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Posts for July 1, 2021

Hit Me Up in the Comments

It’s been a long time coming. When I moved my website to Nikola last year, I said:

All the comments on the blog will disappear. They’re not lost, and I plan to get them back, but I need to find the best way to do that. For now, comment via Twitter or Micro.blog.

Getting them back, and setting up another system for comments, has taken me till now. I’ve had other things on my mind.

That post was in April 2020. In May I wrote about various commenting systems I had experimented with:

But Disqus is known to track its users and show ads, and I don’t want that for anyone who might comment here. … So far I’ve tried:

  • Isso: you have to run a service on your site. I couldn’t get the service to respond.

  • Staticman: I couldn’t get its service to start. A problem with configuring the private key setting.

  • Remarkbox: at the time of writing this is still active, but I’m not sure I’ll keep it. It works like Disqus, in that the comments are hosted on a third-party site, which is not really in keeping with the whole static site/indieweb ethos. It’s not advertising driven like Disqus, but it behaves a bit strangely, at least on here. We’ll see, though.

Remarkbox was active for a while. It worked, but it was just too weird in the way it handled users. I also tried Intense Debate, which is made by Automattic, the WordPress people, and is hosted on their servers. It worked, but I could only post comments using Chrome, for some reason. I’m a Safari user, and even if I weren’t, that’s a no-no.

So for a while I didn’t have comments at all. I wonder if anyone noticed.

But recently I tried Isso again, and something clicked this time. It worked more or less without me having to do anything — at least, that is, when I ran it from the command line on my server. When I ran it as a service — that is, automatically, in the background, the way something like that needs to run — it just didn’t work. A bit of Ducking led me to this post, which, despite being partly about Apache, when I use Nginx, gave me the pointers I needed to get it all working.

Isso keeps the comments on my server, rather than being an external service, so it’s much more in keeping with the principle of owning my own content. And I’ve imported the old comments from the WordPress site. I got some error messages when I ran the import, so I don’t know if they all made it over, but at least some of them are here.

I need to work on the styling a bit, I think, but other than that it’s all good to go.