New commenting features on WUWT

NOTE TO READERS: I have no control over this, implemented it across the board. My advice until they fix it is to make sure you are running a modern updated browser, Such as Firefox. – Anthony

from the blog:

Post Comments Using Twitter and Facebook

by Scott Berkun

Starting today, visitors to your blog can use their Facebook or Twitter account to leave comments. This saves everyone a few steps and gives visitors control over which identity they use.  It’s a win for everyone.

See the new commenting screen below:

As an important touch, we let you stay logged in to multiple services. This means you can stay logged in to Facebook for convenience, but still leave a comment through Twitter or your account. Just click whichever identity you’d like to use, and the selected one will be associated with your comment when it is published. You’re in control of your identity, as you should be.

Depending on your theme, you may notice the comment area looks different than before to make room for these new features. We also intelligently choose to use a light or dark visual style for the comment box, depending on the theme you are currently using.

And since you know your readers well, you can now change the text above the comment box to be whatever you like. We recommend using the default we are applying to new blogs, “What are you thinking?”, as questions often encourage more comments, but you can change it to whatever you like by going to your dashboard, then Settings → Discussion.

We know you like comments and this will help you get even more. Stay tuned for better Twitter and Facebook integration features, coming soon.

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June 10, 2011 8:48 am

Useless to me.. I hate Facebook and Twitter.. and I will never use them again.. looks pretty I suppose though

June 10, 2011 8:53 am

Yeah? Well, the type font in this “Leave a Reply” box is at least two points smaller (even though it’s in a sans-serif font) than is the text in the body of the Web page on which it’s being presented. This makes it extremely difficult for me – an older guy with diabetic retinopathy – to enter comments in this space without suffering both eyestrain and typographical errors.
And – of course! – WordPress does not allow people posting such comments to edit their posts to correct such errors.
In addition, while the body of the Web page text is in single-space format, what appears in this “Leave a Reply” box is formatted in “space-and-a-half,” making it difficult to effect paragraph breaks. This, too, is a pain in the ass.
Not being much of a Facebook user, I’ve no appreciation of the other features of this change, but the above-mentioned defects are enough reason for me to object vigorously. Just what the hell reason do the WordPress people offer for these changes, anyway?

Theo Goodwin
June 10, 2011 9:01 am

Though I defer to the greater wisdom of Anthony, I think that inviting Facebook and Twitter crowds to these forums changes their nature fundamentally and undermines serious discussion.
By the way, there is a glitch in the new screens. When I post a comment, the comment remains on my “Leave a Reply” screen.

June 10, 2011 9:04 am

Great. Can only help to spread WUWT around the social networks.

Henry chance
June 10, 2011 9:06 am

If it saves evergy, it will help heal the planet. I don’t use either facebook or twitter

Laurie Bowen
June 10, 2011 9:54 am

I liked it better before . . .

June 10, 2011 10:17 am

Tyler Durden, Anthony is a reader of ZeroHedge? WUWT?

June 10, 2011 10:23 am

ShaneCMuir says:
June 10, 2011 at 8:48 am
Useless to me.. I hate Facebook and Twitter

Same with me – but after Weinergate, I am tempted to twitter – and may even set an account with the service! 😉

Albert Kallal
June 10, 2011 10:25 am

Just as a quick note for those that find fonts small, holding down the ctrl key and + key will zoom (make larger) the screen in IE and other browsers. (and ctrl – key will reduce font sizes). So, one, or two taps on the ctrl and + key should result in some easy reading.
The “page” menu also has a zoom option.
Anyway, adding social media to this could cause more “noise” in posts in what is already a busy board but then again this is a means to expand the message and discussions here and I think that is a good thing. The worst would be we simply discuss this among ourselves and not expand this community.

June 10, 2011 10:37 am

“And since you know your readers well, you can now change the text above the comment box to be whatever you like”
Anthony, I wonder if web links work. I could create a variant of my WUWT guide that just has the HTML hints and stuff and you could make the response header read “Leave a reply – Hints on HTML in replies.”

June 10, 2011 10:38 am

Great, now the CIA and Mi6 can track our every AGW denial word using one simple GUI!

June 10, 2011 10:45 am

Can’t resize the window, authors can’t subscribe to their own posts, the font is very tiny, and the 1.5 spacing is a pain. Sometimes the comment stays in the box after it is submitted.
These problems should be fixed. Why aren’t they, WordPress?

