Last week's post asking where TimeGoesBy readers live got an amazing response. There are 231 comments as of early this morning.
In ten years of this blog, that many comments on one story has never happened and I had not coded the template to display such a high number which mean many were not visible.
I fixed that on Saturday and now there are an unlimited number of comments allowed broken into pages of 100 with links at the bottom of each page for Next and Previous so all the comments are now posted.
It was fun to see where everyone lives, particularly names of regular commenters I recognize. I was surprised to see at least ten people signed in from Australia (as of Saturday). There were four each from Paris and from Canada. I didn't check to see if every U.S. state was represented but there were a lot of different ones.
In no way is this a scientific count of readers. It's just those who took the time to leave the name of their city or town.
Of course I counted comments from my own state, Oregon, and there were 11 including a reader from Troutdale who wrote of that town, “Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge.”
Yeah, I know that all too well. I always, ALWAYS get lost in Troutdale trying to find the old highway to Multnomah Falls. Maybe next time you can direct me.
Although 231 comments is impressive, there were three or four DOZEN more that you can't read because they did not show up due to user error.
Which brings me to the title of today's post: How to Post Blog Comments.
Those additional 30 or 40 or so comments were not published because they were not submitted to the blog in the online form. That happens when readers who subscribe to TimeGoesBy via an RSS feed or email click “Reply” to leave a comment.
When you “reply” to a blog post you have received in that manner or in any aggregator you may use, it is no different from replying to an email.
Your “comment” arrives in my email inbox (the email address from which each day's blog post is sent out to subscribers) and cannot be posted to the website any more than any other email would automatically post to a website.
Depending on how busy I am, I sometimes send a return email with instructions on how to post comments to the blog but as far as I can tell – over many years of doing this – hardly anyone pays attention and the “reply” comments keep landing in my inbox.
Also, it leaves me to wonder if people who “reply” to TGB blog posts perhaps have no idea, because they don't visit the website, that many readers carry on fascinating conversations in the comments section that are often more compelling that the blog post itself.
All this is too bad because so many of the misdirected comments are excellent, thoughtful, funny and add good information to the day's conversation.
So today, I am going to teach people who don't know how, to post comments so other readers can read them. Here goes.
If you have something you want to say, click the name of the blog at the top of your email or rss. The TimeGoesBy website/blog will open in your browser.
Scroll to the bottom of the story where you will find the “footer.” It looks like this:
The number in parentheses to the right of the word “Comments” indicates the number of comments already posted. Click on the word “Comments.” The page will reload with all the comments showing.
At the bottom of the last comment, you will see the comment form. It looks like this:
Because I took a screenshot on my computer, you see my name, email address (blurred to help foil scrapers) and the URL of my blog. On your computer screen, those fields will be blank if you are commenting for the first time. After you have posted comments a few times, you may see your own information there.
First, write your comment. This is the internet with unlimited space so you can write as much as you want. However, do yourself and the rest us a favor by leaving an empty line space between short paragraphs. I don't read long chunks of unbroken text and most other people don't either.
When you are done with your comment, fill in your name. Then fill in your email address. Both are required to help keep spam to a minimum.
Your email address is never published. You do not need to use your real name. You can make up any name you want but the email must be a functioning address correctly typed.
If you have a blog of your own, enter the URL and then, when your comment is published, your name in the comment footer magically becomes a link to your blog. You may link only to a personal blog. Links to commercial websites of any kind are deleted.
(That's not an internet rule; that's my rule for this advertising-free blog.)
When you are finished writing your comment and filling in the rest of the form, it will look like this:
Notice that the words at the bottom, “Preview” and “Post,” are now hot – that is, clickable. You can click Preview to see how your comment will look and make changes if you want before posting, or just post your comment by clicking “Post.”
Within a few seconds, your comment will be appended at the bottom of the other comments. Don't panic if it takes a bit longer. Internet technology is not an exact science and sometimes there is a glitch that slows things down for awhile.
With only minor variations, this is how comments work on all blogs and websites that allow comments.
It is immensely gratifying when one's blog traffic keeps increasing as it does at TGB. But there is a downside too: much more housekeeping. So as of today, I will no longer be able to respond to blog comments that arrive in my inbox via the email or RSS “reply” button. They will be automatically deleted.
I hope you understand and I look forward to continuing to read the fine commentary that has always been hallmark of TimeGoesBy - just in its proper place.
A few days ago, someone expressed surprise that I read all TGB comments. I really do. They are of equal importance with the day's story.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, William Weatherstone: The Greaet White Hunter