taking your pulseHello, dear readers of Wheat and Tares!

We’ve come quite far from our launch day, which was a little less than a month ago (yes, I just couldn’t wait the full month to begin taking your pulse.) As the junior technical admin of the site, I hope that we have been responsive to your requests for features and to your complaints about site bugs and hiccups.

That being said, I often don’t catch on to what you are saying until it’s been said a few times in a few comments — or until another author brings it to the table in our super duper round table discussions.

So this kind of column will be for taking your pulse. What do you like about the site? What do you dislike? What are some features you’d like to see? We can’t guarantee anything (especially not a button that will babysit your children or grant you immunity from bullets), but I’m all ears.

Additionally, here are some things I’d like to bring up that you may or may not know about.

1. Comment Numbering

Early on, we debated whether we would have comment nesting (a cool feature that allows people to directly reply to other commenters) or numbered commenting (which still allows for indirect, low technology replies by addressing the comment number of a previous comment). Comment nesting was cool for a while, but became a hassle because people couldn’t easily find the *latest* comment to a post. It might be somewhere buried within other comments as a reply instead of being ordered sequentially from top to bottom. So we have implemented for the majority of this first month comment numbering.

Why do I mention that you may not know about it? It’s because if you use an older version of Internet Explorer (or if you use Internet Explorer 8 in compatibility view), you will not be able to see the numbers at all!

We have tried many things to bring the site browsing experience in older versions of IE up to parity with the rest of the browsing world, but so far we haven’t been able to figure anything out for comment numbering. (I admit I may not be trying hard enough.) So, if possible, I would recommend using another browser — like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera Software’s Opera.

2. Gravatars

Next to comments, you may notice a location for a picture. But how can you set up a picture? The service that we (and many other blogging sites) use is called Gravatar, or Globally Recognized Avatar. When you sign up at Gravatar, you can have a picture be associated with any of the email addresses you put in the email address blank whenever you comment. Since Gravatar is used across many sites, as long as you comment with the email address you have set up with Gravatar, your picture can be shown.

Of course, gravatars are optional. But we feel that gravatars are a neat little feature to bring some personality and humanity to each and every post.

3. Sharing and liking features

The third feature I’d like to share with you is none other than our site’s sharing options.

Beneath every post (but above the comments!) is a strip of options to like or share posts.

These options allow you to “Like” a post (if you’re signed into a Facebook account at the time — note that if you “like” a post, it will show on your Facebook wall that you liked the post), to tweet a post (if you have a twitter account), or to Reddit a post (if you are a redditor).


^ignore that number.