June 10, 2011 10:49 am

At 10:25 AM on 10 June, Albert Kallal suggests:

Just as a quick note for those that find fonts small, holding down the ctrl key and + key will zoom (make larger) the screen in IE and other browsers. (and ctrl – key will reduce font sizes). So, one, or two taps on the ctrl and + key should result in some easy reading.
The “page” menu also has a zoom option.

Mozilla Firefox has the same feature, and – hey, surprise! – I’ve already tried using it. Not good. When the browser window is “zoomed” to enlarge the print in the “Leave a Reply” box, it both reduces the number of lines visible in that box without scrolling and it converts the text in the body of the Web page to “scare headline” size.
Given also the fact that WordPress has changed the line formatting in the “Leave a Reply” box from single-space to space-and-a-half, this means that zooming in forces one even more constantly to scroll up and down and up and down and…oh, damn; where did I put my Dramamine?
In short, this sucks. I repeat my earlier question: Just what the hell reason do the WordPress people offer for these particular changes, anyway?

June 10, 2011 11:05 am

I’m not a teenager nor a twenty-something. I don’t do facebook. My friends I meet, I talk to, I can see, I can hear, I can even touch. Such an old-fashioned grumpy middle-aged man I am but I’m fine with it.

June 10, 2011 11:32 am

I find it slow/unresponsive and jittery and slow to take cursor focus and quick to loos cursor focus. Also the headings for name and email only appear when the cursor is Not in the field AND the field is blank.
Also if you move your insert point to beyond the text that you have already typed (in case you go back and make a correction) again it looses cursor focus. In order to append to existing text you need to hit the last half of the the last existing character bang on. All in all a poor interface implementation.
The previous interface was in my opnion superior in its simplicity and performance.
My computer is very fast, lots of ram, SSD, etc. so I suspect the problems are ‘at your end’.
I do not use any social networking sites.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
June 10, 2011 11:49 am

I’ve noted ONE good thing about it. I can be logged in to wordpress (playing with my not-ready-for-release blog) while commenting here. Before when logged in, the comment box here would default to my other WP info (with blog link) rather than my usual handle (and not-revealed valid email address). Now with the “switch on the fly” options I can stay logged in.
(But while logged in, with a WP toolbar across the top of ANY WP-dot-com page, my computer has slowed to a crawl. Could just be “the user’s fault” though.)
However, I can now see it sure looks like it’s easier for trolls to abuse the site by switching log-ins, with four quick ways to look like four different posters. Plus the site requirement of a valid email address now looks blown away with the Twithead and Buttbook options, and the ease of making multiple accounts for those services seems an easy way to avoid a site ban. What does the moderating staff think of the change?

Malaga View
June 10, 2011 12:38 pm

It’s a win for everyone.

If you like:
1) lots of clicking, uncertainty and waiting to activate the “text box”
2) lots of jittering when editing long text
3) lots of jumping when you hold down the CTRL key
4) the up & down arrow keys jumping back to the first two lines of your comments
5) memorising layouts to counter disappearing field titles as the field gets focus – crazy
6) seeing an error message with untitled input fields – crazy
7) not having even a simple WYSIWYG text editor
8) this social network nonsense
9) all your comments and messages tracked
10) the icons etc to jump upover your text as you type longer comments
Basically, only a moron or a computer company could call this change an advance…
So I can only assume you are plunging down market… shame.

Sun Spot
June 10, 2011 1:15 pm

I suggest you have at least two (or more) face book accounts married to your different e-mail accounts. Due to the proliferation of this sort of thing it is wise to have a verbose Face book site and a minimalist false Id. for privacy reasons when useing public forums. The verbose Face book site can be used for real social interaction of family and a half dozen close friends (maybe even use an alias for this id). When you wish to disapear the false Id simply delete or change your e-mail Id its married to.

R. de Haan
June 10, 2011 1:26 pm

I don’t like Twitter and I don’t like Face Book.
Face book is now in the news making face Recognition Software active to identify every person in a picture.
These “social media” are quickly eliminating the boundaries where public domain starts and privacy ends.
So, no thank you, I’m one of the few not using this feature.

Grumpy Old Man UK
June 10, 2011 1:28 pm

Dear Anthony. What all the other GOM have said. In Spades.

mike g
June 10, 2011 1:43 pm

It didn’t “just start today. I’ve been coping with it for two or three days, now.

John Silver
June 10, 2011 1:54 pm

I featureland; less is more.

