Some big changes coming to WUWT in the near future

You may have already noticed that commenting is faster. That’s because whitelisting is now enabled. Of course the usual banned words and blacklisted commenter memes will go straight to the nether regions as before. Some comments that are questionable, and require the attention of a moderator will get held for review, but for 99% of people making comments, you’ll see an immediate speed improvement. After a million comments the hard way, it is time to work smarter. This is a win-win for the readers as well as the moderation staff, and particularly for me.

And, there are other improvements coming. 

For example, “Tips and Notes” is going to disappear, to be replaced by a better system. This better system will include the ability for more of our readers to submit stories that make it to the front page. Again, this is to improve the speed and lessen the behind the scenes labor. WUWT has gotten so big, that it is a struggle to manage its upkeep now, so the solution is a smarter story management and comment submission system.

Stay tuned for more details, and in the meantime I welcome suggestions. Many of the changes will be implemented this coming weekend, and I’ll have a second post describing how to make the most of them.

In the meantime if you see inappropriate comments, drop us a note in the contact section of the header menu. There may be some tweaking we still need to do, but after years of this I think we have it tuned where spam and inappropriate comments are acted upon properly.

Note: No we can’t provide a comment system that allows you to edit your comments after they are submitted. That’s a feature wordpress.com won’t allow due to it being what they deem a security risk for code injection, even though it is often requested by WUWT and other blogs.

As always, my sincere thanks to everyone in this community that helps make WUWT successful from the readers, to the moderators, to the story tipsters – all of you are part of the success.

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160 thoughts on “Some big changes coming to WUWT in the near future

  1. Looking forward to the changes. Does this have anything to do with the cryptic twitter post? Oh, and one last thing, the picture arrived that your wife took. It was beautiful. Pondering what kind of custom frame to use. It deserves the “right” frame setting. Beautiful picture, so glad you made it available for purchase.

  2. Anthony:
    You are being far too modest when you write

    As always, my sincere thanks to everyone in this community that helps make WUWT successful from the readers, to the moderators, to the story tipsters – all of you are part of the success.

    WUWT has the success it so rightly deserves because of your blog policy, your moderation policy, your selection of the excellent moderators, and your oversight of the moderators’ actions.
    This is recognised by all who frequently visit WUWT and it needs to be recognised by you so you can obtain the satisfaction at it which is your right.
    Richard

  3. @hedgingcontrarianism Yes it had something to do with that twitter post. Can’t say for a long while but it was a huge shock…so time to work smarter.
    Glad you liked the poster.

  4. Anthony, I have noticed changes already! Two posts I wrote were on the website within seconds! I thought that you had moderators OD’ing on caffeine! Please keep up the good work, I can see that CAGW will become the International Yardstick for Bad Science! Hopefully sooner rather than later!

  5. This will take workload off moderators. I am astonished how dedicated your assistants have been. Probably, like me, they think they are involved in an important cause – just like the Warmistas, but on the sensible side.
    [Reply: Robert, you are right. We help out because we believe in getting the word out. Too few in the Media feel compelled to provide both sides of the debate. And we do it without one cent from Big Oil! — mod.]

  6. Canadian weather update: SNOW!
    OK, that headline may rank along with “Man Bites Dog” but we here in Ottawa are getting 6 to 8 inches of snow on Friday.
    C’mon, I should be doing my garden prep by now, but the ground is still frozen with snow all around. It’s Spring, for heat’s sake!

  7. Are you going to be able to easily modify the filter dictionary?
    That way you could eliminate artful misspellings that often penetrate more sclerotized dictionaries such as writing “a$$” or “äss” to represent the obvious normal spelling.
    REPLY: yes easily updated, will update on an as need basis – Anthony

  8. Anthony
    Thanks to you, Willis Eschenbach, Bob Tisdale, and other great guest posters, WUWT is the “must read” blog on the internet. Not one WUWT post goes up without me reading and appreciating it. And then adapting one or more posts for my weekly letter to our local newspaper. the Gualala, California, Independent Coast Observer, which is “all CAGW all the time.”
    REPLY: Suggest you change your blog name or not include it in comments, it has a trigger word – Anthony

  9. OK question about how this new system works.
    I just sent two posts, the first, right on subject, has not appeared. The second, OT, appeared immediately. Did the first post contain “trigger” words that required human verification?

  10. Great Idea, Mr. Watts. Speedier commenting will clarify debate and add a more conversational tone. Look forward to it. Thanks for all the work. It’s appreciated. JP

  11. Anthony, another question.
    How does Google know that I am looking for both a job and a hot Latina (Brasilian prefered).
    Just an observation of the Ads 🙂
    REPLY: Contextual history stored in cookies and other means of tracking browsing – Anthony

  12. Candidates for diversion to the round file:
    “consensus”
    “overwhelming evidence”
    “deniers”
    “Koch”
    “big oil”
    “multiple independent lines”
    Just to throw a few out.

  13. Are you telling us WUWT is getting even better?
    That’s the mark of a true professional–already on top, but still improving!
    Needless to say, all your efforts are much appreciated out here in the frozen backwoods.

  14. Suggest you change your blog name or not include it in comments, it has a trigger word – Anthony
    **************************************************************************************************
    No wonder I am always “awaiting moderation”. After being a moderate “Mike” for 70 years.
    REPLY: No, assmart – Anthony

  15. What about being able to reply directly to a post right below it, so you can read it as you are writing to said poster, It might narrow answers and stay on subject a bit more and you do not have to go to the bottom of the page (If that is already possible me bad , I don’t see the way to do it) Thanks Anthony for a great board I (shut in ) enjoy it immensely.

  16. tobias, that’s called “threading”, and with WordPress it frequently gets all balled up. Especially if a deletion is necessary.

