March 21, 2006

Dialing For Comments

Hatched by Dafydd

We seem to have experienced a sudden and inexplicable dropoff of comments, and we're concerned there might be something going wrong with the comments system. (The alternative is that our readers have all simultaneously become shy about revealing their opinions on matters great and small!) The strange part is that we're not seeing any correlated dropoff in readership -- just in readers who leave comments.

Everyone is encouraged to try to post a comment here, just to see if everything is still working right. If you haven't left a comment in a while, it would be helpful (in the Rumsfeldian sense) if you let us know why, and if there's some topic you wish we'd discuss that would provoke more response from you.

Thanks!

the Mgt.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 21, 2006, at the time of 1:36 PM

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Comments

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Davis

Comments seem to be working fine. Perhaps it's our brains that's the problem.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Davis [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 1:58 PM

The following hissed in response by: levi from queens

To quote all of out leaders, "No comment."

The above hissed in response by: levi from queens [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 2:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: Rich

Seems to be working, but the TypeKey registration is a pain.

The above hissed in response by: Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 2:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dirty Dingus

Testing....

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

The above hissed in response by: Dirty Dingus [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 2:44 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

Comments seem to be working, but I don't think I have ever been able to get a trackback to here to work.

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 2:47 PM

The following hissed in response by: MarkD

Appears to be working. Working, yes, that's what I've been doing.

The above hissed in response by: MarkD [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 2:57 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Dirty Dingus:

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Hah, you can't stump Google:

This Welsh town actually exists and its name translates as "The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio's of the red cave".

From Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.com

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 2:58 PM

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

Dafydd,

Frankly, I think most of your articles/posts are too long and too ... comprehensive. By the time the reader gets to the end, they've probably forgotten what they wanted to say about the point you made nine paragraphs ago. Your points are usually all good points, but it's just too much at time. Find a ruthless editor, or be your own ruthless editor. That's my $.03 :-)

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 4:26 PM

The following hissed in response by: MacStansbury

as Big Lizard Lurker, I'd like to note that you would NOT BELIVE how many people hate having to log-in to comment. that would be the #1 complaint I get.

that, and not enough nudity.

but there are just times when people don't think they can add to what a person's written. that, or you haven't enraged/engaged/inspired the populace enough with your words. I know that's how it is for me.

and having readers helps, too. having actual readers rocks.

(now I'll slip in a plug about commenter behavior in something I wrote for Alabama Improper)

The above hissed in response by: MacStansbury [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 4:33 PM

The following hissed in response by: Athos

Testing

The above hissed in response by: Athos [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 4:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: ShoreMark

Well, you're usually so comprehensive in your posting that there's not much to add. Oh, that, and it's a PITA to sign into TypeKey.

The above hissed in response by: ShoreMark [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 5:37 PM

The following hissed in response by: OldCoot

Would like to throw a comment occasionally but TypeKey is truly a huge PITA...lose them and I promise to send something pithy.

OBTW, why does your blog take so long to load? I'm running Firefox w/cable connection; yours is the only blog I need to use the "Stop" button on.

The above hissed in response by: OldCoot [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 7:28 PM

The following hissed in response by: BusterDBear

Registration a pain..
Comments fine..
Tracksbacks, a trick I haven't learned yet.

The above hissed in response by: BusterDBear [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 7:35 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

On TypeKey registration:

I need to use it because it's the only way I can keep comment spam off the board. Also, it's the only way to ban a commenter (which I actually had to do once -- a liberal troll who seized control of the comments facility and started driving away everybody else, while hurling libelous accusations at everyone to his right... which was everyone but him).

But I think you only need do it once: once you've logged on here via TypeKey, you should be able to click the button right above the comment text box that says "Remember me unto the end of days? Aye Nay!" -- and I think you won't have to log in again.

At least, that's the way it works for me. If I don't have that clicked, I have to log in every time I leave comments on my own blog. But if I click it, it never asks me but the first time.

Give it a try and see if it works! I'd love to have more commenters and comments.

About loading: I set the blog up so the text loads first, before everything else. For me, what usually holds me up from final loading is SiteMeter, the TTLB Ecosystem ranking, and occasionally the ads... but even then, you should be able to see the posts themselves, even while you're waiting for the rest of the stuff.

It's hard for me to test this, because I have a cable modem and no dialup account. I tested earlier with every browser I could find (including FireFox), and most of them seemed to work fine. And I've loaded from dialup connections while traveling.

But load time is a really specific thing that works differently from machine to machine and from ISP to ISP. Our server is Hosting Matters -- I wonder if it would speed things up if we got a more expensive account with more bandwidth? (I don't think that would speed up SiteMeter, TTLB, or the adstrips, though, since they all require talking to another site.)

Does the text up first? If so, I'm not too worried about the other stuff (which loads later) taking a while to finish, since you can still read all the sparkling 80,000-word posts....

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 8:02 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

Whoops, sorry Dafydd, I was having a Monday. ;)

There are times when posts just scream for additional points of view, but others when I defer posting a response because I personally have nothing to add, not even a smart-alecked pun.

It could also be the case that too many of us took advantage of the Irish type celebrations to drink a better class of beer, and therefor had too few functioning brain cells in the frontal lobe to stitch together a rational statement which sense in the end made would have. And such.

