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Dear Blogger

This morning I caught the update that Blogger has introduced the two-level commenting system. This is really great news. But why did this have to happen just five days after I installed Disqus to replace the old commenting system? So this is destined to be a rhetoric question.

I regularly visit the blogs I follow and many of them are WordPress blogs, with their convenient commenting system.  I’ve even wasted time trying to figure out the source code to see if I could create something for my own blog like that.

But over the years, I’ve found quite a few blogs using the Disqus commenting system, which I think is quite cool. I wanted to experiment with it on one of my blogs and installed it on Your Medical Guide – my health blog. I browsed quite a bit before I did it, though – and of course, read a lot of lousy reviews as well. Still, I believe that each individual experience is unique and read up the how-to’s and the help section at Disqus.

One thing to definitely remember to do is to “import” all your existing comments and enable “keep new comments synced” in the “Tools” section. This is very important to do, and I am glad I did because I remembered reading on someone else’s blog that they lost all their old comments and didn’t know how to retrieve them. Anyway – it seemed to work there.

I always think several times before introducing any new widget on to this blog. I seriously don’t have the time to deal with any glitches that might happen. This is obvious from the fact that I didn’t build a fancy site even after I moved my blog to my old domain. In fact, I ensured I registered my domain via Google so that they’d do all the redirecting work and what not. I am fine with hosting it on Blogger, too and using the “Simple” template. I am a fan of the white background. I did try a couple of color combinations but realized it was just not me.

And so – in its tenth year, my blog continues to look basic. There’s a big reason for this. The whole idea is to write. Some time back, I knocked off all the badges except the ones I like and gave them their own page. Then I removed all the other hoo-hahs and winner badges and awards. In fact, I’ve never been a fan of awards. But I did accept one, because it was Terri who awarded it.

I would definitely love to learn html and code and what not to make my blog a better place, but Blogger makes it easy for me to carry on.  However, one thing always bugged me. I didn’t really like the commenting system. A series of comments from my visitors from a different time zone  followed by a series of comments from me in reply. Urgh! After much thought, I finally gave in a few days ago and installed Disqus. I am loving it, I must say! (Thank you Sheila for noticing :-))

And what do I find when I log in to my mailbox this morning? That Blogger has introduced the two-level commenting system. The irony. I am not going to remove Disqus though. What Chuck over at The Real Blogger Status has to say, though, about this new commenting system is:

 This is not what I would call classic “threaded commenting”, but it’s a reasonable alternative.

You will need a blog with full feeds enabled, and using the embedded comment form. As described in the Buzz post, once the comment form and feed are selected, using the New GUI, there’s no additional selection needed. Just surf to the blog of your choice, and look under any comment for a new “Reply” link.

That’s good. I checked out the system on my Infographics blog and found it works like a charm.

Since two level comments are part of the embedded comment form, you’re going to need tocheck your cookie filters – people using computers with overly restrictive filtering won’t be able to use the embedded comment form, and they won’t see the two level commenting option. Beyond that issue, two level comments should be simple to use. 

This is really easy to set up and here’s what Blogger says:

(More help at the Blogger Help Center if you need it)

The good news is, now I know that life is easier with the new blogs I have in the pipeline – since I won’t have to feel sad about the commenting system.

But it really is funny how one waits for something for years to happen, and just when an alternative is adopted, the next day, there’s a natural solution. 🙂 Well, good to see there are options available.

Incidentally, I also installed the Intense Debate commenting system on Coffee With Mi! just to check out the commentluv plug in (to use commentluv on Blogger blogs, you need to install Intense Debate). I find that some comments do not appear on the blog, although they are visible in the “history” section of the Intense Debate site. If I can figure out how to keep the comments on that blog after removing Intense Debate, then I plan to do just that. Commentluv is cool, but makes no sense when the comments don’t show 😀

So anyway, Blogger, I appreciate the introduction of two-level commenting. I get the feeling you’ve got more  new features up your sleeve and being a Google fan, I really look forward to that.

What can I say? Life is good.

With love,



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Cheers!

Vidya

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 13, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Traci – you’re absolutely right. I love that Disqus lets us know about replies to our comments, too!  Thank you for coming by 🙂 Happy weekend!

  • Reply
    tracismixedbag
    January 13, 2012 at 5:56 am

    I love that blogs can be made to reflect what the writer wants, so I love that you adjusted yours accordingly. I happen to love the disqus widget and it’s made blogging so much easier thus far. I love that it gives me an update about reply comments on whatever blog I’m on that uses disqus. 

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I hate those captchas too and never get them right the first (or the second) time, Sheila.  I am glad I switched to this system. I truly appreciate your patience! Thanks! 🙂 You’re loved, you know.

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks, Terri, Disqus is good – I especially like the threaded conversations! (and the absence of captcha!)

