Mind mumbles

Cerebral sprouts from the convoluted plain

On blog commenting

December 03, 2017 — Nalioth

I've not utilized commenting systems for blogs ( up until this one ) for a variety of reasons.
Primarly, these would be privacy & efficiency

As far as privacy goes, I have run my websites with a mind on preserving reader's privacy. I run Google Adsense ( on the knowledge that Google likely knows more about you than you do ) and Amazon ads, but as "opt in" adverts ( Amazon doesn't know you're reading this blog until you click the ad ).

I've always seen a blog as a way to impart information - not put on a hurly-gurly show with megabytes of fluff that dances around the actual words. I find mouseover effects & other visuals that have nothing to do with the content to be wasteful.

So, in the face of the above, I've always preferred a low-resource blog, and usually use a blog compiler ( which produces plain ol' HTML pages for maximum efficiency ). These blog compilers don't usaully facilitate a commenting system, and TBH, I've stayed away from adding a comment system for the following reasons . . .

If you're using Wordpress or some other hugely bloated blog software, you'll have a well-written ( and bloated ) commenting system that comes with it. If you're using plain ol' webpages, you'll need to find a third party solution

The biggest monkey on the swing would be Disqus ( they say it's pronounced "discuss", but I call it "disgust" ). Disqus offers both paid and free options, but as you know - nothing in life is free.
If you take Discus' "free candy", they'll disrupt your blog page layout with a huge rectangle of salacious clickbaity shite.

example of Disqus ad block

The above is a tame example of Disqus' ad units. Most of the time, the images are far more tabloid ( think "page 3 girls" ) and the text much more gossipy.

. . but that's not all . . .

However, a recent blog post[2] revealed that every embedded Disqus frame made about 90 network requests increasing the load time by a full 4 seconds. It was discovered that they used tens of third-party tracking services on all pages.

So, using Disqus not only disrupts the page layout, but it makes the page load slower & tracks all the readers like animals.

So, this is why I don't use Disqus for comments

Facebook is another entity that'd love for you to use their commenting system. After all, F*c*book's users are its product. Yep, if you've been living in a cave for years, F*c*book exists to gather data on you so it can sell this data to marketing companies. They offer "Facebook Comments" for bloggers to implement into their blogs, because everywhere F*c*book has a spot on a webpage, that's just more internetizens they can surveill.

...opened a random website with embedded Facebook comments and requests to facebook.com accounted for 1.5 MB of the 2.4 MB transferred to load the whole page. This included 87 network requests and 35 Javascript files. And this didn't even load all the comments -- I had to click a "Load more comments" button!

Couple of more facts from an old webmaster: F*c*book "like" buttons are the eye of Sauron ( they allow F*c*book to monitor everyone who visits a page with such a button ) and - most importantly - Facebook was designed to be addictive.

So, definitely no "F*c*book Comments" for this blogger.

There are quite a few third party & open source commenting systems out there, but their downfall is the lack of spam control. If I install a comment system, I don't want to spend more time cleaning up after spammers than writing blog content.

This blog is produced by the open source software bashblog, and bashblog comes with built-in twitter commenting. This is opt-in ( twitter knows nothing of this site until the reader clicks the "comment" link ). Twitter also has excellent anti-spam capabilities.

Tags: general-interest, webmaster

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