Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Advice to Blogger bloggers regarding comments, comment moderation, and sidebar problems

There are a couple of things I would like to highlight regarding comments in Blogger blogs. Among other things, it may cause the sidebar of your post to slide to the bottom of the page in Internet Explorer through no fault of yours:

Long unbroken lines in comments and the sidebar

Today, I received a comment moderation notification email and approved it, but only after I posted it, I realised that the commentor has included a long link (non-clickable) which will cause the sidebar to slide to the bottom of the post. I checked in Internet Explorer (most of the time, I use FireFox with the Google toolbar (close new window to return to this page) and confirmed it. I quickly commented on the comment author's blog (there was no email) and explained the reason why I am forced to delete the comment (it was a comment which disagree with my post) and that I hope she will comment again, making the link a clickable link (close new window to get back to this page) and I will approve it. If keeping the sidebar in the proper position is important to you, I will advice that you examine the comments carefully for such things linke long, unbroken line of texts, especially long unclickble links, long line of unbroken code, etc. This has happened to me more than once (see section below).

Moderating comments

For most of my blogs, I have enabled comment moderation to keep out spam comments, etc. However, one day, a member of the Google Blogger Help group asked if he can edit the comments. Now in the comment moderation notification email, there are 3 options - Publish, Reject, Moderate. I have practically all the time clicked Published, and on rare occasions, clicked Reject, but I have never clicked on Moderate. I thouht that clicking on Moderate will allow one to edit the comment, but no. I wanted to check before I answered that question, and looked for a comment to moderate. It so happen that the only comment moderation email notification I had was for a Blogger beta blog. I clicked on Moderate, expecting to be taken to a page containing that comment. Instead of that, I was taken to a page with a list of comments waiting for me to moderate, with the comment I received for moderation right at the top. The comments below I have never received any notification. I took some time to moderate all the comments there. I initially thought that this was only a Blogger Beta bug.

Just in case it is not only a Blogger beta bug, I decided to check on one of my Blogger classic blog (this one) in the Dashboard for this blog by clicking on the "Moderate comments" tab. To my horror, I found a list of 51 comments waiting to be moderated, some dating back to June, and for which I also never received any email notification. And more important, I found that there is no way I can find in which post that comment was made, which makes responding to the comment very, very difficult. So if your comment was not published in good time and/or not responded to, blame Blogger, not me. I have notified Blogger support, and hope they have taken note of the problem and is doing something about it, especially making the information as to which post the comment was made in available when one moderate comments via the Dashboard. In the meantime, if you are moderating comments via email notification, do take the trouble to check "Moderate comments" in the Dashboard once in a while. That reminds me. I must check that in my blog Dummies Guide to Google Blogger (close new window to get back to this page).

BTW, there was one comment with a long lines of unbroken codes in one of my post which canused the sidebar to slide to the bottom of the page, and which I didn't discover for a long time. That was very embarassing because I have a post in my blog which explain what to do when sidebar is pushed to the bottom of the page.

UPDATE 14 November 2006: I logged into Dashboard and clicked this blog in the list of blogs in the Dashboard. Clicked on "Moderate comments" and again found 10+ comments waiting for moderation for which I never receive a email notification. I approved all except 2, one being a duplicate, and another one a spam. I have no idea which posts the comments were made, so am unable to respond. I have already informed Blogger, but looks like they are either too busy, do not want to, or cannot do something about it. I will inform them again and see if matters improve.



  1. hi,

    My sidebar has gone down(except homepage) & i can't figure out the reason. Can you check & tell me what's wrong? :

    Cheers, Rohit

  2. I hope you will take the troble to read this post What to do - sidebar slide to bottom of the page.

    Some likely causes:
    - Your photos too wide
    - Banner "Add this blog to my Technorati Favourite
    - Weather today banner

  3. I, too, tried to add a phtot to my sidebar. And it slid to the bottom of the page. When I went in and deleted the photo my sidebar disappeared. I only have my profile box up. Going into the template everything is still listed there.
    Help! how do I get it back
    Check it out

  4. Hi Gewels,

    I checked your blog and see that it has the profile as well as Links, Previous Posts and Archives in the sidebar. Looks like you got your problem solved.

    Dummies Guide to Google Blogger
    "online book" in progress

  5. Thanks Peter- I called a computer savvy friend who suggested that I change the template. Which worked and put everything back to it's original state- except the links. Which I re-input.
    Nice to know I have you as a lifeline. I'm sure you will hear from me

  6. Hi Gewels,

    This post refers to long unbroken lines in comment causing the sidebar to slide down to the bottom of the page (not disappear). I have another post regarding putting photos in sidebar: How to put a clickable photo in the sidebar.

    I had a relook at that post, and time and memory permitting, I will re-edit the post and make it two posts, one for unclickable picture, and one for clickable picture.

    Dummies Guide to Google Blogger
    "online book" in progress

  7. Hi Peter :)
    Could you so kindly help me out. I've enabled "comments" on my blogger dashboard etc. But it still doesn't appear on my blog entry. Will greatly appreciate ur help.

    Thanks in advance :)

  8. Hi Napaboaniya,

    Sorry for responding in not so timely a fashion, but have lots of things, not all Blogger related, to do.

    I don't have time to check, but there are more than 1 places you should check - SETTINGS > COMMENTS and also in the LAYOUT, edit POSTS section. I am unable to verify and will appreciate if you find the solution, you give us your feedback. Also, I seem to have read somewhere there is a but w.r.t comments. I will try to get more info and if I have anything to add, I will comment further.

    Peter Blog*Star
    Generating Revenue from your Website

  9. Hi Peter,

    No problem 'bout the delay. I've got my "comments" fixed. I changed a new template and defaulted all my previous widgets. It's working fine now :) Also, I'll like to thank you for your fabulous website that I've learned lots from :)Merry X'Mas!!!


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