Massively OP comment system switchover FAQ

02/03/2017 – We have now completed the first big step of switching over to our brand-new comment system. It’s all still under construction, but it does more or less work.

If you need help registering, please see our permanent Commenting page for the most updated details. We are no longer updating this post with that info.

Everything after the cut here is older information, some now out of date, but we’re leaving it for continuity’s sake. The most updated help for posting is now located on the permanent Commenting page.

Account creation
To create a commenting account, you will need to use an existing social account from either Google, Twitter, Steam, Reddit, or Facebook. We are not offering local (MOP-only) accounts at this time. Our recommendation for privacy-inclined readers is to create a fresh Reddit or Steam account as they are quick, anonymous, and unintrusive, but of course you’re welcome to use an existing account as well. Depending on which one you pick, you’ll find different options for creating an account and picking up an avatar and display name — click to expand for help on each one below.

Steam
Select Steam, log into your Steam account as instructed using the proper credentials, select “create a new account,” enter a legitimate email address (for notifications), and you’re in. By default, this process will use your Steam display name as your display name on MOP. By default, your MOP account will use your Steam avatar. To change your display avatar on MOP, change your avatar on Steam and then log out and back into MOP. Note: We did have reports that Steam Guard’s overzealousness can potentially make logging into a Steam-based account here a minor hassle.
Reddit
Select Reddit, log into your Reddit account as instructed using the proper credentials, select the option to allow the social login to access Reddit, select “create a new account,” enter a legitimate email address (for notifications), and you’re in. By default, this process will use your Reddit display name as your display name on MOP. By default, your MOP account through Reddit will use a blank avatar. You can associate your email with a Gravatar to add an avatar after the fact (it took my test about 20 minutes, a hard refresh, and a relog), but we recommend doing that before you create your MOP account, as that forces the gravatar to pick up right away.
Google
Select Google, log into your Google account as instructed using the proper credentials, click “allow,” select “create a new account,” enter a legitimate email address (for notifications), and you’re in. By default, this process will use your multi-word “Name” email/Google+ display name as your display name on MOP, not your handle; be advised that if you use a real name ahead of your email address in Gmail, that is what will show up, though you can change it ahead of time in Google or after the fact using the profile link below. By default, your MOP account will use your Google avatar. To change your display avatar on MOP, change your avatar on Google and then log out and back into MOP.
Twitter
Select Twitter, authorize MassivelyOP Social Login to use your account and sign in, select “create a new account,” enter a legitimate email address (for notifications), and you’re in. By default, this process will use your Twitter display name as your display name on MOP, not your Twitter handle; be advised that if you use a real name on Twitter, that is what will show up. Changing your display name in Twitter will not change your display name on MOP, but you can use the profile link below to change it retroactively. By default, your MOP account will use your Twitter avatar (or a generic egg avatar if you haven’t set one). To change your display avatar on MOP, change your avatar on Twitter and then log out and back into MOP. Extensive testing suggests it is not possible to change your display avatar using Gravatar.
Facebook
Select Facebook, log into your Facebook account as instructed using the proper credentials, choose to continue as Your Name, select “create new account,” enter a legitimate email address (for notifications), and you’re in. By default, this process will use your full Facebook display name as your display name on MOP, not your handle. By default, your MOP account will use your Facebook profile photo. To change your display avatar on MOP, change your avatar on Facebook and then log out and back into MOP.
Recommendations
If you’re creating a brand-new social media account to use here, know that Reddit and Steam are the fastest registrations; however, they’ll still require an email address to attach here. If you have to make a new email too, Google will kill two birds with one stone and offers more account name customization. Facebook and Twitter are clunky registrations but might be more convenient for those who want to use existing accounts.

