2018-12-17 What killed the blogs?

We used to have a good blogosphere going, OSR RPG bloggers in particular. Most blogs shrank away. A big part of that was that it was all scooped up by Google+. But Google+ is ending. And some people are returning to their blogs.

Remember the 52 Pages project by Roger G.S. of Roles, Rules, and Rolls? He recently wrote about rewriting baroque versions of some of the pages in his rules.

As I tried to leave a comment on his blog, I am reminded of what killed commenting on the blogs for me: those comment forms just don’t work for me. When I browse the web, I am armed to the teeth: Privacy Badger, uBlock Origin, uMatrix, and more. And that means the fancy Google stuff doesn’t work. My comments get eaten, login doesn’t work, and on and on. It’s a chore!

So, we could say that the comments are broken. Or that Google broke this fundamental aspect of blogs. No ads, no tracking? No comments!

Or we could go back to that old Gopher feeling: people don’t leave comments on each other’s phlogs, they just write blog posts and refer to each other’s posts.

So, instead of leaving comments on other people’s blogs, I’ll try to make an effort to write blog posts right here. I won’t accept that borked comment forms on blogs operated by Google bring down the blogosphere again.



Here! Here!

It is nice that you have comments enabled, but I affirm your approach of writing blog posts in response to others. Time to write one up.

Jeremy Friesen 2018-12-17 13:50 UTC

I remember someone talking about something called Pingback...

Never used it my self :)

Kristofer Bratt 2018-12-17 17:13 UTC

Yeah, a long time ago I used it, too. Then I figured that simple referrer tracking works just as well. These days suppressing referrers is actually a measure people take to protect their privacy but while there are still enough people doing it, that’s what this blog uses to find links pointing here. (Wikipedia calls it Refback.)

There are some at the bottom of every page, if any, and they are also collected on all referrers, reachable via the Administration link at the bottom.

As you can see, it’s “polluted” but the blog rolls. But I want these links, too! So that’s how it goes. That’s simply one of the Refback drawbacks.

– Alex Schroeder 2018-12-17 21:33 UTC

And my response and follow-up is in place https://takeonrules.com/2018/12/17/reflecting-on-migrating-from-wordpress/

Jeremy Friesen 2018-12-17 23:58 UTC

I’m really glad you said this because I know you understand the technology.

I’ve been trying to comment but they just get eaten up...especially blogger. I thought I was doing something wrong.

Michael Julius 2018-12-18 04:07 UTC

All these comments I wrote. Lost. Like tears in rain.

– Alex Schroeder 2018-12-18 07:14 UTC

Blogspot is notorious. As far as I understand it, Blogspot is the same as Blogger is the same as Google. And unfortunately, Blogspot is very popular. Take a look at the OSR RPG Planet, for example. It lists 98 blogs as of right now – and it has 63 matches for blogspot!

– Alex Schroeder 2019-01-01 13:58 UTC

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