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An answer to the no-reply comment conundrum.

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The purpose of today’s post is to help my fellow WordPress-ers with a problem that I had been experiencing for awhile…no-reply commenting. It’s a hassle. Before I dive any further into this post, though, I have to give a huuuuge THANK YOU to Sarah who is an all-around rockstar and was so patient in helping me to try and fix this problem and see if my solution worked. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I use WordPress to publish my blog. I have always been happy with the tools and platform the WordPress people have provided me with and it’s always the blog platform that I recommend to new bloggers looking for advice.

The problem?

Most of the blogs I read are published with Blogger.

You see, Blogger doesn’t play nice with commenters who don’t also use Blogger. When a blogger using Blogger (I know it’s confusing…bear with me) comments on another Blogger user’s post, it gets sent to their inbox and the blogger that wrote that post can reply to the comment as if it were a regular email. The commenter then gets the response sent to their email inbox and discourse can be formed. HOWEVER when a blogger using WordPress or some other platform comments on a blog published on Blogger, the comment is still sent to the blogger’s email, but it is sent from a “no-reply” address, and in order for the blogger to reply to the comment they have to track down the commenter’s email somehow so that they can reply to the comment via email. It’s a huge hassle for that blogger.

The reason that this is so annoying is because bloggers want to reply to their commenters. If someone was nice enough to make a comment on your post, it’s only common courtesy to send something back to at least say “hey, thanks for stopping by”.

You see, for bloggers using WordPress, this whole no-reply thing is a total non-issue. We can reply to any commenter–no matter what blog platform they use–via email. However, because I use WordPress, I was showing up as no-reply when I would comment on my favorite blogs. And then it was really hard for the bloggers I was commenting to to get in touch with me and keep the conversation going. so, I had to create a work around.

Photo on 7-9-13 at 9.08 PM #2

This is how WordPress makes me feel when they make it easy for me to send replies to my commenters (no matter what blogging platform they may or may not use).

Unfortunately, this work around involved creating a Blogger account and I am pretty against creating any accounts with Google…it’s just too Big Brother-y. However, create a blogger account I did. From there I set up a dummy blog titled the same as my one here on WordPress, Karoline with a “K”.

After creating the dummy account, go to Sarah’s blog and follow the instructions in her no-reply post. Once you’ve done that, come back here and I’ll show you how to have Blogger redirect to your WordPress account!

Photo on 7-9-13 at 9.08 PM #4

How I felt going through this ridiculous process. Thanks for nothing, Google.

I then went into the blog’s template settings and clicked “edit HTML”. This opened up a page full of code. Somewhere near the top was the <head> tag. Immediately after that, I entered the following code: [note: if you do this, change “http://yoururl.com&#8221; to your actual URL!]

The purpose of this code is so that the blog redirects to my actual WordPress blog. In case it doesn’t redirect on its own for whatever reason, though, I created ONE post on the blog titled redirect, telling visitors to click on a link that bearings them here, to my actual site!

the end result is that I can now comment on my favorite Blogger blogs and also have those bloggers respond to me afterwards! I know that the process seems like a lot of work (it’s taken me weeks to figure out a work around that actually works), but if I can help even just one other WordPress user figure out this pain in the butt, I’ll be happy!

If you’re having issues with being a no-reply blogger, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to try and help as best as I can!!!

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Do We Have Time for Another Social Network? The Pro’s and Con’s of Google+

I got my invite to join the beta-test of Google+ on Friday night.  After reading all week about the good things the site had to offer, I figured I’d bite the bullet and start shopping around for an invite.  I did a little quick Facebook research to find out which of my friends were using the service.  I sent a few messages, and the next thing I knew, I had a shiny Google+ invite sitting pretty in my inbox.

Right from the get-go, Google+ impressed me with it’s flexibility in terms of sharing information.  It allows you to arrange your friends and connections into “circles” that make it so easy to pick and choose exactly who you want your information and updates to be shared with.  One of my absolute favorite things is that I can write a basic update (like a Facebook status or a tweet), but instead of having every single person I’m connected to see it (like on Twitter or Facebook) I can specify exactly who I want to see it.  Before posting, it forces you to choose the circles or individuals I want to share with.

A definite con, however, that I’ve noticed about Google+ is that it doesn’t have a feature like Facebook’s “Wall”.  I really wish there was a way for me to post a message onto a person’s profile, I don’t like that even though I might make a message or update visible only to one person, it still gets mixed up in my main feed of updates.

So far, that’s about as far as I’ve gotten with the service.  I know that there are “hangouts”, where you can have group-video chats.  This is a feature that I can not wait to test-drive.  The fact that Google+ can do multi-person video calls, in my opinion, blows Skype out of the water and will definitely give Facebook a run for its money.

Google+...will it catch on?

Because the service is still in beta testing, it’s available to a very limited number of people.  As of right now, it’s invite-only from current users.  So, if you think Google+ is something you might want to try out, you may want to cozy up to the people you know who are already using it–hint hint, I’ll be taking cash bribes ;)

One question I ask, however, is do we have time for another social network?  I know that, for me, Facebook and Twitter already take up a lot of my time…on top of blogging, email, and random internet surfing.  As of right now, Google+ doesn’t really seem to be that much of a time-kill, but as more and more of my friends join, I’m not too sure how true that will be.

Will Google+ suck us all in like Facebook and Twitter before us?  Or will it remain a more genteel and easy place to share info with friends?  Only time will tell.

Are you on Google+ yet?  What are your thoughts so far?

xoxo, Karoline

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