Status report on changes to WUWT, with user poll

changeAs readers know, I announced changes to WUWT’s format last Sunday, and the changes went into effect overnight from Sunday night to Monday morning. As is the case with any change, there will be some issues, some people won’t like it simply because it is change, and some will embrace it.  Below I’ll address the improvements and the things remaining to be fixed.

My goal was to bring WUWT into a more modern realm and address these issues:

  1. Scroll off – stories often disappeared down the page too quickly and didn’t get seen
  2. Style – WUWT still looked like a blog rather than the most read resource it has become
  3. Readability – The way it was presented didn’t lend itself to readability as well as it should
  4. Mobile compatibility – the mobile theme we used to have was terrible, we needed to make the experience better for tablet users and phone users
  5. Comment filtering – was problematic, too many comments were being held that shouldn’t be, some comments that should be held for inspection haven’t been
  6. Comment reading – there was a lot of room for improvement
  7. Comment SPAM – moderators were getting overwhelmed

What we’ve done and learned:


 

1. Scroll off – stories often disappeared down the page too quickly and didn’t get seen - The new Expound theme format of providing “capsules” on the main page seems to have solved this nicely. I can report we are getting a consistent 40-50% increase in daily page views, which means more people are reading stories than they were before. I call that success. Also, the new format provides for “infinite scroll” on the main page, making it easier to find older stories. Just keep scrolling down.

2. Style – WUWT still looked like a blog rather than the most read resource it has become  – Besides the new theme format making WUWT more professionally styled from the get-go, I’ve spent since Sunday night making CSS tweaks to all sorts of visual style parameters, many of which were brought up in the previous thread. I could not have done this without the help of WUWT reader Jim Reekes, who offered help in that original thread. At this point, I think most of the major style, color, and formatting issues have been addressed. However, there may be some that can still be improved upon. I’ve tried to accomodate many requests, but I can’t please everyone. What we have now is what I consider the best strategy based on user input.

3. Readability - The way it was presented didn’t lend itself to readability as well as it should – Font size tweaks and color tweaks have made WUWT more readable, IMHO. Jim has helped be put the fonts into “em” mode in CSS, which helps them scale much better to various venues. Your mileage may vary. Bear in mind that for those who have font size issues, the zoom control of your browser using the CTRL and +  or CTRL and – key combinations is your best friend. BTW CTRL and 0 (zero) resets your zoom. Pressing CTRL and the scroll wheel on your mouse does the same thing,

4. Mobile compatibility – the mobile theme we used to have was terrible, we needed to make the experience better for tablet users and phone users From what I’ve seen myself on my own set of mobile devices, and the reports I’m getting from users, the new mobile device compatible theme is a win all around.

5. Comment filtering – was problematic, too many comments were being held that shouldn’t be, some comments that should be held for inspection haven’t been – I’ve spent several hours tweaking this, with the most recent change made this morning that caught a problem that caused a lot of comments to be held when they were not supposed to be. We’ll see how the new setup goes. For those suddenly have a comment in moderation that think that their comment is being held on purpose, bear in mind that this is algorithm and keyword based, and never perfect. Don’t take it personally. Some people who have been problematic, such as doing thread bombing with off-topic posts or otherwise making nuisances of themselves may still be held for moderation.

As before, if you need attention, leave a new comment with the full word “moderator” in it. Comments that use my name are also held, so that I see them in the firehose of comments we get daily.

6. Comment reading – there was a lot of room for improvement - I think we’ve got this one sorted out. Early versions of the theme for comments weren’t very good, but I think we have a good balance of size, color and style now. Many people have reported they like the new 3D offset for blockquoted text. Thank Jim Reekes for that one.

In the past, we’ve had a lot of requests for threaded comments, and I tried it a couple of times, but didn’t like the way it flowed. Some readers didn’t either. Now, I’ve enabled threaded/nested comments again, and I think it works better with the new format. Both Climate Audit and Judith Curry’s sites use threaded comments, and while “me too” isn’t a reason, being able to reply to people directly below or to make a correction update directly below your own comments is.

As it stands now, pressing the small blue “Reply” link below a comment will pop up the comment form right there in place, no more scrolling to the bottom to post comments, though you can still do that.

TonyB writes on the original change thread:

I’ll give the ‘reply’ facility a go. Not sure how we will notice comments that are inserted days after the event. On the whole I prefer the linear format of WUWT over the nesting format of Climate Etc but let’s give it a fair chance.

If you want, you can be notified of new comments via email, simply by checking the box on the comment submission form where I highlighted in yellow:

WUWT_commentform

Some people don’t like threaded comments, and I get that. But let’s see how it goes with the new format. Some people worried that nested comments would allow “last word” derogatory comments to happen months later. That’s rubbish, we have tool in place to prevent such things from happening, though I’m not going to give details to what they are. Basically, we don’t have the problem now with regular linear comments, nested comments won’t make this non-problem worse.

NOTE: You can test comments before posting them on the WUWT “test” page.  Get them right by trial/error, then copy/paste them where you want them to be. There’s also help there too for making italics, bolds, blockquote, and other codes.

One thing you can do right now is to insert images, simply by putting in the image URL in the form http://someserver.com/images/graphic.jpg (.gif and .png files are also supported)  WordPress will automatically format and display the image in comments.

7. Comment SPAM – moderators were getting overwhelmed - I think we have this under control now, though spammers are always trying new things.


 

 Things that remain to be addressed:


1. There are a couple of missing elements, such as comment count, and “leave a comment” on main page entries  - I had hoped this was available to tweak in CSS; sadly, no. This feature is actually missing from the Expound theme. WordPress has a bug report into the developer, so we’ll see how that goes. Unless the developer fixes the theme, I can’t address this feature unless I move WUWT off of wordpress.com and onto private hosting. WordPress.com doesn’t allow us to tweak PHP code for security reasons.

For now, comment counts appear on the top of the story itself after you click to see it in full. In the meantime, for those that want to see which posts are getting the most traffic, can view the Top Posts & Pages on the right sidebar.

2. Navigation buttons within posts – some people lamented that the previous/next story buttons have disappeared - they haven’t! They simply moved. See screencap below. They are at the bottom of the story. Like with the comment count issue, I can’t move them unless I move my entire blog.

WUWT_story-navs1

3. Comment editing – a feature to allow editing of ones comments for a few minutes after posting - this is my most requested feature over the years, and wordpress.com has steadfastly refused to provide this feature even though I continually ask for it.  Again, I can’t implement this unless I move off wordpress.com or pay their $500/month “Enterprise” service…which I tried last year, and was a disaster in my view. It wasn’t worth the money and the comment editor they provided was lame.


 

And there may be others that need attention that have gotten lost in the shuffle, or haven’t been noticed yet.

While I can’t promise we can handle all requests, we’ll at least try.

Finally, I’d like your opinion on the changes in this poll.

 

 

Thanks to everyone for your patience through this upgrade, and thanks for being part of the WUWT community.

I’ll have another major announcement coming next week, a big one that will allow our community to make a difference in what Michael Mann calls “The Climate Wars” Stay tuned.

UPDATE:

Readers may recall in the original thread that I made quite a stink about the new WordPress “beep boop” editor, and even wrote a full post about why I thought it was a stunning failure. WordPress seemed oblivious, but I and many others continued to bombard them with emails, posts, phone calls, and anything we could do to tell them how bad this change was.

Today, all of the sudden, things were back to normal, and this appeared above the editor page:

wp-editor-posting experience

That “new and improved posting experience” aka the “beep boop” editor, is corp-speak for “we took this turkey out back and shot it in the head”.

Two thoughts:

1. Users win. Lesson to WordPress – trust your users.

2. Thank you WordPress for finally seeing the light.

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314 thoughts on “Status report on changes to WUWT, with user poll

  1. nested threaded comments (whatever they are called) are going to have to be ignored by me…..I’m mostly time constrained, and don’t have time to start from the very beginning of comments, and read them all each time…to see if I’m repeating something. missing something that already been said, or missing an interesting conversation

    The old way I could mark where I left off….and take it back up there again and not miss a thing

    I’ll miss a lot with the replies this new way…..and don’t want to be repeating what’s already been said

      • well I guess there is one plus to it……….I can call you a big doodie head……and no one will ever see it!

        LOL

    • I can only post when I reply to a post. I don’t understand why. Help.

      This site is quite good because it tries to address all of the issues which are thought to or have a potential impact on the climate. All and all Anthony has done a good job.

    • Overall, however, I think that collecting thoughts on a particular aspect within a thread outweighs any inconvenience. Many times I have to hopscotch through the comments to get the gist of a conversation in which something is being debated, and frankly I am not sure that I am not missing some of it.

      For my vote I give thanks to Mr. Watts for his work on the format and give it an overall thumbs up. That and a Charlie Card with tread on it gets you a ride on the Green Line in Boston.

    • What’s needed is for the system to prominently highlight the new comments since your last visit.

    • I have always used the “notify me of follow-up comments” option and it works the same with nested comments. I still get ALL comments on the post made after mine, so I can keep up with the discussion without a problem.

      • Yup, that’s exactly what I do, always have. I think the nesting is a huge step forward and allows for much better following of conversations.

        I must confess, I like the new format. Well done boss.

  2. Definitely liking this new setup, especially when it comes to researching older articles you have posted. Thanks!

    • I like the layout, but the font is unreadable on my 1920×1280 screen. Too large, too dense, too cluttered. I know I can scale the page to address the first concern, but that makes the smaller fonts present on the page unreadable, and no amount of scaling will remove the serifs or increase line spacing. Reading is no longer effortless and the amount of effort it requires jumps my threshold of tolerance. I scan a few lines and bail out (knowing full well that I may be missing something important).

  3. Much superior format in my opinion. Easier to read, right side bar just seems easier to browse and find stuff. Works well on my big monitor. Two thumbs up.

  4. There seems to be a nesting limit to the comments. There was a comment, I replied, someone replied to me, and there was no way for me to reply to that comment without starting a new top-level comment.

    “Many people have reported they like the new 3D offset for blockquoted text.”

    I don’t like it, or the font it uses.

    Over all, I like the improvements. I like the latest posts near the top, though it has kept me from scrolling down much to see even earlier posts I might have missed.

    • “There seems to be a nesting limit to the comments. There was a comment, I replied, someone replied to me, and there was no way for me to reply to that comment without starting a new top-level comment.”

      The technique for handling that is to use the nearest Reply button upthread and use it. Your reply will inline, so you will have to quote what you are replying to unless it was the one just above yours.

  5. Nothing can improve without change.Some people will always hate change,but so what!
    Life goes on ,with or without them!

  6. You might try reducing the indent on the nested comments. Deep threads tend to squash the last comments into a narrow column.

  7. Too much white space between comments, could be a little more compact without losing readability.

  8. A compromise on the threaded list is to display the “Reply” button only a short time (1-24 hours) after the comment is posted. This allows for immediate corrections, additions, errata to a comment, without a hydra of multi-day old threads. This is obviously a PHP programming issue, but I think one whose merit should be considered (if it hasn’t already).