  17. This is the way to go. I have often wondered why long time commenters need to go into moderation? Some sites do it if you have more than 1 link.
    How about having the ‘Report comment’ near the comment if it is possible? I see it on other sites.

  18. No wonder I am always “awaiting moderation”. After being a moderate “Mike” for 70 years.
    REPLY: No, assmart – Anthony
    ***************************************************************************************************************
    I didn’t know “Strongasanoxandnearlyassmart” – my blog is “Strong as an ox and nearly as smart” – appeared anywhere. That’s the phrase Pop would say when people complimented him on his big sons. Since I don’t want to change, i’ll just have to accept being moderated.

  19. Anthony, not long ago you were accused of censoring comments. This new and easier comment policy flies in the face of such accusations??? Just a note. The second millionth comment is just around the corner, like my almost 1 millionth comment. 🙂
    [Reply: Chief, you missed it by that much! — mod.]

  20. Well I go to some threaded sites, and it works very well. Some let you post pictures. That’s great, because I can get out my camera, and macro-lens, and post graphs right out of books.
    That would be what I would wish for. It can take a thousand words to describe a picture, and not being able to show data graphs to readers is a big handicap. But I do appreciate that it can also create problems. I can live with what you choose.
    And Chasmod, yes I do notice that you wake up a lot more quickly. GES

  21. george e. smith says (April 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm): “Well I go to some threaded sites, and it works very well. Some let you post pictures.”
    =======================================================
    You can upload you picture to a file hosting site and post the link here.

  22. tobias says (April 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm): “What about being able to reply directly to a post right below it, so you can read it as you are writing to said poster, It might narrow answers and stay on subject a bit more and you do not have to go to the bottom of the page”
    ===========================================================
    This is a very bad option. The chronological order of comments is better, because if you visit the thread again you can easily read new comments without going through the whole stuff again.

  23. If you allowed comment deletion for 5-10 minutes after submission you would provide the ability to do edits. If we made a mistake we could copy the comment body, delete it, paste into the comment box, make necessary correction and post a new comment.

  24. Anthony and crew: This is a great site, and I check it several times per day. Your list of guest authors is getting bigger and better. Thanks for the great job.

  25. Ah, keep in mind that if you speed up commenting, the conversation changes and grows in size/noise-to-signal…etc…
    Sometimes it’s best that things stay in a hopper for a few minutes, let people cool off.

  26. Is there a Carlinesque list of the words that shall not be said? I understand publishing the list would be an opportunity for haters to hate, but if the truth is on your side secrets are not required.
    As a mischievous script troll, I’d like to make an automated generator to reverse engineer the list, but admiration for your site fosters restraint.

  27. OldWeirdHarold says in part, April 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm:
    >Candidates for diversion to the round file:
    >“consensus”
    >“overwhelming evidence”
    >“deniers”
    >“Koch”
    >“big oil”
    >“multiple independent lines”
    Anthony Watts even mentions some of these words and phrases. If he
    can decry or despute “consensus”, use in debate phrases using the word
    “deniers”, and a moderator can mention lack of one cent from “Big Oil”,
    then such words and phrases are fair play.

  28. A good feature would be to add threaded discussions.
    Concerning editing, people should carefully read over what they write before clicking smbit taht yaw werfe simtakes lliw eb dema.

  29. That’s a feature wordpress.com won’t allow due to it being what they deem a security risk for code injection

    It’s also a security risk for having civil conversations when after some robust debate, someone edits what they posted to make it look like something completely different or to make it appear that someone who responded to their comment is an imbecile. I rather like being forced to “own” our words. We can always correct, amend, and elaborate in subsequent comments.

  30. REPLY: Contextual history stored in cookies and other means of tracking browsing – Anthony

    Also, if you have the Google Toolbar with “PageRank” enabled, every single URL that you visit is reported to Google. That is how they collect the data that creates the page rankings.

  31. Anthony, there are days when it looks over bar the shouting …
    … and then I get emails like the recent one from my MP who told me it’s alright for the BBC to say sceptics are anti-science because: “Sceptics, in my experience, have varying views on why the world is warming or why they believe it isn’t warming. Climate change sceptics are not a uniform and coherent group singing from the same hymn sheet. I’ve come across those who deny warming at all and others who accept warming but don’t attribute it to anything humans are doing. So, when the BBC makes an assertion about the position of sceptics, it cannot have lied because there is no singular position which all sceptics hold.
    Where do they get this twisted logic? This logic that.allows someone to say “Blacks are criminals” … because some blacks are in jail.
    Or to be more personal, It allows me to say “Jo Swinson MP, Minister for equality, is a prostitute”. Because Jo Swinson is a women, there are women prostitutes, so (according to her logic) it cannot be a lie to say “women are prostitutes” and as Jo Swinson is a women …and women are prostitutes it therefore follows that Jo Swinson MP is a prostitute. (Apologies to all other women … except those in the BBC)
    So, on days like this when I despair at the double standards and downright nastiness of people like my MP … I need to have a place like WUWT, where people still talk common sense.

  32. WUWT is always the best in countless ways. Thanks Anthony and everyone for standing in the gap for science.

  33. The trouble with threading is that people who feel they are extra special always post their geniusness as a reply to whatever unrelated thought was posted first – so we are not burdened with searching for it. There they are, right at the top of the thread, often dozens of times per thread.

  34. “Strong as an ox and nearly as smart”
    I’ve seen “assets” censored on Yahoo financial boards.

  35. Also threading enables other aberrant behavior:
    Posters with standing disagreements are more prone to long strings of repetitive tape measure spats.
    Fans of Aristotle like to create two or more handles and use them to expertly coax and confirm themselves in solipsistic debate.

  36. Tom,
    Sorry to hear your assets were frozen. Hope you weren’t trying to put in a hot tip… Like go long ABX.
    Ok too much, that’s my last one tonight.

