If your comments never appear…

We’ve switched to a much more effective Comment SPAM blocking setup. But one attribute of it that I can’t change at this time is that comments that are detected as SPAM never show up at all. So we can’t review them and extract them if not SPAM.

NOTE: Comments may be held for hours depending on our sleep and travel patterns. This is normal. So if you see your comment marked as held for moderation we WILL get to it. But maybe not instantly.

So if you post a comment that seems to vanish, email us to see if we’re holding it for some reason or if not what we can do to allow your comments to get through the SPAM filters.

See this page for contact information.


If your comments never appear… — 42 Comments

  1. Guy Behind the Curtain: I’m gonna make a plea for the old comment system to be restored.

    I can see why the current one would appeal to many, but it has problems, such as

    – clicking on the latest comment by so-and so (under Recent comments) takes you to the end of a convo, so it’s like “???!” instead of, “Oh, I see what he/she is saying *and responding to.*”

    – it takes a lot of clicking and scrolling to keep up with the latest comments – 1. Click on latest comment by [username]; 2. scroll to see what they’re responding to; THEN 3. go back to upper-right hand corner under “Recent comments” and… repeat process.

    And again.

    and again.

    – the overall feeling is one of fragmentation – to me, at least – rather than ongoing discussion. I literally have stopped trying to read and follow comments at blogs like Internet monk due to their use of this format, because I find it confusing. (I suspect I’m not the only one…)

    I do realize that you must still be working on goodness knows what all else with this blog’s format and database and so on, so *no* pressure. (Seriously.)

    One other plea –

    – Times New Roman. Just sayin’. 🙂

  2. Times New Roman. Just saying’

    You want this? Where?

    If you’re thinking of text for articles and comments read on. But we’re going to get deep into technical weeds and personal preference.

    TNR is a serifed font. Serifs are the little “tails” on the edges of letters, mostly horizontal, that help a reader’s eye flow on from word to word. The original “Times” font comes from (if I remember correctly) the London Times newspaper over 100 years ago as a font designed to be read in narrow columns printed at fairly high resolution via hot lead type. And Times, TNR, and their various cousins all look nice when printed on paper at 300 dpi or greater these days. But even with it being very popular many people find it hard to read in wide paragraphs. And when displayed at 70 to 80 dpi on many display it can get even harder to read.

    All of this leads to why one of the many reasons there are so many font choices these days. What is the audience? Newspaper printed format? Magazines with better paper and wider columns? Textbooks where you want things to flow but at a pace that is slow enough to encourage memory in the majority of people? (New Century Schoolbook was developed just for this application.) Note that while all of these are typically serifed, their use assumes a high quality printing method applied to paper so serifs can be used and help.

    Then we have headings and such. Think chapter titles and newspaper headlines. You want someone reading these to notice them and pause long enough to decide to read the item under the headline. So serifs are usually not used for headlines and things like bold and italics and larger sizes are used. Again this is all applied to higher quality PRINTED information.

    Now we come to these pesky computers. Until everyone has a display like those on the iPad v3 blindly applying “what works good for print” can make display reading hard. Light delicate tails off the end of the letter “a” becomes a fat dot. Or worse 2 dots of the same size. (There’s a lot of time in the font design world spend dealing with what do to in a font when what you want is 1 and 1/2 dots.) So on a computer display serifs tend to do the opposite of their intended effect of making reading flow. Except at larger sizes. So in for information intended for display on computers you wind up many times doing the opposite of what you would do for printed information. Skip the serifs on reading text and, to better visual differentiate them from text, use serifs on headlines and titles. Toss in personal preferences and it can get very hard to come up with a one font that everyone likes.

    So we work hard at trying to come up with a compromised set of font choices that will appeal to the widest audience based on research I’ve done and read over the years and looking at things like background colors, font sizes, typical display sizes. (We get statistics on all the sizes of displays used to read the blog and what percentage of the reader ship have each. And can break it down day to day or year to year or most any number in the middle.) I have somewhat of an advantage in that I can look at the blog on displays ranging from phone sizes to 22″ every day. Most days I use 4 different display sizes. Some days a dozen or more. Oh, yes. We also get to deal with limits on what we can assume in on most computers. So we get to specify a list of fonts for each usage point. Which is why someone might see courier on an old Windows XP computer, Monaco on an older Mac, and Andale Mono on a newer computer.

    So yes I know fonts are not perfect but we are tweaking them as we go along trying to strike a balance between being pretty on a “great” display and being easily reading by the majority on displays typically used by the readers of this blog. And since we just converted to a new “theme” (how you customize the look of a WordPress blog) we’re getting to (having to) start from 0 and adjust everything on the fly so to speak. (I just made an adjustment while typing this comment.)

    Thank you for your patience and understanding that, as someone wiser than me said, “We are all UNIQUELY and wonderfully made.” And thus one size never seems to fit all.

  3. A well developed argument there ! I’m liking what you’ve got here now. Over to the others…

  4. For those really curious here are the screen resolutions ranked by visits for the last three months.

    1. 1280×800 13.37%
    2. 1366×768 11.46%
    3. 1024×768 8.32%
    4. 1440×900 7.73%
    5. 768×1024 7.09%
    6. 320×480 7.03%
    7. 1280×1024 5.96%
    8. 1920×1080 5.15%
    9. 1600×900 4.10%
    10. 1680×1050 3.95%
    11. 1920×1200 2.58%
    12. 1024×600 1.50%
    13. 1280×720 1.36%
    14. 1093×614 1.01%

    The rest are below 1%.

  5. GBTC –

    Will the homepage eventually return to the original with funtions such as blog roll, latest comments, etc.?