June 10, 2011 2:26 pm

This new comment system is not an advance in making complex
thoughts understandable across the many types of WUWT blog readers
and participants.
Will someone text in complicated messages using Facebook or, especially,
Twitter ?
I think not. is pandering to the lowest common denominator, and
taking sites like WUWT and Climate Audit along for the shift in website

Steve C
June 10, 2011 2:28 pm

Dear Anyhony and WordPress, yet another GOM who’s never going to use Twitter or Facebook. And struggles with the typeface. And … Etc., etc.
Yet oft-requested features like comment preview (I saw too late a “twp” for a “two” myself only minutes ago, missed it in the tiny type) still keep their distance. I routinely find the same sort of problems with other sites too – why do these improvements always seem to make things worse?
I refuse to accept that it’s just “Oh, it’s something you’re used to changing, You’ll get used to it.” – surely by chance you should at least get one or two really great changes that way, but … (Fades out, muttering in general irritation. It’s getting late.)

June 10, 2011 2:31 pm

Great! Now I can be hounded by all my progressive AGW cult FB contacts!
Was philw1776 here

Frank Kotler
June 10, 2011 2:48 pm

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
“Change is inevitable, progress is not.”
And other GOM comments…

Keith W.
June 10, 2011 2:51 pm

Actually, I believe this is not by Anthony’s choice, but rather something WordPress has decided to do. The same response setup is on ClimateAudit and The Air Vent. While WordPress is a great location to support the traffic these blogs receive, they also get to set how the readers interact with the blog. Me, while I have a Facebook account, I do not use it for blog posting. I only use it to keep track of some friends and people from high school, even after 28 years since graduation. It gave me a chance to reconnect to some old friends.

June 10, 2011 4:21 pm

I heard one on tv tonight.
Twitter is for people who dont know how to shut the [snip] up….even when they`re on their own..
and they usually are.
Thought i`d save the mods time.

June 10, 2011 5:43 pm

If you follow the right group of folks on twitter, you will get lots of links to interesting articles and photos that you might not have seen otherwise.
Most people’s twitter comments are like the comments at youtube or, who cares to read that crap?
I don’t do facebook or any other social media as I am in the GOM camp.
The “space and a half” in the comments box is not an improvement.

June 10, 2011 5:57 pm

Do these changes mean that it will look perpetually broken with a red X because I dont have a “Gravatar”?

Keith Minto
June 10, 2011 6:20 pm

R.S.Brown says:
June 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm

R.S.Brown says:
June 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm is pandering to the lowest common denominator, and
taking sites like WUWT and Climate Audit along for the shift in website

It is all numbers driven.
WP would ask ” What can I do to increase circulation numbers” and cross linking to social sites is the answer for them, and may be for Anthony as well.
It is certainly difficult to see the small text, impossible to check commas, full stops etc. Perhaps this is a Darwinian move to select out the sight impaired and skew the age group but I know that without Greasemonkey and spell-check ,I would be in big trouble.

June 10, 2011 7:00 pm

I seem to remember something about Joe Romm being bashed for changing his comment system to Facebook?
[Reply: This was a WordPress change, not a WUWT change. ~dbs, mod.]

Brian H
June 10, 2011 7:51 pm

WordPress wants to be a social network?
That’s not the point of comments. Wrong tools, wrong philosophy.

Robert Clemenzi
June 10, 2011 9:21 pm

The “new” system is not compatible with IE6 .. The “Post comment” button is not visible. As a result, I can no longer use MY system to post comments. For this post, I had to use another system.
Please provide an option so that it is still possible to post without having to purchase a new computer.
REPLY: Sorry about that but Microsoft doesn’t support IE6 anymore, you’ll need to upgrade to a modern browser to be in tune with the web these days. IE6 is now 10 years old. – Anthony

June 10, 2011 9:47 pm

~dbs mod said: This was a WordPress change, not a WUWT change. ~dbs, mod
Oh, that explains it then…
In the beginning was the Plan.
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without form.
And the Plan was without substance.
And darkness was upon the face of the workers.
And they spoke among themselves, saying, “It is a crock of shit, and it stinks.”
And the workers went unto their Supervisors and said, “It is a pail of dung, and we can’t live with the smell.”
And the Supervisors went unto their Managers, saying “It is a container of excrement, and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it.”
And the Managers went unto their Directors, saying “It is a vessel of fertilizer and none may abide its strength.”
And the Directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another, “It contains that which aids plant growth, and it is very strong.”
And the Directors went to the Vice Presidents, saying unto them, “It promotes growth, and it is very powerful.”
And the Vice Presidents went to the President, saying unto him, “This new plan will actively promote the growth and vigor of the company with powerful effects.”
And the President looked upon the Plan and saw that it was good.
And the Plan became Policy.

