New system for our “comments”

Patheos, which hosts this blog, is going to be making some major upgrades, including moving to a higher-end server, that should decrease load times, eliminate spam, prevent a host of problems, and make possible new features.  One new feature that will be added before moving to the new server is the Disqus system for comments.

Comments will stream as they are made.  You can go back and forth to and from different discussions.  You can follow different commenters whose thoughts especially interest you.  If I’m understanding it aright, you can follow and take part in related discussions that bridge different blogs.  Here is a description of the few features, some of which I don’t fully understand:  For Websites – DISQUS.

These new bells and whistles should be great fun.  And yet, they come at the price of some of our traditions here in Cranach Land.  Commenters will need to register the first time they comment, though supposedly since Disqus is the biggest comment system on the internet used by the biggest sites, you may already be registered.  (Actually, if you have already commented here at Cranach, you should not have to register.)

Also, comments will be threaded by conversation.  We had that when we first moved to Patheos, but that violated our tradition of numbered sequential comments, so we fought to get back the old way.  But that apparently won’t be possible with the new technology.  It sounds like, though, the Disqus approach may be different enough that we may not find the problems we had with conventional threading.  I don’t know, and I won’t until I see what the new way looks like.  Which may be THIS WEEKEND, when the new system will probably be installed on this blog.

The good thing is that all of our comments will be preserved and shifted over to Disqus.  Because this blog has so much traffic and so many comments, the plan is to move everything over this weekend, when things slow down a little.   There will be a short “dark time” during the changeover when comments will go into moderation.  (That’s another good feature:  moderating comments will be much easier for me.  I intend to keep our relatively free-and-easy policies, but I need to do more monitoring than I have been able to do, and this will make it much easier on my end.)

If you comment during the “dark time,” it may not show up at once.  It will go into a queue and will be posted later, though I was told some of them may be lost.  The Patheos tech people asked if I could put up weekend posts that will not attract quite so much discussion, though how could I do that with this crowd?

So if you don’t comment as much this weekend, do check in from time to time to see if the new system has been installed yet.  Then we can discuss here what we like about it, what we don’t like, and what all we can do with it.


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  • tODD

    Third time’s a charm. I guess.

  • Helen K.

    Heck, never learned the ropes very well on this format and now more changes. Just sign me old and unflexible. ):

  • Pete

    No comment

  • Tom Hering

    Bookmark this Disqus troubleshooting page:

    Interesting that the first tip is to disable Ghostery, if you have it installed. Seems Disqus used to work fine while running Ghostery, then Disqus (a third party provider) decided that it didn’t like people blocking its spyware, so they made it necessary to disable Ghostery – which means you’ll not only have to put up with threaded comments again, but the social buttons, ads, and trackers that Ghostery got rid of for you.

    Why do I have the feeling that Cranach is speeding down Suck Street? I really hope I’m wrong.

  • Kimberly

    This has nothing to do with commenting systems, but hopefully someone can answer it: Is there a reason why yesterday’s posts would have page-loading/ can’t be found issues? I really want to read them but even today I get an error message. So strange!

  • Tom Hering

    Yeah, I had problems with the site yesterday too, but only with my bookmark, Google search links to Cranach, and the marathon bombing thread. I kept being redirected to something called, though the redirect failed each time. I finally had to reboot my computer to stop it.

  • Gene Veith

    I had problems too yesterday just getting to my site! There have also been problems with spam that eludes all the filters. Patheos has been frustrated with such technical problems (and more), and that’s why they are upgrading everything and moving to a new server with much greater capabilities. I’m told that this will make possible new features for the blogs. The new comment system is just the first of the upgrades. (I was told that they need to do this before they move to the new server.)

  • Gene Veith

    No, Tom, this blog is not going down “Suck Street.” What a thing to say.

  • Well, technically, Dr. Veith, Disqus is a back alley on the seedier end of Suck Street. In my experience, that is…

  • Grace

    I agree with Tom and Fundystan, there is more to it than most realize.

  • Grace

    Dr. Veith,

    If this new system, according to Patheos, is really an upgrade, why would your blog not be able to, as you stated:

    “Also, comments will be threaded by conversation. We had that when we first moved to Patheos, but that violated our tradition of numbered sequential comments, so we fought to get back the old way. But that apparently won’t be possible with the new technology”

    Mixing all the discussion, so to speak, takes away from the spirit of community, which has for the most part been one of your successful points – even though, some rascals will not get along. Of course I am one of the best examples of perfect deportment on this blog. 😉

  • This post really peaked my interest.