    I think the Disqus dashboard, under tools, continues to show the “import comments” so perhaps this can be done at any time. Worth checking out! 🙂 I did goof up somewhere with the Intense Debate thing on my other blog, though – because it doesn’t always display the comment on the blog, even though I get an email alert 🙂 I’ve also panicked over “Google webmaster tools” and “Google Analytics” and am no closer to being savvy now than I was, back in June 2011. 🙂 There’s so much to learn! Sigh. I’ve decided to stick to what I enjoy doing most – write 🙂 Hugs! Are you looking forward to the weekend?

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    🙂 Betsy, the Facebook timeline has me all disoriented and I am secretly happy that I get alerts when there’s a mention or a tag or a message. Outside of that, it takes up a lot of time. 🙂 Thanks for coming by and glad you like Disqus! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    🙂 Dear Kim! I think your blog looks gorgeous – especially love your header! Your writing is magnetic, too!. I see your pic here in Disqus :-). If you don’t, just check your disqus account at disqus.com and log in – and update profile. That’s it!

    If you need something specific, I’ll be more than happy to share what I know! 🙂 I am no expert, but I do love learning and tinkering around. Hugs, Vidya

  • Reply
    Sheila
    January 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Ha!  that IS funny isn’t it?  Well I’m sooooo happy to see you’ve gotten rid of that code we had to enter before.  I don’t like those and normally will not even go through the process, but I love your blog so I did. 

  • Reply
    terrisonoda
    January 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Nice informative post, Vidya. I like the Disqus too, even though I didn’t import my comments correctly.  I should have researched more first, like you did.    You blogs are all awesome.  You certainly have a handle on things!

  • Reply
    Betsy @ Zen Mama
    January 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I like Disqus better, too.  It’s crazy how often things change.  Once you get used to one thing, it changes.  Kind of like the new facebook timeline.  I just can’t get used to that!!

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    January 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    ~~Vidya,
     I am utterly, technically challenged.
    If you have any ideas for my blog, I’d welcome them….cuz I am not sure who to ask.
    You are brilliant.  You seem to know what you are doing.
     –what is the comment thing?  I still do not know how to get my photo on Disqus..  DUH.

    So I must do this My Inner Chick http://myinnerchick.com

    Luv Ya.

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Hehe Kimberly – I make the best coffee in India 🙂 So that part is guaranteed! I’ve often wondered if I’ll ever switch to WordPress – I don’t know 🙂 I am too lazy a bum to figure it out. Sigh 🙂 Hugs.

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    January 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    My head just exploded…must. get. more. coffee.
    hee hee.
    I have wordpress and this was one of the reasons why I chose it.
    I’m not very good with all that computer mumbo jumbo so I took the safe route!

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    You’re right. I think most people resisted Disqus at first because it wasn’t as popular as it is, now. They’ve also made some decent changes recently after a lot of complaints from users. I checked out livefyre – but find the interface not so attractive either. Also, a couple of times when I tried to comment, it didn’t work. 

    I love your attitude about wanting to involve your non-blogging friends to read your blog – let me tell you a secret – most of my readers are non-bloggers who will never ever post a comment 🙂 – they would rather phone me or email me to react about a post. I am cool with that. Ultimately, it is the connections that count. Gotta admit that comments feel wonderful, though 😀 

    Somehow I am not tempted to switch to WordPress (yet). Blogger is easy to manage and am used to it. Also, am not trying to hard to monetize my blog. 

    I enjoy your insight, Unknown Mami – 🙂 I like how you do things.

  • Reply
    Working Mom Journal
    January 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Ugh, I hate when that happens! But I think I prefer Disqus and glad you kept it. 

  • Reply
    unknownmami
    January 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Typical. Change happens when you’ve already adjusted without it. I have Disqus. I started on Blogger and installed it when I was there. At the time you couldn’t sync your comments and when they made the change to do that, I wasn’t aware. Then I moved to WordPress and lost lots of comments because of it. I am a sucker for comments so I was very sad, but in the end I got over it. I like Disqus. Yes, I have gotten complaints from some people about it, but I’ve kept it. I find it so convenient to respond directly from my email and have it post on both the blog and send an email reply to the commentor. A friend of mine recently switched to LiveFyre and it is very similar to Disqus, but I didn’t like the interface on my end as much so I couldn’t do it. I don’t like the native WordPress commenting systen because of how it looks on my end, too much spam, and you need a plugin to have it respond via email. Anyway, basically Disqus makes it easier for me so that’s why I like it. I do have to say that when I switched to Disqus my comment count went down and it has never quite recovered. Part of it is that many of my visitors are Blogger bloggers and they don’t like to sign in to another system. However, I think the native Blogger commenting system is confusing to non-Bloggers. I may be one of the few bloggers that really wants to increase her non-blogging readers. I come from an acting background and if only actors ever went to see plays or movies, then the art form would die out. I feel the same way about blogging. I love my brothers and sisters in the blogging world, but I want my brothers and sisters not in the blogging world to read too. I want it to grow bigger and stronger by including much more of the general public.

    SO sorry, did not mean to leave a post long comment.