Rhoda Ramirez
June 10, 2011 9:58 pm

Anthony, while I recognize that this isn’t your fault, I have to add my dislike to the new setup.

Pete H
June 10, 2011 10:17 pm

WordPress. a work or two in your ear……No thanks, leave me alone!

June 10, 2011 10:20 pm

We’re not going to see any Weiners here, right?

Dave Dardinger
June 10, 2011 11:16 pm

I’ve sent in your complaints to WP support

So is this a big problems or not for those of us with newer browsers and no eye problems? There are a lot of supposed improvements around I never use, such as texting. BTW, I notice “texting” isn’t in your dictionary, but probably should be. Anyway this post is mostly to try using the new reply system to see what I think of it. So far it’s not really much of a problem. I’m basically a GOM myself, but I think this is a tempest in a teapot.

June 11, 2011 1:15 am

You don’t have to use twitter or Facebook. It’s just a convenience for those who do. I’m using the WordPress login for this comment

June 11, 2011 4:07 am

I am glad that my typos are highlighted, though in American English, so I can correct them, into English English.
(It is still colour and sulphur to me).

John Whitman
June 11, 2011 6:28 am

Seems to work well from the Blackberry.

Bloke down the pub
June 11, 2011 7:03 am

I thought the idea of making improvements to something was to leave it in a better state than you started with?

Bloke down the pub
June 11, 2011 7:14 am

I’m having problems with cutting and pasting with the new system. Could be my problem, but I had got a grip of it with the old system.

June 11, 2011 7:41 am

There’s a nice German word for this sort of thing wordpress did: ‘schlechtverbesserung’ – which, iirc, means worse-bettermaking.
Why fix what ain’t broke?
Gawd – I dislike this very much, and as all the GOMs above remarked, I’m not twittering nor facebooking.

Steve Keohane
June 11, 2011 9:01 am

Don’t tweet nor use Facebook, I don’t even have a cell phone signal here. Seems like useless changes. Someone mentioned Buttbook above. I made a joke to a friend several weeks ago, that someone should start Buttbook for dogs. The owner could look for potentially compatible play/walk mates in a designated area. With butt pictures posted, the owner could ask their canine if the butt in consideration looked interesting. A digital scent synthesizer would be all that is needed to round out this social network.

June 11, 2011 9:20 am

Doesn’t seem to be a problem to me. (New Para.)
Just need to be sure to be wearing my reading glasses.

June 11, 2011 10:01 am

Personally, I prefer to prepare my prose in a program of preference, then paste it.

June 11, 2011 11:01 am

Tucci78 says:
Yeah? Well, the type font in this “Leave a Reply” box is at least two points smaller (even though it’s in a sans-serif font) than is the text in the body of the Web page on which it’s being presented. This makes it extremely difficult for me – an older guy with diabetic retinopathy – to enter comments in this space without suffering both eyestrain and typographical errors.
For some reason, web-based companies, and far too many web developers, have absolutely NO consideration for people with less-than-perfect vision. I’m in that business & I’ve been fighting that fight uselessly for many years.
For those of you complaining about FB & Twitter and privacy issues – there ARE alternatives. I’ve been personally involved in the creation of one. What I can tell you, though, is that nobody wants to bother with them, even if they’re better, simply because they’re not as big. And the tech media won’t talk about them – again, because they’re not big enough. And I guess most people would rather just whine about privacy than actually do anything about it. (hmm – seems a common theme there…)
As for the changes here – AFTER the change was the first time I’ve ever experienced a problem posting. I followed up an earlier post without reloading the page, and it didn’t post at all. Bad design on WP’s part. Put me down for a negative vote, too.
But, ultimately, WP won’t care. And we’ll end up continuing to use the service, and they’ll continue to do whatever they want.

Richard Ortiz
June 11, 2011 12:18 pm

One question I have is how does one leave a question for the group?
While considering the recent heat wave, the question came to me, is this the result of a winter or early spring weather pattern connected with a summer sun? In other words, the normal summer weather pattern would usually ameliorate the temperatures has not yet kicked in?
Is there someone in this reading public who has the answer?
How does one present such a question to the group?

