“Most writers like to maintain some sort of anonymity.” ~ Sheryl Crow
Sheryl’s dead wrong if you’re a blogger trying to interact with readers. That interaction has been exceedingly difficult on WordPress lately.
“Anonymity is the calling card of the fearful and the courage of the cowardly.”
~ Beem Weeks
I don’t know about that Mr. Weeks, but starting in this month of August, anonymity has been the blogger’s vexation. For me it began on August 10th when I noticed a comment on one of my photo blogs. The commenter wrote, “Great great GREAT monochromes. You are a master.” It was signed “anonymous” but the wording of the comment told me that the writer was a gentleman who has often commented on my photo blogs.
Shortly thereafter, my posts were being inundated by “anonymous” commenters and like the gentleman mentioned above, the wording of many of these anonymous comments seemed to hint at regular, known commenters.
Over the past weekend, I contacted two bloggers via email and found that they were having the same issue. One of the bloggers had contacted Jetpack, and she was told that she must’ve changed her settings (she hadn’t).
Two days ago (August 22nd), I contacted the WordPress help desk, described the problem and offered the suggestion that they actually look into the problem and not provide a “canned” explanation such as, ‘the commenter might not have been logged in”.
(Note: You should not appear as “anonymous” if you are a WP blogger and you are signed into your WP account. If you are not signed in you will indeed appear as “anonymous.”).
The next day, I received a response and the essence of that response is summed up in one sentence from Ahmad the WP tech, “So, I think this issue could be related. I tried commenting on your site twice, once logged in and once anonymously, and both my comments show up as Anonymous, so this definitely looks like a bug.”
In the meantime, one of the bloggers who I’d been discussing the problem with told me of an instance in which yet another blogger was having difficulty just leaving a comment.
I forwarded that information to WP and noted another problem that I thought might be related.
I’ve had two bloggers comment to me that they were not able to “like” my posts, one of the bloggers telling me that he’d tried everything but the “like” function was not working even though he was logged in.
This morning Carolyn at WP responded,
“As my colleague, Ahmad, mentioned, a few other cases have been reported where the comment section was not recognizing their login (which would also affect the ability to “Like” posts since you must be logged in to “Like”). Ahmad did some more investigation and has reported this as a bug to our developers. The bug will be prioritized based on its severity and the number of sites affected so be sure to let Sarah and any other blogging friends know that they should report this if it is happening to them. That will not only increase the priority, but it will give us more examples so we can see what the common thread is between those accounts that are not able to comment.”
What Carolyn is saying is, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” so those of us who are having this difficulty should report the details to WordPress via email. (At the bottom of the My Home page there is a question mark that links to a comment/help template).
Who knows when this will get fixed but they ARE working on it.
In the meantime, I apologize to some of the “anonymous” commenters who I didn’t address personally. My suggestion is that, pending a fix, commenters can simply identify themselves in the body of the comment.