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I may have made a serious design error in RSB, but I'm not sure I can reverse it. Let me explain what I'm tryin to do and why.

One of the basic goals of RSB is making it maintenance free. You can bookmark the New Post page, go to it when you want to write something, maybe get sent through Twitter to authenticate you, and post it. And that's it. Yes, you can go back and edit old posts if you want (well, that part isn't done yet, but it will be).

So much of the BS of other web blogging systems I've tried revolves around comments. Most of that is dealing with spam, but even without it, you've got to do something to see the new comments that come in, interact if you want, etc.

So I had my brilliant idea. Turn Twitter into my commenting system. Auto-tweeting posts was always a plan (and I've worked with the Twitter API in the past, I like it). Turns out it's ridiculously easy to have people click on a link and add a reply. I'm already reading my twitter feed so the comments will show up, Twitter deals with the worst of the spam and any jackasses will be revealing their identies and can be blocked. And it's easy for my readers too - most will see the tweet of the article, click the link to read it, and can just click the link to add a reply. If I reply to their reply, it shows up in their feed. Clean. Brilliant. Win/Win/Win! (the third Win is for Twitter who gets more interaction with their site, not that they need it.)

Except... if you use a twitter application instead of the browser, you may well not be logged in. You click the link to add a comment - and are presented with a window asking you to enter your twitter account and screen name. Yes, it looks like it's from twitter, URL has twitter, but dodgy people are clever. I hope people don't consider me dodgy, but dodgy people sometimes hide their dodginess.

So there's definitely some friction there. If there was a way I could determine if they came from a twitter client and send them back, would be great, but I don't think there is.

That said, I'm going to continue this path. The friction is bad, not happy I didn't think it through (though I use apps for twitter, Socialite on Mac and official one on iPad, I'm always logged in with the browser). But the alternatives are worse. I really don't want to add the comment BS into my nice clean system, and I don't want to give up comments.

But I'll be thinking about it. If anyone has any advice, happy to hear it.

Posted on March 5, 2015, 12:05 pm
Last updated on March 6, 2015, 6:18 am

Donald Brown

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This blog is powered by an experimental program called RSB for Really Simple Blog. RSB ©2015 by Donald Brown. Thanks to the people at Twitter for a really cool API and Dave Winer for inspiring me on this.