  37. Thanks Anthony!
    Recently I was asked to write a column on climate skepticism for a daily newspaper in a small nearby city – the hitch was they wanted it done for (almost) free. I almost said “no”, but then I remembered that you are tireless in your dedication to this blog, and without pay too. So you’ve inspired me to “do my part”. (and Jonova and Donna La….and many more)
    THANK YOU!

  38. Anthony, it works too fast. It is startling. Reminds me of some work I once did for the Telephone Company where we retrieved phone numbers [basically 411 service] based on requests and showed them on the operator’s screen. A lot of work went into making the retrieval and display as fast as possible [of the order of one tenth of a second]. The operators complained that they got nervous by the instant response and we had to build in a delay of a quarter of a second to make them happy again.

  39. Thanks, Anthony. You and the moderators, commentators and guest authors have made WUWT a “must read”, twice a day. Best wishes for the smarter way coming on.

  40. Great upgrades Anthony and please pass on thanks to John the fellow that looked after my order for my soil temp and moisture addition to the Vantage Pro II that we bought a couple of years ago. Works like a charm and looking forward to have this info magically appear on our console every hour.
    VP II info was used to CSI our loss of all our bees last week. Hot dry summer last year we feel led to smaller hive size and even though well fed none survived. After a look at temps during the winter saw dreaded warming for 4 days in late January with night time lows +2C or more, daytime highs up to 8-10C(V warm for here). Jan 31 high of 12C at 1AM to be followed by high N winds (mean 25 KPH with gusts to 48). Temps plunged to -12C late the same day. Bees were out about feeding and froze. Nucs and queens on order….

  41. “As always, my sincere thanks to everyone in this community that helps make WUWT successful from the readers, to the moderators, to the story tipsters – all of you are part of the success.”
    No, thank You.

  42. Hello test … testing one two three … “mic check – mic check” … “signal check on alpha one two, one two”.
    .

  43. Anthony,
    Awesome – the best keeps getting better – thanks to you, mods, and all the great contributors and commentators; I am consistently learning about our fascinating climate and keeping abreast of the latest in climate news. After all, MSM won’t (or simply can’t) cover it.
    I am convinced that this blog is making history if only as a media outlet – probably much bigger than that; but you know what they say about the future – it’s something hard to make predictions about!

  44. Anthony, is there any chance to get consecutively numbered comments like i.e.
    #123 Someone says:
    It’s sometime very nerve-racking to find a certain comment out of hundreds to refer to, or searching a certain comment in a thread after a few days.
    Would be a nice feature for WUWT.
    Anyway … thumbs up!

  45. Nice Anthony!
    Sooooooo, WUWT TV too?
    I think many of us have been wondering when the next episode will be coming.
    🙂

    REPLY: part of my plan is to get the moderation system improved so that I’ll have more time for this – Anthony

  46. Tom in Texas, April 10, 2013 at 6:13 pm: “I’ve seen “assets” censored on Yahoo financial boards.”
    Hmm. Hadn’t considered that. Guess I won’t be plugging my first SF novel here. Not really a net loss, though. [grin]

  47. Anthony, is there any chance to get consecutively numbered comments like i.e.
    #123 Someone says:
    It’s sometime very nerve-racking to find a certain comment out of hundreds to refer to, or searching a certain comment in a thread after a few days.
    Would be a nice feature for WUWT.
    Anyway … thumbs up for your great work!

  48. Not that I comment a lot but have you considered all the rude words in foreign languages to be filtered as well and the entire Viz Profanisaurus?

  49. Among the reasons that WUWT remains at the top of blogging world is that you stay open to change. Best wishes for continued leadership and success.

  50. The only drawback I see is that it will be much more difficult to avoid off-topics sequestering the threads. Even the most good-intentioned and usual commenters can fall into off-topics from time to time. But overall, I think it is an improvement.

  51. “This better system will include the ability for more of our readers to submit stories that make it to the front page.”
    Anthony, This will be interesting to see – my initial thought is it makes me worry a bit that there may be more stories that really don’t capture the audience – right now, you do a great job posting only stories with “plenty of meat on the bones” – so we as readers & commenters know that when there is a new post, it is worth our time to read it. Would hate to see that change & have stories posted that you otherwise might not post ( I assume you make the decisions on what gets posted & what doesn’t – you hopefully will still be in charge of that vs having that decision automated ).

  52. In case any other combinations of letters are trapped by the span filter, simply replace the letter with the two-character Hexadecimal code for the letter(s) preceded by the percent symbol (%) and the %xx set will translate in an URL to the proper letter(s).
    Use the “Chr” column to find the letter to be replaced and look across to the left in the “Hx” column for the two character Hex-code and precede that with “%” in the following chart:
    Char to Hex table: http://www.asciitable.com/
    .

  53. “REPLY: part of my plan is to get the moderation system improved so that I’ll have more time for this – Anthony”
    It is hard to imagine – even with moderator’s help – how you managed to do all that you have done, and still have some time [but probably not much], left over for business and family.
    Thanks

