don't understand the popularity of Twitter. Does anyone really give a frick what I'm doing right now? Why would I waste time and money typing that into my cell phone?

So, since you've all been so quiet lately (and no surprise there, since I've sort of, you know, lost all your old comments), please use the new Disqus system and tell me what you think of it. If you all hate its guts, it would be a lot easier to remove it now than later. And, at least theoretically, if I do remove it, all comments in Disqus should appear in the default Blogger commenting system.
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