WordPress Comment Spam

Akismet is an incredible spam preventer for WordPress sites. I'd say it does 95% of the work for us. A few issues though make me want to augment it with other tools:

  1. Some spam still slips through
  2. It doesn't prevent spam that seems easy to block
  3. There are false-positives, so spam still needs to be checked


Implementing Webmentions

We get a decent amount of comments on blog posts right here on CSS-Tricks (thanks!), but I'd also say the hay day for that is over. These days, if someone writes some sort of reaction to a blog post, it could be on their own blog, or more likely, on some social media site. It makes sense. That's their home base and it's more useful to them to keep their words there.

It's a shame, though. This fragmented conversation is slightly more useful for each individual person, it's less useful as a whole. There is no canonical conversation thread. That's what Webmentions are all about, an official spec! In a sense, they allow the conversation to be dispursed but brought all together in a canonical conversation thread on the main post.

Webmentions don't need to be an alternative to comments, although when you pop over to real Drew McLellan's post you'll see he's using them that way. They can be in addition to "regular" comments. Surely the idea of turning off regular comments is appealing from a community perspective (less asshats likely when you need to link to your published words) and a technical debt perspective.

Rachel Andrew also recently implemented them, and this is classic Jeremy Keith stuff.

Lazy-Loading Disqus Comments

Lately, I've been obsessed with optimizing performance through lazy-loading. Recently, I've written on how to lazy-load Google Maps and on how to lazy-load responsive Google Adsense. Now it's time for Disqus, a service for embedding comments on your website. It's a great service. It eliminates the headache of developing your own local commenting system, dealing with spam, etc. Recently, I've been working on implementing the widget in one of my projects.


We Asked 8,500 Internet Commenters Why They Do What They Do

Read Christie Aschwanden's first paragraph. If you've written anything that elicits comments, I'm sure you can relate.

There is plenty of data here to digest, and also further speculation:

I had a hypothesis: Maybe this commenting-without-reading phenomenon represents a variation of the backfire effect, in which a person who receives evidence that their belief is erroneous actually becomes more strongly convinced of the viewpoint they already held. In this case, the reader sees a headline that catches their interest and reminds them of something that they already know, which triggers them to think about their pre-existing knowledge or belief about the subject and then to blast it out to the world. The article they’re reading doesn’t inform them, it just provides an opportunity for them to reinforce (and broadcast) what they already know.

The dark side of Guardian comments

As part of a series on the rising global phenomenon of online harassment, the Guardian commissioned research into the 70m comments left on its site since 2006 and discovered that of the 10 most abused writers eight are women, and the two men are black. Hear from three of those writers, explore the data and help us host better conversations online

Nice to see some real research corroborate what so many people have felt to be be true.

This is also a damn nice piece of storytelling on the web. Not just well-designed and well-written, but uses video in interesting ways (GIF poster attribute!), has dope infographics, includes interactive components that engage and help further the story, and realtime components that drive home the point. Nice juxtaposition of the wonderfulness and sadness of the web.

#147: Starting a React-Powered Comment Form

In this pairing screencast, Sarah Drasner joins me and guides me through some of my very first learnings of React. We tackle some "real world" style functionality: a comment form.

This turned out to be a pretty useful bit of UI to work with, as it required a lot of things rather fundamental to React (or at least, it seems to me). For example, a master "App" that deals with the state (our big "state" thing is the comments themselves) and components that deal with rendering the view (for example, the comment form is a component and each comment is a component).

Then we got into lots of littler React thingies, but also huge things to understand in React-land, like:

  • props - a way to pass data between components. They looks like HTML attributes when you send them, and arrive as an object in the form of this.props.
  • refs - how you snag data out of the form element we created.
  • keys - a way to uniquely identify a component when it's repeated. We're repeating comments here (there can be multiple comments), so if we were to have functionality that could change any of them, having a key is what makes React efficient (it can just replace that single comment instead of all of them).

Plus a ton more!

Here's the demo we worked on:

See the Pen Starting a React-Powered Comment Form by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen.

How do you level up your React learning beyond this? Start here.