Weekend Open Thread

I’ve been working on this site since Christmas eve. I’d like to hear your thoughts.
(You have to be logged in to comment. If you haven’t registered yet, please do, with your current user name if you have one so we know who you are. To reduce spam, your first comment will have to be manually approved. After that, it’s just log in and comment.

I’ve added as many features as I could from your earlier suggestions. The comment box now allows you to view your comment either in preview mode (visual). It also has more styling options.

Another benefit to being logged in: You will see a section on the right of “unread comments” since your last visit (in addition to recent comments.)

I don’t have a set date for moving the site. But I’m getting closer.

If you have questions or suggestions, or notice bugs, you can put them here. Since I want to see how the comment section works, and what changes still need to be made overall, this is an open thread where you can write about whatever you want — it doesn’t have to be about the site.

108 Replies to “Weekend Open Thread”

      1. Ok
        I fooled it using a period and a different email.

        But you should probably know about that J.
        And anyone else.

        If you have a wordpress id and login it will auto fill it. I did but I forgot about it and thought it was trying to use my old talkleft password so I requested a new password and it got confused.

          1. Actually one is CaptHowdy and one is Capt.Howdy (with a period) I did that because the gmail one was not working. So yes if you want to delete one delete the one using gmail.

            Will that effect my useing that address at the old site? No big deal if do I can re register.

    1. I was able to post an image, you just need a url for it. I don’t think you can upload an image. But the threaded reply isn’t working for me. When I click on “reply” to an individual comment, the box comes up but I can’t type in it. Is anyone else having that problem?

  1. I haven’t chosen a comment rating system. I’m hoping to find one that gives each user the option to read comments by highest rated first or chronologically. There are no free plugins that do that. Last year, several commenters wrote they didn’t want a rating system. If you have thoughts on this, please let me know.

          1. The sad thing is I ony realized that when I compared the word with the title of the famous Cameron movie.

    1. I like the ratings system because it allows me to express to someone that I enjoyed or agreed with their post – without having to write a full reply.

        1. I don’t have one here. It’s at the other site. I haven’t found one I like yet that is free and gives each person the option to display comments by ranking or chronologically.

      1. I just added a “like” button. There’s no “unlike”, just a “like.” I’ll still looking for a better one, but this should do for now.

    2. My vote is “no” on a rating system. It becomes too much of a distraction, imo. Brings down the level of discourse.

    1. My imgs are not working. That’s what’s with the blank comments. Tried one from thumbsnap then one from photobucket.

      I see yours was from photobucket. Any suggestions as to what I’m doing wrong?

      1. I added the image in text mode by clicking on the “img” button and a box comes up where you can paste in the url to an image. After you do that, click the visual mode to see if it posts. If not, don’t post your comment as it will post empty and then I have to delete it. I may have settings set to where only I can post images, I’ll check. I’m concerned about people putting inappropriate images in comments or overly large ones, so I’m not sure I even want the feature. You can always link to an image using the link button and people can see it by clicking on the link.

          1. It’s a service called GRAVATAR that works with WordPress.
            What to do-

            Click the link and follow the instructions.

            You will need to make an account – free

            You will need to unload an image (or images)

            The way it works is with your email address. Whatever WordPress site, including this one, that uses that address will display the selected image. You can have multiple email addresses listed to work with your GRAVATAR. Hope that helps.

          2. Hi Jeralyn.
            More questions

            I had to log back in today. When you log in the system goes to your profile rather than directly to the threads. Can we go directly to the threads rather than taking this extra step? Also, will there be a preview function some time in the future?

          3. I just fixed that. You should now be able to log in from the right side of the site and it will take you to the page you were last reading, or the home page. It worked for me.

            To preview your comment, just click the “visual” button when you are done with it.

          4. Looks like the threading has quit working for the last comments. Also a lot of the icons have disappeared. Trying to edit now

          5. Jeralyn,

            I tried to post a comment while another comment was still counting down on the edit clock. Hit post comment but comment did not post.

