Monday, January 16, 2006

Confessions of the Blogger-Challenged

I've only hung out my e-shingle for a month and already have to confess to being a computer idiot.

Here I was, pissing and moaning that I have yet to get any thread comments, even doing so on someone else's blog. I now realize that I had set up Blogger to moderate comments, partly because others had warned me of some spammer problems.

Well, it would've helped for me to 1) put in an e-mail address to send incoming comments for review and 2) click on the "moderate comments" tab in Blogger. I was so pitiful that two folks kindly came over to comment just to make me feel better.

Even more sad was that Ms.PhD and BotanicalGirl came over within 12-36 hrs of the launch without any acknowledgment on my part. For the record, Ms.PhD of YoungFemaleScientist was my very first commenter, and a very thoughtful one at that. Thanks!

My apologies also to bridgett at Strange Conceit, abbey at Hunting for Mr Right, and a couple of anonymous commentors. You are very kind to give me a read and some feedback.

As a professor and grad student advisor, I was never bashful about sharing my screw-ups with my students to simply to show that 1) no one was infallable and 2) professors and P.I.s still get judged and scored on things (grants, manuscripts, teaching evals, annual performance evaluations, etc.) where they still have the chance to crash and burn and be humiliated.

But, in this case, here I was not completely understanding a simple blog posting program that my daughter could probably already navigate at age three - sheesh! That's part of the trouble of being too young to claim ignorance of computers, but too old to have the comprehensive understanding of html, etc. since all I learned as an undergrad was how to program in Basic. It's amazing that I can even do BLAST searches on my own. Analysis of microarray data - fuggedaboutit! Can you say, "bioinformatics sabbatical?"

So, to my less senior readers, this explains why I keep coming to you for advice.


At Mon Jan 16, 03:39:00 PM EST, Anonymous DrumsNWhistles said...

Blogger is confusing -- don't feel bad. I actually moved to my own domain and Wordpress because Blogger was so incredibly frustrating to me. I had the same issue with comments and also didn't like not being able to categorize my posts.

I enjoy your blog a lot! Don't let Blogger get in the way. :)

At Tue Jan 17, 10:14:00 AM EST, Blogger Orac said...

Actually, you don't necessarily need to moderate comments. Just using Word Verification, as you are doing, will eliminate about 99% of comment spam.

My usual practice is to rely just on that. However, when I post an article that (I suspect) will bring me some abusive comments or invasions of privacy (usually it's the posts where I debunk the contention that mercury causes autism), I will temporarily turn on comment moderation.

One advantage, however, of setting up an e-mail address to have comments sent to is that sometimes people will post comments to old posts. If you didn't have a notification system, you would never know. Also, it's not a bad idea to close old posts to comments after, say, 60-90 days. After that time, the number of people reading them is very small, and you don't want to have to deal with comments.

At Tue Feb 21, 12:48:00 AM EST, Blogger Yakima_Gulag said...

I came here because of Science and Politics, he's an endless source of good stuff, and some of gettign known in the Blogosphere is who else knows of you or sends people your way.

At Thu Feb 08, 05:55:00 PM EST, Blogger breakdown said...

At least you can spell. It tales me longer to review my spelling than actually write a blog. Thats when I fin the ime to update.




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