Logging in again
With all accounts, the next time you log out, you can log back in by clicking on the same icon, which will now be connected to your MOP account. You will not need a password.
Making Gravatar work
With all accounts, you should theoretically be able to use an avatar different from the avatar of your social account by creating a Gravatar account (it’s WordPress’ avatar hosting system) and associating an avatar on that service to the email address you used when creating an account here — not with the email address you have associated with the social service. The possible exception here is Twitter, as users are seeing mixed results. However, Gravatar is somewhat buggy and can take hours to update and propagate, making testing it difficult. The only service that absolutely requires Gravatar is Reddit.
Editing your profile
With all accounts, you can edit your profile to change your display name; add a nickname, then change your account to display that nickname publicly. Please note that this is not the final end-user profile system; it is a messy stop-gap to help people show proper display names instead of real names.
Specific things we are still working on:
Re-import of old comments for archival purposes; Profile editing, profile link, profile page; Video and media upload issues; Reply order and bounce; Sticky comments; Badges;Tons more bugs and features and back-end stuff
Original introduction
Heya folks! As we’ve been discussing this week, Massively OP is on the eve of migrating to a brand-new comment system. As I type this, we are currently planning to start the migration at 11 a.m. EST on Wednesday, February 1st. I’m putting together an FAQ that I’ll be updating throughout Tuesday evening and the day as we sort it all out. You can also see some discussion of what’s up in Monday’s TDG and hear an overview in the podcast, although some of the things mentioned in both are out of date compared to this FAQ. Here goes!
What? Noooooooo! Why??
I know. Basically, Adobe bought Livefyre last year and has decided to shut down the free version that we’ve been using for two years. We found out about it fairly late as to my knowledge Adobe made no direct effort to contact the thousands of blogs that used its plugin — in fact, it was sheer happenstance that we learned about it at all. So, we’ve gotta go. The good news is that we’d been planning to move away from Livefyre for a long time, so we already had a replacement picked out and are just moving ahead of our original schedule. We’re going to try to make it worth the short-term annoyance!
Why 11 a.m. EST? How am I gonna troll you guys at lunch time?!
It’s the time when the stars align for our UK-based tech and me that doesn’t require us to first raid a Starbucks to stay awake. I actually am sorry about it; I hate having outages during peak blog-reading time, trust me. But it’s the block we’ve got, so we’re gonna use it.
So the comments will be offline?
There is a possibility of a brief window of website downtime Wednesday afternoon (EST). The comments, however, will definitely be offline for part of Wednesday, maybe even ahead of our planned start time if Livefyre craps out early. When it happens, don’t freak out. Freaking out is my job. Y’all just keep reading and clicking!
What happens to our Livefyre accounts?
Unfortunately, accounts were one of the things Livefyre provided. No matter what service you used to log into Livefyre (Twitter, Facebook, or Livefyre itself), your Livefyre account will stop working. I am not sure whether or how long you will be able to access your own accounts, comments, and avatars through Livefyre. These don’t belong to us and are toast.
What happens to our Livefyre comments and images?
This is more complicated and has changed since my original post Monday and the insert on the podcast. Theoretically, comments are stored in our database and only accessed by Livefyre’s interfacing. In practice, as we’ve discovered, it doesn’t always work that way. As I type this, we are still awaiting a complete backup of our final data from Livefyre. Once that export begins, comments made after it through Livefyre will be lost for certain. Theoretically, we should be able to import that database back into our native comment system so that comments would be archived (if ugly and lacking images and nesting). However, depending on the timing Wednesday, our old comments may or may not make the cut for inclusion, and we may go forward with the new system in the absence of the old, in which case our tech has said he will attempt to integrate retroactively but is making no promises that it will be successful. tl;dr, we’re going to do our best to keep our old comments archived, but we’re fighting the clock and the tech here, and it may not be possible or feasible. Likewise, I believe images were hosted with Livefyre, might not be included with the export, and are even more likely to be lost. For this reason, we’ve been telling everyone to back up any images or comments that you cannot bear to lose.
What happens to our shiny badges?
Badges were a custom hack we commissioned; they were designed to float alongside your Livefyre account names. We will be rewriting the hack for the new comment system, most likely piggybacking off the built-in rep system, but it will take us some time to collect and re-match new account names to badges. I will let everyone know how we’ll be conducting the new username collection/match-up project down the road, but it does mean our badges will be offline temporarily. I do not have an ETA for their return, but I promise that they will.
What's the new system called? It's not Facebook, right?
It’s not Facebook. The new comment system hooks into the native WP comment system, meaning we will continue to host our comments ourselves. We’ll be tricking it out with a lot of the buyable bells and whistles and are expecting it to retain most of (and improve on!) Livefyre’s offerings.
Are you going to do forums?
Forums remain on the table. This move will bring us significantly closer to feasibility, given that the new system already integrates with multiple forum plugins, but no promises.
Does it have the same features?
Most of them, and more. Here are some features our readers have specifically asked about:

  • Third-party logins, so you can use your existing social accounts (like Twitter, Facebook, Google, Steam, Reddit, etc.) to log in, meaning you can control your display name and avatar and stay anonymous or not as you choose. We won’t offer local accounts, at least not at first. Not doing local — too much spam.
  • Real-time commenting, so you won’t have to refresh to see new comments.
  • Upvoting, akin to “likes” in Livefyre. Actually, it’s more like Reddit. Natively, it includes downvotes, but our community overwhelmingly downvotes downvotes, if ya know what I mean, so our tech will be modding that out (this task will not be completed on day one). Done on day one!
  • Image uploading and video links should work more or less as standard with a plugin. Might not be in on day one, and we’ll have to see whether it gets abused. Edit: In on day one, not working 100% as we’d like — still working on it.
  • Subs and notifications, and they appear to not suck. They are optional and toggleable per-post from what I can see.
  • Customizable edit timer — we’re probably going to go with 15 minutes instead of Livefyre’s 5 (AND THE CROWD GOES WILD).
  • Thread sorting and reply nesting, the basics there.
  • Mobile prettiness. It looks nice on desktop too and is much easier for us to skin.

