I am quite obsessed with Twitter. I don’t think that’s a surprise to anyone these days.
I’ve been trying to find more ways to incorporate it into my website. I use Twitter Tools to share select posts with my Tweeps. It also displays my most recent Tweet on the sidebar for all of you to see.
I wanted a way for commenters to be able to comment using Twitter as well. I’m not a gravatar user, so I’d rather my Twitter avatar be shown or nothing at all. I’ve been through a myriad of WordPress plugins that claimed to do just that. None of them, however, panned out. Twitter didn’t really help as they disabled the API function that allowed user to search via email address. That doomed promising plugins such as Smashing Magazine’s Twittar, Twavatar, and Twicon.
I then moved on to Twitter Connect plugin. I really thought this would be my solution. The plugin adds a “Sign In With Twitter” graphic to the comment section. From there, visitors can login and post a comment using their respective Twitter accounts. But there is a flaw with this plugin. If you only allow registered users to comment, it is rendered useless.
I traded a few emails with the TwitConnect developer, who was very quick to offer his assistance. I followed his suggestions, copying and pasting my theme code for him to see. When that didn’t work, all he could ask is “and the plugin is enabled, right?” I’ve been using WordPress for at least 5 years now, so I’m not that type of noob. So when I never heard from him again, I figured I’d better try something else!
My Twitter obsession helped me discover the wonderful world of Mashable. I don’t know how I survived without it! There are so many great articles and features that have helped me as a webmaster and iPhone enthusiast. It was there that I read all about the DISQUS commenting system. Disqus allows you to integrate many different social media commenting functions into your website. You can use Facebook Connect and Twitter too!
After striking out with so many other tools, I thought I’d give it a shot. All I needed to do was register with DISQUS, install a WordPress plugin, configure some options, and voila! Everything worked as it should!
Now, I am the type of person who likes to have a little more “control” over my comments. I’ve run many websites for pop stars, and once you have to deal with “trolls”, your webmastering outlook is forever altered. You become suspicious of all people who comment and take every precaution to make sure there are no tools rolling through and posting hateful comments. It just sticks with you! So, that’s why I always require people have registered accounts in order to comment. I’m sure it’s an inconvenience and probably scares off its fair share of commenters, but I can’t help it. Maybe I could require that I moderate all comments? I’m not sure if that’s a better option because I’m pretty sure I will forget to even check/approve them. What good is a comment that no one gets to see until days later?
However, for right now, I have commenting “open”. And that scares the heck out of me! I know I haven’t received any “hater” comments here. Not sure what there is to hate on, but you know some people. I think requiring a registered account probably shields me from any of that. If a visitor doesn’t really have anything productive to say, they probably won’t go through the trouble to register.
Anyway, I’m going to leave it like this for a week or so. For right now you don’t need either of those comments in order to comment here. But that’s not the way it’s going to stay. I can’t handle that type of anxiousness on a regular basis. So, please take the time to register at one of those social sites if you’d like to keep commenting here. Almost everyone I know has a Twitter or Facebook account. And registering at DISQUS is no more time-consuming than it was here, so get to it!