            Question: Is there a way to see if someone has replied to one of your comments (option available on current site) other than going through the threads?

          6. I think the threading gets skewed when a comment is deleted. Or else you need to refresh your browser. But it seems to work most of the time. There are two reply places, one under the person’s comment which should make your comment threaded, and the regular reply box which won’t.

            I added the live refresh at your request (I think it was you). It is set to refresh new material every 2 seconds. So when it refreshes, if you are typing, your typing box jumps down. I haven’t lost any comments though. I can make it 10 seconds or any amount, but I thought you wanted to see replies in real time.

          7. Btw

            It takes a few minutes so don’t think you’ve done it wrong if it doesn’t show up instantly. Give it a bit.

          8. Thanks Howdy, GRAVATAR is a bit complicated for me, but I’m still trying. I too had problems with replies, since my reply to scribe wouldn’t go away when I tried to reply to you. I ultimately rebooted and scribe’s reply, that was stuck in the box went away. I think I’ll have to continue tomorrow, since my buddy and I caught 20 Hogfish today and I’m pretty wiped out. Hogfish are abut five pounds in my area, and are a very delicate and tasty fish, with a weird name. They have a semi hog like face, with big protruding teeth. Very strange looking, and are usually only gotten by spear fishermen, however they are swarming on the grass patches near my house. Fun day.

          9. Sounds tasty. You will figure out GRAVATAR. Way simpler than one of those cameras you wield

            I love edit!!!!

          10. Thanks Zorba. I fished all day again and my eyes and mind are sore and dim, so maybe tomorrow I’ll attack the Gravatar situation again, since I can no longer fish three days in a row. I have so much fish of every type frozen and spread around to neighbors, that about noon today I went to catch and release. A quick look at Wiki talks all about Gravatar. Strange I’v never heard of it before, and I love yours. Is that you belly dancing?

          11. Good lord, no! That’s a picture of the music album cover of the film version of “Zorba the Greek.” (And, of course, the original Zorba was a man.)
            See the links about Gravatars in my comment above to MOBlue.

          12. Fished all day again, and I’m seriously tired. Today we caught two snook, three mutton snapper, not sure how many yellowtail snapper, a big black grouper, four hog fish, two large mangrove snapper, and lots of other weird little unknown fish. Had to quit because we ran out of shrimp, and we took 10 dozen with us. Three of us went out, so I said since it’s my boat you guys filet them. I just love missing all the news, and being out on the water. And now it’s a large boat drink for me. Cheers…

          13. I am thinking that he freezes the extra fish, and/or gives some away to friends and neighbors.
            That’s what we do when Mr. Zorba brings home more fish than we can eat.

          14. That’s correct Zorba. I’m known on this street as the guy that walks his cats, and gives away fresh fish. I’v always loved sharp knives, so it’s a snap for me to filet fish fast. There are a couple of older folks, on my street, with cancer, and they never get fish caught the same day. Due to some new regulations, all fish comes from five big wholesale fish places down here, so all fresh fish is at least one day old. I like the one hour old fish for dinner. 🙂

          15. A fisherman friend use to freeze his extra fish and then in early fall give a party which featured fried and grilled fish. Great fun and good food. My personal favorite was the grilled trout.

        1. Jeralyn

          I’m not at all familiar with Word Press. Is there a way to see if anyone has responded to one of my comments (option available on old site) without going through the threads?

  2. All you missed was a pic of my doggie saying Hi! 😉 The image option doesn’t seem to show up when the toolbar is set to visual, but is there where you switch it to text. Perhaps you can have the toolbar not show the text option?

  3. Jeralyn

    It appears that there may not be an automatic refresh when you come back into the site. Or at least some type of problem with it refreshing. I left this site and went back into the old site. I wasn’t able to see Angel’s comment until I did a refresh. Also, has to refresh in order to reply to nycstray one time when I was in the site.

