As some of you may know, we're planning to move Now Smell This to a new location next month. We'll be using WordPress, so we'll have the ability to open up the comments to everyone — that is, not just registered users — while still preventing unreasonable amounts of comment spam.
A few people have mentioned that they'd rather see comments remain restricted to registered users. I'd love to hear your views on the matter, so please let us know: would you rather that we open up comments to anyone, or keep them the way they are? Two quick points to consider: first, if we keep comments restricted to registered users, everyone will have to register all over again — there isn't any way for me to migrate the user data to the new website. Second, if the number of comments increases much beyond what it typically is now, I'm not at all sure that we can continue our current practice of responding to all (or almost all, hey, we do our best) comments.
And I should mention that I probably won't respond to all of your comments today...my goal here is primarily just to find out what everybody thinks on the subject.
Update: Robin (the other Robin, not me) commented below asking why we're moving, and so I thought I'd add that we're moving because WordPress is a much better blogging platform than the one we're using now. It will be easier for me to run, and we'll have the ability to use all kinds of great features like tags and gravatars and whatnot.
The biggest drawback to the move is that because of a bug in the platform I'm using now, all of the comments made before the move will be attributed to "Anonymous" on the new site. In other words, we're going to lose the name of each commenter on every single article posted before the move. I'm terribly upset about that, but there's nothing I can do about it.
I say keep the comments restricted to registered users only, for all the reasons you mention. I don't have a problem registering all over again. At all.
Happy Inauguration Day to all my American friends!
I guess I don't know the purpose of moving the site, Robin. I assume it's some kind of advantage to the blogmistress?
I don't mind re-registering. I'm happy to do it. I'm being terribly greedy here, but I really the personal attention you give to us, and it wouldn't be the same if you and your writers didn't have the same input on the threads. Really and truly. I guess I just like the folksy-intelligent intimacy here and I'm afraid to lose that!!!
Having said that, I say do whatever YOU want to do, and we'll just have to take our lumps. Seriously. I think we all would rather you were happy and kept enjoying NST.
I agree, keep the comments restricted to those who care enough to register.
I don't mind it being restricted — it's not like being identified as “ScentLover123” reveals anyone's personal information, so I'm not sure of what privacy concerns people have.
One thing I hate are blogs that have comments on one thread from 85 different users labeled “Anonymous.” Having registered names — even nonsense names — makes this feel like more of a community (though I'd hope that doesn't give an air of “exclusivity” or cliquishness).
I'd prefer to keep comments restricted to registered users. One of the things I value most about this blog is how friendly it is, and what a community feel it has. The internet is full of trollish places and I've been so impressed by the positive feeling of NST. And registering is easy and free.
It takes what, a minute to register? If someone is not interested in taking that speck of time then they are not interested in being part of NST. I can't imagine that we would get a lot of trolls here, but better safe than sorry.
Please keep things the way they are. There are enough wonderful, witty commenters that have a truly vested interest tin the topic. These people are worthy of preservation by re-registering. The feedback from you and the other regular article writers is valuable, personal and what makes this blog fun for us to come back to. What is WordPress?
i'd say keep the comment policy as it is, i.e. people should register before they comment. i am glad to have registered, and that allows me to logged in automatically after visiting your site, which means i don't have to re-type my name every time i want to comment on something. plus you have to enter your e-mail if you want to register, which is quite helpful if, let's say, somebody wants to contact me per e-mail based on my comment, he/she can write to you, the admin of the site, i.e. you has all the e-mails of those who registered and can forward them to people who want to make contact with other registered. plus, registering just takes a minute and for me as a registered member, it also conveys a certain feeling of belonging to this wonderful community of perfumistas
is the comment issue the main reason for wanting to switch to wordpress? i understand wordpress offers a far bigger array on layouts and templates for blogs, and is more sophisticated, with probably less time spent managing the site.
anyway you decide, i will re-register, that i know for sure
Hi Robin! If having commenters register after the move requires no added work for the NST crew then I'm all for things remaining the same and reregistering. Thanks for the input.
I don't mind re-registering. It seems like you have to do that with just about everything these days. I can appreciate why you want to open to all those who'd traffic the blog, but there is a nice little community of motivated perfume lovers here. Registering is a way of life these days.
I will suggest that it's not so much an issue about restricting people in general, as much as your blog may be over-run by web problems & “troublemakers”: spam, spiders, bots, etc, that would gum up the works and cause enormous threads.
Restrict and register. Thanks for allowing the input.
I'd vote for keeping the policy as-is, comments restricted to people are registered. I like the community feel and I don't mind re-registering at all.