  • Reply
    unknownmami
    January 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Typical. Change happens when you’ve already adjusted without it. I have Disqus. I started on Blogger and installed it when I was there. At the time you couldn’t sync your comments and when they made the change to do that, I wasn’t aware. Then I moved to WordPress and lost lots of comments because of it. I am a sucker for comments so I was very sad, but in the end I got over it. I like Disqus. Yes, I have gotten complaints from some people about it, but I’ve kept it. I find it so convenient to respond directly from my email and have it post on both the blog and send an email reply to the commentor. A friend of mine recently switched to LiveFyre and it is very similar to Disqus, but I didn’t like the interface on my end as much so I couldn’t do it. I don’t like the native WordPress commenting systen because of how it looks on my end, too much spam, and you need a plugin to have it respond via email. Anyway, basically Disqus makes it easier for me so that’s why I like it. I do have to say that when I switched to Disqus my comment count went down and it has never quite recovered. Part of it is that many of my visitors are Blogger bloggers and they don’t like to sign in to another system. However, I think the native Blogger commenting system is confusing to non-Bloggers. I may be one of the few bloggers that really wants to increase her non-blogging readers. I come from an acting background and if only actors ever went to see plays or movies, then the art form would die out. I feel the same way about blogging. I love my brothers and sisters in the blogging world, but I want my brothers and sisters not in the blogging world to read too. I want it to grow bigger and stronger by including much more of the general public.
     
    SO sorry, did not mean to leave a post long comment.

  • Reply
    unknownmami
    January 15, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I loved Blogger while I was there. I think that “free” is wonderful. In the end I switched because I wanted to be totally in charge and I wanted to learn new things. I did the switch myself so it was a learning process with some frustrations, but in the end I am proud that I did it on my own because I am not a tech savy person. For the longest I said I would not switch, but I am a very visual person and I wanted my blog to look a certain way and I couldn’t quite get that look on Blogger without messing with the HTML constantly and some of the things I would do would make the blog load slowly. Also, google scares me sometimes because they make so many changes and I don’t get a say. This whole GFC not being available for non-Blogger blogs after March really bums me out. I got attached to that little widget and all the lovely faces. Oh well.

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 16, 2012 at 3:11 am

    🙂 Thanks for coming by, Blessing. Disqus is good, definitely far better than the default Blogger commenting.

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 16, 2012 at 3:21 am

    I admire you for doing the switch yourself. I guess when I decide to move, I’d do the same thing. Right now it scares the daylights out of me. Just adding that connect with me widget up there freaked me out. 

    You’re right about the not getting things quite right with Blogger – a case in point being the “categories”. There’s really no way unless one knows a lot of html and how to tweak it. Fine, there are “Pages” but they are just static stuff which have to be managed manually, unless we add a link in place of the page. For example,the “Sundays In My City” tab under the header.  I figured that out myself. I also wanted my other two blogs to update here automatically, but don’t know how to manage that – so I just added two pages and copy-pasted the archives from there -which means that each time I add a new post there, I’ll have to manually add it here. Ridiculous :DOh well. It works for the time being, because I am familiar with what I am doing – I’ve got other priorities to focus on, so the blog managing takes a backseat for the time being. But I do have a particular look in mind, and will get around to turning it into reality eventually.When I heard about the GFC disconnect from your post, I was shocked – so I can only imagine how you must be feeling. I would have felt totally devastated. I had to stand up and applaud when I saw you knocked off the widget right away, that takes courage. I always subscribe by email to all the blogs I like, since am not comfortable with the RSS feed stuff. But obviously most people prefer it, so it is a must-have option. I am sure all the GFC folks will stay with you – you are one person who is missed if she does not post for two days in a row.

  • Reply
    Kaylen
    January 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I didn’t know about this! I’m going to have to check it out-thanks for posting info on it.
    I’m with you on keeping the blog basic. Back in the day, I had more time and would play around with it at least once a year but now if I actually have time online, I try and dedicate it to adding content, not new shiny objects. 🙂

  • Reply
    Vidya Sury
    January 26, 2012 at 8:30 am

    The biggest advantage of keeping it basic is quick page load time 🙂 The only thing I like to play with are the widgets – which can be removed any time, should we get tired of them. No playing with the blog template html for me! 🙂 I am totally with you on staying away from the shiny new objects – that’s such a time sucker, time that is better spent on doing a hundred other things! Thank you for visiting, Kaylen. You know how much I enjoy your blog!

  • Reply
    Mike Barkly
    February 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks for the discussion. but I think the DISQUS commenting system is pretty nice and easy.But there are more pros and cons so we’re going to give it a try on our test prep blog.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      February 23, 2012 at 6:59 am

      Mike, I like Disqus too. But unfortunately some commenters found it cumbersome – and some comments would not appear on the site unless I did some “sync”ing and troubleshooting on a daily basis. 🙂 So I decided to switch back to the default commenting system. I disabled the captcha/word verification since I moderate comments anyway.

      Thank you for coming by, Mike 🙂

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