  54. I realize that there is no perfect way to structure or implement such a site. The clearer the rules and limitations are, the better.
    With exclusion based on words, this seems to me to be diabolically problematic. Ditto any construction of a phrase or placement in a wider context decided by a computer no matter how sophisticated it claims to be.
    Is it possible, if a submission is rejected, for the reasons to be highlighted to the sender, allowing modification – if of course the sender feels that can be done without compromising the point of the message?
    Or to have a list of proscribed words (as mentioned by others) or phrases?
    Personally, I would hope any restriction is extremely limited. It is part of being functional as a person to be able to tolerate the unpleasant, the irrelevant and the fatuous. I actually find, as in normal human interactions, that it is extremely useful to be able to see displayed the fullness of a persons response to anything. Abuse, empty slurs, and evidence of a vicious personality are very telling. Parts being “left out” does not help, it hinders. There can be very good reasons why someone may appear, in isolation, intemperate.
    As always, there are limits, justified to some, not to others. Will, if the great majority go through automatically, this allow any rejected to be moderated so as to allow a human to assert primacy over The Computer? I have no idea what proportion this might be. Five %?
    As an example of the impact of possible misdiagnosis by The Algorithmic, I recently posted what seemed to me a completely innocuous comment, both in expression and content, at Climate Audit, where I don’t normally comment. This didn’t appear so I sent a follow up enquiring why.
    Then followed a confused and to me impenetrable process of my original appearing to me as “under moderation”, then disappearing, reappearing in the same form, along with other comments, cryptic and pointless comments from a moderator, and a final appearance of a selection, out of order, and not including my original comment. I have no idea what happened or why. And it is entirely possible they don’t either. The end result is that it is impossible for me to have any confidence that what appears there is actually representative of what the response is. I can only view it on the basis that it is bowdlerized by machine or man. With the resultant reservations.
    As I say, I have no idea what happened at CA and possibly neither do they. There was a response from a moderator a couple of days later saying that my original comment may have been rejected because it raised religion in some way, and this was 100% proscribed. It is beyond any possibility to me that any words I used might have triggered such a mechanism.
    The point being that this is obviously clumsy. Would using the word “religion” in itself be reason to prohibit? Or God? Or god?
    The fact that I have recently been caught up in this has focused my mind. It has real implications to me, beyond the appearance or not of any comment I post, in the way I view a site. It seems to me what is ultimately important is that everyone – of any inclination, devotion or obsession – knows that when their views do not appear, that this is for “technical” reasons rather than censorship of meaning.
    And obviously this has to fit with what is possible for the people involved with running the site. Hopefully not a mutually exclusive proposition.

  55. Just get rid of the comment facility. It puts off a lot of people by its sanctimonious tone, and rarely adds anything of value. Even Lief is becoming predictable.

  56. @ petermue says:
    April 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm
    Good idea. Difficult, once having gone past, to re-locate a comment.
    If, somehow, it was possible that if someone quotes a previous comment it could be viewed directly this would be enormously beneficial. Also, if it was possible whilst reading a comment, or just after, to see the preceding comments by the same person, this would be very helpful.
    The fact – as it must be – that there may be 5, 10 or 50 comments in between relevant points makes coherence in the above way unachievable. Presumably the above is difficult or not possible at the moment.
    A BIG opportunity for a programmer. Lots of money in it.

  57. @ TFN Johnson says:
    April 10, 2013 at 11:27 pm
    Excellent. Less is more. Stated without sanctimony. Stated without awareness of utilizing the condemned facility.
    There are still printed magazines available. Try them.

  58. The World’s Best Science Site just gets better and better. It’s all thanks to Anthony’s hard work and the dedication of the team that assists him. To judge by the time, effort and work involved in running the site, Anthony must have secretly invented a time expander.

  59. Kitler – 07:55
    If we can educate the rest of the (mainly) English speaking world with the rich diversity that is Viz’ Profanisaurus, the world will be a better place. “A strong appeal there by the Australians” – now how many non Viz readers would have a clue what that sentence actually referred to?
    Fnar Fnar.
    p.s. I bet 8 ACE reads WUWT.

  60. TFN Johnson says:
    April 10, 2013 at 11:27 pm
    Just get rid of the comment facility. It puts off a lot of people by its sanctimonious tone, and rarely adds anything of value. Even Leif is becoming predictable.
    Better than showing unpredictable behavior one would think….

  61. Could you please display a list of the banned words. At present the “policy” page mentions that some words are banned but does not say which ones. Also perhaps – banned practices. Just so we know.
    Thanks.

  62. Threading destroys debate.
    The original positions on an article take least account of the opposing views as the opposing views haven’t been heard yet.
    And yet the original positions are the first that arrive.
    So then someone new turns up and they respond to the top comments, and that drags the debate back to the beginning again.
    And any nuance is lost as the original commenters have to go back to clarify their meanings, lest they are misrepresented.
    That is the best case.
    The worst case is deliberate steering of the early comments by repeated pressure on to a slightly different topic.
    Threading leads to polarised and simplistic positions.

  63. This is good news. Is it possible to incorporate a sequential numbering system for each comment to enable us to refer back to particular comments when there are many to be read? Also, it would be nice if the country of origin of the commenter is automatically built in to the details of the commenter at the top of the comment.

  64. To get back to a particular comment I just make a note of the date and time it was submitted.

  65. TFN Johnson says:
    April 10, 2013 at 11:27 pm
    Just get rid of the comment facility. It puts off a lot of people by its sanctimonious tone, and rarely adds anything of value. Even Lief is becoming predictable.
    I assume you are being ironic. A blog without comments is not a blog anymore, just an online newspaper – and even these now have blogs attached.
    Much of the point of blogging is letting off steam and this can involve on occasions appearing to some as sanctimonious and even obnoxious. Blogs need relaxed editing (WUWT excels at this) to include good, bad and ugly with only extreme stuff removed – so just learn to take the rough with the smooth. Also having people like Leif in the blog reminds us that we are not always as smart as we like to think we are.

  66. StephenP:
    re your comment at April 11, 2013 at 2:50 am. I don’t bother to take notes in case I need to find a particular comment.
    To get back to a particular comment I just press ctrl-f then type in a key word (possibly a name). Then, each press of the ‘enter’ key takes me to each successive use of the key word on the page. It rarely takes more than 2 seconds to find the particular comment.
    If I cannot remember a key word then there is no need for me to seek a previous particular comment.
    However, having comments numbered would assist finding referenced comments. Pressing ctrl-f and typing the number would be fast.
    Richard

  67. Can we have a page end button for this of those of us with iPads? Takes quite awhile to scroll to bottom of tips and notes and long threads. Ta.

