Clarifying our Disqus-sion
It looks like most of you have adjusted to the new comment system with little difficulty. A few of you expressed some misgivings, but enough of you have taken advantage of Disqus’s features to convince me that it has been worthwhile. I want to encourage more of you to set up an account with Disqus and “claim” your comments, especially fellow bloggers who are looking to direct more traffic to your sites. Consider Greg Rowe’s Profile Page, which includes all of his comments, an option to subscribe to his comments, and a link to his own blog. You can add links to a number of social networking sites if you like. I also recommend uploading an avatar unless you don’t mind a default image of Frederick Douglass.
I suspect that the threaded comments format has been somewhat of a challenge to adjust to. The first thing you will notice is that the comments are organized in the order of most recent first. Every comment that is aligned left is potentially the beginning of a new thread. Leave a new comment or hit the “Reply” button to respond directly to a comment. Threads can be indented five times before they align directly below the previous comment. I don’t mind admitting some difficulty following extended discussions; the trick is to learn to follow threads rather than individual comments. In other words, although the comments are organized most recent first, you may have to scroll down to locate a new comment that has been added to a old thread. Of course, you can subscribe to an individual blog post’s comments if you want to be notified as soon as a new comment is posted.
Finally, you may have noticed what is called a Wibiya bar at the bottom of the screen. This blogging tool is still in beta, but I’ve noticed it on other blogs and thought it might help with functionality without adding to the sidebar. You can minimize it by clicking on the arrow on the right hand side. I want to see where the developers take this little gadget. And I am pleased to report that I am in the process of moving the blog to a new hosting company called MidPhase. Their customer service has been stellar thus far and I am hoping that this will be a painless transition.