Today I got a little ‘free’ time, so I finally did some clean up to my comment board system…I didn’t get to do everything I wanted, but I did get some of the more important things done.
1. I added a 'recent’ comments bit to the side bar of the blog. (btw, I know a lot of people offer widgets for sidebars and almost all blogs are cluttered with at least a handful of them…I’m wondering does anyone offer a sidebar widget itself? One central location where you can pick and choose from dozens of widgets, configure them, etc. - and then only one bit of widget code to place on your actual site…sort of like feedburner, but for widgets instead of feeds).
2. I tweaked the HTML of the actual comment posting.
3. I added support so that you can request to be emailed about any follow up posts to your own.
4. I turned off the captcha bit and went strictly with my semantic filter approach…although since doing that, I’ve started getting spammed again. The filter is working, so the spam itself is not getting publicly posted…but it’s still annoying (I get an email alert about every post and I then have to either approve or delete them). So most likely I’m going to re-implement the captcha…but I think this time I’ll only put it in place for things that don’t pass the semantic filter AND have a link in them…
That was about all I got in place today (for my own comment board stuff).
I still have a handful of details I want to implement…many of which I could just do by handing my comment system over to Disqus.com (btw - I’m both a fan and a hater of Disqus right now). My main reason for sticking with my own approach right now is because I prefer to have the comments actually listed as a part of my own content (so I benefit from the limited google juice and such).
However, I really like the idea of being able to unplug comments from the blog and be able to move those around the web to keep the chatter going…I don’t have enough of a readership right now for it to really matter, but my plan long term is to build a widget that will allow people to do that with my comment threads as well.
It will sort of be the complete opposite of the Disqus approach (instead of a centrally controlled comment system, it will be a distributed, individually controlled comment system – each blog owner can simply off a widget to allow their comments to become unplugged…but all the actual content will still always end up on the blog owners site)…if/when I finally get around to building it, I’ll share more of the details (honestly I haven’t mapped it all out in my head just yet, I’ve just been building a sort of 'wish’ list).
For now though, let’s start with the baby step of playing with the upgraded comment system here…so let me know what you think…in the, uh, comment board below :thumbsup:
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).