June 11, 2011 12:38 pm

It seems to work reasonably well on my home system, but as I work at a company with very strict computer security requirements, which hasn’t yet cleared any browser later then IE6 for use, at least this ensures that
I won’t be wasting any work time on making comments.

June 11, 2011 3:30 pm

For some reason, web-based companies, and far too many web developers, have absolutely NO consideration for people with less-than-perfect vision. I’m in that business & I’ve been fighting that fight uselessly for many years.
So why can’t you people sit closer to the screen?

June 12, 2011 12:18 am

Please adjust the settings or ask WordPress to provide adjustable settings so that the SAME font and font size as the web site comment content. Thanks. That should be easy to adjust.
Please urge WordPress to add EDITING of the comments with a PREVIEW option. Thanks. Don’t know why they are so resistant to provide that feature.

June 12, 2011 3:49 am

I like Firefox. It gives me time to get a cup of coffee before it starts pestering me with results. Chrome on the other hand, just starts right up. Haven’t they ever heard that a gentleman doesn’t rise before 11 am?

June 12, 2011 8:35 am

John A says:
So why can’t you people sit closer to the screen?
How about being unable to focus on anything closer than 18″, for one?
Why can’t web designers design sites that can be used by people with less than perfect vision?

June 12, 2011 10:15 am

I’d love to post a comment on the Sarah Palin v Mike Mann
e-mail thread, but I can’t use the paste feature to lift it from
my edited file and pop it in the comment box
It weird, because my paste feature does work over
at Climate Audit.

June 12, 2011 2:25 pm

In response to the complaint I’d lodged at WordPress:

Your new WordPress “Leave a Reply” format is a helluva problem for me and for a number of other people with similar visual impairment.

…I just received an e-mail reading:

Thank you very much for taking the time to send us your feedback, which is very valuable to us.
Highlander is a very new feature, and while I can’t promise that the font size will be increased, I can tell you that our engineers are working hard to make of it the best possible experience for our users.

Paolo B.
Happiness Engineer
Automattic |

So their “Happiness Engineer” is right on top of this.
“<a href=" Send him the bedbug letter,” right?

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
June 13, 2011 2:47 pm

On my machine, I now have “running” comment cookies. For every WUWT article I look at there’s a wattsupwiththat-dot-com cookie with a unique identifier. Killing the tab with the article then calling the article back up in a new tab results in whatever text was in the comment box being recalled, the identifier is tied to the article. This could explain when the text remains in the comment box after a comment is posted and the page reloads, the cookie wasn’t reset or deleted.
But for sheer annoyance, as I can tell from the cookie’s content, the cookie keeps getting updated “on the fly” when the un-posted text is changed. Type a letter, the cookie gets updated. Hit backspace, updated. That’s a lot of needless hard drive use. It can also be why people have noted their machines are acting slower. I’ve also noticed erratic behavior when typing long posts. Anyone here worried about de-fragmenting their drives too often?
Also, something awful happened today. After the new “expanding comment box” was really acting up, I went to post a long comment, then WUWT stopped loading. Period. Reloading an article already in a browser tab caused a quick timeout, attempts at loading WUWT from a blank tab caused a strange endless looping where the “stop” button wasn’t usable and nothing really loaded despite lots of modem activity, the tab had to be killed to end it. Yet, anything but WUWT loaded, and WUWT worked fine with another browser.
Some hours later, after checking just about everything else, I just purged all my cookies. Then WUWT loaded again. As a bonus, the comment box was working like it used to, well-behaved and with the previously-normal scroll bar instead of the expanding box. However it went back to expanding after making a post, but otherwise it is still acting much better than it was.
If you find your comment box acting up and being very difficult to work with, try purging the wattsupwiththat-dot-com cookies, see if that helps.

June 13, 2011 9:00 pm

I think it’s key stroke hacking. Maybe it’s the older systems which allow it to be noticed?

June 17, 2011 3:58 am

I have found this form to be problematic when comments exceed the default window area with text jumping out of view as I type (IE8).
Sometimes I see my last text in the “Leave a Reply” box after posting — so far, I am assuming that this does *not* indicate that I have the option to edit or modify a message after it has been posted (and moderated).

June 19, 2011 1:14 am

Ira Glickstein is abusing his author privileges to interfere with my posts in his discussion
I have lost complete posts and now he’s taken my posting box completely.
I’m not, as is obvious, having a problem with any other posting box.

Robert Clemenzi
June 29, 2011 2:28 pm

As of a few minutes ago, this is now working in IE6 the way it use to 🙂

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