      1. Jeralyn,

        Is there a home button you can put at the bottom of the comments? On a thread with 150 – 200 or so comments, it would be pain to have scroll all the way to the top to access the home option. Also, will threads still be limited to 200 comments?

        1. No, there is no need to limit comments to 200 here. That limit was necessary because of the Scoop platform and because it held 12 years of posts and over 1 million comments.

        2. Well, for us dinosaurs on plain vanilla PCs, the Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys still work.

          EDIT: Edit function works!

    1. Hi, KeysDan, your test is 5×5…where did that come from? probably WWll radio talk. I need to modify my script.

  4. I have a new app to play with. My library has an agreement with hoopla that allows me to check out movies, TV series and music. Most of the movies are fairly old but the TV series are a little more current. I haven’t seen any of the TV series so they will all be new to me. This might come in handy when traveling to and from places when on a trip. Not to mention it is free entertainment. No need to bold the last sentence but I thought I try a function.

  5. I’m ok with the new site, but like the old one better.  This one takes up a lot more screen-room and looks like it will require a lot more scrolling.  Since I do a lot of my reading and commenting on a teeny little (now 5 yr old) HP netbook with a screen that’s about 5×9 inches, this is an issue.

    Also, I like the feature on the old site that shows “new comments” with a red entry on the new comments, so I can see both whether there are new comments and where they fit in the scheme of the thread.  The feature that shows my comments (in the sidebar under “your comments”) is also useful.

    And all the 5.0 ratings I’ve accumulated over the tears are something I’ll miss seeing.

    I guess if you have to move to a new platform you are going to move, but I like the old one.

    1. I tried to make it as much like the old site as possible. There are features Scoop has that just aren’t available on WordPress. But Scoop is outdated and I can’t make anything more than minor changes without using our webmaster, which costs money. Same if something goes wrong. But the main reason for the change is (1) the old site is too narrow and slow. It has 12 years of posts and several hundred thousand comments of the more than 1 million that have been left on the site (I deleted comments prior to 2007 years ago) and (2) with WordPress, I can move the site to a shared server which will save me hundreds of dollars a month. The total costs for this site are easily $1k a month. Since I stopped taking ads over a year ago, I have been funding the site myself, helped by reader donations. But the donations don’t come close to covering the costs. So if the site is to continue, it has to move so that it doesn’t become a financial drain.

    2. Okay, I’m stealing a couple of lines from this comment on the old version of the site.

      thank you for presenting them and researching them! You do so valuable research and presentation. Deep information is what so very many people deeply want. This (TL) is a very important site to humanity.

      Over there

      very important site to humanity.

      is the third line.

      Over here, it only takes two lines. Looks like better utilization of horizontal space to me, therefore less vertical scrolling needed.

      Edit: Okay, in composting mode it only took two lines. Still more horizontal space available than previous.

      And there is a preview (at least at the moment), it happens live right underneath where you’re typing in the comment.

      1. Unitron, it’s a fine line to balance. On the one hand, yes you have to scroll less with a wider site. On the other, I don’t want my eyes to have to move from left to right to take in a line. That was the reason the original TL was made narrow. You should be able to read a paragraph without moving your eyes or your head/eyes left to right. I still log off sites with big print immediately (as well as those with popup social media links or boxes to their next story that get in the way, automatic video, etc.) Mainstream media’s quest for traffic clicks to make ad money is insatiable and their sites are so ugly they are ruining journalism.

        I always thought of reading TalkLeft as I did reading the New York Times on the commuter train decades ago, where you folded it in half so it was half the width and you didn’t bump the person next to you. You could take a whole article in without moving.

        But now, I find I’m always zooming on TL to be able to read it.

        I play a lot with fonts and type size and this one seems good to me. I don’t have to move my eyes or head to read it but it’s not so small I have to enlarge the page.

        That said, I’m curious how others see it.

    3. Yes scribe, I totally agree about the “new comments” with a red entry. Many times I’m away so when I come back it makes it much easier to see the comments that I haven’t read. Hopefully Jeralyn will be able to bring that feature back.

