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Commenting

A little birdie told me that leaving a comment isn’t the easiest thing to figure out, so I thought I’d write up some instructions. The blue highlights are meant to bring your attention to something (you won’t actually see them if you’re trying to leave a comment).

When you reach the end of a post, you’ll see one of two things:

"add a comment" means that no one has made any comments on this post yet. Sad! You should add one!

or…

"# others wondered" means there's a conversation going on. You should join in!

If you click on either of those two phrases, the following will be visible:

This is the comment box.

The box is pretty self-explanatory. You do have to leave a name, but you can leave a nickname or just an initial if you want. does this all the time. You also have to include your email address, but it just goes into the database that runs the blog – it won’t be published, and I’ll be the only one who ever sees it. The only way it would get out is if hackers randomly decided to try to get into our server, which is located in the guest bedroom at our house, not some big hosting company, and that’s pretty unlikely. The “website” section can be left blank if you don’t have your own blog.

In the big box, leave your comment. If you know html and want to include fancy formatting in your comment, go ahead, but there’s no need.

If you want to get an email when someone, check the “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” box. Note that as of right now, I’ve tested this feature and it’s not working, and I have no idea why. So… you can probably just ignore that box, or check it. Either way. If it was working, you would get an email any time someone else leaves a comment on this post. Since there are usually only a handful of comments, at most, on a post, this won’t clog up your inbox. The other option is to just check back in a day or two and see if anyone else had something to say. I try to respond to every comment, so there should at least be something from me.

When you’re all done, click “Submit Comment.” If this is your first or second comment ever, the following will appear in the comments section:

Just in case you're a spammer, the system doesn't automatically post what you've written until I say it's OK.

Once you have two approved comments, your comments will post automatically without having to wait for moderation.

WordPress does threaded comments now, which means you can have a conversation with someone in the comments and it will visually show the chain of thoughts (the thread).

In this example, you can see that I replied specifically to the first comment that was left. That's why it's indented below it.

So, this is the tricky part. There are different ways to leave a reply and it depends if you want to continue a conversation or just add a new comment. (This really does make sense, I promise, but it’s better explained with pictures.)

If you just start typing in the box that appears when you first get to the comments section, your reply post in chronological order just like the other comments in grey.

However, if you want to reply to a specific comment, you have to click on the "Reply" next to that comment (highlighted above). The "Leave a Reply" box barely changes, but your reply will post beneath the comment you're replying to, and will be indented (like mine above).

Does that make sense? Really, you can’t do it wrong. If I were super popular and had hundreds of comments on every post, then the threaded replies would be important. But your comment is unlikely to get lost in the handful (at most) of comments on a post. We don’t really have to worry about the train of thought or the conversation. But, it’s an option, if you so desire. I try to use the threaded reply when I’m responding to comments left by visitors, so y’all know that I read what you said. But, sometimes I forget. Hey, no one’s perfect!

So, go test out your new-found knowledge! Click on the blog header above (the big picture that says “wonderment”) and leave a comment on whatever post you find. Pretty please? I love getting comments! (When they say that bloggers are narcissistic, there’s a bit of truth in that. And your comments validate my importance! And they make me smile! Every blogger will tell you that, and it’s true. Plus, comments turn the act of blogging from “writing in my diary” to “having a conversation with a good friend.” The latter is a lot more fun, and definitely less exhibitionistic.)

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