  68. Anthony, you give us a say and you now provide a platform to spread the word on your TV program and advertise and spread the word here – absolutely remarkable, and so much appreciated when so many lies and disinformation is spread by the other side. You go from strength to strength.

  69. Future Improvements?
    I would like to have a Reference Page on the physics of the postulated CO2-warming-effect.
    I know this issue runs through a lot of the discussions, but it would be nice to have all the data and arguments in one place.
    A few questions that I would like to be dealt with:
    – Satellite images in the 15 micron band (as far back as possible, any visible changes?)
    – Discussion of opaqueness vs blocking vs back radiation (How opaque to LW radiation is the stratosphere compared to the troposphere?)
    – CO2 column: at what height above ground do we have 50% of CO2? (50% of CO2 in the troposphere?)
    – How much back radiation at top of the troposphere is attributed to CO2 (30%?)
    – At what distance through the atmosphere (at different heights) do we have 50% or 90% of LW radiation absorbed?
    – Is CO2 warming due to LW radiation – or is it reemitting without temperature change.
    – What is a good classroom experiment? (Isn’t the stratosphere predicted to get cooler, why than showing warmer CO2 in a glass jar?)
    – and 50 more questions like that…
    What do you think?
    (The warmist sites usually don’t go into detail and mostly use – questionable – analogies.)

  70. Anthony Watts says:
    April 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    @hedgingcontrarianism Yes it had something to do with that twitter post. Can’t say for a long while but it was a huge shock…so time to work smarter.
    Probably no-ones business but yours. Thus some Twitter element. If so, please ignore. Or ignore for any reason.
    However its hard to hear of a “huge shock” which has occasioned changes to WUWT without thinking that this might be a negative development. Is there some threat or imposition to/on WUWT or you? If so, there seems to be something of an army out here.
    As I said, ignore at your leisure and pleasure.

  71. Nice upgrades! And a well-deserved break for the moderators.
    I agree with those who don’t want to see threaded comments. Too easy to get lost.
    Also, immediate appearance of comments is great, but does run the risk of two people monopolizing the discussion with back-and-forth sniping comments 30 seconds apart.

  72. Donald L Klipstein says:
    April 10, 2013 at 5:52 pm
    ……………….Anthony Watts even mentions some of these words and phrases. If he
    can decry or despute “consensus”, use in debate phrases using the word
    “deniers”, and a moderator can mention lack of one cent from “Big Oil”,
    then such words and phrases are fair play.
    —————————————
    Donald, I’ll keep it in mind when I visit your blog.
    I believe this is Anthony’s football and we play by Anthony’s rules.
    tyvm
    cn

  73. I learn as much from the comments as I do from the content, sometimes more, depending on the original post. However, due to the volume of comments, keeping up is impossible and I doubt many try. I do fear that the lack of moderation being introduced will substantially increase the volume of comments, without necessarily increasing the ‘learning’ available in them. We should never fear necessary change, but as we in newspapers have learned, not all change is for the better, in the end. Anthony, your blog is an outstanding resource. When confronted by underinformed obstinance, WUWT is the FIRST place where I send people who are willing to learn. I will be watching with interest, and just a tiny bit of concern. All the best!

  74. I’m told that many organisations in Scunthorpe have problems similar to majormike1.
    Keep up the good work.

  75. George Lawson says: “This is good news. Is it possible to incorporate a sequential numbering system for each comment
    Yes, this is such a good idea. Although I would suggest a fixed digit system starting with 000.. although for such a system we would need to know the maximum possible number of comments. Realistically, 100 comments a day per person would give us 35600 comments a year which with a 6digit comment number wouldn’t run out even for 28 years of such commenting.
    However, I think we need to make the comment system future proof. And who knows what will be happening in 28 years … with our subaqua culture 100s of meters under the frozen sea caused by global warming. So, what happens if we start having automatated comment systems to post our comments for us?? You didn’t think about that! And what if we introduced revisions to comments? So I propose the following numbering system:
    YYYYMMDDHHSSRRRSSSS
    Where RRRR is the revision number of the comment and SSSS is the subcomment of the comment.
    But hey! … how do we know whether the commenter is who they really are? Easy!! We included a public key encryption system. This would a 32 character key added to the above. Obviously we would also need to specify the encoding mechanism because you can;t start mixing UTF-8, with UTF-16 because of the varying endianness.
    So I suggest we have comment numbering in the following format:
    YYYYMMDDHHSSRRRSSSSabcefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEF using UTF-8
    In addition I have a range of suggested specifications for poster names,.(surname [;} forenames (optional titles) ..,. although I suggest where name ordering is culturally sensitive we allow the option to reverse this. Also we should definitely move to YYYYMMDD because of the inability of the US to understand that the proper format for dates is DDMMYYYY
    In addition, I have a suggested set of standard tags such as [/sarc off]

  76. Actually there is another reason to not want to be able to edit comments. And that is when you make a comment you later try to deny. There is no way to go back and erase it (kind of like Mann trying to claim that no one has ever grafted an instrument reading onto a proxy one).

  77. [Could you please display a list of the banned words. At present the “policy” page mentions that some words are banned but does not say which ones. Also perhaps – banned practices. Just so we know.]
    ‘denier’ and ‘denialist’ for sure. And I think ‘AD’ and ‘BC’ are on the skids.

  78. philjourdan:
    I strongly agree with your post at April 11, 2013 at 5:30 am.
    However, there is a different type of ‘editing’ that would be beneficial although – as I understand it from above comments – it seems this cannot be provided by WordPress.
    It would be good if it were possible to see how a post will appear when posted, and to be able to then alter it before posting it.
    This would avoid formatting errors which many people cannot detect until after their effect occurs on the screen.
    Richard

    • @RichardSCourtney – I have found one site that allows what you saying. I do not know how vulnerable it makes them to code injection (as is WordPress’ concern). Stardock runs a forum (called joeuser.com), where the poster can edit their comments, but others can view their edits.