    Nested thread management is going to depend upon people finding a social custom that works well.

      • WP might not be as accommodaating as it once was -but I’ve been successful in the past getting them to modify a stock template, particularly about white space control. If your needed changes would make sense to all template users, you might be able to get them to do the mods.

  9. 2. Navigation buttons within posts – some people lamented that the previous/next story buttons have disappeared – they haven’t! They simply moved.

    Nah, it was the top set that did disappear, the convenient ones. The other set right above the comments is still there.

    The site does look very nice. Good job.

    • I sure would like to have the ‘previous/next’ story link at the TOP of the Article be put back.

      Having at the bottom is fine, but after reading an article, and comments, it’s so much easier to go the the next article by going to the top of the Page (scrolling up until it stops) rather than scrolling up, and looking for the ‘bottom’ of the article, just before the comments.

      • . .I should have also stated that I DO LIKE the new format. I like the ‘capsules’ of the articles at the top, then the rest below. The readability and font is fine to me . . .

      • Let me second this request… with long articles you end up searching and scrolling forever to find the next linked story.

  10. It’s gorgeous. “Notify me of follow-up comments via email” is the best way to keep up with a thread. It eliminates the need to hover, lurk, frequently revisit, skulk, slink, creep, edge, worm, ghost, pad, or tiptoe around a thread you are following.

    PS. Did you know that some sites allow you to search a user’s comment history? No, no reason why I bring that up. (: Ty to Jim Reekes.

    • I’m with you. My company from another life spent several thousand dollars researching readability fonts. Helvetica style fonts like the name headers won hands down as easiest to read and a huge increase in understanding. But I guess it is what it is.

      • Tell your “company from another life” to re-run their data, specifically the demographic details of their responders. Best data shows a push: people who grew up with serifed fonts (like me) find them much easier to read, whereas those who learned from sans-serif (eg. Switzerland, the Nordic countries) prefer the sans. But the “tipping point” is this: sans lovers can adapt more easily to serif than the other way around.

        Bottom line: Keep the Sans! (I want a tee shirt to that effect.)

    • The readability of the font seems to vary depending on the device. I had no problem on my tablet or laptop, but it becomes very irregular and unpleasant to read on my 1920 x 1080 wide screen.

      • KRM, that might be my problem. I guessed when I posted that my “problem” would not be an actual problem unless shared by many people.

  11. Of course, the greatest strength of your WUWT blog is the quality of the blog posts (articles) and the added benefit of the many enlightening comments. That said, the new WUWT format is a significant improvement that showcases better the information and commentary provided by WUWT.

    Dan

  12. Thanks, Anthony. To be a bit picky, I would have liked a voting option of “like” in addition to “love” or “hate” but that said, I really do like it. Just wish ‘double-tap’ worked on smart devices to zoom in on paragraphs. Of course we can zoom with touch/swipe gestures, but I do like to be able to just double-tap to get instant fullscreen view of an article. Thumbs up though!

  13. This is a fantastic site. With all the media and politicians they carry around in their pockets like so many nickels and dimes, the CAGW crowd is trying to get away with a horrible fraud, with associated grave costs to humanity. Anthony and some other brave souls are doing a great job shedding light on all the deception and lies. That’s the main thing, getting the truth out – everything else is secondary. I like the site, and even if some people don’t think it’s perfect, you should get at least a 30 year grace period before anyone has the right to criticize it.

    Seriously, though – God bless you, Anthony, and all that you and the other contributors to this site, do.

  14. Many good features of the change. I think 3D blockquotes are gimmicky; they make the quote stand out, but probably more than is wanted, and if several they dominate the look of a page. I’m a big fan of color contrast, and it’s good now.

  15. Some folks almost always struggle with change but then, once they “get used to it”, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I am adjusting and am feeling positive amidst this ” climate of change”.

  16. The participation in “like” features drops exponentially after the first three comments. There are hardly any votes near the bottom of the thread. It is worthless.

    • That’s part of the reason we don’t have that feature turned on here, so I’m not sure what you are getting at.

      • Okay, I see – I should have directed my response to the commenter who wants the “like” feature. I can use the new Reply button to do that.

        Old habits, and all that. Don’t expect too much of me at first. T.y.

  17. The font and readability issues in my opinion have been resolved. Thank you Anthony, Jim and everyone who contributed. I’m using 150% zoom setting on my desktop and it fills the screen perfectly without cutting anything off.

  18. Good work Mr Watts. If you ever get tired of this climate / weather thing you could cut it as a sysadmin easily. My only request would be to have logins via Google authentication but it’s not a big issue for me.

    Cheers

  19. The right-hand column (with all the links etc) takes up too much of the screen, I’d suggest making it a little narrower with a smaller font.

  20. While you’ve got the developer on the line to talk about comment counts…

    You know those little tags on the main page thumbnails that show the tags associated with the article? Isn’t there a way to make the text in those tags hyperlinked to the appropriate tag category?

  21. I am on the fence at this point. If the comment count was visible on the review pages I would have been in the Love it category.

    Keep at it! Waiting for next week. BTW, any update on the status of the paper?

  22. I think it’s great. The darker font helps when I’m outside on my iPad. [BTW, what is the font?]

    I saw a blue background for comments about three hours ago. Did that disappear? I loved it. Thought it was wonderful with the Jim Reekes white blockquote: again, very tablet friendly.

  23. You have responded to various criticisms such as font type and size and overall it looks far better than the old version which now seems dated, although it didn’t at the time ( a few days ago!)

    Let’s wait and see how the nesting works.

    Tonyb

  24. Every change has good and bad but this is fine by me. If I can work it anyone can.
    One thing that would be good for me, the original technodinosaur, would be a “forward” button at the bottom of each story so that I could forward it by e-mail to someone else.

    I see that my spellchecker STILL doesn’t like the word “technodinosaur”.
    Or maybe I’m not spelling it the N. American way.

    • Oldseadog: You can fix that by right clicking on the word with the squiggly red line under and selecting and to dictionary. That way if you ever type it again you computer recognizes it as a proper word.

  25. Being an imperfect human being, I recognise the temptation to use the reply button to get a post closer to the top of the list than would otherwise be possible. So far I have resisted the temptation.

  26. Anthony, I love the new look & function. Note that on your banner, “The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change.” The “and climate change” gets lost in the brightness of the aurora borealis.

    Just prophetic, or a subtle dig, LOL.

  27. Yep, its REALLY good, I like the main page TOP, with the stories cluster, and font is easier to read. Thanks.

  28. I didn’t have any gripes about the previous format, but the new one is great. No complaints and thanks for your effort.

  29. I love this site Anthony. And most of those who comment as well. I’m no scientist and some of the details discussed here can be a little above my comprehension but its good to aim high. Thanks for helping bring a little sanity to this crazy world.

  30. The font puts me off, it hurts. I will not scroll up and down to look for, new nested comments. Maybe I’ll just go somewhere else.

  31. I would like to see the author of each story shown on the home page. That is now missing. Was the story written by Anthony or someone else?

    • I agree with Warren. You’ve really lost something very valuable by not showing the author of each story on the home page. It results in a loss of identity and uniqueness. We want to see your name particularly. It’s a matter of branding and product differentiation for sure, but I just miss it. Without those names, you look more common and less personal. Bring it back!

      As the to other changes – Well done, indeed.

  32. The one change that is affecting me is that the links on pages no longer change color when viewed or clicked through. I also miss the forward one article and back one article buttons.

    Otherwise great change. Thanks for all the work you guys put into this site. I have been a daily reader for a couple years now.

  33. The opening page seems too busy for me but the success of the new main means I’m in the minority. I can live with that. Love the nesting of replies! I agree with NZ Willy, the right hand column should be smaller.

    All-in-all the changes are a big plus. Thanks.

  34. I voted “unsure” but I’m really not. Everything is OK except for nested replies. I’ll read them the first time through, but not later. This site simply has too many comments to have to reread them all just to find a new one.

  35. I like the new format on the comments. When someone is replying to another post I don’t have to mark where I am at and scroll way back up to see which one they are referring to. Now it is right there which make more sense to me. Good job on the remodeling.

    Cheers,
    William

  36. The style changes are nice. But style is merely superficial. It does look more professional but the substance was always good anyway.

    The nested comments is the big change.
    And I don’t like the way that debates are closed in on themselves instead of cross-fertilising.
    So I voted “not sure yet”.

      • However, with linear commenting, I can go quickly go to one place to find the “new business”, and my memory hasn’t failed enough yet to not remember what I read 50 comments above. With nesting, I feel like I’m circling a dozen drains after the first bunch of replied comments – Way. Too. Slow. to process new info.(Is it possible to up the font style in the comment posting blocks -really have to squint to read what I’m posting which is going to add more typos…:)

  37. Anthony, we appreciate all your efforts and expertise here in the UK. The new format is fine. In a couple of months those who are not finding it so easy to adjust will have adapted. More power to your elbow and to your dedicated mods.

  38. Anthony, like the new font and color bars. Would it be possible to have a ‘view sort button’ with nesting as basic and by posting / comment number to allow reading as posted?

  39. Am I the only one who noticed an almost double loading time compared to the old design?
    Seems that something preloads 3-4 times on a white page before the content becomes visible.

    • I have not seen anything like that, nor have I gotten any complaints other than yours. Maybe you need an upgrade of some sorts. Sounds like a resources issue and disk swapping to me.

      • Thanks Anthony for reply.

        I just recorded the status bar of my FireFox 31 with HyperCam to see what is loaded before the content appears.

        In this order after invoking this article as an example:
        1. waiting for wattsupwiththat.com… (about 1.5 sec.)
        2. transfer data from wattsupwiththat.com… (about 1 sec.)
        3. connected to http://www.osdpd.noaa.com... (about 1 sec)
        4. waiting for wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com… (about 1.5 sec.)
        5. read widgets.wp.com (about 1 sec.)
        6. waiting for public-api.wordpress.com… (about 1.5 sec.)
        7. read s0.wp.com… (about 0.5 sec)
        8 about 1.5 sec. preparation pause before content appears.

        Maybe this long loading time occures because I’m in Germany, but it has never ever been so long before.
        With the old design, I had about 3 sec. for the whole page being readily loaded.

      • Well if you have a cable modem or DSL, I’d try a power off reset. You might get a new IP and a different route. Likewise do the same for your PC.

        Software rots when it runs too long.

      • There is something to true about that longer loading time and blank screen. I’m using IE 11, Win 7 (but a semi-public wifi) at the moment. It’s maybe a little longer, not double, and It is no deal breaker. Auto load of images, can be a factor. But it is worth monitoring the load time stats.

      • Can’t imagine this.
        I have 50 MB VDSL network with fixed IP. Browsercache was cleared before.
        However, this all repeats with each change of a page (maybe WP mistakenly has a no-cache meta tag set?).

        I understand that you can’t do anything much here.
        I’ll keep an eye on it. ;)

        Thanks for your really great efforts for this excellent site!