It also has options for intra-post text breaking, proper styling that we won’t have to hack (<3), reputation if we decide to go that route, sidebar widgets for stuff like popular comments, proper spam flagging (plus WP’s native spam tools), a respectably powerful moderation panel for the staff, proper comment count integration, and on and on. The system comes with a ton of extras, but we’re going to try to keep it simple and not go crazy until we’re sure it’s all stable.

We’ve had many requests for an ignore feature. I don’t yet know whether that’s possible, but it is on the list to investigate.

Change is scary.
Hey, I’m nervous and a little sad too. We’ve been using Livefyre for five or six years now, the last two on New Massively. I’m a historian by training and cringe at losing data. But the truth is, Livefyre, especially the plugin version we used, has been severely neglected for a long time, and quite a lot of its features — in front of and behind the curtain — were nonfunctional in some way or another, so I’m trying to see it as a positive change: We’re actually pretty happy to move to something modern and updated that should scale so much better with the CMS we use. Ultimately, it’ll be better for our commenters, our lurkers (hiya!), and our staffers too.

Wednesday, once Dave tells me it’s well and truly done and we’re good to go, I’ll work up another post that will have some basic instructions on how to create accounts, stuff we’re running into, etc., and let everyone loose creating and testing accounts and trying to break it. From there, I’ll be branching out to a features post and changing our site FAQ to align with the new service. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping this FAQ updated with new questions and everything I know from tech as it’s happening. Wish us luck!

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543 Comments on "Massively OP comment system switchover FAQ"

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some_guy_named_phil

Testing

Reader
bjorn

Testing …

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JoeCreoterra

testing

wcdregon
Reader
wcdregon

comment!

shadanwolf
Reader
shadanwolf

This is a very big deal. Hope it works. i have been unable to comment for over a year.

Reader
Deuter

Comment

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Louie

Testing testing 1, 2, 3…

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cormeister

testing?

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x4ever

Is this thing on…. Ooops! I guess so :D

Reader
Kayweg

Testing, testing….
Am i there yet ??
Ahhh, apparently so.
Almost panicked yesterday, thought the old profiles had been converted, and couldn’t log in with my old credentials….wheew

Jake Dunnegan
Reader
Jake Dunnegan

Sometimes change, even forced upon change, can become a good thing. Hope it works out –

Reader
Briar Grey

Issues:
1. No avatar — I’m using FB and it has an avatar. I’ve logged out and back in. I can’t stand gravatar. Am I SOL?

2. I have to turn off AdBlock to see the FB icon to click to log in with.

CovertOpsCloaking
Reader
CovertOpsCloaking

Testing gg2

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Whaar Garbl

[General healer grumpiness intensifies]

Reader
Snow

Is it possible to change the username(not the display name) associated with the account some point in the future. Would really appreciate to change it to my desired username even if it’s a once time permanent change.

Reader
NeuralGhost

I have noticed that if you up vote a comment, your username is shown instead of your display name. At least for me using my gmail account as login.

ceder
Reader
ceder

Truly this is just a complete mess. Days now I’ve been trying to get this crap straightened out and it is -still- not done. Making things such a pain doesn’t bode well for Massively.

Staff
Sputnik Space PO-TA-TOE

I am sorry if you are having issues with the new comment system. Due to 3rd party issues we had to move to the new comment system much faster than we had hoped. We are working on fixing many issues at the moment but it will take time. This has been an exception to how we usually release software and does not reflect how massively usually does things.

Reader
PepinoCantador

I’m lazy so… Google it is.

MJ Guthrie
Staff
MJ Guthrie

Your avatar is happy about the decision!

Reader
luxx_jorge

Okay, Testing…

Reader
Dajhryne

Testing and stuff.

Reader
MrSaxon

Yays! We have lift-off!

cactuarblue
Reader
cactuarblue

Testy McTesterface. Not sorry to see the end of LiveFyre.

Reader
Yocraig

mikafoncheck12whatisthis?

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Denice J. Cook

Testing 1, 2, 3!