In the end, whatever makes your day easier to manage, I'm all for it.
I really like Nowsmellthis the way it is now with comments for registered users only. I am afraid that without registration NST will somehow fall apart.
But then of course the choice must be yours and you know all the advantages of moving to wordpress.
I'd like to keep comments to registered users, and I'm hoping everyone keeps their same name – I learn a lot from the other commenters and surely one day, I'll discover an EFT among them
Yes, keep it restricted to registered users please. Too bad we lose names on previous comments, but it is worth it if it makes things easier for you, Robin.
Id vote for registration as well. As it is now, I enjoy reading comments people have posted, its legit additional content. I'd hate for the comments to get full of “first!!!” or “florals are super retarded” style stuff.
I vote for registered users only.
Even on my little blogs I get spammed; you'll be opening the floodgates and it will be horrible, every single posting deluged with watch ads, jeans ads, “Oh, I think I saw Ralph Lauren on * * *M E E T R I C H.com * * * he met many beautiful women there”, and god knows what-all. Keep it the way it is.
Are those “gravatars” going to be animated ones? Because I hate those more than I can possibly say. I find them extremely distracting, and it makes it very hard to read the copy. (I love the Customers Suck! Livejournal blog but those avatars drive me around the bend.)
Please restrict and register
I am fully in favor of switching to whatever platform is easier for you (and for us). I'm pretty sure that I am familiar with a couple of blogs that use WordPress and it does have good features.
That said, I like the familliar names on this blog and the sense of community. Re-registering is no big deal. So, I like the idea of requiring registration. But whatever decision you make is truly fine with me.
All for making your life easier. I would not mind reregistering. I would prefer your blog stay restricted.
Wow! Just adding my voice to the chorus for registration, I guess…
Enviably, any anonymous user comment system gets abused. I would not like to see such a polished blog get trashed by YouTube-ish comments… on perfumes.
The only problem I could see with the comment option being opened up to everyone, is that it would be more work for the writers, since they'd have to moderate and review all the postings–even if they couldn't possibly respond to every one. We'll all just have to behave, I suppose and speaking for myself, I'll TRY to keep my comments relevant and succinct ;D.
I don´t mind registering again.
I appreciate that you are asking, but in the end, you run the site and you should decide
Unless there is a benefit in opening up I would stay as it is.
You could also migrate, wait and see. Then if the users do not register, open up and wait and see again. The thing is that it's great to have the flexibility to switch on and off.
Oh.. I was forgetting:
Happy Inauguration Day!!
Today is a celebration for Democracy. As someone from a country that was deprived of it for many years, It is an inspiring day, regardless of which party you favor
I don't know if it's proper or not, but on the celebratory note, I offer this link from Daft Punk vs. Adam Freeland..
Another loyal reader happy to re-register. I think *you* might appreciate everybody going through a gate, as it were, because it helps filter out commercials…
In yet another echo of words already said, will be happy to follow your lead, whatever it is. It's tough enough running a blog…I trust you'll make good decisions!
I added an update to the article to explain why we're moving…
WordPress is a blogging platform, or you could call it blogging software, or whatever…
No, moving has nothing to do with comments — it's just a better blogging platform!
Regina, I agree with all your comments 100%.
Gracious, I didn't know there was such a thing as animated gravatars. I will have to check to make sure I can prevent that. I hate animated anything online.
I will happily abide by whatever makes your life easier. No, scratch that — I hate change and will grouse about whatever form it takes for a bit, but I'll try to keep it to myself! I know you put heaps of work into this site, so whatever lightens your load — even if it means not responding to every comment — is OK by me.
Registered only please and very happy to re-register myself!
I also agree with the majority–keep it restricted and registered. It is easy to register and having an open field will end up causing havoc for your staff. Whatever you choose to do, I will still be on this site!
I'm happy to register again. As someone else posted above, please restrict comments to those who care enough to register.
Re: your update
That is sad that all the years worth of old comments will be attributed to 'Anonymous'. Oh well….
At first I was astonished at how unanimous we are… then I realized the only people voting are registered commenters!
Joe, I will have a copy of the old site on my own computer, and as I have time I can edit some of the names back in — but as you can imagine, that will be a HUGE task, and it's likely I'll only do it for the perfume reviews.
It's a terrible, terrible shame but I'm trying not to focus on it because I can't do a darned thing about it.
Hey, Robin — I'll add only that when we moved from … whatever Patty had before to WordPress, the translation of the old posts did not go smoothly. If you look back at our early posts, things like punctuation marks, ellipses and ampersands got turned into other weird odd character combinations. I've gone back and cleaned a few of them up, but it's tedious. Fingers crossed that the same thing will not happen to you.
