All right…I asked what changes you’d like to see on this site, and you answered. And then I made some of the changes. Most of these changes involve the way comments work, and they came about by my switching over to Disqus (pronounced “discuss”–I assume there’s some cleverness there, but it escapes me). Disqus is a third-party comment management system, and it makes possible the following:
- Subscribing to comments so you can see follow-ups
- “Liking” a post or comment
- Threaded comments–so you can see who is responding to whom. (Recently a comment said “hahahahaha,” and it wasn’t clear whom the commenter was laughing at/with.)
- Editing or deleting your own comments
- Imbedding a picture (or, I assume, other media) in your comment
A couple of inconveniences that will be minor, I hope:
- The first time you comment with the new system, you’ll have to log in again and tell it what you want to be called. My first attempt or two, it was trying to call me by a no-spaces login name rather than my real name. Now it uses not only my real name, but a short bio (which is embarrassing in its own way). All that to say, it may take a little tweaking to get it to act like you want it to act as regards your online identity.
- Text formatting isn’t available in Disqus. But it doesn’t seem to be very available anywhere else either. As I was looking for a plugin that would allow text formatting in comments, the most promising one had instructions in Cyrillic.
The real selling points of Disqus have to do with social networking features that I don’t yet understand. You can login with your Facebook or Twitter profile, and I think maybe you can share posts you like on Facebook easily. In any case, I like the fact that Disqus accomplishes most of what you were asking for in your earlier comments.
I also flip-flopped “Categories” and “Recent Comments” on the right and added a search box.
I hope you’ll poke around with the new comments and see how they work. Maybe some of you are familiar with Disqus and can give us some tips.