just wanted to point out a couple of things that will benefit you as readers and commenters on this new format for the blog.
- Recent Comments – You may already have noticed this, but the last few comments on the blog (regardless of post) now show up on the right-hand side. This is a great way to see quickly on your return to the blog if there has been any future discussion. If you hover your mouse over the comment in that “Recent Comments” section, you’ll see the title and date of the post on which the comment was left. The comment itself is also a link directly to that comment so you can read the full comment if it was truncated in the sidebar.
- Feed Subscriptions – If you have not already changed the feed in your Bloglines or other reader, make sure you have done so. The new feed links are available in the sidebar in the “Meta” section. There is a feed for posts as well as a feed for comments. Additionally, at the bottom of each article (if you are actually on the page where you can comment), there is a link to subscribe to the comments feed for that individual post, if you just want to follow one particular thread.
- Comment HTML – Comments are allowed to use markup for style, adding links, etc. Most of you probably already know how to do this, but for those who don’t, there is a little bit of help for you. Right above the comment box should be a collection of buttons saying things like “Close Tags”, “Dict”, “B-Quote”, etc. (If you don’t see a collection of buttons, but rather see just one button with “>>” on it, click that button to show the others.) The way these buttons work is that they insert the appropriate tags for you. For example, if you want to make something bold, that is the button marked “Strong”. When you want to type a word in bold, first click the “strong” button. It will add “strong” to your comment (in brackets). Type the word you want bolded, and then click the “Strong” button again (you will notice that after you click it the first time, it changes to say “/Strong”. When you click it the second time, it will insert “/strong” into your comment (again in < and > brackets. That “closes” the strong tag (or, in plain English, tells the system that you are done using bold text).
“Live”Preview – As you type your comment (including any of the tags you add yourself or get from the formatting buttons), you can see an instantaneous live preview of your comment appearing below the comment box (you may need to scroll down to see it).Update 9-20-06: I have changed plugins to give you an actual preview within the context of the site itself. This is available by clicking the “Preview” button below the comment box. The original preview I installed did not handle things like the automatic linking of Scripture references, the conversion of emoticons to smilies, etc. This will help you preview how your comment will look to the rest of us.
- Site Registration – I am not requiring commenters to register with the system, but if you plan on commenting frequently from the same computer and would like to save the hassle of typing your name, email, and website everytime, you can create an account on my blog. This is located in the “Meta” section of the sidebar, as well, and is the link called “Register”. You create an account, and can choose when you log in to have the blog remember you next time. Then, on future visits you’ll be all set to just start typing your comment without having to enter your information each time.