Commenting Issues

Picture this. A 44 year old mother of two, so technically incompetent she can’t even figure out how to use her I-Phone, up before dawn to tweet some young, hip, computer dude giving him advice on the technical details of his hugely successful internet biz.

Yep that’s been me the past few days. Stop laughing and read on.

Late last week I ended up in world I’m unfamiliar with, the forums of wordpress.com, gotta tell you folks it’s an interesting place!

The reason I ended up there was because Noreen at beauty of everyday life and Caz at Mojito Mother had kindly let me know they had problems commenting on my blog.

So I innocently wandered into the support forums and Toto, we weren’t in Kansas any more. I’m pretty sure you can end up aimlessly looping the loop in the forums for the term of your natural life.

It appears there was a problem with people hacking others identities so wordpress.com decided to adapt the commenting procedure to make it a little more secure. The result was perhaps a little too secure – many folks couldn’t comment at all – but hey they weren’t able to impersonate people either!

The forum buzzed with individuals throwing in comments, suggestions, interjections, insults, sarcastic wit for the next four days – it was like watching a social engineering experiment before my very eyes (or maybe it verged more on the reality TV spectrum). Personalities unfolded in the online question and answer forums as people dealt with frustration, rudeness and ignorance (that one was me I couldn’t understand half of what was said and the jokes went completely over my head).

God love the computer geeks who patiently tried to explain the situation to me and made suggestions on how to get around the problem. I am deeply grateful to all of you.

The end result appears to be wordpress.com ironed out a couple of bugs but seem committed to the new commenting procedure (well I think that’s the outcome there aren’t any announcements from wordpress.com so I’m working blind here).

On Tuesday two very kind ladies tried the log in procedure for me thank you Lauren from Still + Life and Heather from Home Again Jog the problem still existed and Heather was kind enough to tweet me the exact message in a series of 140 character tweets, as she says she’s nothing if not thorough. Why I didn’t just give the woman my email to send me the message I don’t know.

My understanding was that people who have never had a Gravatar account (and if you don’t know what that is you haven’t got one so you’re hunky dory) or a wordpress account are fine you folks can comment as per normal. (Although reading through a couple of other posts on this topic it may be requiring you to sign up for a wp-id I’m not sure). However, for those who have emails associated with Gravatars or any wordpress account you are certainly being asked to “log in”.

The end result is I’ve now turned off the “enter email” requirement, however the box will still appear, just don’t enter an email and it should just let you continue normally. However, for those of you with blogs linked to your Gravatar they may not appear, I’m happy for you to enter your blog’s URL in the comment, or if I know it I will do it for you when I reply to your comment.

I believe you can also log-in through your Facebook or Twitter accounts to leave a comment. (Or you are welcome to communicate with me through my FB or Twitter just click on the buttons on the sidebar).

Or if you are a really committed soul you can email me your comment to shambolicliving@gmail.com and I’ll post the darn thing myself.

See simple as … I don’t know what all the fuss was about.

In the meantime, I’m looking at moving to a self-hosted site which should be a bundle of fun given my lack of technical ability, this will probably occur in mid April, I’ve found a girl in Port Macquarie who will do a redesign of the blog and install it on wordpress.org but she’s booked up until then.

Or wordpress.com might decide to revert back to the old commenting procedure – who knows.

I’ve learnt stuff over the last few days –  the creator of WordPress, and Gravatar and whole series of other successful internet businesses is Matt Mullenweg. He’s been named one of PC World’s Top 50 People on the Web, Inc.com’s 30 under 30, and Business Week’s 25 Most Influential People on the Web.  His name kept getting thrown around in the forum so in my new techno-savvy blogger identity I tweeted him – he did respond asking for details of the problem which I sent back. The kid looks young enough to be my son and I really wanted to talk to him about the importance of communication during a crisis but the limit of 140 characters stifled my usual verbose nature.

So end of the day, I hope you guys will continue to visit and comment. I was really proud of the little community we were building here with both men and women, young and old participating in the discussions. I love hearing what you are thinking – it’s actually my favourite part of blogging – like my own little talkback program!

I apologise for the frustration some of you have experienced and I hope the situation will be resolved soon.

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19 thoughts on “Commenting Issues

  1. I had commenting issues on my blog (squarespace) awhile back, and got just the best (most patient and kindly) customer service from them. I felt much like you. Not savvy, dealing with people who must want to swat me away like a gnat! They patiently explained what they could and couldn’t fix, and what do you know…the things that they couldn’t fix are now fix! I always tried to be appreciative of their help, even as I expressed my frustration.

    So I know how helpless you feel.

    I love commenting on blogs and the community it creates, but I do it a lot so I like to be as easy as possible. What’s nice about WP blogs is that I don’t have to enter a word verification (although I do understand their benefits), and I love that my info is already autopopulated. I like to concentrate on my comment, not filling out my name, etc. However, now that I *am* logged in via wordpress, my WP login is what shows up, and that’s NOT how I want to appear on your blog. So I have to take the time and change that everytime. A small nuisance, but a nuisance nonetheless. Still, you’re stuck with me baby!

