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March 15, 2008

Don't Talk About Blogger's Comments

(Based on a real song/movie/book.)

And you open the page and you step inside. It's an interesting post from a Blogger blog. After reading it, you want to post a comment and share your opinion, but there's no contact form. A strange link invites readers to "post a comment" and you reluctantly click on it. The link sends you to a web page from a different domain where you are supposed to enter your comment, but the comment form is too small and you can no longer see the original post unless you click on a barely visible link. For some reason, Blogger asks you to log in and it's not obvious that you can post a comment without having a Google account. Oh, and there's a difficult to read CAPTCHA you need to solve before clicking on "Publish your comment".

After all this trouble, the comment has been finally posted. Blogger forgot to auto-link your URLs, but that's no longer your problem. The big question is how to get back to the post. You want to give up and close the tab, but you notice a subtle message: "Your comment has been saved. It may take a moment for your comment to appear on the site at the original post." The last three words are linked so maybe clicking on the link will send you back to the original post.

Congratulations! You've managed to post a comment on Blogger. If this your first comment, it's likely it will also be the last one. "You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We are all a part of the same compost. We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world."

27 comments:

  1. Mmmmmmmm.....F.C.....I'm not allowed to talk about it...

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  2. Well... they do support OpenID, which is the net equivalent of shoveling your sidewalk regularly, so they are good.

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  3. Funny GOS Blog is still on Blogger :)

    Ssssh !

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  4. Blogger's comments are fine. I'm using it now, and I didn't have to log in, use captchas, anything. It's working. I probably did that stuff once, but I don't really recall.

    Personally I run my own instance of WordPress, but blogger is not bad.

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  5. Are you that hard up for material that this is the best you could do?

    Man, go out and play with your dog or something...

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  6. use the pop up option for blogger comments. it's better.

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  7. One of my old Blogger templates had code that had an embeded comment entry form at the end of each individual post, which was neat until Beta hit.

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  8. Yeah Blogger should just let people add a comment right on the post page itself, probably also using AJAX to make the process smoother. It's just annoying to see another page (including popup) when I want to add a comment..

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  9. If you're too stupid to figure out how to post a blogger comment, you don't belong online. While you are at it, don't start a sentence with the word "And". That's just stupid.

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  10. And yet i make another comment on blogger.

    Please do stupid things :P
    But the "leave your comment" page is a big reason why i don't use blogger for my sites or whatever.

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  11. The better solution would be indeed an AJAX-solution on the same site.
    It's also poor, that you can't see the original blog anymore, when writing a comment.

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  12. Amen to that!

    Given the competition is so fully featured, so ridiculously easy to get in to, and getting your own domain/hosting is so ridiculously cheap, Google should be getting it's act together.

    I've felt exactly the same about commenting too.

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  13. Even if I use the popup version (which is a bit better), you are right: we need inline comment form!

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  14. It's worth noting that Blogger was launched in 1999 and it only added comments in 2004, one year after Pyra Labs was acquired by Google. People used HaloScan to add comments to their blogs and now an interesting alternative is Disqus.

    More about Blogger's history.

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  15. Blogger's comment form is horrible. And while you described some of the issues, there's even more... like entering some text into the comment form to then see it becomes erased because there was still some background loading going on.

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  16. Well this is the first time I've used blogger comments, seems strange that they're not all ajaxy.
    :s

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  17. As the owner of a blog, you can't edit comments anymore :-/
    That's a bad thing when someone drops a comment with a HUGE URL (or code) which completely deforms the design of your blog...

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  18. Erm, why not enable popup comment windows? Most of your complaint is then redundant. :-)

    Further, the ways you can submit a comment without a google account seem pretty obvious to anyone who's even slightly familiar with all this blogging stuff. Maybe the wording could be tweaked a little - "Choose an identification method" rather than "Choose an identity" perhaps, but these are minor things that cease to become a problem after you've posted your second comment!

    I think anyone can be deliberately obtuse on the layout and functionality of a particular service, but let's face it, the facts speak for themselves - well, for me anyway. I visit as many blogger-powered blogs as I do those running wordpress, livejournal etc. etc. and I find blogger blogs to be among the easiest to comment on. Blogger provides a checkbox on the comment form to "email follow-up comments" where many other blogging engines do not provide such a feature.

    Blogger and it's commenting functionality are not exactly perfect, but then, what is perfect in this world of rapid development and pre-release deployment?

    Besides, doesn't EVERYBODY have a google account now? ;-)

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  19. Oh, and there's another option if you really hate Blogger's commenting system that much - you can disable comments on blogger and use a third-party comment engine.

    Although why you would remains beyond my grasp.

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  20. @Slippy Lane:
    In the first months of this blog I used the pop-up version, but that's not a great solution:

    1. it's a pop-up and people hate pop-ups
    2. it doesn't always open in a new window, sometimes it opens in a new tab, depending on your browser's settings
    3. the comment form is at the bottom of the page
    4. the comment doesn't show up after posting it

    As for third-party commenting systems, I'd choose Disqus, but I don't like that it's just an iframe and the content is no longer a part of the page.

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  21. Seriously, I know many people who don't even know that they can comment to a blog post. The add a comment link can be easily overlooked.

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  22. It's also disorienting that the comment form looks completely different from the layout design of the blog.

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  23. How about the fact that if you are the blogger and you are moderating comments ... you have no idea what post the comment *was replying to* !?! And if you want to reply to said comment after approving it you have to tab through your own posts one at a time. Yeep.

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  24. I agree - it seems very old compared to new sites that often don't even require the page to reload to have posted your comment.

    The question remains as to why you are using Blogger if you have such an objection to what seems a very important part of a blog.

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  25. I especially agree with Philipp's comment about the box getting cleared when you're in the middle of typing your comment. To me, that's always been incredibly stupid because it doesn't make sense to clear the box in the first place. Or if you are going to clear it, at least check that there isn't stuff already typed in there. It's my huge Blogger pet peeve.

    And I really don't get why they need to put comments on a separate domain. I'm sure that's confused plenty of users.

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  26. I've just started using Disqus to power the comments on my blog. I quite like it so far, although to be honest it looks a little clunky when viewing comments.

    Still, it does enable my comments to be synchronised between my blog and the relevant entry on friendfeed.com

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