  79. I sometimes wonder whether threading would help or hinder the blog. It seems to work quite well as it is at the moment, probably because the number/length of comments on each article is not excessively long (that is I will usually try and read all comments before posting).
    When the numbers routinely get up into the multi-hundred comments (such as as Judith Curry’s blog) this becomes difficult and it changes the nature of the blog. I’d be interested to hear if anyone thinks they have a ‘solution’ for how to get the best out of of chronological posting and nested-comments/threading.
    ——-
    Preview would be nice, but the test page is almost as good. Having a voting system (thumbs-up/down) generally a bad move, and glad there isn’t one here, not least because they clearly get abused so much. I learn more through reading something that somebody has taken a bit of effort to write.
    ——-
    I’ve never had a problem here with moderation, but I can see that it would be a good idea for people to know why posts have gone missing/removed if possible. It helps prevent people from quickly jumping to wrong conclusions: I’ve had a post removed by the BBC, apparently for using the name of an Icelandic volcano (Eyjafjallajökull) on a sporting blog. It wasn’t off topic because the article had just compared the [Italian] manager of the England team to Mt. Vesuvius, and the BBC doesn’t seem to enforce off-topic moderation. It left me with an even lower opinion of the BBC, whether it was due to a program or a moderator.
    So perhaps a preview facility (with explanation) might help eliminate unfortunate choice of words or characters.
    I also find that reading the same text in a different font helps the eye to catch the routine small errors.

  80. Hi Anthony
    Wish you had a subscription option I would love to sign up as WUWT is always valuable. I could use the money I saved when I cancelled my New Scientist subs when they went all CAGW in their editorials a few years back.
    I did use the tip jar but my memory is shot when it comes to that sort of stuff.
    I do remember what Flannery said about non-filling dams etc.
    As always …
    Thanks Anthony, Mods and posters.
    Cheers JJ
    Melbourne

  81. Jeremy says:
    April 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm
    Ah, keep in mind that if you speed up commenting, the conversation changes and grows in size/noise-to-signal…etc…
    Sometimes it’s best that things stay in a hopper for a few minutes, let people cool off.

    First, I agree that threaded comments, even though they look more organized, are a bad idea. They allow too much sniping at one another. I think the reason you see so little of that in WUWT is that the snipe ends up buried so far down the page that it becomes irrelevant to all but the person it’s directed at, and they might not see it anyway.
    However, as pointed out by Jeremy, fast commenting might have somewhat the same disadvantage. Perhaps building in an automatic 2 to 5 minute delay would make sense? There’d be no need to implement it unless the problem crops up, of course, but it might be a rational solution.
    I will say this. As WUWT has been operated up until now, I find the comments usually as enlightening as the original article. The “signal to noise” ratio in the comments is very high. If that changes in the future, consider the implementing the delay feature.
    But I’m sure threaded comments would lower the signal to noise ratio. You’d find the comments filled with all sort of inane comments like “Attaboy,” “I agree completely,” and “You’re an idiot.”, comments that people just don’t bother to post now because they don’t appear in a context that makes them relevant.
    A “Preview” button would be appreciated, however, especially to check that html code was working properly.
    Keep up the great work!

  82. Thanks, Anthony, for making this site. I’m enjoying the posts and all the comments. My advice to people asking for “edit features” is to read over your work, slowly and carefully, BEFORE you click on “Post Comment.” It is the surest way to prevent typos and misstatements. Given that pressing Return does not cause your comment to automatically post, as is the case when replying at Facebook, there is no excuse for errors other than laziness, IMO.

  83. To say I am delighted in any improvement to profection is , well, obvious. I have noticed lately that there are fewer original posts then there used to be. I suspect Anthony is freeing more time to post more articles. I’m all for that!!

  84. I use a tablet for a lot of my blog and news reading and the up and down scrolling can make one dizzy. So, I like the idea of numbering the comments to make them easier to locate. Also, can you put a “top” button at the bottom of the comments section or repeat the previous/next post option? Thanks for all the effort you put into this blog.

  85. microphone check, 1 2, what is this, it’s the five foot assassin with the roughneck business
    I float like gravity, never had a cavity, got more rhymes than the Warner’s got family..
    I comment hardly ever, but that’s my ‘test’ comment. For the bonus, name the song and artists.

  86. I would like to see as many temperature points taken in the Antarctic and in the far north of Canada and Russia as any other land mass in Europe or the United States. Plus I would like the same temperature data points on mountains IF we are to get a true Global temperature trend. That is not happening now. Therefore how can we get a true global temperature?

  87. No we can’t provide a comment system that allows you to edit your comments after they are submitted.
    I think that it is better this way, to see errors corrected rather than buried.
    My congratulations to you on your continued success! Matt

  88. I understand the motive behind it (too much work for Anthony and mods). But as a result, the general quality that we were used to seeing in the comments section will suffer a major downgrade. Unlike many posters apparently, I find that more comments usually dilute quality. Multiple posters in great need of attention, along with online social and political activists, always hijack “fast posting” forums.

  89. Can’t wait. Just please, please don’t mess with the (currently excellent) printability of the pages. I occasionally run off a copy when you post a particularly long and / or interesting article, so I can mull it over in the bath / the park / bed or wherever.

