Wednesday, July 24, 2013

the people. they spoke.

Alright...guess it's 'bout time to wrap up my week-long 'comment-gate,' eh?

We discussed. I surveyed. You responded. I experimented and soul-searched. I lamented having to make a decision. But I tried to make one anyway.

First: the survey results!

As you can see (if your vision is awesome), 45 people filled out the survey. Or well...there were 45 responses. I suppose it could have been 20 really zealous people doing it multiple times. But since I said that was okay, I can't really judge you for doing that...and I'm too lazy to go examine all of the IP addresses (the only identifying information I can glean from the responses) to even see if that happened. SO! 45 people. And such a close race! Basically a 3-way tie between liking pop-up, liking threaded, and not caring at all. So thanks for nothing there! Ha. I was really hoping for a landslide one way or the other...but that's okay. Democracy is democracy.

Then there are 10 people who will be receiving checks for millions of dollars in the mail because they are so awesome they took the time to check the suck-up box ("I love commenting so much I'd do it via smoke signals and carrier pigeons if that were the only option!"). And there are 2 people that should be sleeping with one eye open because they took the time to check the hater box ("I would never, ever, under any circumstances leave a comment here, not even for a million dollars"). I mean, just kidding. I'm a pacifist. I think.

Four people took the time to leave additional commentary, which is always commendable:
The conclusions I drew from the survey are:
1) Making surveys is super fun and I'm going to start doing them a lot more often about things hopefully just as important and life-changing as comment systems.

2) Most people are amazed, and not necessarily in a good way, by how much time I've spent thinking about the whole thing. Which is understandable. I kind of amazed even myself. And not necessarily in a good way.

3) There is no clear-cut winner in the 'commenting system' debate.

In the two or so days that I fully embraced the 'threaded' thing, posting almost all of my comment responses back on the blog, threaded in the comment section, it was fun to see more reader interaction with each other. I liked the little sub-conversations that developed. BUT. It was extremely time-consuming for me. Because instead of simply replying to you via email, which I can do anywhere at any time from my phone, and takes probably 2-4 seconds depending on what I'm saying...I had to actually GO to the blog and write the comment there. Which sounds dumb, but I know I'm not the only one that hates commenting on blogs from my phone. So I had to be at a computer. And then there was this added pressure to respond to every single comment really quickly because like...everyone could see if I had or not? Does that make sense? If I'd responded to 5 comments and then left the room for an hour (or had to like, actually WORK) and came back to find 5 NEW comments that it looked like I was publicly ignoring...I felt really bad! Versus when I respond through email...I can do it when I have a chance and no one knows whether or not I've responded to all the other comments. I don't know. Maybe nobody cares about that except me, but it stressed me out. I also didn't like that you wouldn't get an email notification that I'd responded to you unless you 'subscribed,' but then you'd get notifications of EVERY SINGLE COMMENT...which...let's face it, one of those posts had like 51 comments (with half of them being from me). I cringe to think of how annoyed I would be if I got 51 email notifications about people commenting on someone else's blog. So then I would try responding via email AND on the blog, for the people that I know probably won't come back to see it later, and like...whoa. I work full-time. Don't nobody have time for dat.

So then for the last few days, I've left the comments open as 'threaded,' but gone back to my old way of only responding via email. So a few of you have still taken advantage of 'commenting on comments' or whatever and keeping conversations going there, but not a whole lot. So it seems like if I'm not going to be responding there, it doesn't really make much of a difference whether I leave it as threaded or go back to pop-up.

So I'm going to go back to pop-up commenting. I just like how it looks better, honestly (and how you don't have to lose your 'reading spot'). I'll continue responding to comments through email (and now that a lot of you have fixed your no-reply status, you won't be left out of THAT massive privilege...haha) because I just like that better. I feel like I've built so many good friendships through the conversations we get going through email, and due to the sometimes-sensitive nature of the topics here, a lot of those conversations would not happen out 'in public'...the privacy of email conversations is pretty useful sometimes.

HOWEVER! Since I have discovered that it's extremely easy to switch back and forth between the two systems, I'm not opposed to switching to threaded for an occasional post that is particularly conversation-worthy. As some folks pointed out, sometimes threaded commenting is extremely valuable for something like a food/recipe blog (not that I'm going in that direction), where people ask questions, offer tips on a recipe, etc. I also like it for when people are recommending products or, it may happen that sometimes I'll switch it over for a particular topic or something. But for the most part, I'm going back to pop-up. And I can certainly still respond IN the pop-up commenting (if there's a question that needs clarifying, or if I really want to reply to someone with no-reply status whom I can't reach by email), it just doesn't LOOK like a nice little indented response...but that's okay. I guess if people ARE checking back later to see if I've responded, they'll see it whether or not it's 'threaded' or not.

And THAT is, I believe, all that I have to say on the topic. I know. You thought I'd never shut up. I promise to never overthink something this much again. Haha that's a lie. But hopefully it won't be something as trivial as blog commenting next time.

I can't have another entire post solely devoted to this nonsense, so I have a final thing to share before we leave.

If you were to stop by my office over the past few weeks, you would have found me slowly being driven insane by fruit flies. WHY? I don't know. It's an office. Not a commercial kitchen. Not a peach tree farm. A stinkin' office that I keep really clean. So why I've been suddenly inundated with fruit flies, flaunting their astonishing ability to rapidly procreate in my face, I don't know. But I've tried a few different methods of getting rid of them, and I wanted to share the winner (wait- can you believe I didn't create a survey about fruit-fly-killing-methods and bug (HAHA PUNNY) you for a week about what I should try? PROGRESS!!!).

