Have you never commented on a website? You are not alone. Many people enjoy reading websites but have not yet tried to comment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.
There are benefits to commenting. Here are some of them:
– Share your opinion with the author and other readers
In many cases you may get into an exchange with the author or other readers in the comment section
– Create opportunities for others to visit your website
When you enter your name for your comment, most websites will give you the opportunity to enter a website address in a space called Website or URL*.
The name or nickname you entered in the space for name will then become live* and link directly to the website you entered.
– Build a relationship with the author
Every author appreciates comments
– Build relationships with other visitors on forums* regarding topics of interest to you
Privacy and Security Concerns Should Not Be an Issue
ALL websites ask you to sign in in some manner before you comment. Most websites request your email address. You need not be concerned about this. Your email address is never displayed publicly. Sometimes, the author may use it to thank you for your comment. I have never heard of emails entered for commenting being abused – such as being picked up for a marketing database.
Your email may be set up (at your choice!) to notify you about further comments on the article you commented on. That’s it. Choosing not to comment should not be related to concern for privacy nor security. If you don’t want to comment under your real name, you can choose a moniker (nickname) such as AnniethePhilosopher to comment with. You could also dedicate an email address just for commenting and other internet activities.
Finding Where To Comment
When you finish reading an article, the comment section is usually just below the end of the article. Here is an example from my article on Boomer Tech Talk – How Your Cell Phone Can Save Your Life.
You can also find a link to the comment section of an article on most websites placed at the top of that article, just under the title. You will see the word comments or the number of comments. That notation is usually live*, which means you can click on that word and be taken directly to a place to comment.
Sign In/Log In to Comment
Here is a typical comment box that you might find on another website. There are boxes in which to enter your name, your email and, if you wish, your website. Then you would type your comment in the comment box and click the Post Comment button.
I have found two commenting systems that I think are particularly good for the commenter: DISQUS and CommentLuv.
We have chosen to use DISQUS on Boomer Tech Talk.
With the DISQUS commenting system, you can log in with Twitter, Facebook or DISQUS (at the top of the box) or you can click on the bottom right side of the comment box on Post As. When you click on the words Post As the following box opens up. In this login box you have all the possible options for logging in. Today we will just do the most typical type of login – the kind that you will find on most websites.
This box says Before We Post This Who Are You? Other comment systems may not have this same way of expressing it but they all have the same objective. They want to identify you in order to limit spam comments and to foster an atmosphere where everyone feels like they are in a safe environment.
The DISQUS commenting system is smart. It guesses your name from your email. As you can see in the screenshot* above, when I entered Annie.Hall@aol.com, DISQUS guessed that my name was Annie Hall. If I don’t want to show that name, I can simply type into that box a name or nickname I prefer. I have done that in the next screen where I have changed my name to Annie the Philosopher.
Link to Your Website
Now you can add your website if you have one. In the screenshot just above, under “Annie Hall” – you see where it says “optional – link to your website”? You can click on the words “link to your website” to get the next screen below. Most commenting systems allow you to enter your website. They will indicate this with a box for you to fill in with the word website or URL*. This is a benefit to the comment author if they wish to share their website with other readers of the article they are commenting on.
If you don’t have your own website, you could link to a social site like your LinkedIn page or your Facebook page. But if you have a business you’d like to show off, why not use that website? Or of course, if you have a personal blog, that is a very typical type of link* for this space. You can see that I have used my business site http://CourageGroup.us here – be sure to use http:// so that the URL you put in becomes a link.
In other articles in this series, I will give you step-by-step guides for:
Part 2. How and why to register for a DISQUS commenting profile
Part 3. How to have an personal avatar* show up on your comment
*Techie Words Used in this Article:
Address Bar: The address bar (also called location bar or URL bar) is at the top of your web browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera) and contains the internet address of the page you are currently on. You can copy what is on your address bar to share the page you are on with someone else.
Avatar: You’ve seen the movie … an avatar is a representation of you in another form – usually a photo or illustration.
Forum: Members of a forum (message board) chat with each other on-line about a particular topic. The DISQUS commenting system and some others, can create a similar platform to a forum because it is easy for comment authors to interact with each other.
http:// : For now, just remember, every web address on the internet needs to start with http:// or https:// Typing www may create a link in an email but in most cases on the internet, you need the complete address to create a link.
Live Link: You can usually tell if there is a live link because the words representing the link show up in a different color and when you put your mouse over the word, you can see a little white hand with a pointing finger. When you click on the link, you will be taken to a new web page described in the link.
Screenshot: A picture taken from part of what is showing on a computer screen or other other display.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator – address of a web page on the internet.
Why not try your first comment here on Boomer Tech Talk?
If you need help, you can contact us at info@BoomerTechTalk dot com.
Update November 2021: While most of this is accurate, Disqus no longer allows linking your name to your website. It links to your Disqus profile – so it is important to update it. I posted this discussion on the Disqus forum.