    • Irony is when deciding which platform to use WP ease of commenting was one of the deciding factors for me – ya gotta laugh. I keep wanting to go into PR mode for wordpress and sit them down and say tell people what’s going on. The most frustrating part is not knowing what to tell my readers – even now I’m not sure what I’ve said is 100 per cent accurate.

      Anyway folks Lauren’s absolutely beautiful blog is still + life

  2. No idea what you just said…. Gravatar sounds like at Playstation game that teenage boys play!!!! Anyway hope you have it sorted. Loving your blog and actually go looking for a new post every day – just keep it coming!!!!

    • I know I feel like I’m in one of those teen sci-fi movies where everyone ends up locked in a giant computer game. Nothing like developing a new skill set in your forties! I’m so glad you like the blog. Did you try to comment the normal way first before commenting via facebook? If so, was it trying to make you sign up for a wordpress account?

      • I have had no problem as i only comment via Facebook. Don’t know how to comment the “normal” way…. All sounds far too confusing!!! Hope everything is ok now..

      • I always comment via facebook. Not sure how to comment the “normal way” so I can’t comment re the wordpress account… Hope you have all your issues sorted… I can understand how frustrating it must be.

      • Hmmmmm… Didn’t think my original reply I posted this morning from my phone worked so I have just replied again. Now I see that it has posted as “Anonymous”…. Not sure what I did there…. Oh well – as there are commenting problems I will blame them and not my lack of knowledge and experience in the blogging world!!!!!

      • Oh good you were anonymous – I thought good grief now I’ve got people not wanting to let me know who they are! And yes we will completely blame the commenting problems and not your technical ability.

  3. I am not aware of any commenting problems, but reading your post was interesting, my only recent problem is that I was supposed to have posted a number 2 of my original post but had not. I have an idea as to why this happened. But am will be more aware, alert. thanks..;)

    • If the majority of your readers are actually wordpress.com bloggers you shouldn’t have a problem – we’re mostly already logged into wp when we comment on each others blogs. It’s people who have gravatars or sometime in the past had to sign up for a wp id – their email is being recognised as being linked to a word press account and they are being asked to sign in. Gravatar is actually a wordpress company so having a gravatar means you have a wp id – something that most people wouldn’t realise when they are simply trying to make a comment on a blog.

  4. Hi,
    I have been following the commenting issues in the forum every day, I saw you there and read what you had to say. It is a real mess, I know there was the security issue, but really this is effecting every blog here in WP which is around 33 million of us. I agree I also think this mess is here to stay.

    Matt seems to have made a few messes this year, it started with the infinate scrolling which is going to be introducted to every blog over time. I use the twenty ten theme so mine was one of the first, thank god for the people that complained and I finally had the option of turning that feature off.

    • I haven’t yet discovered the scrolling thing (have seen it mentioned a few times in the forums). I think the situation is interesting (when I take out my emotional investment in it) the concept of wordpress is absolutely brilliant – providing a free platform for people to blog on and developing a really strong community around that – I know most of my subscribers have come from wordpress and on days when I participate in the weekly photo challenges my page views soar. The creation of wordpress and the other companies is an achievement Matt should be justifiably proud of, however I’m developing a theory that the company has grown very fast and perhaps are now at a point where they need to look at creating a few more policies and procedures and hiring a few more staff (and perhaps some PR people) to look at how to deal with these situations when they arise.

  5. Hi Janine, thanks for the welcome back…I started to encounter this problem yesterday when I tried to comment on another blog..what a pain, it does put you off as sometimes you don’t have time to jump through the hoops. Thanks for shedding light on this for all us non techos!!!

    • That’s the problem people just won’t jump through this many hoops just to leave a comment on a blog. Who has the time? Another important point I forgot to mention was to Alt-C (copy) your comment before you start trying to go through the procedure – it often loses the comment. At least with it copied you can just do Alt-V to get it back again. As I type even more instructions for leaving comments the ridiculous nature of the situation grows. Perhaps I’ll go tweet Matt again – like some sort of middle-aged stalking spammer – this is what my life has become. Catherine’s blog with delicious recipes and beautiful food photographs is Farmhouse Home

  6. If it weren’t for my oldest son, I’d have thrown my computer out of the windows years ago. There was a point in time when kids began being born computer ‘savvy’. I don’t think us older kids have that gift, so please … don’t feel lonely in the computer illiterate department. LOL. I know exactly how you feel, Janine.

  7. Pingback: Making Me Smile | Shambolic Living

  8. Great post! My followers are mostly WP members so haven’t noticed the problem, but thanks for letting us know! And if it is any consolation I am equally tech challenged! Have just (!) signed up for a Twitter account and Facebook page linked to my blog 🙂

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