  90. John Whitman on April 11, 2013 at 8:49 am
    Test of new WUWT speed
    John
    REPLY: For some reason you are flagged by wordpress, I think it might be “anal” in your URL.- Anthony

    – – – – – –
    Thanks for the tip Anthony.
    So, this is Another test of the new WUWT speed but without adding my website address (which may have a verboten word in it).
    John

  91. John Whitman on April 11, 2013 at 8:49 am
    Test of new WUWT speed
    John
    REPLY: For some reason you are flagged by wordpress, I think it might be “anal” in your URL.- Anthony

    – – – – – –
    So, this is Another test of the new WUWT speed but without adding my website address (which may have a verboten word in it).
    Oops did not actually remove my website from that retest.
    So here I re-retest again with it removed.
    Thanks for the tip Anthony.
    John

  92. Here’s a suggestion for dealing with the problem of the filter’s finding fault where none is intended:
    Can you have the filter watch for the problem words in combination with a leading space and a trailing space?
    I’ve never managed my own blog, so I don’t know if this is feasible, but I have used it in my work with much success.

  93. Robert of Ottawa says:
    April 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm
    Anthony, another question.
    How does Google know that I am looking for both a job and a hot Latina (Brasilian prefered).
    Just an observation of the Ads 🙂
    REPLY: Contextual history stored in cookies and other means of tracking browsing – Anthony

    Do you have a Google account? Do you use Chrome and if so, do you sign in when you do? Do you clear your cookies and delete your history after every browser session?
    Google’s not the only company that engages in these practices, BTW.

  94. Out of idle curiousity, what are the criteria for being white-listed?
    REPLY: You have to have previously approved comments that have not been flagged by the spam filter. This is an automatic function of wordpress that is enabled now. – Anthony

  95. Anthony,
    I agree with many above that if it is possible to have a Comment#xyz appended in some way to each post would be helpful for discussion. I also agree that threading is not as good as chronological. The one comment which suggested the poster be allowed “delete post” (for a few minutes only) so he could copy and effectively edit, would be great if possible to implement easily.
    The best site I have yet seen for commenting on posts is the ancient and venerable freerepublic.com … comments are non-threaded, can include “reply to”, and though they can’t be edited or deleted, includes a “preview” option. A “thread” within a discussion can be followed via post number if someone desires to do that. I am surprised sites like WordPress did not implement something more similar to that concept.

  96. I still think numbering the comments would be very helpful so when you go away from the page and come back you can start where you left off. Actually, some pages do that automatically, but on WUWT when i leave it for a second and come back, it always starts me back at the top of the blog for some reason.

  97. majormike1 says:
    April 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm
    No wonder I am always “awaiting moderation”. After being a moderate “Mike” for 70 years.
    REPLY: No, assmart – Anthony
    ***************************************************************************************************************
    I didn’t know “Strongasanoxandnearlyassmart” – my blog is “Strong as an ox and nearly as smart” – appeared anywhere. That’s the phrase Pop would say when people complimented him on his big sons. Since I don’t want to change, i’ll just have to accept being moderated.
    ***************************************************************************************************************
    Underscores are your friend. Having the letters a s and s in sequence with no spaces is what is triping the spam filter.

  98. Having just committed a “?blockquote” for a “/blockquote” on another thread … is it possible to “alias” common formatting foulups and have WP “compile” the correct version on the page?
    And yes, noticed the impressive speed increase upstream here, then felt foolish that much quicker a few moments ago … 😐

  99. Wow, John Whitman has “anal” in his URL. It’s worse than he thought!!
    Seriously, well done Anthony, wonderful site, my daily must-read. Grateful thanks to you, your mods, your regular contributors and of course your family.
    John B

  100. re: John Whitman says April 11, 2013 at 9:52 am
    Can you try this?
    This URL (“l” replaced with “x” for demo purposes):
    premisedetectionand anax ysis.wordpress.com/
    changed to this URL (see the %6c chars?):
    premisedetectionand ana%6c ysis.wordpress.com/
    Resulting (operationally) in this (taking out the spaces):
    http://premisedetectionandana%6cysis.wordpress.com/
    The difference? the second one has “%6c” replacing the letter “l” (L) after the “ana”.
    Hex chars per this chart: http://www.asciitable.com/
    Don’t know if the method works in the name yet, since no one has tried it yet.
    (WENT through this drill upthread but apparently I was ‘speaking geek’)
    .

  101. If I use the same email that I have in my own WordPress blog, WordPress requires that I sign in. Let’s try if this has been changed.

  102. MattS says:
    April 11, 2013 at 10:49 am
    majormike1 says:
    April 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm
    No wonder I am always “awaiting moderation”. After being a moderate “Mike” for 70 years.
    REPLY: No, assmart – Anthony
    ***************************************************************************************************************
    I didn’t know “Strongasanoxandnearlyassmart” – my blog is “Strong as an ox and nearly as smart” – appeared anywhere. That’s the phrase Pop would say when people complimented him on his big sons. Since I don’t want to change, i’ll just have to accept being moderated.
    ***************************************************************************************************************
    Underscores are your friend. Having the letters a s and s in sequence with no spaces is what is triping the spam filter.

    I used the frequent a site where one user managed to sign up with a name that included a word that wasn’t allowed in comment text. I never figured out what the word was, but it was a great trick if the intention was to spout nonsense nobody could object to.

  103. @ richardcourtney
    did that thanks that really works (took me back to my own comment right away LOL)

  104. As usual, I’ve gone right down the thread and I would concur with the commenters who said something along the lines of ‘there is much, if not more, to be gained from reading the comments as from the lead article’.
    I’m undecided on the threading business. Having got used to it during early excursions into the great debate, there are times I miss it on here. I can see the points against it when you have to scroll up or down (depending on the site) to find out if there has been a response to any earlier comment. I’ll leave that to Anthony’s choice or the majority vote and live with it.
    The one thing I would agree on though, is a Preview option (qv JoNova) as even though I’m a dedicated proofer before posting, even I miss the odd typo if I’m commenting late at night (UK), so that’s one thing I would welcome.
    Great stuff as per normal.

