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New contribution to Totally Novel on writing, update on Sweet Sixteen Killer

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I've been pretty quiet lately on the blog, sorry about that. I've been laying mostly low, though I did recently begin contributing to a new website for writers and readers called Totally Novel. My first contribution for members of the site is a post I titled 3 things that prevented me from writing a novel. To read the post, sign up for a free trial. Take a look around and if you don't wanna stay, don't renew membership. That said, it's a pretty cool effort being put together by a former Google+ member like myself. As a matter of fact there are several members on the site from the old Google+ days. (Side note: there is a free membership option)
I will be contributing to the Totally Novel blog bi-monthly for now. My next addition will be in August. I'm super excited for the site and I hope you can come join us and become a part of the groups, forums, blog, workshops, and more. 
All that said, I haven't given up here. This is still my primary site and blog. 👊

Ch-ch-changes! Using the new comments system as a guest

Hello all! Part of the reason I wanted to migrate from WordPress was that I wanted an option that gave me... options. And part of that was with comments. I was generally frustrated with WordPress comments as they were very limiting. People either had to sign-in with WordPress or be a guest. I had even reached out to WordPress about adding other options for comments, and got a nice reply. But that was like 2 years ago and nothing had changed. Same could be said of other things I wanted to see simplified.

But anyway, I'm not here to complain about WordPress.com, which I generally enjoyed. Instead, I'm gonna point out the comments section here.

I started out with Blogger comments at first, pretty much certain I'd change them, and when for some reason I wasn't getting notifications for new comments that ushered in the change.

I looked around some, but ultimately went with Disqus, which I've used a lot in the past, and generally find to be a solid solution.

Pros:
  • there are numerous options for singing in to comment
  • you can format your comments some
  • add images, gifs, emojis
Cons:
  • signing in does create an account with Disqus (that could be a con for you, if you don't want to or haven't in the past)
  • you can post as a guest, but it's a little buried

Posting as a Guest

I wanna show you some screenshots, because posting as a Guest is a little buried, which is unfortunate. First, you'll notice the "Name" line where you can "sign up with Disqus". Click or tap in that field, and it will open up a few other fields ("email" and "password"). But underneath those fields is a checkbox for posting as a Guest. That's the money. Notice the screenshot below:

Click to enlarge.

When you check this box, it will ditch the password field and leave the "name" and "email" fields. After you enter your comment, simply enter your name and an email address and press the arrow button. Notice the screenshot below for reference:

Click to enlarge.

Final thoughts

This may seem like a lot of writing for something so simple. But the fact is I spend a lot of time thinking about how I present my blog and site. It's important to me that it's easy to use, functional, and encourages people to engage in the comments of a post. I'll write more about things I think about and try to accomplish in the presentation of my blog later, but I hope you can appreciate the work I do to give you a clean space for commenting and replying. And if you have any suggestions, let me know.

So... head into the comments and let me know what you think. What comments system do you use? Do you find it satisfactory? How did you come to using it, or was it just the default? Lemme know. Peace out.

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New contribution to Totally Novel on writing, update on Sweet Sixteen Killer