        Peter

  40. Banner – WUWT -love it…..not a rainbow and that is good. Slimmer, less real estate.

    4 columns set up – I don’t care although I tend to scan articles up and down and may miss one… OK though.

    Commenting – testing now… If you can see this is is working for me using Opera today. Commenting is a main attraction to your site.

    Styling – looks nice and “professional” but I don’t care.

    Images with articles – I am visual and respond well to image cues.

    Looks like a lot of work right here doing this.

    Nice Job.

    • Self reply on Commenting… works fine for me with Opera. I think I will like the nested context replies… It will be harder for trolls to disrupt .

  41. All in all, I think this format change is a move into the new century. I think it is fine — and the few missing bits seem to be a Word Press thing anyway.

    Well done.

  42. Works and looks great on my mobile devices and PC. Great work!

    Now if I can only find a mobile browser with a vertical scroll bar…….

  43. Anthony,
    Just one point. Bolded quoted parts of text don’t come out well on my latest version of Firefox, but is OK on Explorer. What to do?

  44. For threaded comments: Some indication that what you are looking at is pat of a thread, and not a top-level comment would be useful.

  45. Latitude
    August 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

    nested threaded comments (whatever they are called) are going to have to be ignored by me…

    *

    I’m with Latitude on this. The only way I get to enjoy Judith Curry’s full dialogue in comments, or Jo Nova’s, is if I leave reading their articles until it is old news and most of the comments are in. By then, often as not, I don’t get back to it at all because – guess what? – it’s old news.

    With WUWT, I got everything and never missed a comment. No more. Yes, I could be emailed 50 times or a 100 for each thread to tell me of each new comment is in, but I won’t bother. I’d be inundated. That will also cut down my visits here as there is no point checking for comments hidden in the main body of the thread and only finding the handful added to the end.

    That means, instead of coming in multiple times a day, I’m better off visiting once a week, just so there is something to read in the old stuff. As for any new stuff, basically, I’ll have to read your headlines and move on. Sorry, Anthony, it wouldn’t matter if you only got 20 comments per thread, but you get hundreds and you’re making it hard work for your readers who want to keep up with the dialogue. I would have to comb through each thread multiple times every day, re-reading all the comments to find which are the new ones, which alone would take hours. All I had to do before was refresh the page.

    • The email updates are very tidy. You do not receive 50 to 100 emails. The new comments all appear in same email (which has the same title as the post), in your inbox.

      It is hard to remember to check the box to get the emails updates, and also, you have to make a comment in order to get the comments in your email. If you don’t have anything much to contribute, you have to follow the thread without emails.

      Some of the research and comments are then in your email history for later reference because you have copies. Or you can delete the thread. So that is how it works.

      You can still follow the link in the email back to WUWT, and this will give WUWT back some of the web traffic it might have missed from lurking. I have wondered if a drop in hits would occur if more people used the neat email update feature. I don’t have an answer for that.

      • But that pulls you into commenting.
        I have very little to say but can understand the debate. I need discouragement from contaminating the debate with my views – except on the subject of my views, of course. But should be welcomed to lurk.

        The design changes are great. It looks good.

        But nesting comments will change the nature of the resource, Not a good change, in my opinion.

      • Thanks, Zeke. Just to clarify, are you saying the comments themselves will be emailed, not just notification? That might be okay. It’s the searching through and rereading (again and again) the comments I’ve already seen that I’m against. To me, missing half (or more) of the dialogue meant losing the community, which is what I come here for.

        I love the rest of the changes – just not this. I’ll try it. :)

      • Hi M. Courtney. Maybe we can post simply saying, “Posting to get emailed comments.” I’m willing, if it works that way. If notification is simply notification, then it doesn’t help.

      • @ADEverard, with the new format, you receive the full text of each new comment, whether it is upstream or most recent. If the comment is a reply to another, it tells you that. It is a good feature.

    • Hi Zeke – well, I’ve tried it now. It does give each comment, but not neatly together. I’ve received 51 emails since I last posted here (some hours now, but just the one thread). So I’ll need to think about that some more. At least I get the comments, though, and in the right order.

      • It’s not that, I have a WordPress account, too. Clearly, there’s some setting somewhere I don’t know about. I rather liked the idea of all comments neatly packaged. :)

      • I’m sorry we couldn’t get you set up with that.

        I also “follow” WUWT but I don’t know if that really helps.

      • Zeke, I may have found it! At the bottom of each email is a subscriptions option link. From there, not in settings, but in comments, there’s a delivery frequency dropdown tag. Mine was set for “immediately”, but there is also “daily” and “weekly”. So I shall try one of those.

        I’m writing this, one to click the “notify me” box again, but also to thank you. If you had not mentioned it, I would not have known the option was there. I’ll let you know how it goes. Cheers! :)

      • “Watts Up With That? You get weekly post and instant comment emails for this blog Edit
        Send new posts by email:

        Instantly
        Daily
        Weekly
        Off

        Send new comments by email:

        On
        Off

        Thanks ADEverard. Look, I found this setting also sends you all the comments. I just tested it and it works. (This is under the “Edit Blogs I Follow” section of your wordpress account.) It is waaayyy too much for WUWT but it might be fun for a less busy site. It sends one email per post, all comments included.

        FYI, my new posts by email from WUWT is set for Weekly.

  46. The new format is excellent. To me it looks more professional and more readable.

    Onwards and upwards is my impression.

  47. This is one of my favorite sites, if not the top, certainly in the top 2 :).

    Is there any ways to control the foreground text color in the comments?

    Reason I ask is that most of the wp sites appear to have the normal comment text darkness at ~75% or less, i.e., grey and starting to fade into the background. The peepers aren’t what they used to be here.

    Or is there some setting in my browser (firefox) that I have overlooked?

    OTH, typing this in the Reply box appears as normal black on white just fine.

      • Yes, please darken it another notch (or two)!!! I dislike the gray look so much it’s almost outweighed all the other positive changes. Who’ll object if it’s darker??

  48. If you want, you can be notified of new comments via email, simply by checking the box on the comment submission form where I highlighted in yellow:

    ====================================================================
    Also, holding down the CTRL key and hitting the F key will bring up (somewhere on your browser) a “Find in page” line. Type in the word or phrase (your name?) you are looking for and you can then scroll down or up to see replies. (But you will still need to open the post in question.)

    Regarding the poll, I said “unsure” because love it or hate it didn’t reflect my opinion.
    My opinion would be more along the lines of, “If it makes it easier and works for you, I’ll get used to it.”

    Thanks for having this blog at all!

  49. I like the new format. The only suggestion would be to change the color of hotlinks when they are clicked, so it’s easy to tell what has already been read. Sometimes the same link is in another comment, and a color change would show the reader they have already seen it.

    Otherwise, it’s a big improvement. Thanks for all the effort!

  50. I like the theme so much I installed it on one my my self-hosted blogs this morning. I also tweaked it quite a bit but I’m too busy right now to fiddle the PHP code but plan to do so later. The documentation is pretty weak but the visual impact is excellent. Like most WP themes a certain amount of reverse engineering is needed. We need an Expound theme co-op for these optimizations. I’m going to post a theme mod page to both document and share what I’ve done else I’ll forget in 3 months when the next WP upgrade comes along.

  51. Anthony, from my viewpoint it’s all good. This comes from a frequent visitor (at least once a day) who was entirely at home with the old setup.

    I used the nested feature above to reply to someone who prefers sans fonts. I can repeat here: Keep the serifs! Much easier for me (it’s a demographic thing), and the sans-lovers are notable (and to be commended) for their relative ease of adaptation.

    Hope this makes life easier for you and your mods. In your honour I might paint my screen white.

    • Anthony, Thank You, I tell you 3 times. I am a reader, not a commenter, I came here in 2008 or 2009 looking for info on Stevenson screens, had fun with the Surface Stations pages, and I have been here daily since. I will repaint something white for you also. I was here Saturday morning when you hit 100,00,000 page views, I hope I can do it again this Saturday. Break a leg next week, I can’t wait.

  52. Some sites offer the option of Nested or Flat for comments (IMDB for example), so you can flip between the two views. Don’t know if WordPress can do this, though.

  53. The recent font changes seem to work well.

    Some of the commenters names used to be live links…..is this no more ?

    • They’re still live links, but you have to hover over them to detect which they are. This should be fixed.

  54. The main thing that concerned me was the font readability. It is now much improved, so many thanks for that. I think it would be better still if it was the same font as appears in comment boxes prior to posting, but nonetheless, it is definitely no longer off-putting.

    My overall verdict at this point is that the changes have been worthwhile and successful; as you say, Anthony, let’s see how the nesting works out. I’m used to it on Judith and Jo’s blogs, so it’ll probably work here so long as it doesn’t go too deep.

    We’re lucky to have this WUWT resource, Anthony, and a responsive blog owner like yourself. You put in enormous time and effort and are doing not only your regular readers, but the whole world, a great service by having the blog at all. Hence it would be churlish to niggle about minor things one might not think perfect: As you say, you can’t possibly please everyone, but to me it looks like you’ve made some excellent choices and achieved a near-optimal result.

  55. Fantastic changes Anthony. The website looks impressive and the content is the best there is on this subject. Thanks for implementing threaded comments too. Some people don’t like them but when you read the old linear comments you can see that there are threads (people will copy and paste the comment they are replying to) in there so it makes sense to formalise this.

  56. Your efforts in this area have been more than justified as you have done the difficult task of making something that was very good even better.

    I do like the reply feature as it allows specific conversations to be followed easier. The best blog for comment layout is Jo Nova where the common html tags are available at the top of the comment box and there is a “preview” button. The combination of these things prevent the vast majority of posting errors. Also she has green and red thumbs. These are great for people to express a “drive-by” opinion quickly and easily. Having only a “Like” button is the progressive version – you are only allowed to like other people and if you “dislike” then you must be a bad person.

  57. The new format is excellent Anthony. Now replies (if made use of) are bundled together rather than scattered willy-nilly. I am in awe how you keep up the pace of this blog. Best regards.

  58. As a long-time reader and fairly regular commenter…

    I really, really, really, really (did I remember to mention ‘really’?) like all the changes…

    …except the in-line replies. If you are checking in on article from time to time because it has generated a lot of comments, you always have to start over at the top to look for new in-line replies. Without the in-line comments, just scroll down to where you left off and keep going. And if there has been an added in-line reply from a moderator or the author of the article, it’s easy to catch as you’re scrolling down to where you left off.

    All the other changes have been aces. They are genuine improvements in my book. I like it!

  59. I like most of the changes, but not a fan of nesting. We’ll see how it goes. I think the activity at Judith Curry’s site has soured be on nesting, where a few diehards waste everyone’s time replying to each other.

    I haven’t seen it here yet, maybe because you have a lot more unique (in every sense of the word!) commenters. Also, you have so many new posts that folks don’t end up in the same comment thread for days and days.

    And last, really appreciate all your effort and how responsive you are to your readers.