PS meant to say apostrophes, not “punctuation marks” — they're all punctuation… in terms of spam control, we have Askimet which I think (?) is standard with wordpress and knock wood, it works very well. I probably have to go in and “spam” maybe two comments a week that get by.
Also, the spam tends to be directed at older posts, and I keep meaning to go back and turn comments off, but it's not very high on my to-do list.
True — but actually didn't think most people would care either way. And obviously, I'm more interested in what you guys think than those who never bothered to comment anyway!
March — I've already seen evidence of that in testing — luckily, the garbage is consistent & so I can use a “search & replace” plugin to fix it all. Or so I hope. Seems to work well on the test site.
I was planning to use Askimet too, but looks like people here are voting to keep the comments closed to registered users, and if that's what everyone wants, that's probably what we'll do.
NST is wonderful how it is: a crowd of people big enough to be multicolored and to sound lively, but small enough to recognize many voices and to have a warm sensation of intimacy. So here's another vote for re-registration
Registering is a minor inconvenience compared to reading rambling/profane/looking for a free ad posts that occur on so many unrestricted blogs. If it's not too much more work for you, I'd like to see this blog's comments restricted to those of us who really care about the blog – and thesubject!
I too prefer to restrict and re-register. The community here is insightful and consistent with their comments. Opening up the site would likely mean having to trawl through a lot of silly and meaningless comments.
I've been registered for some years, but I can see how it would be easier for new people to discover the site. I've come across alot of sites that do that now, and I think it's easier to comment instead of registering.
I say definitely limit comments to registered users only. Basically, if you want to comment, it isn't THAT hard to register.
As a relatively new commenter/registered person, I say leave it restricted/registered. It wasn't that difficult to do when I finally decided that I had something to say. I read the comment sections in very few blogs and the only thing that they have in common is that they only allow registered users to comment. Allowing unregistered comments almost always opens up the comment section to nothing but junk.
I'll keep reading the blog regardless of the decision, but I like it the way that it is.
I vote for keeping comments restricted to registered users. I agree with what Regina said above, about the friendliness and community feel of NST. I don't mind having to register again.
R, you know how much I love this blog and I'm going to still be here, no matter what you decide to do. Whatever you think is best and easier to manage.
i agree with all the multitude of youse guys speaking out: restrict and re-register and keep the family feel!!
I'd also keep comment-posting to registered users only. That is an incredibly helpful way to cut out random, anonymous comments and to keep out trolls and spammers. I don't have a problem at all registering again on the new site.
And just to add, one of the great things about this site is that Robin almost always manages to reply to comments, no matter how long after the original entry date they're posted, and makes everyone feel welcome. This sense of community will be lost if meaningless comments start appearing from just about anyone.
Yes, it is a shame, but if it can't be helped…
Joe, I will watch for your (and others) posts on the new and updated blog. I enjoy the regular commenters here.
You'll love WordPress. I've had my blog there for two years. They are excellent on keeping spam down, have a much better reach and scope, have excellent online and personal help, and give bloggers a much wider choice of applications and widgets.
I vote for NOT making everyone re-register. It's exclusionary, and that doesn't typify your blog. Leave the blog open to a wide range of people. The nut jobs weed themselves out. The world needs well-written, open blogs. And this is one of them.
I like the idea of being a registered user in order for me to post my comments. I am absolutely fine registering myself all over again – I will create a new nickname too:)) If You register first, then You belong to this place, You respect it, You won't be posting any nasty talk here. Lets keep it that way!!!
Exactly my sentiments. Thank you for asking us, Robin!
Count one more vote for re-registering for all the good reasons already mentioned!
Personally I prefer registered users, and I wouldn't mind doing it again. It's a “thread” (fragile as it is) linking a user to a physical person and witnessing it's desire to belong to a community (of nowsmellthis affectionate readers!).
On top of the useful infos and beautiful reviews,
I think this “thread” and the personal attention you give all of us, is what makes nowsmellthis so special.
Please, don't stop all this!
For your blog, it was love at first sight (smell?)!!
Your work has been wonderful – but hey!, I do understand it must require so much time….so I won't complain too much whatever your decision will be!
How fab to be part of a democratic process, however small, in the US on Inauguration Day! Watched the oath and speech on the Beeb here in the UK and marvelled at the change already apparent (and I love the colour of MO's dress and coat!) Anyway, another vote here for reregistering and keeping the NST community the way it is.
I vote restrict and re-register as well. I don't think it turns away any potential readers, and it's part of the NST experience!