  105. Another check to see if my comment is processed by the new faster processing method.
    [did not use my potentially problematic verboten word containing website name in my comment info]
    Crossing my fingers that I am no longer flagged by WP!
    John

  106. Bair Polaire says: April 11, 2013 at 4:46 am
    Future Improvements?
    I would like to have a Reference Page on the physics of the postulated CO2-warming-effect.
    What do you think?

    I think it’s a good idea to create a CO2 Reference Page offering a combination of the available CO2 data, as well as delving into the science behind CO2’s influence on earth’s climate system. However, there are a few other pages and projects in process, including the WUWT Paleoclimate Reference Page;
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/global-weather-climate/paleoclimate/
    thus the CO2 Reference Page will likely take a while to come together.

  107. The trouble with all the hints to bypass prohibited strings in your home website URL is that WordPress auto-populates the Website field if you’re already logged into WordPress, or if you use an email account that’s tied to a WordPress account.
    The alternative is to use an email not tied to WordPress and populate the field yourself. The WordPress cookie with remember it and you won’t have to re-fill it every time.
    Like this one to a Karen Carpenter youtube video (if it works).

  108. John Whitman on April 11, 2013 at 4:25 pm
    Another check to see if my comment is processed by the new faster processing method.
    [did not use my potentially problematic verboten word containing website name in my comment info]
    Crossing my fingers that I am no longer flagged by WP!
    John

    – – – – – – –
    Yeah!
    My comment got the new faster WUWT comment processing. Finally.
    But in the long term I am going to need to do something about WP flagging my website name because it parses a part of a normal word as verboten. : (
    John

  109. LOL! I just remarked on how fast my comments are posting, but in doing so apparently I tripped one of the moderation keywords this time and my post is awaiting moderation. Ah, life’s little ironies…
    I still like it!
    Thanks Anthony!

  110. Analysis.
    Seeing if that word triggers WP flagging me.
    NOTE: Did not insert my website to eliminate that as a cause for my being flagged because it contains analysis.
    NOTE: I am not logged into my WP blog account.
    NOTE: the email address I use for commenting is different than the one i use for my WP blog. So email should not be a trigger for WP flagging me here on WUWT . . . I think.
    Here goes . . .
    John

  111. John Whitman on April 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm
    Analysis.
    Seeing if that word triggers WP flagging me.
    NOTE: Did not insert my website to eliminate that as a cause for my being flagged because it contains analysis.
    NOTE: I am not logged into my WP blog account.
    NOTE: the email address I use for commenting is different than the one i use for my WP blog. So email should not be a trigger for WP flagging me here on WUWT . . . I think.
    Here goes . . .
    John

    Good. That comment got the the new instant comment approval treatment.
    So it could be WP’s parsing of my URL to find a verboten word that causes WP to flag me when I use it in commenting.
    John

  112. John Whitman on April 11, 2013 at 6:22 pm
    Final check. Put back in my website name to see if causes WP flagging to restart.
    John

    That comment got the new instant comment approval treatment. That is good.
    So, it isn’t my website address that caused previous WP flagging.
    So a mystery remains why my previous comments were going into a WP nether region file without either going into ‘awaiting moderation’ mode or getting the new instant approval treatment.
    John
    [Reply: It is indeed a mystery the way WP sometimes operates. — mod.]

  113. [blockquote]It’s sometime very nerve-racking to find a certain comment out of hundreds to refer to, or searching a certain comment in a thread after a few days.[/blockquote]
    Didn’t have time to read entire thread to see if anyone addressed this, but if you right click the date and time of a post – such as John Whitmans above – you can get a link direct to that post:
    John Whitman says:
    April 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm
    Right clicking the date and time allows you to copy the following link directly to the comment:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/10/some-changes-coming-to-wuwt-readers-will-have-more-say/#comment-1272874

  114. I wrote, “A ‘preview’ button would be just as good as an “edit” button.
    Physics Major replied, “daveburton, If you want Preview and some other handy features, go to CA Assistant and follow the directions.”
    Okay, thanks for the tip, using it now…
    Wow, CA Assistant is seriously cool!
    Thank you, Physics Major & MrPete (CA Assistant author)!!!
    I’ve been using mostly Chrome, with IE as my backup browser, and Firefox as #3. I think that with CA Assistant, FF has just vaulted past Chrome and IE to assume the #1 browser role on my machines! (Fortunately, thanks to Xmarks, all three browsers automatically have the same bookmarks/favorites.)
    Dave
    http://www.sealevel.info
    [FireFox also has an automatic spellchecker function for its “text editor” for all web pages. Mod]

  115. For those who crave a preview option (which WordPress does not provide for comments) a simple solution (which I’ve sometimes used when posting long comments on a WP blog – or when WP is in wonky updating mode) is to use a private page on my own blog and compose the comment there, to see what it looks like.- and edit if required. When happy with result, switch to “Text” mode and copy/paste to here.
    For non-bloggers, you can create one on WP (doesn’t cost anything), keep it “private” and simply use for this purpose.
    And while I’m here – completely O/T (and an admittedly shameless plug on my part) – perhaps of interest to those who have been following the shameful shenanigans of those involved in the campaign to discredit the BC Auditor General’s Audit of Carbon Neutral Government, in response to my enquiry to the Auditor General, I received a very enlightening reply today, from the Assistant Auditor General.
    BC Auditor General confirms enviro-activist Elgie’s “resignation” claim unsustainable
    Hilary Ostrov

  116. I’ve been using mostly Chrome, with IE as my backup browser, and Firefox as #3. I think that with CA Assistant, FF has just vaulted past Chrome and IE to assume the #1 browser role on my machines!

    I’ve been a devoted Chrome user for a couple years, but I got tired of the constant hangs and freezing. On Firefox now and while I miss a few Chrome features, Firefox has others to compensate …
    and it actually works.

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