  60. I like the current format. However two things that I consider need looking at are.

    1) Too much WHITE SPACE, it could do with a little less. The white space does make a difference in reading especially the clarity of what is being read. However too me its just a little too much. That is, the white space is overpowering the rest of the format.

    2a) I prefer threaded comments, as one is able to follow a conversation on a given point. The problem with nested comments is when they go too deep and the text becomes squashed vertically (maybe the ctrl + wheel might compensate for this). This might be a problem that can be visited, I believe this issue has come up before.

    2b) Is it possible for users to alternate between nested and non nested comments, themselves?

    Regards
    Climate Heritic
    PS Anthony, really appreciate all your effort that you have done in exposing the real truth behind the climate.

  61. For what is worth, the font family change is a problem for me too. Extra ink to draw each character means less visibility and less readability. Compare the main text font with the quote text font. The second is far superior in terms of clarity.

  62. A.D. Everard
    August 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Latitude
    August 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

    nested threaded comments (whatever they are called) are going to have to be ignored by me…

    *

    I’m with Latitude on this. The only way I get to enjoy Judith Curry’s full dialogue in comments, or Jo Nova’s, is if I leave reading their articles until it is old news and most of the comments are in. By then, often as not, I don’t get back to it at all because – guess what? – it’s old news.

    With WUWT, I got everything and never missed a comment. No more. Yes, I could be emailed 50 times or a 100 for each thread to tell me of each new comment is in, but I won’t bother. I’d be inundated. That will also cut down my visits here as there is no point checking for comments hidden in the main body of the thread and only finding the handful added to the end.

    That means, instead of coming in multiple times a day, I’m better off visiting once a week, just so there is something to read in the old stuff. As for any new stuff, basically, I’ll have to read your headlines and move on. Sorry, Anthony, it wouldn’t matter if you only got 20 comments per thread, but you get hundreds and you’re making it hard work for your readers who want to keep up with the dialogue. I would have to comb through each thread multiple times every day, re-reading all the comments to find which are the new ones, which alone would take hours. All I had to do before was refresh the page.
    ====

    Thanks, you said it much better….

    Exactly what is wrong, or time consuming about replying to someone this way? copy..paste..and answer

  63. Comment filtering – was problematic, too many comments were being held that should be, some comments that should be held for inspection haven’t been

    Are you sure? ;)

    • I love the new blog format. Only suggestion is that the above quote needs to be changed at source …

  64. I like the new theme, except I have a few comments:

    1. I don’t like the font. It is too big. It looks blocky and clunky.
    2. I don’t like the new header image.
    3. The summary boxes for the top 5 posts don’t seem to work properly. They clump all the text together in one big sentence, losing line breaks and formatting from the actual past.

  65. I voted “unsure” mostly because I dislike the appearance of the block quotes, especially the font.

    Clunky & Horsey

    Also, I could be mistaken, but It seems the previous format had a slightly narrower column width that worked well for rapid speed reading through all comments because of less side-to-side eyeball motion, but perhaps that’s just my own idiosyncrasy.

    Finally, I’ve decided I prefer the linear format as opposed to in-line replies.

    All in all, it’s a nice makeover, and a lot of work, which I recognize and certainly appreciate, especially the ability to add graphics & images to a comment.

  66. I like the new all-articles “landing page”, and individual article formats, especially indented comments (who knew?). I know fiddling with colors and fonts is laborious and (almost) thankless work. I also appreciate the scalability issues that come with increased volume. The reader community needs to understand the new admin tools are necessary to maintain quality (not to mention, give you time to eat & sleep).

    However, the content of WUWT is so rich that at some point, I simply focus on accessibility and readability. Your recent efforts do a good job of maintaining this site as the “gold standard”.

  67. Nested comments encourage those who are suffering from testerone poisoning. Please, not here. WUWT commenters should be writing substantial paragraphs addressed to a broad audience. Most of them have done that for years. That is a major reason that WUWT is the best there is.

  68. Didn’t read all the comments, so apologies if these things have already been said.

    2. Navigation buttons within posts – some people lamented that the previous/next story buttons have disappeared – they haven’t! They simply moved.

    True, but I have to scroll through the post to find them. When one is trying to quickly move to the next story, the link at the top was dead simple to find because all you had to do was skip to the very top. Now the links are buried somewhere between the top of the article and the bottom of the comments. Sure, if I’m reading the article, they stand out. But if I’ve skimmed a couple of paragraph and have decided I’m not interested and want to move on, finding the link isn’t simple or quick like it was before. It may be a small thing, but I find this rather annoying.

    replies/nesting

    There are multiple reasons why I detest this feature, even though I understand why some people like it. But my biggest issue is that I tend to read to the bottom of a thread, and a few hours later come back and refresh the window to what new comments there are. Since “replies” show up as new comments, the window will refresh at the first “reply” that I have not yet seen, which may be at the beginning of the thread, or somewhere in the middle, etc. Problem being that this leaves me scrolling from THAT comment, through all the stuff I have already seen, to try and find the stuff I haven’t. It is one thing to read the replies that already exist, quite another to return to a thread and try and make sense of what is new and what isn’t.

    over all

    I like the changes, and for every point above that reads as a complaint, please accept 10,000 thank yous for all you have done and continue to do.

    • But my biggest issue is that I tend to read to the bottom of a thread, and a few hours later come back and refresh the window to what new comments there are.

      Try clicking on the date and time of the last comment you read.

      Then, when you refresh, you will remain on that comment number. Everything after it will appear for you.

      • (Of course, you can’t do that today, because all of the comment links are misdirecting to other comments. But that happens sometimes here. Today, when you click on a link in Recent Comments, you must scroll down to find that comment.)

    • davidmhoffer

      I agree completely with your post.

      I especially agree with your dislike of “nesting”. It destroys ability to follow a thread and makes it certain that recent comments will be missed in long threads.

      One can always look for specific people. For example, if I were at a ‘solar’ thread then I would search for comments by Lief, but there may be a new or occasional commenter of merit (e.g. Spencer and Pielke occasionally post to WUWT threads) and I cannot know to search for his comment.

      In summation, I think the new WUWT format is a great improvement but the adoption of ‘nested’ comments is a mistake.

      Richard

  69. Anthony, I voted “Love it!” even though I wanted a choice like “It’s a nice improvement, warts and all.”

    I’m not surprised that almost every little thing has people who really like it or couldn’t care less, I’ve seen that in other venues.

    I’m a bit surprised at how many people miss the comment count, but given that’s usually a good indication of the interest in the topic, I guess a lot of people have figured that out. Big wart, I hope the theme gets that added. I’ll work on getting that into my Guide to WUWT and maybe move the recent summary to the top of the page. Maybe tonight, more likely this weekend, I don’t have other plans.

    Kudos to Jim Reekes. I can’t tell exactly what he did and what you did, but I suspect he did a heck of a lot more than I could have done even if I had time. One of these years I’ll learn CSS and Javascript.

    • I’m a bit surprised at how many people miss the comment count, but given that’s usually a good indication of the interest in the topic

      ================================================================
      I used it not so much to gauge interest but to see if there are any new comments in a post that caught my eye. That’s why I’d like to see, in addition to the comment count and if it can be done in WordPress, the date and time of the last comment.
      I know I could check the notify me via email box but I already get too much email.

  70. Is there a reason the font keeps changing? I wasn’t fond of the new font but realized that it was different and easier to read when I posted in a thread before. After the post though, i noticed the font changing back and forth, what’s up with that? :)

  71. If you want, you can be notified of new comments via email, simply by checking the box on the comment submission form where I highlighted in yellow:

    But that provides notification of ALL comments. WP should have a box that reads, “Notify me of replies to my comment (or to replies in this comment-level, if the comment is at the lowest (3rd) level).

  72. Now if you can only fix the RSS or add a full article feed to the teaser feed that only has enough words to maybe introduce the author and some irrelevant metadata or social …

  73. I have checked i hate it. But i don’t hate it.

    I just think it is heavier overall.

    The comments are much more difficult to read. Now instead of a commenter text we have commenter name with such a big black characters that makes more difficult to read the text.

    In the past i just speed read the comments and only if i wanted to know who wrote it i would look up to the person name . Now it is in my face.

    P.S:The Poll shouldn’t use heavy loaded expressions if it is to have some value.

  74. As far as I can tell all the changes are for the better. I like the look of everything and how the articles are presented. You have kept the good and added good to it. Good on you.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  75. I wish the Recent Posts list were higher in the sidebar, or that there were some quick way to get to it.

  76. Didn’t vote, since you don’t have the choice “It’s your blog and you can do what you want with it; I’ll still come by each day.”

    Thanks for all you do, Anthony (and mods). WUWT is a breath of fresh air in a morass of idiocy. Please keep it up.

  77. Please consider using Verdana as the default font. It scales better than any other, which is helpful to vision-impaired readers like myself.

  78. Blue font is hard to read. To me, it is a question of functionality over aesthetics. I read to the end of an article early in the morning then make a pencil note of the time at the end. In mid afternoon, I take a break then scroll down to my noted time and read to the bottom again. Nesting comments does not allow this to happen. My mind is still good enough to remember the original comments and tie the follow ups to the original comment(s). I had to switch to gmail, the first thing I did with my inbox was to eliminate nesting. I offer this as support for my blue font comment:

    start paste
    9. Using colored text Black fonts are the easiest to read, while colored typography is not recommended for body text because it can cause readability issues. Dark blue and dark green fonts are a little easier to read then others, but it’s generally best to stick to black for large paragraphs. Rather, color fonts should be used sparingly to create a sense of drama by highlighting certain words, drawing attention to your logo or creating eye-catching headlines.
    end paste

    As I have said many times Anthony, thank you for all of your good, hard work in the past 7 years that I have been reading WUWT.

  79. Anthony,

    I picked unsure at this point.

    Good – I’m back to reading at the default size. Very nice.
    Bad – nesting, hate it. Others have laid out good points for that view.

    Unsure – in my usual visits to WUWT, comment count and recent comments are my two main resources. If the count is currently unavailable as it was, are you willing to bump up the recent comments widget a few spots?

    Thanks,

  80. I love the photo in the header! It reminds me of this lesson I learned a little while ago:

    The Earth’s atmosphere is an extremely thin sheet of air extending from the surface of the Earth to the edge of space. The Earth is a sphere with a roughly 8000 mile diameter; the thickness of the atmosphere is about 60 miles. If the Earth were the size of a basketball, the thickness of the atmosphere could be
    modeled by a thin sheet of plastic wrapped around the ball.

    https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/airplane/atmosphere.html

    • My opinion, you have an identity crisis. You have posted here as:

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha hmm
      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
      Yo!
      NotARealCimateScientist
      ByGollyNotAClimateScientist

      Pick one name and stick with it please.

  81. Finally found a combo that works for me at least for right now… turn off all styling through the browser and now the type is large and readable, comments are actually numbered with sub-comments coming underneath each, but hard to find extraneous side-bar information and the comment edit control is so tiny but paste-able from an external text editor with spelling checking I generally use.

