Hari's Corner

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Blogger.com commenting system annoyance

Filed under: Internet and Blogging by Hari
Posted on Thu, Dec 6, 2007 at 10:03 IST (last updated: Wed, Jul 16, 2008 @ 20:19 IST)

This one goes into Policy. ;)

Recently, while happening to post a comment on a friend's blog I happened to notice that Blogger.com blogs no longer allow me to identify myself with a URL while commenting. To me (and a lot of other bloggers), posting a comment on a Blogger.com blog has always been like jumping through an obstacle course. And now the final straw: you can no longer leave behind any identifying information while leaving a comment other than a "nickname" if you choose not to log in to your google account. :crazy:

I don't care about not about getting a link back for posting a comment (a link back from a Blogspot/Blogger comments page is not worth the bytes wasted on it anyway). It's about identifying myself to the blog owner and other commenters. A nickname is just not enough sometimes. I felt that using the URL field is a fair and acceptable way to tell the blog owner (and other commenters) who I am. I know blogs where there are multiple commenters with the same nickname and the best way to publicly identify themselves is by their URL. By denying a URL, Blogger has effectively reduced me to anonymity. I refuse to post anonymous comments as a matter of principle even if the blog owner knows me from my usual nickname. I know for a fact that there are few other bloggers with the nickname "hari" (it's not just a theoritical objection: I've seen instances where another "hari" has posted comments on the same blog where I have).

So I am no longer going to post comments on Blogger blogs any more. If I know you well enough, I can always comment on your articles by e-mail and you can publicize that if you wish. If I don't know you well enough to have your e-mail ID, then you wouldn't really be upset that I haven't commented on your blog now, would you? And more in general, I'm not going to post comments on blogs where I feel ignored and where the blog owners refuse to reciprocate or even reply over a period of time.

My apologies to my regular readers for this rant. But here's your incentive to move away from Blogger hosted blogs (if you still have one). You are not really in control of any of the features at all, are you? You are at the mercy of a third party's privacy policy and I'm sure you would be the first to get annoyed by things like this.

30 comment(s)

  1. Very good points. I like being able to use my real name when I wish and having that linked to my site for verification. I'd hate to think that another "ray" (who may leave poor or derogatory comments) could be credited for my post history. Or I get debited for his.

    Then again, I doubt I've posted a comment on a Blogger blog for more than a year....

    Comment by ray (visitor) on Thu, Dec 6, 2007 @ 15:19 IST #
  2. Yes, Ray. I consider it a nuisance to have to log in to my google account to post a comment on every Blogger blog. And in any case, it doesn't link back to my blog - just to my Blogger profile page.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Thu, Dec 6, 2007 @ 15:42 IST #
  3. I hate blogger/blogspot blogs altogether. I try to avoid them when I can.

    Comment by drew (visitor) on Thu, Dec 6, 2007 @ 19:01 IST #
  4. Drew, yes, I generally keep away from Blogger/Blogspot, but there are quite a lot of people (including some blogging friends) who still use Blogger.com and it's not possible for me to ignore them.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Thu, Dec 6, 2007 @ 19:26 IST #
  5. hari (and others),

    I think that you'll find that the Blogger blogs that you visited which require log in to your Google account have been set that way by the mean spirited and lazy authors. If you wanted to comment on my Blogger blog (which was one of the very first after Google bought the company), you could with a nickname, or anonymous, if you wanted to. You just have to fill in the letters from the captcha that's stopping the spammers. No google sign in required. You just visited blogs run by closed minded people. :)

    Comment by MrCorey (visitor) on Thu, Dec 6, 2007 @ 23:47 IST #
  6. Hari,
    I understand your concerns. I use blogspot because I started with it and had no serious reasons to shift.

    I'm seriously considering alternatives-will decide on something soon.

    For the interim period, feel free to email me your valuable comments. I'll update the post with your comments and link.

    Regrets for the inconvenience caused.

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Fri, Dec 7, 2007 @ 01:42 IST #
  7. Also you can name your URL behind within the comment using href

    Comment by Shrinidhi Hande (visitor) on Fri, Dec 7, 2007 @ 06:31 IST #
  8. Shrinidhi, if you decide to move from Blogger, you might want to research the migration tools out there. I actually went to B2Evolution first. Back then, I lost the comments on the posts that I had written. That was more a Blogger thing than anything though. I think that the Blogger to Wordpress migration tool is good now, though. And, with Papa Hari's awesome Wordpress to B2Evolution migration script, you can go from Blogger to at least two other platforms without compromising your blog's contents.

    Comment by MrCorey (visitor) on Fri, Dec 7, 2007 @ 07:18 IST #
  9. Shrinidhi, no issues. I'll send you my comments by e-mail or leave my URL in the way you suggested.

    I think that you'll find that the Blogger blogs that you visited which require log in to your Google account have been set that way by the mean spirited and lazy authors.
    MrCorey, to clarify: actually the problem is that earlier Blogger had a URL field for users not logged into google and who wanted to leave behind a nickname with URL. Now that URL field has been removed by the commenting system. It's not related to blog writers setting up commenting permissions on their particular blogs.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Fri, Dec 7, 2007 @ 08:21 IST #
  10. I rarely comment on blogger blogs because I'm usually signed in to Google (through Gmail) and it automatically sticks my profile up there. Of course, it could be the fault of my lousy connection too, something I hope to rectify within the next 14 hours.

