Because of problems with the Blogger comment features that seem to have been recurring for some time now, I decided to try a third party comment engine -- Disqus.com (web site is here and the Wikipedia entry is here) Disqus seems to offer more features and hopefully will resolve the old problems which seem to be principally related to a 200 comment limit before some browsers started encountering problems.
I would appreciate feedback from readers by comment to this page as to the new comment engine. I will read the comments and try to address issues that arise. Also, I hope readers the comments as well and will offer any tips or workarounds to problems.
I move now to the first big problem.-- posting anonymous emails. It can be done.
How to Post Comments Anonymously
Anonymous comments are formally not allowed by Disqus. Disgus' alternative is to allow pseudonym commenting -- which requires both an email address and a user name which can be a pseudonym (note that it requires both items of information). Disqus' empirical data shows that comments with pseudonyms are generally of higher quality that anonymous comments. See, for example, this article here. However, please read further, for I offer a workaround.
On the publicly accessed Federal Tax Crimes Blog, only the pseudonym for the user name appears. So, for example, if you make your pseudonym "Catch Me If You Can," readers reviewing the blog will not be able to see the email address. All they can see is the pseudonym "Catch Me If You Can." Only I as the administrator can see the email address on the administration page of Disqus (i.e., it does not appear on the blog). I encourage all readers to use this feature. Those who want to be identified can give their names instead of a pseudonyms, but those who do not want to be identified can choose pseudonyms. For each person desiring to post pseudonymically, please choose a unique pseudonym that you will use for all future comments because there is now a feature to see all comments by a commenter (at least from today forward). You can be fanciful -- such as my "Catch Me If You Can" but make it unique and consistently use that pseudonym
Now, for those who do not want even me to see their real email address and want to post truly anonymously, just enter a false email address. Try to enter one that you are pretty sure no else one has. For example, you might choose one like the following email address: 182953NoFBAR@taxinnocents.com. I doubt that anyone has that email address. Entering such a false email address and a pseudonym for the user name will permit a reader to make anonymous comments. So, to repeat after typing in your comment and hitting the "Post as" button, enter the following (keep in mind this is only an example; choose your own fake email and pseudonym entries when you do it):
Your Email: 182953NoFBAR@taxinnocents.com
Your Name: Catch Me If You Can
Your comment will be anonymous without traceability. For an example, see the comments at the blog here. For those tempted to use this work around for inappropriate comments, remember that I do moderate and will not approve improper emails.
Finally, I think it works best if you use the same fake email and the same pseudonym each time. I think that is what is required to aggregate the comments under the pseudonym.
In the meantime, here are a few other observations:
- Disqus appears to have pulled over all the comments and they are available under each blog entry.
- The comments are not presented exactly as they were presented with the Blogger comment section. Disqus offers some flexibility as to how you want to review comments -- e.g., you can choose to show newest comments first.
- I will be testing Disqus to see how many comments should be presented first. I will test 10 or 20.
- By scrolling down the comments, you can click a button to load more comments button to see more comments.
- The new engine does allow nesting of the replies to comments. I am not sure that the old comments from the Blogger comment engine which had nesting starting early in 2012 pulled over the nested comments. But, on a go-forward basis, should be able to nest replies to comments..
- I do note that my picture does not show up the way it used to, but I don't think readers will see that as a big loss.
- The comments feature -- called a widget or gadget -- in the right hand column appears to offer more information. Please note, however, that although it captures much of the historical, pre-Disqus comments, it apparently will only capture the identity of commenters from the time of the changeover forward. However, because commenters will now be identified and their various comments easily accessible simply by a click on the name, it would be helpful if anonymous commenters adopted a consistent pseudonym for posting comments. The pseudonym keeps the real identity confidential but will permit readers to access their other comments (at least on a go-forward basis since the changeover).