  6. @ Bridget (formerly Bridget2):

    Blogroll and latest comment are there. Blogroll is after “The Basics”. Latest comments are on the right.

    Above both of these columns are search, categories, and archives With the later two as a popup. What do you see?

  7. GBTC and Bridget,

    Recent comments show up on my laptop but not my IPhone like they used to. Perhaps that’s what you’re talking about Bridget?

  8. Yes. This new theme has a lot of separate options (or setting I can’t really change) for mobile devices. I have not dug very deep into them yet. But one thing the blog tries to do now is notice if you are on a mobile device and simplify the display so it fits better. We will be working more on mobile as we go along.

  9. OK. I’ve turned off mobile options until we have time to tune them properly. So for now you get the site as designed for full computer displays.

    Bridget, was mobile your issue? Can you see the other items now?

  10. I can see all those options now. Thanks.

    I forget that I should mention that I almost exclusively use my iphone 🙂

    Not that I think the site needs to work perfectly for me. I just wrongly assume everyone is seeing (or not seeing) the same thing. I realized that wasn’t so when I read Numo’s comment above about “most recent comments.”

    I like the current (the old) commenting format better as well. I was having to repeatedly scroll through the entire thread to pick up the “current” comments . . . going a bit bonkers keeping up.

    Thanks for your hard work with this project GBTC 🙂

  11. GBTH –

    OK – that is not working well. It reduces much of the text to 2-4 letters in the column along the sides. I would say work on the major issues first and come back to us crazy iphone commentors later. Feel free to email me if you want me to comment on mobile app issues.

  12. Guy Behind the Curtain

    One way to keep up with the conversations is automatic emails

    Don’t know how it works – but…

    Some blogs just have a little box to check if you want to receive followup comments
    on that particular thread right by the “Post a Comment” box that reads…

    “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail”

    Here’s a happy challenge… 😉

    Go to “The Gospel Coalition” blog – maybe they will help you. 😉


  13. Bridget wrote:

    Feel free to email me if you want me to comment on mobile app issues.

    I have an iPhone plus a lot of other choices to use for testing. We’re just making a priority of laptops and larger first. Plus hopefully more than 4 hours sleep a night this week. 🙂

  14. A. Amos Love wrote:

    And – Is it possible to have numbers for each comment.
    That way – when referring to a specific comment by someone
    we can just refer to the number of the comment.

    Numbers can be problematic. Been there. Have the hat. We have added a reply and quote button. If you use reply it will put in the name of the author of the comment you are replying to and clicking on that name will take you back to the original comment. Quote does the same plus puts the entire comment in a quote block for reference. But if you use quote please trim it back to just enough for people to know what you are talking about.

  15. A. Amos Love wrote:

    Don’t know how it works – but…

    Some blogs just have a little box to check if you want to receive followup comments
    on that particular thread right by the “Post a Comment” box that reads…

    “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail”

    That IS an option. But it creates more work behind the scenes for us. At times a lot more as people make comment #3 on a hot topic then 400 comments later are yelling at us to “TURN IT OFF”. 🙂

    Plus sometimes people who sign up for the emails get tired of them and tell their ISP we are SPAMing them and suddenly AOL or Time Warner blocks ALL emails from TWW. 🙁

  16. A Public Service Annoucement

    There are two new LINKs in the comment section.

    The Reply LINK takes the name on the current comment and copies it down to the new comment as a link back to the old comment. Using this makes it possible for people to follow the conversations back up and understand them better.

    The Quote LINK does the same Reply but also copies down and highlights text from the old comment. All of the text if you just click the Quote link. Or just selected text if you’ve selected any text before clicking the LINK.

    Please don’t click Quote on long comments without trimming them.

    Thank You

  17. Thanks GBTC, Dee, and Deb, for all you do!

    You guys are beast! (Thirteen y/o boy-speak for awesome.) 🙂

    If you are awesomely awesome, (might I add robustly and winsomely awesome) then you have entered into something called — beastmode. I trust you have been there a time or two. Carry on beastmode queens.

  18. GuyBehindtheCurtain wrote:

    That IS an option. But it creates more work behind the scenes for us. At times a lot more as people make comment #3 on a hot topic then 400 comments later are yelling at us to “TURN IT OFF”.

    Thanks for the response.
    Appreciate all your effort keeping this thing rolling along.

    Was wondering… Maybe there is a box to check when NO longer desiring automatic emails.

    Just hoping. 😉 I like auto emails to keep track of the conversation.

  19. @ GuyBehindtheCurtain:

    Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Just have to add the date and time – Instead of a number – Sounds good.

    Can you add – date and time – automatically – to the “Reply” link?

    And I like the idea the “Reply” becomes the last comment on the list.

    Wow – who would have thunk there are so many optians… 😉

  20. dee on Mon Jun 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM said:

    You forgot glamorous awesome.”

    Winsomely apologizing.

  21. Like the look, like the new buttons to reply and quote. Like all of the effort. Thank you so very much for the improvements.

  22. 🙂
    Hope you took your total depravity into account in all of this…”

    Dee–total depravity is better than I deserve.

  23. It may be difficult to wade through all the HTML tags to try to trim a quote. It is not for me since I build software for living, but it has to be for most people.

    I am wondering if there is a way to “preview” a post.

  24. A. Amos Love wrote:

    Was wondering… Maybe there is a box to check when NO longer desiring automatic emails.

    The biggest issue is that many people will just report it as SPAM instead of taking the time to uncheck the box. I see it all the time on the email systems I admin.

  25. Eagle
    Piper would run if he saw me coming to ask him a question.As for submitting to authority, I do try to drive close to the speed limit!