    A WordPress level typeface selection would be so great (A-largest, A-large, A-normal type of control), it’s nearly mandatory for us aging scientists that remember science before AGWese. Nesting has its plus and minuses but in general it would be perfect if there were some supported way but via RSS to tell the actual flow sequence of comments.

    I don’t mind the style per se, it is classier, but it seems so much of the functionality/type-size has changed that is making your site much harder to read and use for those of us that prefer to follow and read ALL comments and their logical flow. Some people will say nesting helps there and I agree when reading old, static threads but on a developing thread you have no way to tell where the new comments are being placed.

    And BTW, I find no way to “vote”.

  82. haven’t used it enough to say I love it (so I left poll unanswered) but I will say so far I like it.
    looking good.
    WP doesn’t allow editing on non-$$$ plans because it is sql heavy especially if you track edits.
    but I never understood why they blocked other commenting script integration (disqus/livefrye) as that would actually be less of an sql load on them.

  83. First kudos to Anthony for all the work you put into this site – have a big party when you hit 200 million views!

    Overall, the new look is clean and modern, and the extra features will be welcomed by many. But, I voted “not sure” because:

    1. Minor niggle – not displaying the author’s name on the homepage. Those of us who are time-poor sometimes have to decide quickly whether or not to read something, and knowing the author helps. If I see “Jim Steele”, I’m there, no matter what he is writing about. Others, not so much. :)

    2. While the typeface is OK, the old one was easier to read for those of us with less than perfect eyesight. If you keep this one, darkening it a bit more would help. Getting rid of the shading was definitely an improvement – thanks for that!

    3. I’m with Latimer, A D Everard and others about nesting. Again, those of us who are time poor (or just trying to avoid multiple clicks every time we return to a thread) find nesting a pain in the rear. I don’t visit Judy Curry’s and Jo Nova’s as often as I would like because of it. I usually wait until a thread has been up for a few days before I start reading.

    It does encourage endless, repetitious flame wars from a few noisy and boring usual suspects. It doesn’t matter on a site with few comments, but when there are a hundred or more it becomes a deterrent to participation. But, as you have said, let’s see how it goes.

    Thanks again to the boss, the mods and elves for a wonderful resource.

    • If I understand you correctly on #3, I think the solution would be nested sets that could either be displayed or hidden (with the number of sub-comments listed, so you’d have an idea of what you might be bypassing). The only problem I have with the Curry and Nova comments is that I still have to scroll past a lot of dreck to see if something new and interesting has been added.

      With replies to particular posts nested and hidden unless opened you could scroll through the set of sets of comments more quickly and open sub-threads when you were interested in the argument first displayed. It might also discourage some of the exhibitionists that need to see their names and drivel on display and allow for the development of more reasoned discussions within sub-threads. Seems more likely to keep the main thread on topic but still allow for the development of sideline discussions. One could always post both within a subthread and in the main thread.

  84. Format away Anthony!
    I know what effort is involved with catering to the masses. The current theme is an improvement IMHO. I have some issues with formatting, readability, etc… with every blog site I visit. Whether this is due to my choices of browsers, add-in’s, extensions, or OS’s I use or the site; I dunno. I do know that you listen to your visitors, and promptly address known issues. If I have any issues that prevent me from being able to connect and consume your content or quickly prove/disprove datum on your excellent reference pages, I’ll let you know. I consider this site to be a bridge between science and understanding. As I tread upon it, I keep in mind that I have to:

    A) Watch my step
    B) Expect construction every so often
    C) Adjust to prevailing conditions
    D) Be on the lookout for trolls

    Thanks for doing all that you do.

    ~ Brian

  85. The new format seems okay. Some WordPress Themes look downright appalling to me, but this one seems reasonable. Ironically, WUWT was one of the blogs I looked at a lot when choosing to use Twenty-Ten for my own blog. Twenty-Ten may be showing it’s age, but it’s nice and simple, and the readability is pretty good.

    On #2 … I would not poo-poo WUWT looking like a blog too much. It is a blog, after all, and some people prefer a simpler layout. But you know …. consider DrudgeReport — It looks like absolute crap, but that doesn’t seem to stymie the traffic. :-P

  86. davidmhoffer
    August 27, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    ‘replies/nesting

    There are multiple reasons why I detest this feature, even though I understand why some people like it. But my biggest issue is that I tend to read to the bottom of a thread, and a few hours later come back and refresh the window to what new comments there are. Since “replies” show up as new comments, the window will refresh at the first “reply” that I have not yet seen, which may be at the beginning of the thread, or somewhere in the middle, etc. Problem being that this leaves me scrolling from THAT comment, through all the stuff I have already seen, to try and find the stuff I haven’t. It is one thing to read the replies that already exist, quite another to return to a thread and try and make sense of what is new and what isn’t.’
    ———————————————————————————————————————–
    I agree 100%. Now, what is going to happen on a solar thread when Leif answers each person by the reply button? To keep up with all of his new comments and rebuttals we are going to have to go back to each original comment and scroll through those replies, then repeat the process with each person he is dealing with. I like the way Leif does it now, show the statements he wants to comment on and his answers all in one post. Easy to read, easy to follow, no jumping around, no missing anything.

      • That’s something I’ve wanted to say for a long time. I even went to his site to find an e-mail address I could send him my opinion, but I couldn’t find one.

      • rogerknights said on August 28, 2014 at 9:17 am:

        That’s something I’ve wanted to say for a long time. I even went to his site to find an e-mail address I could send him my opinion, but I couldn’t find one.

        http://leif.org/

        It’s right there on the home page, in the center in plain view, leif at leif dot org.

        *head-desk*

  87. The multi-column format does nothing for me; if I want to view other stories I go to the home page. Fortunately the RSS feed is still sequential. It would be even better if RSS feed items contained the whole post instead of just a half-line teaser.

    I’m not sure yet if threading the comments was an improvement or not. The ability to switch between threaded and sequential would be really useful.

    The ability to vote comments up/down would be nice. But I’m glad you haven’t gone with Disqus because of its requirement that I manually find and hit a “Load more comments” button, over and over again, before all the posts are visible to my browser and I can search them with ctrl-F. Keep them all in one big page, please!

    It does seem odd that we’re allowed to use Gravatar.com to log in, but our gravatars are never shown.

    • PS. I just noticed, and find quite annoying, that posts no longer have links to the previous and next post (thus allowing easy sequential reading). Please bring them back, if not at the top then at the bottom.

  88. Create a new custom blog, this one is old and bad in everything (design, speed, etc). Host the new one yourself on a cloud server.

  89. My thoughts, if anyone cares:

    - I use an RSS reader (Feedly, since Google Reader went away). I rarely visit the WUWT home page, so I really have no opinion of it.

    - Nested comments: Don’t care for them. As others have mentioned, you’d have to re-read an entire thread each time you come back to it in order to see new comments which are replies to others. I don’t like it on CA either. Rarely go to Jo Nova’s, but wouldn’t like it there for the same reasons. My typical WUWT experience is as follows: See new stories in RSS reader, read teaser, click through to WUWT if I;m interested, read the story, read comments if story is interesting, maybe comment, maybe not, but will keep the tab open on my browser for a couple days as I follow new comments from where I left off. Can’t do that effectively with nested. I tried using email notification, but quickly tired of constant email notifications while at work and unable to follow up. Once I’d get home I’d have to still try and figure out what was new. That lasted for about a week before I was sick of it. And if you’re following 10 stories? Can you say insanity?

    What would be more effective, IMHO, is a reply button which jumps you down to the “leave a reply” box, automatically placing the comment you’re replying to inside blockquote tags. It’s then a simple matter to delete the parts of the comment you don’t need to duplicate, and add your reply below. Unfortunately that also requires some programming, javascript at the least.

    Of course I can muddle through, but my WUWT experience will be greatly reduced. Of course I don’t contribute much, if anything, of value here, so some may rejoice. ;)

    • “What would be more effective, IMHO, is a reply button which jumps you down to the “leave a reply” box, automatically placing the comment you’re replying to inside blockquote tags. It’s then a simple matter to delete the parts of the comment you don’t need to duplicate, and add your reply below. Unfortunately that also requires some programming, javascript at the least.”

      Now that would be very sweet. Very big time for the “most read resource it has become” :)

      • Amazon has a very slick setup, whereby Replies are put at the end, but there are links back and forth, and there is a thumbnail of the comment if you hover over the reply. (Or something like that. Anyway, it’s worth copying, if possible.)

  90. All great, a big improvement. A pity the Read More link has gone, but it’s not a big issue.
    And mountainape5, what a useless comment! Be helpful when people ask for help.

  91. Zeke August 27, 2014 at 7:30 pm
    Try clicking on the date and time of the last comment you read.
    Then, when you refresh, you will remain on that comment number.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    In which case, I would have missed any replies to comments that I was interested in….
    D***ed if you do and d***ed if you don’t….

  92. I love everything except nested comments. But that speaks about me more than it does the blog. It makes it seem like the entire room is talking at the same time and the noise overwhelms me. Plus I can’t track with the hard turns and tangents away from the thread topic that nesting ends up encouraging.

    So I use the search function (control F) to scan for certain names and topic words, and just don’t read most of the comments. Sorry about that but it is the best I can do to cope with nesting.

  93. I like everything about the new format. Nesting is fine with me. I treat it just like I treat trolls / non-contributors, I have them pretty much figured out and skip the dreck.

    I can get through even a fairly long thread in 5 – 10 minutes by speed-reading so maybe it’s me; but I like nesting due to the immediacy of response. But it can get stupid and deep leveled so I just fast-forward. It really depends on the topic for me though. Some I will pick our every word, others, I’ll just scan.

    But even more important than the newness of the format, Anthony I really appreciate how you are always open to trying new things and welcoming innovation. It keeps things exciting – even inspiring.

    Great blog.

  94. What I love most is having more topics on the page without having to search through previous post pages. I usually follow several posts for quite some time so the new format makes it better for this Anthony groupie.

  95. oops. I typed your name instead of Anth*********. The moderation filter still catches that one I see. There is something just not right about having your name in the list of bad words to say. Just not right. LOL!

    • Pamela, it’s so I can notice people asking me questions in the firehose stream of comments we get here daily.

  96. To follow up on a point that’s been made by several folks.

    I also don’t go to Climate Etc. or Jo Nova’s all that often.

    At Judith’s, the nesting and alarmist trolls are factors. At Jo’s, it’s the nesting.

    When I do visit Judith’s and Jo’s, I typically read a thread only the only time.

    Here at WUWT, the linear method made following a thread enjoyable.

  97. Latitude
    August 27, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    …Thanks, you said it much better….

    Exactly what is wrong, or time consuming about replying to someone this way? copy..paste..and answer

    *

    Totally agree, Latitude, it was no trouble keeping up with what everyone was talking about or responding to, and easy to mark where we were at and come back to it.

