Broken Blogger Comments: Checkbox Oh Checkbox
Like many of you, I rely heavily on email notification for blog post comments to keep track of the conversation. After all, who has the time or energy to go back to individual blog posts and check if there have been any further comments left? That might have cut it in 2005, but it really doesn’t any longer.
Google/Blogger/Blogspot (whatever they’re called) offer a strange kind of system which varies depending on how the blogger has configured the comments to work on their individual blog.
Under the settings menu in the Dashboard, there are essentially 3 options for comments (as well as disabling them all together):
I had always employed the pop-up check box on Law Actually, despite coming to really hate this option on other blogs. I’ve fixed it now at least.
So here’s what really annoys me about the pop-up window and full page options for comments in Blogger.
To receive email alerts, the visitor MUST click the check box BEFORE they publish their comment but you don’t see that box UNTIL you’re signed in. I routinely use 3 different PCs each day, so I often head over to a blog without being signed into my Google account. Actually, that in itself is a nonsense, as I’ve always got Gmail open and I always go to other blogs via, you guessed it, Google Reader. Still, when it comes to leaving a comment, it usually always treats me as not being signed in.
So, if you enter your details to sign in and then click to publish your comment forgetting to click that checkbox, you’re doomed; there’s no way of going back into it and activating those email updates, short of leaving a second comment.
This annoyance does not occur with in-line comment field beneath the post. With this option, there’s a link which can be clicked after you’ve submitted the comment (or even if you submit no comment at all). It’s a far smarter way of handling comments, which are, after all, the beating heart of any blog.
My workaround (of sorts) on the blogs which use the pop-up window or full page option is to enter my username and password, as well as the word verification text and then click ‘preview’ rather than ‘publish’ so I can go back and select that magic checkbox before finally clicking publish. That’s quite an ordeal and more often than not I forget to do that and my comment is posted without email notifications being activated. I can’t tell you how much that drives me up the freakin’ wall!
Why can’t that checkbox be there by default, which the user can select and is only activated if they then log-in with an account which has an email address associated with it? It just seems like an about-face way of doing things and this problem really shouldn’t even exist. Come on Google – sort it out!
Granted the blogger commenting system might not be broken per se, but it’s so clunky and frustrating to use on a day to day basis, that it might as well be. To be honest, they should just get rid of the checkbox option entirely so you can sign up to comment notifications at any point.
And please, blawggers of the world out there, if you run a Blogger/Blogspot blog using the pop-up window or full page option for comments, you could always make life a little easier on your readers by choosing the in-line option instead. ;-)