the web is what we make it

Clint responds to Audrey's decision to nuke comments from Hack Education. I agree - it's unfortunate that douchebags on the internet ((they are also douchebags in The Real World, but don't get to hide behind anonymous internet comments in meatspace)) feel that they can abuse people while hiding behind the anonymity of the internet. It's Audrey's decision to nuke comments - and I fully support her in whatever she decides to do - but I hate that she was pushed to it by misogynistic assholes spewing vitriol and hate. [Read More]

on rebuilding public spaces

Anil Dash's recent post on the web we lost, and a follow-up post on rebuilding it, got me thinking about my own little corner of the web. In his follow-up post, he talks about creating public spaces: Create public spaces. Right now, all of the places we can assemble on the web in any kind of numbers are privately owned. And privately-owned public spaces aren't real public spaces. They don't allow for the play and the chaos and the creativity and brilliance that only arise in spaces that don't exist purely to generate profit. [Read More]

(How) do blogs need to evolve?

Interesting discussion about the nature of blogs, blogging, and where this stuff might be going. Some comments jumped out at me: Paul Bausch: The whole idea of comments is based on the assumption that most people reading won't have their own platform to respond with. So you need to provide some temporary shanty town for these folks to take up residence for a day or two. And then if you're like Matt--hanging out in dozens of shanty towns--you need some sort of communication mechanism to tie them together. [Read More]

on decommenting

I read a whole bunch of posts today on the topic of comments on blogs, triggered by some critiques of Gruber's Daringfireball which hasn't ever had comments. Gruber wrote a post about the Google/Admob/Apple drama, and was called out for not having comments on his blog, and how that's bad form. Gruber responded with this: You write on your site; I write on mine. That's a response. and [Read More]

the twitter effect

Rereading Alan's post on his blog hiatus, where he takes a month off of posting on his blog to comment elsewhere, I was struck (as always) by the patterns in activity he described. I decided to take a closer peek at the activity on my own blog - I've been thinking a lot about discourse analysis lately, so it's at least partially non-navel-gazing. Here's the graph for the first few years of life for my blog. [Read More]

Comment activity

Alan ran a query on his blog's database to peek at comment activity on his blog. I was curious, so ran the query here, too. The top 10 comment posters in 2008: (not counting the evil, evil spamroaches of course...)

  1. dnorman: 353
  2. Scott Leslie: 43
  3. Jim: 39
  4. David Esrati: 37
  5. Alan Levine: 36
  6. Chris L: 26
  7. Sami: 22
  8. Rob Wall: 22
  9. Brian: 16
  10. Cole: 16

how to list comments by users in WordPress?

I've got a prof using a WordPress site to manage some really active discussions in his course. He'd really like to be able to list all comments posted by each user, as part of the assessment rubric for the course. I've found LOTS of "recent comments" and "popular posts" plugins, and some requests for similar "list all comments for a given user" functionality, but haven't been able to find anything that fits the bill. [Read More]

Comment troubles (maybe spam-related?)

I've been off-blog for a few days, and haven't had a chance to deal with this yet. I received a couple of email from folks saying they were having difficulty commenting on my blog. I thought maybe Akismet might be blocking them, so I've just switched back to a Drupal 5 development snapshot of Spam.module. Yes, it's a continuing ongoing saga of switching back and forth between Akismet and Spam. [Read More]

Comment Notification by eMail now available again!

Thanks to some great work by Christoph C. Cemper, there is now a module available to enable email notifications for comments by anonymous users (which, on my blog, is everyone but myself) on a Drupal blog. There should now be a "follow comments by email" checkbox underneath the comment submission form, which adds the much-missed feature. It needs a (minor?) change to the stock comment.module, but Christoph provides a modified version of that. [Read More]