    I just tried the email thing, and got 51 emails just for this thread in a matter of hours, each with a comment, true, but they are there, not here and don’t flow at all – If I got emails with all threads I’m interested in, I’d be snowed under, they’d be jumbled together and I’d have hundreds a day to open before I could read on. So, no, it doesn’t work without a lot of hassle.

    Like you, I shall miss out. We won’t be the only ones.

    I also suspect the trolls will be very quick to realize they can fill up the top section of the comments with their rubbish and force readers to wade through their lot before they reach the proper dialogue. I’ve noticed some of that at Judith Curry’s already. After all, the specialty of trolls is derailment. They’ll have open go and nothing to stop them.

    So, hey, things might turn around again. :)

    By the way, Anthony – or moderator – I’m still being held up in moderation every time (I’m referring to a reply to Zeke, Aug 27th 9:50 pm where I did not mention your name or anything that should trigger moderation). I do run a WordPress blog, is that the cause of it?

    • I also suspect the trolls will be very quick to realize they can fill up the top section of the comments with their rubbish and force readers to wade through their lot before they reach the proper dialogue. I’ve noticed some of that at Judith Curry’s already. After all, the specialty of trolls is derailment. They’ll have open go and nothing to stop them.

      That’s because there are no moderators on JC’s site, unlike here. And she virtually never bans anyone.

      • The trolls come in here, too, though. They are well known for trying to set the thread in new directions or attempting to ruffle feathers. Not that I mind, I find it entertaining and the quality of replies to them is excellent. I’m just pointing out that they will all group at the gate, so to speak. The old way at least forced them into order of appearance.

  98. One thing that I hope can be brought back is that once a post is read, its headline in the “recent posts” section is grayed (or some other color) out, so that I know which posts I have read before. Memory ain’t what it used to be.

    • Alternatively, the New entries could be highlighted somehow (fewer changes to the text would be needed that way). This is THE solution to the objectionable aspect of nested comments, so it’s amazing that it hasn’t been “addressed.”

      • Oops–I misread you comment as referring to marking individual comments as read or not read. But I agree that clicked-on threads in the Recent Posts list should change color.

  99. i don’t understand why any changes were made at all: the format was settled for years and 97% of the readers agreed with that.

    :-)

      • It’s also human nature to do nothing and sit on your butt while we get overrun with bureaucracy.

        That’s not me. Your dislike of the changes is noted in several places. I ask that you try to find something constructive to comment about.

        The one thing constant with humanity is change. Those who don’t change are left by the side of the road.

      • I only have 1 dislike …and that’s the nested threaded posts….so it’s my dislike of the one thing no ‘s on the end

        …the rest of it is working great….so far!

        Let’s see, something constructive…..ok, got it….you’re not near as grouchy right now as I thought you would be

        :D

  100. I like the blockquote thing, although maybe the font could be a notch smaller.

    As for nesting or otherwise, there are pros and cons for each. Linear posts would be fine, but only if everyone who posted a response to a comment upthread included a reference. Courtney snr. is excellent for this and it makes his replies easy to comprehend. Unfortunately, a lot of others don’t; until we’re all up to Richard’s standard, nesting will make things simpler. The downside is, of course, that it’s much more difficult to pick up from the last post read, when coming back after a time-out. I gather from something our host said that switching from one to the other as a user option isn’t possible so, on balance, I’m willing to give nesting a chance.

    There is one enhancement I’d like to see and that is a ‘Preview’ option. For those of us who are occasional posters, some of the formatting codes are a b!tch to remember and to get right whilst in the throes of composition and errors do creep in.

    All in all though the new look is good and only serves to enhance the quality of the content.

  101. Fonts need work, they’re too big all around. Makes this site look like a “Jayvee” site (now where have I heard that word?). Simple to solve — find a favorite website with relaxing easy to read smaller font, and use that.

    • Second that !

      Anthony, I came back to this thread to make just this point. I have no strong opinions on the other changes but I really dislike the ‘in your face’ fonts that are used for most of the article text. I feel like I’m being shouted at.

      Too big, too bold.

      I’m guessing that this has been made bigger because it is a serif family font that does not display too well at small point sizes. Probably also the reason for using a bold version of the font. Even at bigger, bolder settings I find harder to read. It is actually quite obstructive.

      I imagine this will be even more of a problem on a lot of hand-held devices.

      The font that I get in this box for entering a reply is a nice, simple clear font (Vandana?).

      I would suggest using this or a similar Sans-serif font for the main text or articles and comments.

      • try doing a CTRL and – key combo to reduce size. I’m betting you are running on a small monitor, like maybe 1024×768?

      • Thanks for the reply Anthony.

        Correct about the monitor size but this is a comment relative to recent changes, I’ve been a daily visiter here for a number of years (with same monitor and other equiptment ) and have found the previously used fonts to be much more readable.

        Verdana was designed specially for relatively low res devices like computer monitors as opposed to printers with much higher precision that handle serif fonts well.

        Serif fonts require high res to work well. I imagine they look nice on an Apple retina display but not so much on most hand held devices or 1024×768 monitors.

        Yes, I can scale down to get smaller fonts but this just exaggerates the problems of rendering serif fonts and it gets very hard to read.

      • I’m on a 1080 monitor, and the font as of this comment is a perfect size. The font after the initial change was too small. This one is the goldilocks font.

  102. While I really like the new format I think you need to adopt a standard format for the content. Here’s a current example:

    Climate Alarmism: When Is This Bozo Going Down? By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger Climate alarmism is like one of those pop-up Bozos.

    With the synopsis running together it can be hard to tell what part is story and what part is headline, etc. A standard clear format should be adopted so it’s easy to understand the synopsis without having to try to decipher the run on sentences:

    Climate Alarmism: When Is This Bozo Going Down?
    By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger

    Climate alarmism is like one of those pop-up Bozos.

    • Part of that has to do with the way the front page capsule formatting works, which I have little control over. I’m putting in separators, but really can’t do more than that since then it looks odd in the actual story after clicking through.

  103. If it isn’t possible to add additional “next” and “prev” links, as an alternative is it possible to insert an HTML tag at the link locations, and add a “goto links” button at the head and tail of the posts?

  104. Yeah, still don’t like the nested comments, like listening to 6 conversations at once. In this thread alone, I gave up paying any attention to the discussion about a 1/3 of the way down. Maybe that’s a good thing – I’ll get a couple of hours back a day by reading the articles, ignoring the comments and moving on. Unless you’re making money off the ads – have a look at their placement – one of the biggest killers of attention is trying to pick the good stuff out of the dreck – this format can look like an “entertainment” blog really quick.

    After looking at it for a couple of days, personally, I’m not a fan of the magazine format – it tends to turn WUWT into a tabloid, and nothing destroys a site credibity with smart thinkers than the appearance that it wants to be the Daily Mail. The essence (and importance) of WUWT isn’t specifically the articles (the content is available all over the web, sometimes days earlier) its the discussion about the content that makes this site. Personally, I think this format trivializes the commentary and is considerably over-styled. All of that b*tching done, I also know much work is involved in getting a WP format to work well and look good and represent your “brand”, so take the comments with a grain of salt.

  105. A lot of space is lost by indenting the text of the first comment. This is unnecessary because the commenter’s name is in bold type and clearly separated from the text. That the replies are progressively indented is of course necessary. On IPads and iPhones space is precious and should not be compromised by estatic considerations.

  106. One of the great things about WUWT is the calling out of incorrect information by those that have a better understanding of a subject. It is a great way for many of us to learn new things and unlearn things we get wrong. The old comment style made it easy to do this. One could scan through all the new comments very quickly and read things that catch your attention. Sometimes it may be something you weren’t even thinking about but is contrary to your knowledge . It was also easier to scroll down and find certain people whom I always read, i.e: Dr Brown at Duke, Leif, Pamela Grey, Nick Stokes and yes even Mosher, to name just a few. Usually one of those comments will get me interested in that particular discussion. Nesting comments does not allow me to do this very easily and even finding those comments can be time consuming.

  107. OK, I’m going to bang on about my pet peeve: constant finger scrolling to get to bottom or top of long lists of comments when on a tablet.
    May I suggest inserting “##top” and “##bot” at top and bottom of pages (or whatever you please) so that I can issue a ‘Find in page’ to get to where ever.
    BTW: I do know I can do a find on ‘leave a reply’ or ‘home’ but both can appear in text so don’t go straight to top/bottom. The special chars help.

  108. I have bad eyes and the fonts are EASY for me to read, and while not a huge fan of nested comments I feel you have struck a good balance.
    you cannot please everyone, best you can do is only upset 50% of them.
    IMO you got it right here.

  109. Just a note to the few people complaining about fonts.

    1. “I don’t like the size” Easy to solve! Use key combination CTRL and + to enlarge, CTRL and – to shrink, and CTRL and 0 (zero) to reset to 100%. Pressing CTRL and turning the mouse wheel does the same.

    2. “I don’t like the style” Some people think I can just install any font I want, the fact is as long as I am hosted on wordpress.com, I can’t . I’m limited to about three dozen that have been preselected for me.You can see them in this image, with fonts I can choose on the right.

    I find a lot of them to look horrid, so it’s really down to about half a dozen.

    3. It is a huge amount of work, cost, and risk for me to come off wordpress.com and run a private server. The big risk is attacks. Right now I have the advantage of having the power of wordpress.com cloud hosting and their firewall/expertise to fend off attacks. I’d rather spend more time providing content than being a sysop.

    It’s easy to complain, it’s far harder to deal with complaints in some of the ways suggested.

    • The problem is that CTRL +/- adjusts the display size but the page width shrinks or grows and the sentences don’t re-wrap. So when reducing the display size I get empty space at left & right. On other sites, when you use CTRL +/-, the page width continues to fil the screen and the sentences re-wrap to give more text on screen — which is how html is designed to work.

      • OMG empty space at left/right, how terrible. That’s the background. Seriously? No pleasing you I suppose since it worked exactly the same way on the old theme.

      • Its called ‘white space’ and in most publications its considered classy. The more cluttered a publication or web site, the more downmarket it generally feels.

        tonyb

    • I agree, Anthony, it IS easier to complain. I’d rather the content, too, so do what you got to do.

    • “I’m limited to about three dozen that have been preselected for me.You can see them in this image, with fonts I can choose on the right.”

      I see a list that shows fonts beginning with the letters A-F. I couldn’t scroll it down to see if Georgia is available. I read one book that recommended using it in place of Times New Roman on account of its better readability and its equal pervasiveness. It’s what I use in my Word documents.

  110. What I like: The new front page – well done!
    What I don’t like: The choice of fonts
    What I’m not sure of: Whether the mobile site really is any better

  111. I like the threaded posts concept. I sometimes enjoy looking at comments made as replies to what I consider a dumb post – many of Mosher’s come to mind. It is better to have all the bricks lined up than scattered throughout the comments. Thanks again.

