Comment Emails

If you’ve posted any comments to my blog (or other WordPress-hosted blogs) recently, you may have started receiving emails about other peoples’ comments unexpectedly. This is because the checkbox under the reply box which reads “Notify me of follow-up comments via email.” is now checked by default. It was previously unchecked by default, and that’s the way it should be under proper site design. WordPress staff have been alerted to this — there’s a thread about it in the support forum — but have stated it’s not a bug. Well, I disagree, at least with the spirit of the term if not the letter. It may not be an unintentional move on their part, but it’s very much a bad design decision. This is a behavior that should be opt-in, not opt-out, and that’s how people have had it and how people expect it to be. Changing that is just going to lead to people getting email they don’t want.

Hopefully after enough bloggers have thrown their 2 cents in, WordPress will realize this is a screw-up and revert it. In the meantime, I apologize if you’re getting any email from here you didn’t want; it’s not my doing, and I’d change it if I could. (Unfortunately, WordPress.com hosted sites cannot alter their own code, at least without a hefty fee for the privilege, or I’d just change it. It’s a one-word fix unless they’re practicing spectacularly bad code writing.)

When you leave a comment, be sure to take a look at the checkbox and make sure to uncheck it if you don’t want to be emailed about follow-up comments. Hopefully this won’t last long.

Click here for the update on May 15

About Morgan R. Lewis

Fan of movies and other media
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12 Responses to Comment Emails

  1. ruth says:

    This is VERY annoying indeed. Now I have to make a note and remember to uncheck the darn thing. I get sooo many emails daily so I really don’t need this kind of feature.

    • I enjoy being able to do so when I have a choice in the matter… sometimes I’m interested in what everybody has to say on a particular post elsewhere. But I don’t want it with every post, not by a long shot.

  2. Eric says:

    It’s especially annoying when replying on your own blog posts.. I don’t need an email sent to me when I respond to a comment on my own site! Makes no sense.

    • I haven’t hit that particular permutation yet… for some reason, it does seem to default to “off” when I’m viewing my own blog. But only my own blog, and only for myself. I can only imagine how much more annoying it must be for you to get your own comments emailed back to you.

    • ruth says:

      Indeed Eric! I hope WP removes this default feature after hearing all the complaints. I doubt anyone actually LIKES this feature!

  3. Jaina says:

    So very annoying. It’s a user experience decision and the wrong one. The notion that we are automatically opted in is just plain wrong.

    WordPress really should do a better job of their hosted blogs notifications though. A lot of the time, I’d like to keep up with replies made to comments I make, but at the moment it’s not possible to do that. Work on those things and not making silly user experience decisions.

    • Yes, I can’t imagine why they thought this was a good idea.

      On the replies to comments you make, the toolbar up top should be notifying you of that, in with all the other things it reports under the orange number. Of course, one of the issues with how comments are threaded on WP blogs — specifically with the reply nesting limit — is that sometimes somebody will be continuing a conversation but not replying “directly” to the comment as far as the software is concerned.

  4. sanclementejedi says:

    Morgan, I was enjoying blaming you personally for this issue. Now you had to go and ruin it for me. 😉

  5. Seemed to hold my last used choice here, I wonder if that’d hold up through a reboot though

  6. Pingback: Comment Emails Update | Morgan on Media

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