Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Question: How Do I Register for Comments?

[As we are now back into the swing of things following people's time off, I thought this should be reposted.]

Some users have written in to ask how to go about registering to be able to leave comments.

It is really rather simple. If you look in the comment window, you will see this:

If you click on the grey "FROM" text, a dropdown list of options will come up. These are the tools you can use to login to comment on the NLM with. (I will be adding Facebook to this as well shortly.)

If you have a Google account for example, you can do the "My Google Profile" (i.e. your Google account) to login. The same goes for OpenID, Blogger, Yahoo!, Twitter, Friendfeed, etc. (and as I say, soon Facebook).

If you do not have one of these accounts, they are easy enough to setup. I'd say probably Google would be your best bet since it has such a wide range of services. To create a Google account, go here.

* * *

Once you have your account, or if you already do, you have to go through a one-time process of letting the comment engine know that is the tool you want to use to write comments with.

That is simply a matter of clicking the tool in the "From" box shown above and then clicking through a couple of screens to confirm that account is what you want to use, signing in with it, and you're done.


Above you click on the "From" box and choose "My Google Profile". This comes up:

(Click the button)

(Click on the account type you want to use; e.g. Google.)

From there, you will be brought to the Google screen where you will login.

Once you've done so, your setup is done:

You are now logged in and have associated your Google account to the comment engine and can comment.

* * *

Worry not, this is the one time process. Once you've gone through this initial setup, if you are logged out, you simply need to click the "From" box, choose your account and login with it, and you're ready to go.

Why the Change?

The question naturally arises, why this change? Basically, it is to provide a greater level of commenting accountability.

The former method allowed for people to too quickly and easily leave truly anonymous comments (i.e. not even with a consistent commenting alias/handle). That kind of anonymity is often the source of commenting headaches (not only for the writers here at the NLM, but also the majority of commenters here and our readers); that easy ability also increases the temptation to leave such comments in anger or frustration, when one might otherwise be more hesitant to do so under their own name or handle.

Further, the former method also too readily provides opportunities to comment "trolls" who aren't interested in serious debate or discussion; simply an opportunity to throw out some comment barb.

Finally, it also too easily allowed individuals to leave multiple comments with different aliases. (e.g. writing a comment under one name, and then writing a similar or agreeable comment under a different name.) This likewise ends up wasting other commenters' time as they end up responding to individuals who do not really exist.

The idea then is to curb these issues.

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