Sep 4, 2012

Comments, Disqus, Old Articles, New Share Buttons

The comments section will always be part of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. In fact, I have written many times that I believe it is one of the most important parts of the blog. Plus some new "stuff".

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

We are now back on the old comments system offered by Disqus. I'm not sure if we will be forced to move to the new system at some point in the future. If so, we will just have to grin and bear it.

Disqus is an excellent comments system and fits the needs of the ARR. Disqus does a lot of the administration work that I would be unable to do myself due to time constraints. Disqus is excellent at rooting out "spam" comments. We get spam comments every single day. I would never be able to administer this on my own.

Many of you have written about problems commenting.

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From time to time Disqus has a technical problem with their servers. This causes the system to slow down, or sometimes to stop working. There is no reason to panic. It always comes back up.

We live in an imperfect world and while Disqus is excellent, sometimes they have "technical problems" with the system. Haven't you noticed we live in an imperfect world?

So sometimes you just have to be patient. The comments section will always be part of the Alzheimer's Reading Room. In fact, I have written many times that I believe it is one of the most important parts of the blog.

In my opinion reader comments make a difference, a big difference, in the lives of caregivers.

You will notice that from time to time I republish old articles that have previously appeared on the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). When I do this all the old comments are there with the old article.

Sometimes I make minor changes to those articles before republishing them. I could republish the article as new; but then, I would lose all the old comments. I want to keep the comments intact.

We have many articles that continue to be read over and over even though a person would have to search for them here, or in another search engine to find them.

Read over and over means like 400,000 times by the way. That is right, we actually have articles that have been read hundreds of thousands of time. We have articles dating back to 2009 that get read every day. I mean, every day.

We have many old article that continue to get read between 5,000 times to 15,000 times every month. Those articles must be good and the kinds of information that Alzheimer's caregiver want and need. People have to dig to find those articles. Dig they do.

Sometimes when I start getting a lot of "spam" I close the comments thread. This means it no longer allows for new comments. If it says comments thread closed, I closed it. Simple enough, no new comments allowed.

If you wonder why I republish old articles it is very simple. The ARR grows every day. It is safe to say at all times that if an article is more than 12 months old most of the readers have never seen it.

We get about 15,000 direct hits to the Alzheimer's Readers Room each month. We get over 45,000 direct hits from search engines each month. For the most part, these are readers that have never, ever, been here before. So everything is new to them.

I sometimes publish an old article because it is timely. It might fit with the previous article, address an issue in the comments, or fit what is happening out in the real world.

Sometimes when I read my own "old" articles I go wow. I can't believe I wrote that. I think this article has real value. So up it goes. I bet some of you long term readers go wow, I didn't remember I already commented on this article a long time ago after reading it.

I am trying some new share buttons to make it easier to share. The are up at the top of every article.

We have a new email button. This will make it much easier to send an article to another person(s). The email looks nice. Some of you might consider sending more article to more people. Maybe they will end up subscribing.

The blue Facebook button on the left at the top makes it easy for you to send an article to your Facebook page. You have several options now. Facebook timeline, Facebook page, or a new one, Facebook group. Just tick the little down arrow and you will see the options. The Facebook Like button is still there also. It is the last button on the right.

Did you share an article on Facebook today? Did you like it? Can we set a record in the next week for sharing on Facebook?

Tweet Tweet. I think most of you know how to shoot an article up to Twitter. Try it.

I continue to be frustrated that we don't have enough people using the red G+ button. I strongly suggest you get a Google+ account. I have something new coming and you will need the G+ account to join in.

Ok, shoot in your comments below. Let em fly.

Let's get going.

Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The ARR knowledge base contains more than 3,811 articles with more than 306,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room