Saturday, March 24, 2007

Want to Comment?

Perhaps the most significantly unique feature of a blog is the comment capability. Users of this blog can sign in and leave comments for any individual post (as long as commenting is enabled for that post) and they will appear vertically below the post with the bottom comment being the most recent.

If you would like to comment but are not sure how the process works, you may be surprised at how easy it actually is. Here’s a short tutorial on how to provide comments for this blog:

1) First, if you have not already done so, you will need to sign up for a Google account. (If you have a Blogger account, you can just sign in with that to leave a comment. Go to number 4.) It is completely free. I do not allow completely anonymous comments, for hopefully obvious reasons. All you need is a current email address and a password. After you verify the account (Google will send you an email with a link inside for you to click), you will be taken to your Google Account Page.

2) You are ready to leave comments now if you wish. Your display name will be the ID part of your email address (the portion before the “@” sign). If this is ok with you, proceed down to number 4 below. If you need to maintain more privacy, you may sign in to Blogger (using your new Google account) and create a separate display name and profile for yourself. Go to number 3.

3) Once you sign into Blogger, you will be taken to your “Dashboard” page. Give yourself whatever display name you would like. Click “Continue”. (You do not need to create a blog, unless you want to of course!) Now, on the upper right-hand corner, you can click on “View” or “Edit Profile”. Click on “View” to see how your profile will be displayed to other users if they click on your display name. If what you see is not what you want displayed, you can go back and click on “Edit Profile” to change your profile’s appearance and/or your display name. You can elect to not share your profile for maximum privacy, or you can provide as much or as little additional information as you want.

4) Now once you have your display properties set, you are ready to leave comments. If you are on my site’s main home page (meaning you see lots of posts stacked vertically on the left), click in the white box at the bottom of the post where it says “X comments” (“X” will be a number 0 or greater). Or, if you are on the post page (meaning you see only one specific post), click on “Post a Comment”. A pop-up page will appear (sorry, this is how Blogger does comments, which is more than mildly annoying) and you may leave your comment by writing in the box and then signing in with your Google (or Blogger) account. You can preview and/or change your comment as many times as you like.

My only request is that comments should be family-friendly and profanity-free. I encourage minors (most of my students) to use this site, so responsibility dictates this. While I enjoy a heated discussion as much as the next person, users are forewarned that any comment with profane or obscene content will be removed immediately.

When you are ready to publish your comment, click on “Publish Your Comment” and presto! Your comment will then appear on the pop-up page as well as on the post page. But remember, once you click “publish”, your comment cannot be changed or even edited. If you need to change something, you will have to post another comment pointing out any corrections. 
Now that you are all set with your first comment here, you can leave comments on any other Blogger Blog using your account. Pretty nifty!


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