A Note About Comment Problems and Emails


It’s time for a rare Wednesday post, but this one is all business. Let’s talk about comments and emails. Hopefully this is all good news.

Comment Problems
As many of you know, over the last couple of weeks, there has been an annoying bug in the comment system where the information from the previous commenter was auto-populating when you went to leave a comment of your own. Every time I thought I had it fixed, it would pop up again. It seemed random and only happened on occasion, but I considered it an extremely serious problem and put everything I had into it. I pulled apart my site and tested everything without much luck.

In the short term, I stopped requiring email addresses to leave comments, and at times I even pulled the email address field completely.

It finally dawned on me to ask my host if they had any idea what was going on, and sure enough they did. I was told that I was “hitting a bug in [their] caching layer.” They pushed a fix last night and they say it shouldn’t cause any more issues. I haven’t seen it since then, but I’m obviously skeptical (as I’m sure you are). So, if you see any information auto-populating (other than your own), please let me know immediately.

New Email Provider
In other news, I’m going to be rolling out a new email provider soon. Since the beginning, I’ve used Feedburner to deliver daily emails to subscribers to this blog. Once Google bought Feedburner, it basically abandoned it, and there’s been a lot of concern about how long it will even continue to exist. It also left a lot to be desired.

I’ve decided to make the move over to Postmatic. Postmatic will send emails when posts go live, and the emails will look better. The best part, however, is that when you get a post email, you can simply reply via email and your note will automatically post as a comment. You no longer need to go to the website to post a comment.

This system will also manage comment subscriptions as well. If when you leave a comment, you check the box below the comments asking to “participate in this conversation via email,” you’ll get an email whenever a new comment is posted. And once again, you can simply reply via email to have a comment posted directly to the site. There’s no need to go to the website just to leave a comment.

I haven’t converted any existing subscriptions over to Postmatic yet, but all new sign-ups for post subscriptions (you’ll see it on the right in the sidebar) use Postmatic. Comment subscriptions all use Postmatic as well now. The only bad thing is that previous comment subscriptions no longer exist. I had to wipe this out with all the issues I’ve been having, but if there were specific posts you really want to follow, you can go back and sign up for subscriptions again.

I’m really sorry about all the problems with comments lately, but I’m hoping they’re behind us. I’m still not going to require email addresses to be used until we know that this issue is gone for sure. So please keep commenting, even if you don’t include your email address.

And of course, if you have any questions or thoughts, let me know.

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9 comments on “A Note About Comment Problems and Emails

    1. As a computer software architect, you shouldn’t need a computer software architect to run a blog. I think Brett’s doing fine.

    2. I have people who can do that work when needed, but in this case, it was an issue with my host so a software architect wouldn’t have helped.

  1. Hey Brett,

    Thanks for the shoutout about Postmatic. It’s great to have such an active community of readers using our tech. At least your users can always comment by email if your web form continues to misbehave :)

  2. Brett,
    Thanks for your consistent work on the blog. I really appreciate it; it’s one of my few daily must-reads. :-)

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