Not Every Disagreement Is Drama Dammit

Folks in the WordPress community have created ingenious ways of sweeping things under the rug. The three most notable are Don’t read the comments, #wpdrama, and bikeshed. It’s pretty much gotten to the point where mild disagreements are viewed as drama which is stupid.

At any rate, this tweet by David Bisset is something that needs to be repeated across the WordPress echo chamber. I’m happy to see someone else speaking up and saying this as I haven’t been able to get it across to anyone.

Thank You Commentators

Just wanted to pass along a quick thank you to the top five commenter’s for the month of August.

  • Andrew
  • Sierra
  • Trisha
  • Ian Stewart
  • Justin Tadlock

I really appreciate you guys and gals for sticking around and being part of the discussions which take place on the blog. I can handle blogging into an empty chamber but having some commentary around makes blogging a much more fun, engaging experience.

This blog post was an entry in the blogging challenge created by the Perfcast Podcast.

Is This How Comment Spam Works

As I was checking out my Akismet spam filter one day, I noticed a comment that was labeled differently than most of the other ones I’ve seen. This comment linked to a site called BotMaster. According to the site, BotMaster sells a service called Xrumer that comes bundled with Hrefer which is an automated link-building tool. BotMaster claims that the tool has nothing to do with spam and that its primary purpose is to build links and search engine power to your site.

These are funny claims considering a comment which was created by the BotMaster software appeared in Akismet as spam. This is the first time I’ve come across an actual site selling services/software for link building purposes. The software will set you back $450.00 but that seems like a high price to pay to have whatever site you are promoting to show up in Akismet as spam.

I am not trying to actively support or advertise this service but rather, highlight the fact that these things do exist. This makes me wonder how much spam is generated on forums and blogs with software such as this. Anyone else come across botmaster within their own Akismet interface?

New Look In Store For Jeffro2pt0

After traversing the realm of WordPress themes the past few days, I’ve come across one which is an oldie but a goody. It’s called WP-Magazine. More specifically, the 2-column layout. I enjoy the featured post block as well as the layout in general. The Jeffro2pt0.com homepage will end up having some similarities with what used to be called a portal page. I’m not a big fan of the gray color scheme which is why I will be porting my current color scheme into this new theme. I’ve hacked my current theme (Shifter) to death and now it’s time for me to start over with a fresh code base and go from their.

The new site design will focus on the content as well as the community. Since most of the interaction on the blog takes place through the comments, you can rest assure that I will be taking special care of that section in the redesign. I plan on keeping a similar look and feel as I currently have within the comments section, but I’ll be adding a WYSIWYG text editor for the comments, larger text sizes, CommentLuv support, the ability to quickly reply or quote a specific comment, comment editing, the ability to subscribe to comments and more.

I don’t plan on having the new design ready any time soon, but I think I’ll have it online somewhere between the week of August 10th or sooner. As for Jeffc.me, I’ve been having some Addon Domain issues as of late and until I can export my personal posts from this site, into the personal blog, I won’t be doing much of anything.

Letting Spam Loose For A Day

Akismet Logo

Mark your calenders because on December 15, 2007, WordPress user’s across the blogosphere will be turning off Akismet. Ok, not really. But Jesper Rønn-Jensen has decided to do it. He calls it, Spam Filter Free day where he will disable the Akismet anti spam tool on his blog for 24 hours to figure out, just how much work Akismet does for him. It’s an ambitious project and I can only imagine how much time it will take to clean up the mess after the event is over with.

I’ve seen numerous bloggers writing posts which state that Akismet is asking for us to disable our spam filter on this day and then report back to them with the results. This is not the case. Akismet merely brought Jesper’s post to the forefront and asked if anyone else would be willing to go through with it. If so, Akismet would love to hear back from you.

I’ve decided not to go through with the project. Like so many others that commented on Lorelle’s article, (Are You Willing To Go Naked For One Day For Akismet) I can see just how much work Akismet has saved me from doing by looking at the spam filter statistics. So far, Akismet has protected this site from 4,528 spam comments. I’ve left my blog alone for more than 24 hours and when I come back, I have to sift through over 100 or more spam comments to see if Mike was flagged as a spammer. Akismet is not perfect, but it does a damn fine job of blocking a lot of spam.

So will you be going naked on December 15?

WordPress Comment Reply Plugin

East Reply Plugin

One of the greatest things about blogging, especially on your own blog is the discussion that takes place through comments. Here at Jeffro2pt0.com we have taken the approach of manually typing in <strong>@CommentAuthorName</strong> as our means of typing out a reply. After typing this in time and time again, it begins to become irritating.

While searching the plugin database on WordPress.org, I came across WP-EasyReply. This plugin when activated presents a REPLYNEW link near the commenting text area. When you click this link, all of the comments that came before yours are automatically entered into the comment form along with a blockquoted version of their comment. This is similar in how a forum works when you want to reply to specific person and it automatically quotes their comment.

WP EasyReply In Action

I thought this was great. However, I didn’t see the need of appending the same comment over and over again throughout the discussion so I went inside the plugin code and deleted a few things. Now when you click the link, it automatically outputs the @AuthorName in bold which is what the user’s of this blog and myself have been doing for quite some time now.

The only problem with this plugin is that the link only appears for me and no one else. I am currently working with the plugin author to see if the reply link can be manipulated so that it is displayed for the general public to use. I’m also trying to talk the plugin author into wrapping up his plugin into a one line php function like so many other plugins. This way, users would be able to place that line of code anywhere they wanted to within the comments.php file giving blog owners the chance to display the REPLY NEW link anywhere they see fit.

If you want the same results here is the code change:
Original Code:
$posters.="@$com->comment_author - < blockquote >".htmlentities(@$com->comment_content)."< /blockquote >$lf$lf";

Changed Code:
$posters.="< strong >@$com->comment_author < /strong >