Sunday, March 02, 2008

How to Post Comments

The names of the winners of the Blaze Bonanza giveaway are listed directly under this post.

After several days of mulling over the responses and suggestions offered during last week's visitor poll I asked Tom to disable the anonymous comment option.* I'm not happy about it, but I'm done catering to trolls and cowards. Thus I must impose on the rest of you to take an extra step to participate in discussions here, but the majority of you seem to be okay with that. I apologize to those who aren't.

When you go to comment on PBW now, you'll see the following choices:

Google/Blogger

Open ID: LiveJournal, Wordpress, Typepad, AIM (AOL Instant Message)


1. To use the Google/Blogger option, you need to sign in with your Google account ID [two entry fields, in which you enter your account ID name and your password]

Joining Blogger is free, but requires you open a Google Account (also free.) You can get more information and take a tour of Blogger here.

2. To use the LiveJournal option, you need to enter your LiveJournal URL: http://(user name).livejournal.com

Joining LiveJournal is completely free, and you can learn more about it and sign up here.

3. To use the Wordpress option, you need to enter your Wordpress URL: http://(user name).wordpress.com

WordPress also offers free blogs, but they may stick Google ads on your blog. You can read more about them here.

4. To use the Typepad option, you need to enter your Typepad profile URL: http://profile.typekey.com/(user name)

Typepad is not free, but offers a 14-day trial membership, and you can learn more that here.

5. To use the AIM, or AOL Instant Messenger option, you need to enter your AOL ID URL: http://openid.aol.com/(user name)

AIM is also free, even if you don't subscribe to AOL as your Internet Service Provider. You will have to create a screen name, or use an existing e-mail account as a screen name, and you can read more on that here.

It would make me very happy if some of you turned this hassle into a writing opportunity. You know how I harp on journaling and writing daily, and if you've never written an online journal or blog it might be fun to start one now. Most of the free sites offer a private option, so you don't have to share your blog with the rest of the world. I've been using Blogger for seven years now, and while I've had some problems here and there, the service for the most part has been good.

As for those writers who scoff at the idea of a free weblog being worthwhile, consider that I've never paid a dime for PBW, and it's proven a hundred times more popular than any other online site I've had.

*Added, 10/31/08: Some time after this post Tom and I quietly re-enabled the anonymous comment option. I Still reserve the right to delete any anonymous comment I feel is SPAM or inappropriate.

21 comments:

  1. There are plenty of ways to remain anonymous using the methods you've described. The only two I couldn't immediately use are TypePad and LiveJournal, and I'm one free LJ account away from being able to use that option.

    Anyone else has that capability, and they can use the tools to be as anonymous or as public as they please.

    And what a bonus to use this as an opportunity to write -- either publicly or privately. Good idea.

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  2. To be honest, I was one of the people who wanted you to keep it anonymous, since I've not yet reached the age of majority, but, as usual, you've failed to drive me away. In fact, I feel indebted to you now that I'm finally blogging again. I, for one, will still be reading.

    One question, though; are you still going to be moderating comments? I suppose I'll get the answer as soon as I hit "Publish," but if so, why?

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  3. Thanks, Jean.

    Quitelikesmokey wrote: One question, though; are you still going to be moderating comments? I suppose I'll get the answer as soon as I hit "Publish," but if so, why?

    Presently it's mainly due to SPAM. PBW still receives up to 100 SPAM comments a week, and since I don't think you all are interested in enlarging your manly parts or signing up for a dating service, Tom will still be screening comments for me, which requires they stay on moderation.

    The other problem are trolls. Now and then a disgruntled soul, usually someone who isn't a writer and doesn't work in the industry, will try to butt into a discussion and make it all about them, or post something inappropriate, hostile or hateful. I've tried ignoring them, and that doesn't work. I've tried being polite to them, and that doesn't work. I've tried shutting down comments on posts when things get ugly, and that doesn't work. I've tried handling things discreetly via e-mail, and even that doesn't work.

    There are plenty of places around the internet where you can rip me to shreds. But since this is my weblog, I reserve the right to block and reject any comments that I feel are inappropriate. In order to do that, I have to keep them on moderation.

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  4. Lynn, I'm new to your site (from Alison's) and just wanted to say that very few of the blogs I've visited allow anonymous comments, probably for all the reasons you listed. You have a great blog, and you definitely have the right to preserve the kind of community you've worked hard to create. Thank you for putting the time into doing that for us lucky readers!

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  5. I don't blame you, I took off the annonymous off my blog as well but I found it still took a lot of time and closed it just before Xmas.

    I have just joined an "invite only" autism forum that has chat/blog features. We'll see how that goes. I like the fact that there is a real live forum behind it so if there's problems.... they can be dealt with.

    When someone has to actually log in somewhere, set up an account, they tend to "troll" less.

    Best of luck with it.