  112. tl;dr, so apologies if this has already been said. I like the new design a lot, and am happy many issues have been addressed, but find the body text rather hard to read. It could just be my old eyes & declining mental powers, but I think slightly more leading (vertical space) between lines would help a great deal.

    BTW, I don’t know if I’ve ever said it explicitly, but thank you *SO* much for the time, effort, and dedication you (and all your volunteers) put into this site. It’s truly a unique and incredibly valuable resource, globally important, and I think having a global effect. Thanks again.

  113. In my comment above, August 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm, I used the term column width when I should have written line length, i.e; the number of characters per line, or CPL.

    Typographic style guides usually recommend about 60 cpl for best legibility. In its current incarnation, WUWT comments reach to over 80 cpl, while the Leave a Reply input box runs to over 100 cpl.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Characters_per_line

    I also used the word font where I should have used typeface. As typographers, graphic artists, and a few pedants know, a font is a subset of a typeface. Helvetica is a typeface, while Helvetica 14 point bold is a font.

    I prefer Helvetica for legibility. It is easier on the eyes than Times Roman, or most other serif typefaces.

    I also, correctly, used the graphic arts’ term Horsey to describe the appearance of the blockquotes, which are in a different typeface from the body text, and are both bolder, and larger; hence, horsey.

    I suggest that blockquotes should use the italic font of the body text typeface, in the same point size.

    Another dimension in typesetting is leading or the space between successive lines of type. This morning, the comment text appears much denser, as if the leading has been reduced significantly. Too dense, imo. Main article leading looks fine.

    In looking to grab the date & time of my earlier post, I was startled to see many new comments littered throughout the comment thread, and I can see it will be a chore to scroll through the entire thread again to read the latest comments/replies.

    Even with the linear format, disputes have arisen about what was said, read, or understood, which are a function of human nature, and not of WUWT’s format. The nested comments will only add to the babble, I fear.

    And to echo what others have said, above: it is the content here that is the most important thing. Where the host gets the energy to fiddle with the CSS is beyond me, but obviously, there are some savvy hands in the wheelhouse, and many contented readers here.

    • “I suggest that blockquotes should use the italic font of the body text typeface, in the same point size.”

      I agree.

  114. I like the new changes though I will have to see how the threaded comments evolves.

    For myself, I find the threaded comments at Judith Curry’s site very difficult to read as there are always 20 similtaneous discussions going on without any quick visual way to scan and separate them. I always read comments at WUWT and almost never at Judy’s. Just my two cents.

    • davidtron

      I agree with your comments about nesting, but at Climate Etc its easier to follow as generally there is a single article that is debated for several days. The likely problem here is that you have 20 simultaneous discussions in 5 or 6 threads that become impossible to follow due to the sheer number of articles presented each day..
      tonyb

  115. I think one of the problems with Judith’s site is that the nesting encourages trolls and people who love the sight of their own comments without having to read down through other, possibly relevant, replies first.
    I don’t think WUWT suffers from that problem significantly, but we’ll see how it goes.

    • Michael

      I think that is an insightful comment, but having said that very many people here are guilty of not reading more than the first few comments-particularly in a long thread-before scrolling to the bottom and voicing their opinion.

      tonyb

      • I’m guilty of that at times. But sometimes I’d scroll down because I’d have to in order to “reply” to an earlier comment. I’d go back sometimes and find that someone else had already said the same thing.
        That less likely to happen with this new format. +1 for nested comments.

  116. Very nice look. I like most everything but the nesting of comments. I have no problem with the concept, just wordpress’s implementation; eg no sorting of active threads, too much indent causing web masters to limit depth to a couple levels meaning you’re back to where you started after a reply to a reply except now you’re reading down more than left to right. You may as well give stokes’ comments their own page. I think you should wait till they fix it, but I’ll live with whatever you decide. Thanks for all you do.

  117. To our gracious host:

    Thank you so much for everything you have done with WUWT.
    Your efforts have a huge impact in many areas, not just science, education and politics.
    Truth will set us free.

    Your work benefits all of mankind.

  118. The WUWT top graphic used to have a small list of general items and topics which the blog addressed. How did it go?

    “Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent events by AW.”

    Has there been any change in the topics and goals of the site, or is this description just tucked in somewhere else?

    • “Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent events by AW.”

      Okay, “Curious things” are still on the menu.

      Curious things
      Mystery of the sailing stones of Death Valley solved – ‘climate change’ immediately blamed for no good reason

      That’s good.

  119. Anthony: I’m not sure if it’s a browser issue or not, but from the home page I only see eleven (11) stories and then the rest of the scroll down is blank except for the side bar. Can you check this? Thanks

    • refresh page, what should happen as you scroll down into that white space the older articles appear. they do not preload, its a progressive page load setup from the looks of it.
      I see a lot of articles.
      now internet explorer has been known to have issues with it especially IE8 but IE10 and up should be ok.

      • And look, you can change the page in the address bar…

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/page/1000/

        I picked page one thousand and got this story from 2011, with the Wivenhoe Dam scandal. Ah I have only to scroll down and look at this or that, to flood my soul with memories…

        Model trumps observation – dam operator caught in fabrication

        From Operator of dam ‘invented’ rain data Hedley Thomas, National chief correspondent March 26, 2011 12:00AM EXTREME rainfall so rare it happens on average once every 2000 years has been “invented” by the government operator of a major Queensland dam as part of its explanation for releasing huge volumes of water that caused most of…

      • Even after refreshing the page, it still doesn’t work. It seems to work fine in IE. But I use Firefox almost exclusively unless some site absolutely refuses to work in Firefox.

  120. “Infinite scroll” on the main page is nice. Could you use the same approach on individual articles, so that comments get downloaded just in time? You would need to move this “Leave a reply” stuff up to the top of comments. But it could spare weak connections a lot of wasted download.

  121. I only catch up perhaps every week or two. It’s hard to remember which articles I’ve read and which I’ve not, given that a lot of it gets repeated in other venues, but abbreviated. So I use the change in color of the “read more” link to tell me when I’ve caught up. But now that doesn’t work.

    Ideal would be to let me know that I’ve explored an article before by changing the color of the title.

  122. moderator or webmaster
    Minor currency issue – under Humor/Satire, Daily Bayonet is listed. That site has not had any new content added for over two years.

  123. I see that as per my request way above, the authors’ names are now included in the lead-in to articles on the homepage. No name means it’s an AW piece.

    Thanks!

  124. Anthony – Still reviewing your changes. The first impression is that you’ve made some outstanding decisions, to make the site appear more professional. Plus as you’ve mentioned, it should improve the efficiency for your mods’ control of spam. ‘Tis a good thing.

    One thing you might want to review is the WUWT logo at the top of the page. The new overall header look is fine. It’s a matter of personal choice, to some extent. However, if you can, would like to see you adjust the fade characteristic of the letters WUWT, so that they don’t go to black, where the top edges of the letters are not very visible. Hopefully that point is written so you understand the point I’m trying to make.

    Given the choice, would much rather see the full letters without the fade. Or, create a decreased vertical fade, such that the full letters are clearly visible. This is your primary logo for the public. Be proud of it and allow it to be fully seen. Nothing wrong with some kind of fade, but it looks like the top of the letters are being lost in a shadow at the top of the screen… or some such thing.

    Your mileage may vary. However, I think the site will look more professional, if you allow the WUWT letters to be more clearly and boldly seen on your page.

    Congratulations on your outstanding site. The data, studies and articles you have provided have an enormous reach, as individuals share what they’ve learned. Well done sir!

  125. Everything is great in my opinion except for the nesting. I agree with other people who do not like it. However I just had a slightly different experience on another thread. It now has 340 comments so I did not count how many times “SonicsGuy” responded. At any rate, I responded to a criticism he had of me at 9:05 AM. After a number of comments down, he again repeated his criticism of me at 9:39 AM and it was obvious he did not read my earlier nested reply. However with all of his dozens of posts in my estimation, he would have had to read potential replies to all previous posts to see if any were answered before posting something new. But without nesting, he just has to go to his last read post before resuming it.
    For me, I had to take the time to check both of my entries and the latest one to keep updated. Of course it is no big deal to check on two entries, but if I had ten entries on ten different posts, that would be 100 clicks instead of 10 when resuming my WUWT reading. And I still could miss something interesting on a different reply where I had no input.

    • It was David Appell in sockpuppet mode. He wasn’t interested in reading others comments, only pushing his own viewpoint, so that’s not really a good example.

  126. I truly hate nesting. If it stays, I’ll have to make a radical change and only come here once or twice on the weekend.

    Nesting ruins my enjoyment of WUWT.

  127. Having tried it for a few days I must agree that the only thing I still dislike about the new format remains the nesting.

    When there are so many stories each day and each might retain interest for 4 or 5 days, the number of potential conversations you might wish to follow becomes far too many to make it feasible.

    The linear thread system works well on a high volume of articles/high volume of comments blog such as this one.

    tonyb

    • I’ve held off speaking for a day or two to giver it a go.

      But I concur. The nesting isn’t easy to work with.

      Love the design changes though.

  128. Anthony,

    tonyb sums it up in one sentence.

    “The linear thread system works well on a high volume of articles/high volume of comments blog such as this one.”

    Here, nesting is a huge negative. It adds nothing positive. If your goal is to “up the game” at WUWT, Jeff Alberts laid out the path to follow.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/27/status-report-on-changes-to-wuwt-with-user-poll/#comment-1720283

    “What would be more effective, IMHO, is a reply button which jumps you down to the “leave a reply” box, automatically placing the comment you’re replying to inside blockquote tags. It’s then a simple matter to delete the parts of the comment you don’t need to duplicate, and add your reply below. Unfortunately that also requires some programming, javascript at the least.”

    This method is in use at the Skyscraperpage forums where I follow some Calgary and Vancouver topics.

    http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/

    With that, I’m off to work.

    regards,

  129. Just a note to everyone who is making a suggestion about making things work differently, such as running Disqus, or some other commenting system, or making the reply button do different things, etc.

    My options on wordpress.com are very limited. I can’t do custom coding, I can’t add external processes or widgets. I can’t install commonly available plugins at wordpress.org. The only way I can get those things is to move to private paid hosting. And, BTW climate audit has threaded comments, but for some reason I don’t see people complaining about it there. I’m not sure why.

    On wordpress.com I’m trading simplicity and security and free cloud based hosting for lack of these features. This is why we moved Climate Audit off a private server in 2009 and onto wordpress.com. Climategate traffic killed it, and Steve didn’t want to be a sysop. Neither did I. WordPress.com solved that problem nicely.

    So please think twice about such suggestions, I know they are made with my best interest in mind, but I really don’t want to be a sysop. I really don’t want to spend time stopping DDoS attacks from the Forces of Darkness. Those sorts of things are handled automatically for me now.

    And for the threaded comment haters. We are going to continue and see how it does for awhile. Sorry. My best advice – try using it rather than complaining about it.

    • ” And, BTW climate audit has threaded comments, but for some reason I don’t see people complaining about it there. I’m not sure why.”