    Comment by (visitor) on Fri, Dec 7, 2007 @ 21:47 IST #
  11. RT, yes. The google ID is what identifies you to Blogger.com, but what about those users who prefer not to get a google account or who do not wish to identify themselves through the Blogger profile page?

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sat, Dec 8, 2007 @ 08:53 IST #
  12. New theme?

    Comment by ray (visitor) on Sat, Dec 8, 2007 @ 17:13 IST #
  13. You know me, Ray. Never satisfied with the same look over a period of time. Like to vary it. I still have the earlier theme, it's just one click away ;)

    You know the best part about it? Everything was purely CSS changes. Not a single code of XHTML was touched in making the new theme from the older one. That makes the change fairly invisible to robots and will only affect the way the blog is seen by human eyes.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sat, Dec 8, 2007 @ 20:14 IST #
  14. I stand corrected. After some research (personal), I see what you mean. That does suck after all.

    Comment by MrCorey (visitor) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 08:38 IST #
  15. MrCorey, somehow it's not the lack of a URL which bothers me so much as google's ability to unilaterally determine/alter the privacy policy/commenting policy of hundreds of thousands of blogs out there in a single stroke.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 08:50 IST #
  16. I want to comment on several of these blogs but now won't, and I agree completely, Hari. I don't want to use my Google ID for anything but the Google adwords and Google analytics. I don't feel it would identify me to the owner or the readers of the blog at all, and I think this is a move to exclude non- Blogger users.

    Comment by Tim (visitor) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 09:21 IST #
  17. If blogger bloggers install Haloscan all comments are linked back. I installed it and blogged about it.

    Comment by windyridge (visitor) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 10:05 IST #
  18. Tim, yes. I think it's more to do with forcing non-Blogger users to use their Google ID for posting comments.

    Windyridge, about Halsocan, why go for yet another third-party commenting system? I mean, it just adds another thing to worry about.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 10:50 IST #
  19. I also try to avoid commenting on Blogger/Blogspot blogs, too. This change will probably encourage people to leave nicknames that match their domains, e.g. in my case, LongCountdown.com, which would be odd since they can't be clicked...

    Comment by Nick Ramsay (visitor) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 10:54 IST #
  20. Nick, that's what I wanted to avoid. Using the domain name somewhat gives the impression of spamming (as a lot of spammers use this technique as well when signing up on online communities)

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 11:28 IST #
  21. I want to comment on Blogger blogs to support bloggers who write useful content, but the platform is indeed annoying. I share your feelings concerning this matter.

    Comment by jblu (visitor) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 13:31 IST #
  22. Indeed, jblu. I have good friends using the Blogger platform and I'm annoyed that Blogger.com decides their commenting policy.

    Just a question to all the first-time commenters on this blog? Where did you find this article from?

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 14:20 IST #
  23. I moved my blog frm Blogger. Still, a linkback, even from wordpress.com, may nt be worth a warm bucket of spit. Actually I'll take any linkback I can get. Who am I to be choosy?

    Comment by ROTUS (visitor) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 18:16 IST #
  24. The change that Google made forced me to move to WordPress. Will be taking the final steps to move in a day or so.

    As for me leaving comments on Blogger blogs, I won't stop. I've setup an OpenID that points directly to my blog URL. So if the Blogger bloggers change their settings (still in Draft mode, so they have to do it in Draft), then I'll leave my OpenID. If they haven't, then I'll leave my address in their comments (using href). Takes a couple more seconds, but worth it to have a clickable link somewhere.

    Comment by Kathy (visitor) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 18:19 IST #
  25. Today I got a google alert and someone needed help. I posted a comment and thought how bad is this. The poor sod cannot even check out who I am and discover I can help him with his problem at no cost. My google profile isn't much use.

    I suppose I could have put my website in the comment box. Just wasn't interested in writing advise only to see it deleted because I dared to provide an address.

    It's a shame that it breaks down the ability to get to know someone.


    Comment by AlexK (visitor) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 18:40 IST #
  26. ROTUS, thanks for dropping by with a comment.

    Kathy, I am also not planning to stop commenting. Only I'll be leaving my comments by e-mail to people whose e-mail IDs I have. Otherwise, I'm not going to jump through more hoops to leave feedback.

    AlexK, that's what annoys me too. Identifying myself on the Blogger comments page has become more and more difficult. And to be honest, I always like to know where people are coming from when they comment. I am curious ;)

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 18:50 IST #
  27. I'm in the process of moving my blog to wordpress, thanks to snoskred helping me. I've posted about it, and the new wordpress blog is looking awesome. Only one more thing to do, the dns change, and we're all set. I can hardly wait to be rid of blogger!

    Comment by Lin (visitor) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 19:20 IST #
  28. Lin. Thanks for dropping by with a comment... :) WordPress is quite decent, but you should also explore other blog software like TextPattern or b2evolution which are not as famous, but are quite good in their own right. WordPress needn't be an automatic choice.

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sun, Dec 9, 2007 @ 19:32 IST #
  29. It's all good now. Blogger reversed their mistake. I had also installed Halsocan so anyone could still leave comments,

    Comment by windyridge (visitor) on Sat, Jan 26, 2008 @ 20:17 IST #
  30. Thanks windyridge. I was aware of that, so I have reversed my policy. I leave comments on blogger blogs these days, even though it's still a big nuisance (with the interface etc.)

    Comment by hari (blog owner) on Sat, Jan 26, 2008 @ 20:25 IST #

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