Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Of Comments and Intense Reactions

Hello bloggers! The official explanation for my short absence is in the next entry. In this one, I'm going to be doing something that I should have done earlier: Explain and present the new comment format I'm testing out. Many of you have reacted and commented about the new form, and I believe where I fell short on was the lack of a short tutorial on how to use it. It really is simple and very much like our old form, except it allows us to thread comments (more on this later).

So, please don't let the name of the comment plugin fool you, IntenseDebate is just a name, it's not what really goes on. Before you dismiss it as a gimicky thing, please let me defend it and its purpose. If you all have given it an honest try and still don't like it, i will gladly revert back to the default Blogger comment format.

Let me take you now through the simple process of leaving comments using this new format. Clicking on the same "comments" link at the bottom of each entry takes you to the entry's standalone page, like this one for the "The Village...III" for example. At the bottom of the existing comments, you'll find the form to leave your own.

After writing your comment, you have the option to leave your name or stay anonymous by leaving it blank. You DON'T have to sign up for an IntenseDebate account, though I would recommend it so you can track the comments you've made and refer back to them easily if the need arises. Click on the "Submit Comment" button when you're done.

Now, here is where I think some people are getting confused. IntenseDebate will now display your comment and it will look like it already got posted. This is just temporary and for your eyes only (based on your IP address). Actually, this comment will still be awaiting moderation (like in the old style of commenting) and will be posted publicly for all to see after I approve it. Some of you might have seen this and thought that I am not moderating comments anymore, don't worry that I still am.

With regards to threading comments, this is a way of responding to specific comments without having to quote it like in the old method. It allows us to easily follow a conversation between two bloggers, or allow any of you or me to respond to specific questions directed at you or myself. Here is how you do it:

Each comment will have a "Post Reply" link below it.

You click that and a standard comment entry form will appear. You can leave a reply just like posting a regular comment, and it will now appear under the comment you are responding to after I approve it. It will look like this:

A quick update:

Thanks to p.e. for asking, you can sort the comments as well, for those who want to see the latest activity or sort by date (default).

As for the html formatting our more internet savvy bloggers have utilized, they are still active.

IntenseDebate supports the following simple HTML tags:

<a>, <b>, <i>, <u>, <em>, <p>, <blockquote>, <br>, <strong>, <strike>, <img>

The most commonly used ones are the BOLD (<b>) and ITALIC (<i>) tags. You use them by enclosing the word or text you want formatted with the tags, for ex:

<b>your text here</b> will display as:

your text here

So there, I hope you all can give it an honest try, I do believe it will be helpful in keeping track of comments in the blog, especially as we interact with each other all the time nowadays. I noticed how many reactions the baiting commenter dan droff sasholder elicited with his sarcastic ways, and it helps to respond to such using threaded comments, hehe.