Celestia
Reader
Celestia

Does Gravatar love me yet? (edit: it does not). Any tips for getting profile pic to work here with Reddit sign up and Image on Gravatar? Put it up last night.

tethyss
Reader
tethyss

Too many logins now, social media, MOP and Gravatar?
I’m not sure I like all this intrusion ;)

Reader
MesaSage

Already blocked as a spam account by Twitter. Just lovely.

Reader
Armsman

I too hope you guys will one day allow separate accounts as I too hate linking existing social accounts. (I found an old gmail account I haven’t used in years – but again still dislike linking.) I am happy you guys provided a way to update the local WP profile with a nickname.

hurbster
Reader
hurbster

Alright then.

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kgptzac

There are 488 comments so it’s very possible this is already bought up… I chose to log in using Twitter to the new comment system, then it offered me to link to an existing account (please clarify it’s a new MOP account, or a new wordpress account). When I chose to create a new account in this fashion, THE PASSWORD I TYPE IN IS DISPLAYED IN CLEAR TEXT!

Reader
kgptzac

Also, can’t wait for badges to come back :)

Reader
Ryuen

Obligatory test
edit: hmmm why is my ugly mug on here instead of my normal avi? Looks like some tinkering to be done

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Angel

Hey Guys, just wanted to say thanks. Seeing your new comment system made me have a look at the one on my own wordpress website. I’m happy to say I’ve gotten rid of Disqus in favor of this same system you’re using :)

Reader
Ματθαίος

“All’s well that ends better.” Here we are…
I changed my steam name and avatar especially for you MOP.

Reader
Finsbury

And back (hopefully) :)

Reader
Ashfyn Ninegold

Aha!

Reader
Salmoneo

I’m back mates.

Reader
Dirty Ape

Is it working?

Reader
Dirty Ape

Yes it is!

Reader
Pedge Jameson

No gif animation?

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wild-abyss

Dumped Twitter login for Steam. That’s much better, but I’m still confused as to why I had to make another account (WP?) after linking Steam.

Reader
Ματθαίος

Logging through Steam worked for me. I only had to enter a nickname as the one used by default was not my steam one but my email address (I still wonder why).

Reader
wild-abyss

Can’t wait for this to make the “most comments” list in the 2017 wrapup. :D

I like the look so far but I wish the sidebar wasn’t so dang long. The comments section would look much better being full width beneath the article AND sidebar imo.

bardamu1999
Reader
bardamu1999

::blows into mic:: is this thing on?

Tied this to my reddit, added a gravitar, added my old MOP handle and changed to it. Connecting accounts to one another isn’t something I’m fond of, but anyone noticing similarities between tone or content here and any relevant sub isn’t exactly a major doxing episode. That’s assuming the reddit handle isn’t even visible to other MOP members.

Edit test: Yep, this works. :D

Reader
Dagget Burmese

System seems to be working, now just have to see about reattaching founder/patreon status to accounts…

dellis78741

Sykes
Reader
Sykes

“Livefyre’s on it’s last limb. Unless the community raises the funds and fixes the bugs needed to save it, it might self-implode and need to be replaced.”

“Has the community contributed anything so far?”

“30 gallons, but several are still siphoning.”

Edit: Embedded image uploader seems to resize to a square.

livefyre lifesteal.jpg
Reader
Stropp

Have to admit I don’t like being forced to associate this account with any of my social media accounts. I’ve always preferred separate accounts for things.

If and when you allow accounts to be created without using SM, I’ll probably delete this one and create a new account.

Reader
Ashfyn Ninegold

Eh, try a Gmail account, like mine. Good luck finding “Ashfyn Ninegold” on any social media.

Reader
Eamil

Well, I’m all set with minimal trouble. Just need to wait for my profile image to update. Google seems to be slow about that.

Celestia
Reader
Celestia

I finally got Gravatar to accept my CoH icon. Fingers crossed. (edit: and no)

Reader
BalsBigBrother

Are you aiming for the star icon thingy because that is what I see?

Reader
BalsBigBrother

Ah here we go finally got round the restoring “Old Man” Bals as is more fitting for a person of my age. Given the issues folks seemed to be having with that gravatar doodad I just went with changing my twitter pic which I probably should have done in anycase for consistency.

Oooh I just noticed we have a delete button now, which I am guessing shares the same timer as the edit button from the looks of things ? (as I can’t see it on my older posts). I have a nasty habbit of posting snarky comments at 3 am when insomnia has me in its grips then I think better of it later and delete them so I had better be careful from now on I guess ;-)

Yay good work technomancer Dave and whipcracker Bree ;-)

Reader
Manastu Utakata

Well…it does give you glow of wise-aged maturity. :)

Reader
ogged451

*tap*, *tap* is this thing on ?

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