Have you noticed that on some websites you can’t post comments unless you’re a WordPress member, or unless you jump through a series of complicated hoops to force the comments function to let you post?
This happened to me twice the other day, at David Gaughran’s extremely interesting site, Let’s Get Visible, where I wanted to comment on his excellent, detailed post that argues self-publishing will be the savior, not the destruction, of the publishing industry. Also, I wished to leave a comment at Reclusive Rachel’s most recent post.
At Reclusive Rachel, when I tried to post WP wanted me to sign in under a different e-mail address than the one I used to set up Writers Plain & Simple. This, experience has shown, causes me to appear under the username for three websites I set up for my community college courses, back when the district was using the endlessly annoying and infuriatingly unreliable Blackboard online course management software. First, I do not WANT to post as Eng102pvcc [not the real username]; I want to post under the name of this blog, which I intend to use to publicize the three books I expect to publish by the end of 2014. Second, those sites are defunct anyway, since with the advent of the Canvas course management system I no longer need an off-campus site for my online students to fall back on when the district’s system crashes, because Canvas doesn’t crash. .
I tried to change my email/username. Typed in all the BS to get recognized. And EVERY TIME, when I hit “post comment,” the damm thing reverted to the old email/username.
Went over to the Gaughran site. There, the system did see me as my current username. But again, it would NOT let me post a comment. It seemed to accept all the data, which I believe to be current and correct. But when I hit “post comment,” nothing happened.
I gave up again.
This kind of thing keeps happening at WordPress.com sites. Funny about Money, my main site, is large and venerable. (It also is hosted elsewhere!). It has a nice readership, and I correspond with a lot of personal finance and lifestyle bloggers, most of whom make it easy to post comments. But by golly, every time I stumble on a good WordPress.com blog, it wants me to sign in as eng102pvcc. Here, too: log out, sign back in as plain&simplepress, and the comments function won’t work.
So next I went to WordPress’s “support,” which is just like all huge faceless e-corporations’ support: instead of hiring a few techs to troubleshoot users’ problems and answer questions, they refer you to an annoying forum, where you’re supposed to post your question to which NO ONE knows the answer. I did find an e-mail function; when you e-mail your question (which does not seem to appear among the myriad FAQs they’ve posted), all that happens is the person on the other end POSTS YOUR QUESTION TO A USELESS FORUM!
Eventually an answer of sorts came back: delete all WordPress-related cookies.
Know what that does?
It blocks you from getting back into your own website! And no, it does NOT let you post comments as anything other than Eng102pvcc, even though you do have a different username and password to sign in to the website you want to use.
Did you know that WordPress.com will not LET you delete a username? Any username you create exists forever, even if you delete the sites associated with that username. So you’re stuck with it. You can’t get rid of it.
I guess WP has decided to make its little empire a closed club. But…why? If that’s what you’re going to do, dear WordPress.com, why publish sites on the Internet at large? Why not make them visible ONLY to WordPress.com members?