Additional site features

As you may have noticed, I have been tweaking the blog a bit in the past few days, adding some more “social” features. I would like to explain each of these quickly, and then get your opinion on a potential future change.

I would like to draw your attention first to the Rate this Post thumbs on each post. Oftentimes, I find myself reading an amazing article and am struck dumb, I have nothing more to add. All I can do is nod my head in agreement (or shake my head in disgust). Post-rating is a way you can show your feelings without having to compose a comment. Think of it as a tip jar, but free! Use it liberally please!

Secondly, I added a Share This icon to each post which will allow you to quickly add the post to Facebook, Twitter, Delicious or your networking service of choice. I expect most people are using bookmarklets, but this makes it one step easier if you are away from your main computer.

Last, I am considering using a third-party commenting system. The hot ones on the shelves nowadays include DISQUS, IntenseDebate and Echo. These systems allow readers to login with Facebook, OpenID or Twitter credentials, and manage their comments and replies across all blogs using the system. In other words, it gives readers more control and convenience. The dilemma is that there is a network effect — the more people that use a service the more valuable it is. I am wondering what everybody reading CA uses so that I may choose the most convenient platform. DISQUS seems to be the popular one, but IntenseDebate was recently acquired by Automattic (the WordPress guys) and may have a brighter future. Echo looks sweet, but does not have the comment collating ability of the other systems. Your thoughts?

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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5 Responses to Additional site features

  1. Eric C says:

    Honestly, don’t use disqus, because it prevents it sucks. Why not just use name/URL? I’ve been getting really frustrated at the way blogs are using new commenting systems.

    Anyways, just discovered your blog, and it seems interesting, though I totally disagree with the review of “Unforgiving Minute”

  2. dj says:

    I like the basic old fashioned comment system. If I need to find the comment I can come here and easily search for it

  3. feeblemind says:

    Ditto DJ. The other stuff does nothing for me. As for thumbs up/thumbs down, that doesn’t work for me. Very few posts rate a thumbs down, however there is a difference between and OK post and a very good one. From the contributor’s standpoint, I would suggest that perhaps the number of comments or page views is a better reflection of the popularity of the post. From the reader’s point of view, I don’t care about the rating. I will decide for myself.

  4. Younghusband says:

    DISQUS et al. do not replace the old name/URL scheme. You do not have to make a DISQUS profile if you do not want to.

    Anyways, it doesn’t sound like anybody here uses those types of commenting systems. I guess they aren’t that mainstream.

    For now, maybe I will just enable Facebook and Twitter logins for comments, and make the comments RSS feed more visible.

  5. Roy Berman says:

    I think the thumbs up/down buttons are a bad idea. Not sure about comments- I’m not familiar with any of the systems you mentioned and haven’t seen a single site using them. What would the benefit actually be?

    I think making the comments more visible on the front page would help though.