10 April 2013: Site News- New Comment System

I was checking my web stats dashboard the other day and realized that a good deal of traffic on this site comes from people seeing posts on facebook and clicking on them to read more. In technical website parlance, facebook is therefore our biggest referrer. The only other referrer with any traffic to speak of is not surprisingly, Google search.

So I’m trying out a new comment system that allows people to use their facebook, twitter, or WordPress accounts to login to comment. If it turns out to be popular (or at the very least, not a problem) then we’ll keep it. If however it results in nuisance comments and other irrelevant garbage being posted and ends up wasting my time, it’s outa here. This option has been available to me for a while but I never really considered setting it up until I saw the referrer report. I am just now taking a look at it.

There are a few caveats: It seems to work with most browsers (I’ve tried it with 3 different ones) but you need to have your browser set to accept 3rd party cookies. C’est la vis. I don’t like it but that’s how it works.

Another downside (from my point of view) is that as long as you leave an email address and a name, you can leave a comment. This increases the opportunities for comments (which is good) but increases the likelihood that I’ll be dealing with bogus users posting bogus comments. New user comments won’t appear until approved so I’m not really worried inappropriate content appearing on the site, but as I mentioned above, if I find myself wasting time dealing with garbage comments, we’ll go back to the original system.

<– So here’s what the new comment screen looks like. If you’re already logged into this site, nothing changes, comment as normal. If you’re not logged in, you can click on the WordPress, Twitter, or Facebook buttons to log in using those account credentials. If you’re logged in through Facebook say and you want to post from a different account (some of us have more than one…) there are Logout and Change links. From a security and privacy point of view, I’ve looked into this system and it appears satisfactorily secure and private. I also figure if you have a facebook or twitter account you’re probably not paranoid over privacy and security anyways 🙂 This is the same type of authentication mechanism used by news papers and other sites that encourage comments.

If anyone has any questions or encounters any problems with the new comment system, send me an email.