      It’s manageable at CA because the number of head posts and volume of comments is much lower than here (although it’s still irritating).

      I go to CA maybe every 2-3 days to see if anything new has been put up, and for threads that I’m interested in, I skim through all the comments each time to see if there are any new ones in the body of the thread.But that’s not feasible for this site – to keep up I check in almost every day and there are usually several topics on the boil that I like to follow. Under the old system, I would just keep the tabs for those threads open and read new comments by doing a page refresh.

      Anyway, I’m happy to give it a go, but suspect that my visits will be fewer if nesting continues. I’ll only read threads after they are pretty much done and dusted WRT comments.

    • 90% of the complaints about nested comments could be addressed with a fully functioning CA Assistant, which colors comments based on age and can hide old ones, etc.

      Can you ask Mr. Pete if he could get CA Assistant fully functioning on this site?

  130. @Steve P 8/28 8:30 am
    In looking to grab the date & time of my earlier post, I was startled to see many new comments littered throughout the comment thread, and I can see it will be a chore to scroll through the entire thread again to read the latest comments/replies.

    On the whole, I think the nesting is working well.
    The social dynamic rule about nested replies is:
    Do not expect your reply to be seen unless:
    1. if the reply is within an hour of the parent comment, or
    2. you are replying to the person who wrote the parent comment and they will see it only if your are lucky.

    If you want your comment to be read by the general readership, then make it a level one reply with reference to poster, date and time like the old days.

    Nesting is a tool. It is a new tool that doesn’t obsolete the old methods. Use the tool wisely.

    • Do not expect your reply to be seen unless:
      1. if the reply is within an hour of the parent comment, or
      2. you are replying to the person who wrote the parent comment and they will see it only if your are lucky.

      I think you are on to something. So for example if someone in Britain says something while I am sleeping, and I do not see it until 4 hours later, then perhaps I should not reply via the reply button but at the bottom as before?
      Perhaps we need to be educated as to how to make the best use of the reply feature. And we need to be aware of the fact that we do not always know the time zone or work schedule of participants so a lack of a prompt reply can readily be explained.

    • Agreed. The host has requested we give it a try, and I’m interested to see what dynamic develops. I think your suggestions are good. One obvious utility to nested replies is the ability to add corrections, errata and such in closer proximity to the original, flawed comment.

  131. @Werner 8/29 11:23 am,
    A nested reply within an hour is probably going to be read in context of the parent comment. But if it is several hours later, then I would make a nested reply only if you expect it to be missed except by anyone anyone reading parent for the first time or perhaps the author of the parent.

    Expect a nested reply to a 12 hour old comment to be mostly ignored, so use it for a focused purpose.

    —–
    Experiment: This started off as a nested reply to Werner’s. Then I hit the “Cancel Reply” box. The Edit box kept my text. And I think I can still hit the “Post Comment” button.
    Let’s see…..

    • It worked!
      The “Cancel reply” link-command is really “Cancel Nested Reply – Make Level 1.”

      So an interesting strategy is to use the “Reply” Link, compose your reply with or without quoted references, then decide whether to
      1. post it as a nested comment (Click the Post Comment button), or
      2. post it as a Level 1 at the bottom of the page. (click “Cancel Reply”, then click “Post Comment” button.)

    • Thank you!
      However who is going to read your suggestions at the end of a thread? Perhaps a new post could be written by starting with your two points and expanding so we all know what “rules” to play by. For example, do not click “reply” if the time is more than 4?? hours since the last post. And if you post something, you would not be considered rude if you stopped checking for a reply to your post after 6?? hours, etc.

    • I think people will find it easy to see any replies by simply checking their own comments. It may be right underneath their own comment. I do not understand the argument that people will not see replies to their own comments because…they are located right underneath them, instead of at some random location further downstream.

      Indentation allows for others to skip over long flame wars and continue past them, or to read them, if they like. But if two people do not use that “Reply” feature, and are not disruptive, I am sure that no one will complain.

  132. 1. Need a way to make the banner go away. (this one is better than most, but banners take away screen area and make page-down function useless).

    2. When I use my mobile, I get sent to the mobile site, even though I choose the request desktop option on my phone.

    3. Nesting comments make it hard to keep current. Chronological was better. At least, a filter by date/time would be helpful.

  133. Anthony,

    Just to wrap up then.

    This month, my visits to CA, Judith’s and Joanne’s might add up to 10.

    My visits to WUWT are much higher and are reflected in the numbers :)

    WUWT 9,783
    Jo Nova 83,490
    Judith Curry 104,335
    Climate Audit 143,853

    They don’t get the complaints because if you only visit one a week…..

    • Agree, Robert.

      I value the content on Judy and Jo’s sites very highly. But, the nesting makes revisiting threads tedious and very time-consuming. So, I usually only invest in a thread by reading it (and scrolling frantically past the usual suspects) once or twice.

      At WUWT, I would often revisit a thread several times a day when all I had to do was refresh the page and read down.

      As I said above, the much smaller scale at CA makes it bearable. Besides, I don’t want to be carping at Steve because of his site (which is awful, IMO). He needs all the time and space we can give him for better and more important things.

      • Forgot to add, I put John Brignell’s Numberwatch in the same category as Steve McIntyre’s. Dreadful site, but you don’t undermine living treasures by complaining that they are not wearing this year’s fashions.

        One day our esteemed host will be in the same category. But, he needs to get a few more white hairs in his beard first!

      • Yes, those are Alexa numbers.

        I recall you mentioning WUWT’s Alexa ranking this week, which is why I didn’t specifically cite the source.

  134. Don’t like the look at all, it validates Mann’s “…flashy (apparently widely distributed)” comment. This is an aesthetic critique not a functional one. The new look feels less professional, it’s simply too flashy. The large size of the fonts and inclusion of graphics Bloom the eye on opening and detract from the experience. Like him and his politics or not, part of the reason Drudge’s site is so successful is the spare layout.

  135. I won’t be using the Reply button. I am not interested in whether or not I get traffic under my comments. I am interested in what you all think and what evidence you all bring to the table. The only place I can readily find that would be within the main stream of the conversation, not in nested replies.

    I also am not a huge fan of the banner. Especially the present one. Something less cheesy eerie- the green slime looks like an alien invasion from Ghost Busters. A serious classic look maybe?

    • Pamela,

      The “green slime” is Aurora seen from the space station. I happen to like it. It’s my house, so my choice for decorating it. Surely you understand.

  136. Yes. I knew what it was. And yes, it is your house. As for banner space, it is what it is. The ad strip above it and any space at all used for the purpose of a “banner” (with whatever design you chose) would be about the same size regardless. So motor on. The banner thing is tiny compared to the tremendous value of the blog. Even if over-populated with nests.

    The important things are the relevant well-done posts and thoughtful complete comments. Any design that encourages those two things would be important to me.

  137. Anthony, so is the best way to get you to notice nested replies to your comments to use your name anyway so it gets grabbed?

    One can do “once a day” comment checks by searching for the date. For example, today I could search for “august 30″ to check for recent replies. So one can quickly check for new replies on older stories without digging through the stack, depending on how often you check.

    I usually just search for my handle to check for replies to my comments.

  138. Very interesting changes in format will take some getting used to. Generally, I like your changes and consider them improvements. The nested replies create true dialogues, and lend a sense of immediacy. There’s some incentive for commenters to answer a question which is nested under their name.

    I much prefer to see total contributors in the lead – headline or first paragraph-teaser, in order to know whether a thread is still alive with commenters and readers. I don’t want to get e-mails telling me this.

    A chief concern of mine anywhere I go on the internet (including here) is still (my own) security in visiting. It would be good if websites all offered the following information: What are you monitoring? How much information do you log and keep on each user? And how is it being used?

  139. Anthony,
    Maybe it’s just me but I am only seeing the top story on the Home Page in my Firefox. There is a banner ad at the top with lots of white space on top of that. It seems the magazine format for me has gone!

  140. One small disadvantage of the new mobile format (I do my reading on my iPad) is that the previous and next article links only appear aftere the main article instead of both before and after. It’s nice to have them in a known, easily accessible location instead of having to scroll through until you find them.

  141. “Princesses” is an argument? And if it is, please explain just what you mean by that.

    There is always a tension between content and presentation. How about dealing with that, as Anthony has to, instead of just slinging around insults?

    • Sorry ladies, I just meant the princesses with HAIRY LEGS, and they know who they are.

      And I have suffered to around here, too…esp. when WUWT started posting seven new posts a day. I could’t possibly read them all. And the comments? Don’t ask.

  142. I have adapted.

    I can find new comments by searching the page for a day like “august 31″, I can find by hour like “august 30, 2014 at 11″ and note am or pm. I can find replies to me by my handle.

    In a small way nested comments are better, as before there were a-holes who would give derogatory replies using my words without using my handle, or use some version of my name. I’d have to scan the list to catch them.

    Now, when they use the reply option, there it is near my handle, easy to find.

    But as mentioned above, it still would be nice to have a fully-functioning CA Assistant to do the heavy work of keeping the nested comments organized on the user end.

  143. It sux, reading used to be easy over here, it’s always been making a comment that was like getting nibbled to death by a damn duck. Now everything is like that.

  144. We’ve had a few days to check out the new nested comments format. I, like kadaka in the comment above, have adapted. I believe this is going to work out well.

    Not to be bitchin’ but I’m not adapting well to the 3D look for quoted comments.

    • Robert in Calgary: Nothing personal, and I’m sorry if your were offended, but it just seemed an over the top reaction to a formatting change. I honestly don’t get the sort or reaction you wrote.

  145. Well, it’s been at least a week since I saw a comment from Leif Svalgaard. We have threads with solar cycles, Sun affecting climate, or even just that “solar engineering” project. Got nothing.

    Willis Eschenbach is also MIA. No posts, he didn’t even comment on the Burning Man thread. Tim Ball expositions are running for filler.

    So when were you planning to announce the unfinished format change was rushed out to temporarily hide they are both dead and/or gravely injured? Was it an accident? August 24, the 6.0 South Napa earthquake hits early in the morning. August 24, blog changes announced later in the day.

    Come on, we’re adults. We can handle it. Tell us what happened.

    • Nothing happened. It’s all in your head.

      Leif is traveling, Willis is on a job, and Tim Ball loves the new format and has been submitting as he always has.

  146. Pamela Gray
    August 30, 2014 at 7:12 am
    “I won’t be using the Reply button. I am not interested in whether or not I get traffic under my comments. I am interested in what you all think and what evidence you all bring to the table. The only place I can readily find that would be within the main stream of the conversation, not in nested replies.”
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    I wholeheartedly agree. As I mentioned earlier up thread, one of the best features of this blog is the vast variety of knowledge that is brought here. People are never afraid to call out and correct wrong information posted in comments. Nesting tends to bury those corrections within a small conversation instead of being out in the main thread for all to see and evaluate.

  147. The nested comments appear to have a glitch. When a quote block is used in a reply to a reply, the block obscures the goodies on the side of the web page if done early on in the conversation stream.

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