Aug 062011

Anywhere you look on the interwebs these days, you will likely be invited to leave a comment on whatever you read/see.  It doesn’t matter if it is a newspaper article, a photography site or a blog like what you are reading now.

Believe it or not, these comment sections are the only true way to find out what you, the reader, really think about what you are looking at.  They are put there to gain the necessary feedback that let people like me know what you like/dislike about the content of the site.

And over the years, the widgets (programs that are written that make up certain parts of a website) used for comment sections have evolved to make it easier for the average Joe to let the website author know exactly how they feel.  They have also made it safer for the author to receive real feedback, not a ton of spam from bots and pesky website crawlers that want to leave an advertisement for their website that has nothing whatsoever to do with the content of the page.

OK, so with the introduction out of the way, I’ll get to the real reason I’m giving a little lesson on the comment section:  Grandma Lee.  Yep, she started all of this.  Who is she?  She is a beautiful lady that just happens to be the Grandmother to my future son-in-law.  And I love her to pieces.  When I saw her at the bridal shower last Saturday, she told me how much she loved my blog, but she was confused when it came to leaving a comment.

I got to thinking about how many other people might be having the same problem, and decided that it was my job to demystify the comment section of not just my site, but for any other webpage you may come upon that you want to give the author a piece of your mind.

Alright, let’s get started.

The comment section (please excuse the less than stellar quality of the photos – it’s not that easy to take a photo of my computer screen).  Looks fairly clean, easy to understand, but let’s break it down into sections.

Name (required):  Yes, I would like you to put your name here.  If you don’t want to use your real name, that’s fine with me.  If you want to have fun and be known as Periwinkle Sebastian Ravenheart, go for it!  I just like to know that a real human being is leaving the comment (unless you have taught your dog/cat/gerbil to use a keyboard, then please send a photo because I’d love to see it).

Email (required):  WHY?  Because if I want to send a personal message to your “in” box, then I need this information.  And if you are wondering, no, I will never give away this information.  Period.  Exclamation Point.

Now I cannot personally speak for any other website you may visit that requires this information, but erase all fears about my site.  You’re information is safe with  me.

CAPTCHA Code (required):  This little doohickey absolutely, positively lets my site know that you are, in fact, a human being (or very talented cat/dog/gerbil) and really wanted to leave me a comment. Just enter the simple letters/numbers that are displayed and you’re all set to telling it like it is.

To tell you the truth, I really didn’t want to put one of these on my site.  Actually, I don’t really care for them at all.  I mean, why would I ever need such a tool.  This site is fairly young.  Rick may have cautioned mentioned to me that there was always the chance that unwanted comments would appear, but I threw caution to the wind and ignored decided that if and when that happened, I would deal with it.

And then one day it did happened:  I was under attack.  I was getting spammed left and right in my comment section from a site that latched onto me and randomly posted BS at such a furious rate that I was forced to do something to protect my site.  There are tons of programs out there from the simple one that I have here to ones that make you add numbers or even name the animal that is on the screen.  But for you, my friends, I wanted simple.

One thing that has changed with the particular program that I use is that it no longer offers an audio of the CAPTCHA for those that need it.  I apologize for this, and I hope that they will bring this feature back.  If I get enough feedback that people really love this additional tool, I will search for another program to suit the needs of my readers.

I love you that much.

Your Comment:  Well, I think that is self-explanatory.  Let me have it.  Tell me how you really feel.  Give me all you got, I can take it.  Or just post your own little addition to the post.  I just love to hear what you have to say.

Oh, and that little bit of information under the box about using HTML tags and such?  Yeah, I don’t know what it means either.  If you happen to understand it, please feel free to use it and then let the rest of us know.  Knowledge is power!

Submit Comment:  Just click and you’re done!

Now wasn’t that easy?  Well, at least I hope I made it sound as easy as it is.  Don’t be afraid, give it a try!

BUT, only if you want to.  No pressure.  It’s OK to read and leave.  Hey, I do it too.  But sometimes I read/see something that really makes me want to say something.

And, in a weird sort of way, I see the comment section as a “get-together” of sorts, where you get to meet lots of different people, and new thoughts and ideas can be shared.  The social side of the web universe were you won’t be attacked with pop-up ads asking you to take a survey, or suggestions for games that you may like because your “friends” like them.  Blech!

There you have it, easy instructions (with pictures… aren’t things always easier with pictures?) on how to post comments to a website.  Well, mine, anyway.

Class dismissed.

  6 Responses to “Comments 101”

Comments (6)
  1. Just thought I would let you know that I am enjoying your blog very much.

  2. Thanks! I’m so glad you that you stop by 🙂

  3. Excellent job, Mom!

  4. Thanks Chris!

  5. Yes, wonderful explanation 🙂

  6. Miigwech Nichole!

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