CTH 2.0 Update, Specifically Commenting and Notification Issues

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Here is some background information about why people are having trouble commenting and/or seeing comments.  Please, please, p.l.e.a.s.e, book mark this post and share it because some people do not read the site updates and just go into the comments when the solutions and/or explanations are being provided.

Many people are complaining about not being able to see the totality of comments. Others are complaining their comments are not refreshing with the page.  There appears to be a very simple explanation and easy solution for this issue.

CTH 2.0 does not have any tracking software initiated to recognize the user in the comment system.  THERE ARE NO COOKIES deployed to track you.  There is no system in place by CTH to monitor you or recognize you.  This is part of our current privacy position.

What that means is you must initiate a process where YOU request to be recognized in the community.  We are not asking your permission to recognize you (ie. cookies) as with 99 percent of websites; you must intentionally engage the commenting system to say you are expressly desiring of recognition.

How do you achieve this status?  When you fill out the comment box there is a place for your user name, email address and then it asks you if you wish the site to: “Save my name, email and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”  It is a checkbox.

If you check that box [√] you are, in essence, applying a cookie to yourself.  You will then be recognized by the commenting software system and see the totality of the commenting conversation.  You will see all comments.

If you do not check that box [ ] you are not requesting to be recognized again, and you are dropping an isolated comment into the system.  You likely will not see the totality of the comments.  You will see only comments attributed to your comment or reply.

Think of it like walking up to the conversation on a porch:

If you affirmatively check [“save my name, email and website in this browser for the next time I comment”] you are saying to the audience, I have something to say and I am sticking around to hear all the other voices.

If you do not affirmatively check [“save my name, email and website in this browser for the next time I comment”] you are saying to the audience, I have something to say, but I am not sticking around to join the conversation or hear other voices.

It appears the software is designed such that if you are not affirming intent, the commenting system doesn’t anticipate your engagement in all the other comments. Ergo other comments do not appear and/or they are not populated in your experience.

This is a privacy and tracking issue.  CTH 2.0, as an independent website, is currently not tracking or applying any host generated tracking data of the participants.

Most websites do apply some version of tracking via “cookies” to make your engagement part of an active tracking system (make user experience easier); and/or use those cookies to deliver you targeted advertising.  CTH 2.0 has no advertising and no need for a system of targeting.

Due to the scale of emails complaining about this specific issue (approximately 400 today alone), the tech team is recommending that I switch to Disqus for the commenting program.  However, if we do that: (A) the same company that targeted us, Automattic, owns Disqus; and (B) without a doubt Disqus tracks users for tracking and targeting.

Some people do not care if they are comment tracked; others don’t care if Disqus is used because they are familiar with it from other websites.   However, for me that is an option of last resort and I will not deploy the free version of Disqus because I don’t want to open another door where a third party can start monitoring the conversation.  Especially when Automattic has already used the targeting of the original CTH to shut down our voice.

So, with all of that said.  Keep this solution in mind.  If you want to see all the comments, then check the [box] that says: “save my name, email and website in this browser for the next time I comment”, and hopefully that will eliminate the frustration you are encountering.  Fingers crossed.

All other commenting solutions encompass some form of server/host recognition and tracking of the user in the comments section.  The current system allows you to make that active decision; any other comment system will make that decision without your input.

Lastly, on the email notifications.  Again, we explain that currently we do not have an active email notification system for new posts in place.  The reason for the delay is again a matter of privacy.  An email auto-notification system is done by a third-party provider.

[…] One of our priorities right now is establishing an email notification system where you can subscribe to automatic notifications of new posts etc.  As with almost all systems of this type (there are many) it involves the use of a third party email transmission process. Y’all are aware that privacy is a CTH priority, so we are being very careful about vetting the service and setting up this notification system to protect CTH users.

CTH does not compile user information, does not engage in the manufacture of processes that assemble lists of users or any user data. We are working to ensure we do not end up creating an external list of subscribers that would be vulnerable to exploitation.  Your privacy in all matters related to CTH engagement is my priority.  (read more)

We received well over 100 emails today alone asking us: “where is the email notification system”?  The short answer is: we are working on it as a #1 priority.

Be of good cheer, all will be ok.

We cherish you.

Live your best life….  Remember, it’s the only one you will ever have.

Love to all,

~ Sundance

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