  6. Lotta bowl games today.  Here’s my beef.  After the half, someone sticks a microphone in the face of a stressed out coach.  If his team is ahead, he says we just gotta keep on doing what we’re doing.  If his team is behind, we’re making too many mistakes.  I could give the interviews myself.  The interviewer is invariably a woman, although you could ask the question with a cue card.

    OTOH, the play-by-play announcer in the VA-Cincinnati game was a woman.  She was one of the best I have ever heard, and it occurs to me that she probably had to be a whole bunch better than all the men to get the job.  I don’t even know her name, but I would love to hear her do NFL games with Troy Aikman, the best color commentator in the game.

    As  ‘Niner fan, I didn’t give Troy much love when he was playing, but he was great at the game and he’s great in the booth.

    1. How did you get an avitar? I went to gravatar and it wouldn’t accept my ID when I tried to use my WordPress info because it is partially in caps. Your ID has caps so how did you get one?

          1. You have to register with Gravitar, using your WordPress sign in information.
            Try looking at this site for information.
            If that doesn’t work for you, all I can suggest is that you try WordPress support, here.

  7. This new site works great for me. I don’t care about rating comments.  How about we do a better job of avoiding personal attacks in here?  New site, new attitude.

  8. I was wondering whether it might be possible to have an “edit” function added to the comment section. There have been a number of times that, despite my effort to proofread a “preview”, that I discover a spelling error or a word I left out right after I push the “post” button.

        1. I like having an edit function. I had no trouble logging in with my pre-existing WordPress credentials.
          What is that sidways “G” avatar it’s assigning to everyone other than Howdy?

          1. It’s called a Gravatar. You can upload one, choose one or if you leave it blank, that’s the standard symbol.
            You had to have a comment approved before it would show live. Try posting another one and editing it and see if it works.

  9. Well, I registered an account and got a password a few months back when our gracious hostess first announced this bold new step into the future (he said, stifling the kind of unkind thoughts he usually has whenever WordPress.com is involved), so let’s take this puppy for a spin and see if my avatar shows up.

  10. I just installed a comment editor. You have five minutes after posting your comment to edit it. I don’t care for the “countdown clock” which is why I removed it yesterday, but I’ll give you all a chance to comment on it.

  11. I posted a comment. Then, just for fun, i edited it. As soon as I posted (or tried to post) the edited version, the comment entirely disappeared. Not good.

    1. I am seeing only the new comments with a blue-green background, Jeralyn. (Actually, it’s more a pale turquoise blue.)
      Which I actually like, because it’s easier to pick those new comments out.

    2. I’m seeing new comments with a blue-ish background (at least I think they are the new comments, thanks Zorba). I kind of miss the “[new]” tag because I would use that to search, but this is pretty obvious, too, and I think it’s fine.

      And I would like a ratings system, even if it’s just and the up and down arrows. And is there a preview, or is it just the 5 minute edit window? It’s not the same as a preview…

      1. Wow, I wonder where that color setting came from. It would be nice if it was just the date that changed. I’ve installed and uninstalled so many comment plugins, I hope I can find it.

        1. Also, Jeralyn, you should know that, if you are not signed into the site, all the comments show up in that blue. If you are signed in, only the new comments show up blue.

          1. It just took me 2.5 hours but I found the code line to change it and changed it. Hopefully I didn’t mess anything else up. The comments should all be in the same color now, no more light blue, whether you are logged in or not.
            So the only way to know a comment is new is by seeing in the “unread” comment” box on the right of your screen. You can just click on the ones that are unread rather than reading through all of them.

            If I find a better solution, I’ll let you know. But that blue was really irritating.

            If you see something other than what I am describing, let me know.

            I don’t think I can even attempt to add a “hook” that adds the word “new” in red before your comment name for unread comments. That’s not a “css” thing but a “function” thing and I have no clue how to do that.

  12. So, whaddup wit da new thread…is this the end? I haven’t even figured out my Gravatar yet, of course, I haven’t tried.

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