Oh, and today, for the first time, TypeKey remembered me when I clicked on sign in! At least it workes for you, it NEVER remembers me over at that Salty Blog by Cap'n Eddy...

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 8:23 PM

The following hissed in response by: ShoreMark

Ironically enough, I had to "sign in" again from the earlier comment, but for the first time in history TypeKey remembered who I was (via checking their own remember me for 2 weeks button).

So this time I checked your aye button (that looks like it only applies if you fill in a url) and will come back later to see if it works, but, shudder, that will mean 3 posts in one day in one thread!

This also raises the question of, are you sure you want us to be able to comment more easily? :-)

The above hissed in response by: ShoreMark [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 8:25 PM

The following hissed in response by: ShoreMark

Okay, just a FYI, it appears it remembered.

Between you and TypeKey both remembering, there's sure to be increased sunspot activity this week too, and perhaps a new unity government in Iraq as well (as we all pray for).

The above hissed in response by: ShoreMark [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 9:07 PM

The following hissed in response by: MacStansbury

on TypeKey registration, somebody said it before, but there's a checkmark that will allow you to stay logged in for two weeks. the "Remember me unto the end of days?" thing will only remember what you stick in the Nickname, Email, and URL fields. since with TypeKey there's only an URL box, that's all that gets remembered.

as far as all the javascript elements, the way they slow the page down is getting the source from the other server. getting a faster server HERE won't have any effect on THEM. in my experience, BlogRolling and TTLB are the worst offenders, as they poll the server with every page-load.

the best thing to do is design your page with them as far down in the html (not necessarily on the displayed page) as you can. that's pretty much how this page is set up, but, again, if the page take forever to load up, it's probably TTLB or BlogRolling's fault.

and, as an aside, the first two times I tried posting this comment, it said I needed to register. gotta love TypePad.

The above hissed in response by: MacStansbury [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2006 10:49 PM

The following hissed in response by: Linh_My

Working for me. I tend to reserve my comments for military or S.E.Asia issues where I have specific knowledge.

The above hissed in response by: Linh_My [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 22, 2006 3:59 AM

The following hissed in response by: Stankleberry

I am not good at making comments.

The above hissed in response by: Stankleberry [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 22, 2006 6:34 AM

The following hissed in response by: Steelhand

I'm satisfied lurking, for the most part. I feel that if I have nothing to add and only to learn, that I have two ears and one mouth...Oh wait, I have ten fingers and two eyes, so that aphorism doesn't work!!

The above hissed in response by: Steelhand [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 22, 2006 7:24 AM

The following hissed in response by: CasualDropper-In

This is my first comment on any blog ever. I check your blog almost every day to see what you're churning up in the swamp. I frequently have comments in my mind, but lack the patience and know-how to post. Perhaps your regular commenters are just out in the spring weather sunning themselves on the warm rocks.

The above hissed in response by: CasualDropper-In [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 22, 2006 7:39 AM

The following hissed in response by: Papa Ray

Jeez, I make an ass of myself too many places as it is.. and you want me to do it here too?

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

The above hissed in response by: Papa Ray [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 22, 2006 9:28 PM

The following hissed in response by: Binder

Not everyone is as opinionated or politically-savvy as you, Dafydd, so it's only natural that comments will periodically drop off. Of course, it's just as natural that you would be concerned about this reduction in comments...

For myself, I tend not to comment simply because I realize I don't know enough to offer much that isn't "Yeah, I totally agree with that!" And not liking to appear the fool, silence seems the better route.

The fact that you readership stayed at its previous levels should be more important than the number of comments people leave.

The above hissed in response by: Binder [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 23, 2006 7:55 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

After the first fifteen or so sign-ins I've finally begun to adjust to Type Key, and I certainly can understand why you want it. I do think you need an email contact as well. There are instances where I've wanted to suggest you look at and maybe comment on something I've seen elsewhere, but there's no way (obvious to me anyway!) to do that. Overall, though, I love your blog- maybe (probably) because I often agree with you, but also because I like the subjects you take on.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 23, 2006 8:06 AM

The following hissed in response by: OldCoot

A follow-up: I won't suffer TypeKey again. Thought I'd figured out what those idiots wanted, at least enought to place the comment above and I am certain that I checked the "remember me for two weeks" box (and how stupid is that...why two weeks?) but just a few moments ago I tried to comment at Captain's Quarters and TypeKey refused to let me in and I had to re-register here to place this comment.

I admit to not knowing much about computers/HTML, yada-yada, but for years have had no trouble with e-mail, PayPal, eBay, commenting on lots of other blogs, etc. but TypeKey seems to have been designed to vex people. So screw-it; I'll keep reading cause the content is so good, but use TypeKey again?....only when pigs fly.

The above hissed in response by: OldCoot [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 23, 2006 9:36 AM

The following hissed in response by: SkyWatch

I do not post very often simply out of embarisment of my spelling and on educated writing style. Love your posts tho they are very well writen and easily understandable. I also like that you source most everything you use. Keep it up.

Btw that was directed and both dayfdd and sachi

The above hissed in response by: SkyWatch [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 23, 2006 6:30 PM

The following hissed in response by: Svolich

I don't post in comments where it forces me to share my email address. I get plenty of spam as it is.

The above hissed in response by: Svolich [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 26, 2006 4:32 PM

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