I've decided to reinstate a commenting system to my blog, having removed it when I created and launched my new theme.
I've had an off- and on- again relationship with comments. For several years, I used Disqus, but didn't like it for a lot of reasons -- namely because they do dodgy things with people's data.
However, a small percentage of people do like to comment or engage with bloggers and my interim answer of 'reach out to me on social media' wasn't exactly satisfactory to those who prefer not to.
So, comments are back again, but this time I'm using a rather novel approach.
The system is based on email -- crazy, I know. At the bottom of every blog post (and only blog posts), you will have the ability to post on a comment by pressing the Post comment button. Pressing it will display a form, enter what details you want and then press the Post via email button. It will launch your email app with a pre-formated message ready to go. Feel free to add a personal comment up top of the email, but leave the data untouched.
If you just want to engage with me personally and don't want your comment published, please note it in your email. One of the things I like about this approach is it provides a means for readers to respond to an article more easily.
Send it to me when you are done and I'll add it to my site when I schedule the next build.
Note, because I'm not interested in your personal information every field is optional except the name/nickname. You can even post as Anonymous if you choose.
However that's not an invitation to be an arsehole or spam me! I'll delete anything that's abusive, bigoted or related to products or services I'm not interested in. I also reserve the right to do so without a response.
On that note, this is not a real-time commenting system, nor is automated or database driven. I will eyeball each and every comment post I receive and will post them to the site at a time convenient to me and of course at my discretion.
Moreover, because it's not automated, you won't receive an email when someone posts a message or responds to yours. If you really want to follow a comment thread in real-time, you can do so using the RSS feed (accessible via the icon).
Given that only a small percentage of people comment, I don't imagine this being too onerous a task for me to manage. However if it becomes such, or if I attract too much spam, I'll inject some server-side code to help me manage everything.
This is my first stab at the system, and I'll likely add some refinements down the track -- nothing fancy, so don't expect too much!
Anyway, I'm looking forward now to be able to engage more readily, especially with those of you who prefer something more direct and less dependent on social media (after all, we all seem to be #deletingFacebook now 😀).
For me, one of the pleasures of blogs is the ability to engage with someone who took a lot of time to write a post. Most people don't comment. But without comments, I might as well be reading a local newspaper, and tend to lose interest.
What is a blog post but the start of a conversation?