Please comment on my comments…

MCEComments on a Mobile

I’ve a bit of a conundrum that perhaps you can help me with…

I’ll freely admit that I’ve been coveting the very slick commenting system over on Ani Sharma’s S60 Blog. The rich text options there (and currently here) are made possible by a WordPress plug-in called MCEComments, which replaces the default commenting system with a bunch of javascript which you will never see — instead you’re treated to an embedded WYSIWYG editor for your comments.

It works fantastically well on desktop computer browsers, but not so much on mobiles. It doesn’t seem to work at all using Opera Mini, and on Nokia’s default S60 browser there’s a major issue or two — notably the inability to enter carriage returns to write a comment that’s longer than a paragraph.

Because I want to make it easy for you to have your say, I’m not quite sure what to do here. According to my stats about 11% of this site’s traffic comes from mobile phones, and 21% of mobile visitors read this site on the S60WebKit browser.

In a previous post I explained why I’m not so interested in plugging in an external commenting system. The options I can see at this point are:

  1. Go back to the default WordPress comments;
  2. Solicit some high-level PHP advice — could some snippet of code solve this dilemma? Something like:

if user agent=mobile make MCEComments=false

Obviously I have next to no idea what I’m talking about here. 🙄

But I do want to hear from you, whether you’re a WordPress guru or not — should the WSIWYG comments stay or go?

29 comments:

  1. AC:
    I suspect the percentage of comments (and readers) using mobile phones will only continue to grow, but for the time being go with what works iwth the majority. someone will develop a plug-in that plays nice with both mobile and PC readers.

    Ed

    PS: I would have had this P.S. in bold and underline if I could.

  2. AC:
    I suspect the percentage of comments (and readers) using mobile phones will only continue to grow, but for the time being go with what works iwth the majority. someone will develop a plug-in that plays nice with both mobile and PC readers.

    Ed

    PS: I would have had this P.S. in bold and underline if I could.

  3. I think I might make OA one of my 9 links in Opera…

    But I am probably 50/50 desktop and from S60 webkit (because i can’t configure gravity to launch Opera), unless I happen to be using Dabr on Opera….

    But let’s not get confused by my various modes of access. I do not see much value in a rich commenting system like that. What I /would/ like to see is the option to have my comment posted to twitter or facebook when I post. (Or disqus, maybe?) Maybe not every comment, but there are definitely some topics I would like to help promote via my personal social networks.

    1. I’m not so much a fan of Disqus (as I wrote previously and linked to in the post above), but for sharing what about the ShareThis button that gets placed under every post?

  4. I think I might make OA one of my 9 links in Opera…

    But I am probably 50/50 desktop and from S60 webkit (because i can’t configure gravity to launch Opera), unless I happen to be using Dabr on Opera….

    But let’s not get confused by my various modes of access. I do not see much value in a rich commenting system like that. What I /would/ like to see is the option to have my comment posted to twitter or facebook when I post. (Or disqus, maybe?) Maybe not every comment, but there are definitely some topics I would like to help promote via my personal social networks.

    1. I’m not so much a fan of Disqus (as I wrote previously and linked to in the post above), but for sharing what about the ShareThis button that gets placed under every post?

  5. Oh, one more! Is there a plugin or easy way to respond to comments via email? I usually subscribe to comments so I know when someone replies. It would be nice to respond quickly via email, a’la facebook’s recent enhancement.

    Not sure how easy that is to implement.

  6. Oh, one more! Is there a plugin or easy way to respond to comments via email? I usually subscribe to comments so I know when someone replies. It would be nice to respond quickly via email, a’la facebook’s recent enhancement.

    Not sure how easy that is to implement.

  7. Well, it doesn’t have to be disqus, that’s just one way to do it. Share This would work. The challenge, of course, is that comments are moderated, and that may not work very well with sharing them to twitter/FB.

  8. Well, it doesn’t have to be disqus, that’s just one way to do it. Share This would work. The challenge, of course, is that comments are moderated, and that may not work very well with sharing them to twitter/FB.

  9. It looks like you have already killed the MCE comments, at least I don’t see any evidence of them. It you want to be mobile compatibel and aren’t up to rewriting the plug in that’s really all yo can do.

    I’ve done a couple of things on BoostApps.com that I think have done a lot to make comments more interactive and prolific.

    First I turned on threaded comments which is built into WordPress (Settings > Discussion in the WP Dashboard) and supported by WPMP. Set the threading level to 3 or less or the indentation will smash deeply threaded comments into columns only a few characters wide in mobile view.