I vote for keeping comments to just between registered users. It's very important to keep the community feel, and dialogue with you. It takes 5 minutes to re-register, and it will be worth it.
I vote for registration also, Robin. This place is an intelligent oasis in the sea of garbage that is the blogosphere, and I'd hate to see it change *too* much. As far as the design, this blog is one of the easiest to read and navigate I've ever seen, and I appreciate that you don't have animation and ads constantly flashing at me when I'm trying read about the finer points of the Chanel Exclusifs! So many blogs (especially the fashion ones) are unreadable for all the extraneous gewgaws that coming here is like a sigh of relief. Thank you for all you do here.
I feel that we're a community here therefore i'm all for registration…thanks for all your hard work Robin
I was the subject for a Monday Mail back in November – and getting suggestions from regular posters made me feel like I almost 'knew' everyone who commented, and made the responses so much more, well, personal and friendly! I think registered posters only, and I'm OK with re-registering.
I just read a blog this morning where one individual intentionally posted something inflammatory that the next 50 bloggers responded to. Quite a distraction. Maybe fragrance doesn't incite similar controversy, but to prevent such nonsense, I'd prefer to continue with posts restricted to registered users.
Let's keep the comments limited to register users. It takes no time to re-register. I assume that we we receive notice of the new URL when that becomes available.
Do you close comments on your older posts? What about pingbacks?
Our translation errors weren't consistent, or at least not consistent in a way I could figure out and fix globally. When Diva wants spending money I hire her to go back and clean them up, but it's booooring.
I will miss the comment IDs on your old comments, that's too bad.
Robin- is putting in a name and email (like they do on the Posse) considered registering? I am guessing its not- so in order to comment you still have to put in an email? I am fine with whatever you decide you would like the comment format to be, my dear. I am certainly happy to re-register.
Hello, I don't comment much but agree with most everyone else Keep the comments to registered members. I am willing to re-register. I get the feeling that most of us are here to learn more about fragrance than to opine or complain, and it might not be the same if you aren't required to be registered.
Love the site, love the comments. Keep up the good work.
No, that's basically open — anyone can comment. Here we make people sign up for a user name, and the question is whether we should continue to do the same (and looks like the votes are pretty overwhelmingly in favor).
I don't close comments on older posts. I assumed I would on the new site because I assumed I'd have open comments. Isn't looking that way now…
Did not start out posting trackbacks because there weren't any other perfume blogs at the time. Kept it that way because I'm lazy. Haven't even thought about it for the new site.
I vote to keep the comments restricted to registered users.
I'd like to comment to the above from sarahn — your blog IS very easy to read. I think this came up in a the give thanks post around thanksgiving time….I also really really really appreciate the relatively “clean” format you have. My eyes are prematurely geriatric and your site is wonderful. And I also do not care for flashing, jumping ads, etc. NST has a more quite, sophiticated tone. And it loads faster. Thanks for all the care!
I think the new site looks about the same as the old — maybe a bit cleaner, I hope. But do let me know if it doesn't load as fast! My new computer is pretty darned quick so I probably won't even notice if it doesn't.
Restrict and reregister, but only if it doesn't add a lot of extra work for you. You take so much time and care, and the site is excellent; you want to keep it feeling like fun for you, not a burden!
Registration takes just a moment but it's a moment that saves you from stupid comments like those on many blogs. This is one of only 2-3 blogs where I will read the comments, for the above reason. But I think you've all done a commendable job on everything about NST, so basically I trust your (plural you, vous!) judgment.
Lord, having seen the crap, cruelty and object stupidity of blogs made by anonymous bloggers, I don't want to deal with that. If your too lazy to register, your just bored.
Changing sites might make it harder to look up past comments, but it is a small price to pay for a better venue and to make your life easier and more creative and interesting.
You can always go back, I assume, and comment on past subject matter.
My vote is hardly needed…
…and besides, my name is way too dull, so I wouldn't mind the chance to reinvent myself as something a little more snappy!
That's good to know, about the layout. I meant to ask you if the look of the site will change.
Registering to post is not difficult but it requires enough effort to keep spamsters and other cyber-rodents away.
I love the articles but the comments have become an integral part of the website.
Vote: it ain't broke
I vote for comments to registered users only.
And also I like that one can leave comments even to the old articles.
So keep it that way? even if you wont reply to those.
Please keep it to registered users, I am an avid reader and very infrequent contributor! and value the conversational tone, and the community feel, although my bank balance has felt a bit of pain recently as my collection increases.. If you are a frequent reader why not become a registered user – right now!