    Sheri

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  6. I don't blame you one bit for moderating, Lynn. I've finally gotten my Blogger id and password memorized.

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  7. WordPress also offers free blogs, but they may stick Google ads on your blog. You can read more about them here.

    I use wordpress and haven't seen any google ads. I think some people choose to use 'adwords' because they can make money, but I don't think it's standard on wp blogs.

    I do love wordpress. ;-) In part because it lets me see who the trolls are...and block them

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  8. What if you have a Wordpress blog on your own website, rather than one on Wordpress.com? Is there an option for that? Right now I'm using my Blogger account, but it links to a defunct blog, and if possible I'd like to link to my current one.

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  9. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't sign in with the name and website option, but I have an AIM ID, so I got over it.

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  10. Hi Lynn,
    I had no idea that even aim users could leave comments on blogs through their screen names. Interesting.
    Hopefully this new method will take care of (most of) the problems!

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  11. I was over at Kate R's blog and just wanted to say bravo for that crocheted blanket - it is amazingly beautiful - in many ways!

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  12. Good for you!! Sometimes doing what is right kinda sucks. Bravo for you for your courage.
    p.s.
    Off the subject, how do you (if this has happened) get out of the 'blah' mode when it comes to writing?

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  13. Zoe,

    I use WordPress on my own site. Wonderful program. Extremely easy to use. If you're wondering, there are no ads unless you put them on there. WordPress does ask you to leave the credit at the bottom of the page, and some theme designers ask the same. I've found WordPress to be a tremendous community of developers.

    My blogger login (used here) links to my defunct blogger blog, and if you go there from the link in my signature here, you'll find a link to my active WordPress blog, which is what it sounds like you'd like to do.

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  14. Zoe wrote: What if you have a Wordpress blog on your own website, rather than one on Wordpress.com? Is there an option for that? Right now I'm using my Blogger account, but it links to a defunct blog, and if possible I'd like to link to my current one.

    I've got an e-mail out to Tom to see if he has any suggestions, but I think what Jean wrote above may be the only option, Zoe. If I find out anything different, though, I'll post it here.

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  15. Sam wrote: I was over at Kate R's blog and just wanted to say bravo for that crocheted blanket - it is amazingly beautiful - in many ways!

    Thanks, Sam. I'm mostly proud that I didn't chuck it in the fireplace, which I seriously thought about doing for the first three months. :)

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  16. Big T wrote: Off the subject, how do you (if this has happened) get out of the 'blah' mode when it comes to writing?

    Depends on the source of the "blah" feeling. I'd first look at how well you're eating, sleeping, and exercising. Sometimes making some changes like eating more healthy meals, going to bed an hour earlier and/or taking a daily walk or jog can make a big difference in how well you feel when you sit down at the keyboard (you should always check with your doctor before you go on a diet or start a new exercise regime, especially if you have health issues.)

    If the blahs are more writing-related, then you might try things like changing the time you write (i.e. if you write at night, try writing in the morning); creating and following a daily or weekly writing schedule, and/or giving yourself a small reward when you accomplish a writing goal. Sometimes taking a one-day break from your WIP and writing something fun or strictly for your own pleasure can recharge your batteries. If you feel blocked or unenthusiastic, refill your well by doing something creative that has nothing to do with writing -- listen to music, go to an art museum or take a nature walk. When I do things like that I try to imagine myself like a dry sponge so I can soak up all the energy, color and beauty around me.

    Another thing I do every day to clear out the cobwebs and jumpstart my muse is to meditate. I sit on my porch at dawn, listen to the birds and empty my thoughts so that the calm and quiet of the new day can become part of me. There are a variety of meditation techniques to address specific issues, but sometimes just taking thirty minutes to do nothing but watch the sunrise can unravel a lot of knots inside your head.

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  17. I don't blame you one bit, I used to use my name, but since I have AIM/AOL it's not a problem.

    Another board I occassionaly stop at recently did the same thing for the same reason - trolls.

    :::pondering::: I wonder if they're lesser or greater smoky mountaion trolls that are doing it :-)

    Tammy

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  18. Thank you, the things that you suggested are the things that I have been avoiding (eating right, exercising etc) due to laziness.
    Giving it new light will help. Thank you again.
    p.s.
    My doctor will love the idea of me exercising again!! LOL

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  19. Obviously I don't have a problem with logging in, but I wanted to make a simple comment:

    The reason this blog gets so much traffic has nothing to do with pay or free. It's the content you offer here. Thanks for making the effort :).

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  20. Hello. How does one submit a comment/suggestion/question on a specific book/series?

    Thank-you.

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  21. Rachelle wrote: How does one submit a comment/suggestion/question on a specific book/series?

    Unless it's to illustrate a point about writing, generally I don't discuss my books or series here at the blog, Rachelle. If you'd like to send me an e-mail, my reader address is LynnViehl@aol.com.

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