    Plus I use the “Subscribe to Comments” plug by Mark Jaquith which it looks like you are already using. It’s mobile friendly (no JavaScript at all). I’m also like to offer users a way to subscribe to an RSS feed of the comments for any post too but I haven’t found an easy way to do it yet.

  10. It looks like you have already killed the MCE comments, at least I don’t see any evidence of them. It you want to be mobile compatibel and aren’t up to rewriting the plug in that’s really all yo can do.

    I’ve done a couple of things on BoostApps.com that I think have done a lot to make comments more interactive and prolific.

    First I turned on threaded comments which is built into WordPress (Settings > Discussion in the WP Dashboard) and supported by WPMP. Set the threading level to 3 or less or the indentation will smash deeply threaded comments into columns only a few characters wide in mobile view.

    Plus I use the “Subscribe to Comments” plug by Mark Jaquith which it looks like you are already using. It’s mobile friendly (no JavaScript at all). I’m also like to offer users a way to subscribe to an RSS feed of the comments for any post too but I haven’t found an easy way to do it yet.

  11. Hey Dennis,

    I didn’t know you ran a second site — so you like WPMP better than the Alex King plug-in, or Winksite even?

    As I wrote in that tweet I sent you, perhaps my desktop commenters shouldn’t be denied features for the sake of my mobile readers — or in other words, I should rethink my mobile options.

    I’m taking a long look at Mippin — which you also seem familiar with — and the rendered results seem easiest on the eyes, though I’d rather have the hits on my own server…

  12. Hey Dennis,

    I didn’t know you ran a second site — so you like WPMP better than the Alex King plug-in, or Winksite even?

    As I wrote in that tweet I sent you, perhaps my desktop commenters shouldn’t be denied features for the sake of my mobile readers — or in other words, I should rethink my mobile options.

    I’m taking a long look at Mippin — which you also seem familiar with — and the rendered results seem easiest on the eyes, though I’d rather have the hits on my own server…

  13. Hey Dennis,

    I didn’t know you ran a second site — so you like WPMP better than the Alex King plug-in, or Winksite even?

    As I wrote in that tweet I sent you, perhaps my desktop commenters shouldn’t be denied features for the sake of my mobile readers — or in other words, I should rethink my mobile options.

    I’m taking a long look at Mippin — which you also seem familiar with — and the rendered results seem easiest on the eyes, though I’d rather have the hits on my own server…

  14. I think WPMP is the best current mobile WP plugin particularly if you want to support the widest possible range of devices and stay witin the WordPress framework. It’s the only one that paginates long posts and the layout works well even with 128px wide screens.

    Alex King’s latest (Carrington) looks nicer on a decent browser but it doesn’t paginate and I’ve run into some pretty bad formatting issues with tables and threaded comments particularity on low end browsers. It also throws a redirection error with some WAP gateways.

    Mippin is nice if you can live with its limitations: little control over look and feel, you loose all the extensibilty WordPress provides with plugins.

    Winksite has the same limitations as Mippin and less eye candy.

  15. I think WPMP is the best current mobile WP plugin particularly if you want to support the widest possible range of devices and stay witin the WordPress framework. It’s the only one that paginates long posts and the layout works well even with 128px wide screens.

    Alex King’s latest (Carrington) looks nicer on a decent browser but it doesn’t paginate and I’ve run into some pretty bad formatting issues with tables and threaded comments particularity on low end browsers. It also throws a redirection error with some WAP gateways.

    Mippin is nice if you can live with its limitations: little control over look and feel, you loose all the extensibilty WordPress provides with plugins.

    Winksite has the same limitations as Mippin and less eye candy.

  16. I’ve used Mippin as a user, adding sites and such to a conglomerated mobile experience. Is there a way to use it as a site-admin for your site’s mobile translation? If so, how does that work?

  17. I’ve used Mippin as a user, adding sites and such to a conglomerated mobile experience. Is there a way to use it as a site-admin for your site’s mobile translation? If so, how does that work?

    1. I’ve never had any trouble logging into Mippin’s publisher control panel at http://www.mippin.com/web/maker/signIn.jsp using a PC. I don’t think there is a mobile-friendly admin front end.

      There’s really not much you can manage though, just grid versus list layout, logo and colors, some limited SEO options and whether you want a piece of your site’s advertising revenue or not.

    1. I’ve never had any trouble logging into Mippin’s publisher control panel at http://www.mippin.com/web/maker/signIn.jsp using a PC. I don’t think there is a mobile-friendly admin front end.

      There’s really not much you can manage though, just grid versus list layout, logo and colors, some limited SEO options and whether you want a piece of your site’s advertising revenue or not.

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