This is the 'bait in a cup covered with plastic wrap with a tiny hole' method. As the name suggests, put your 'bait' (a tomato here...I've also used syrup and peaches) in a cup, cover the cup tightly with Saran wrap, poke a tiny hole in the Saran wrap, and wait. The flies will find their way in through the hole, as they smell that tasty (molding) tomato. Then once their in, they can't find their way out. Except for one of mine did, once. He was an industrious little fella. But for the most part, they can't. I pretty much wait til I have a few flies trapped and then tape over the little hole and throw the whole thing away. And set a new one. It's not the most beautiful decoration for my office, but it's a heck of a lot better than having swarms of flies in your face all day.

So there you have it. If you have any other fruit-fly tips, feel free to share. This method is working for now, but I fear that the next generation (in about fifteen minutes, I guess) may have evolved to be even stronger and smarter and maybe they won't fall for the ol' 'bait in a cup covered with plastic wrap with a tiny hole' method. I need a backup plan in my arsenal.

Happy Wednesday! Our first Chinese student arrives this afternoon...I'm nervous and excited!! 


  1. Winner! I only care in that I receive my emails... but I voted and I WON! Granted, I pushed us over the edge with my extra votes, but oh well.

    Your office must smell amazing. : )

  2. I once came home from school to an apartment infested with fruit flies. It was DISGUSTING! I used apple cider vinegar, a few drops of Dawn dish soap, and some water. They like the sweet smell of the vinegar, but the soap makes it where they can't stand on the surface of the liquid so they drown. Red wine and balsamic vinegar work as well.

    In my fight against fruit flies I have also learned that bananas are often the worst culprit. I read somewhere that often the bananas you buy have the eggs on them and then they hatch out when you leave your bananas on the counter or in your fruit bowl. So depending on the number of eggs on your banana peel you can have a swarm in no time. Also, if the swarms are in your kitchen it's a good idea to plug your drains and leave some water in the sink when you aren't around. They seem to bread down in there. Yuck...

  3. I have been anxiously awaiting the results of your survey... I am so glad you have come to a conclusion.

    I also totally appreciate your use of a horizontal bar graph (probably one of the more under utilized visual aids).
    Anyway, I think I fixed my "no-reply" blogger status... but I am still not sure.

  4. Because I am a visual learner, I appreciate your graph. :)

    Thanks for the fruit fly tip! (Knock on wood) we haven't had a problem yet this year with those. Ants, on the other hand, were terrible here in the spring.

  5. I usually have a system for reading new posts in the morning, but as soon as I saw the title to this post I read it right away. I was excited to see what the conclusion was!

    Interestingly, when people reply to my comments by email I never reply because I worry that they don't want me to. As in "I've already responded to you once lady" hahaha now I know if I want to start an email converstaion, that's okay :)

  6. What day is it? come on tell me what day it is...HUMP DAY!!! I know it has nothing really to do with your post but I couldn't resist, I love that commercial!

  7. Woah. Almost all of this went over my head (not due to poor presentation, far from it, but because I currently have the attention span of a butterfly), but my heart is warmed and I'm impressed by thorough attention to detail. You're the best.

  8. Haha this whole post cracked me up! I do like the pop up comments! Have fun meeting your new friend this afternoon!!!!

  9. This post made me lol! You're too funny!! Thanks for doing all the leg work & research so that if I ever want to change my commenting system on my own blog, I can just read back over this post to weigh the pros and cons for myself!

    If you have any tips for getting rid of lizards PLEASE PLEASE send them my way!!

  10. yay! I learned so much about comments that I ever thought possible! lol

  11. Yay!!! I'll be watching for my check to arrive :) $1,000,000,000 will help out tremendously!

  12. I have been so confused by this whole thing, just let me know if I'm not comments correctly. :)

    Also, does this mean you'll no longer email me!?

  13. Alright- you sold me. Switching to pop-up now.

  14. Alright girl. So here you are all talking about comments and formats, et al. And then I log onto my blog and realize, "hey Erika commented all over my blog but I got NO notification." Ugh, don't know what is going on with my blogger platform right about now but it isn't wanting to notify me of comments. But I wanted to say a huge thank you for your love and support. I promise I am not ignoring you. Yeah, it kinda sucks all that we are going through, but I know God is good and that He's got it under control. Have a great night!

  15. I didn't know pop-up was so loved! Good to know!

    I have to tell you - this is why i love disqus - b/c when you reply through email it goes to their email AND on the blog. If you want it to. But without you having to do it seperately. You just hit reply and that's what it does. Love. I haven't gone back to disqus and i am okay with that so far!! :) I may do pop-up though... is that copying?!

    I am so glad you are going back to replying through email. That is really the main thing, to me!

  16. I also know a lot more about comments than I ever did before. I agree with those who said that getting a reply from you via e-mail is the main thing. But for me I also want it to happen without also get notified of all the extra comments other people are making on the post. Really it's just all about me! :)

    Also, boooooo fruit flies.

  17. fruit flies also love liquour (we are similar in that way, me and fruitflies). So pour a tiny bit of leftover, say, mango vodka in a glass and let it sit out over night. the sweetness attracks them and the alchol kills them!

  18. Okay, I may be late to the party but your fly trap? BRILLIANT!!!


I love comments almost as much as I love Mexican food. Seriously.