Tech Note: WordPress.com Changes Commenting With GravatarsPosted: March 15, 2012
It appears that the great folks at WordPress.com decided once again to change something without a proper announcement, and since our site uses their service, we’ve been affected as well. Many of our users are seeing this when they attempt to leave a comment:
Searching the WP forums, there’s a lot of confusion over it, but I finally found a post from one of the staff that appears to be an official explanation:
We’ve recently updated our commenting system.
Now if someone tries to comment with an email address attached to a WordPress.com account, they’ll need to sign into WordPress.com before they can comment.
If commenters have forgotten their password they can request a reset:
The little detail that this guy is leaving out is that this affects anyone with a Gravatar as well (WordPress and Gravatar have been affiliated with one another since 2007). I’ve already seen a lot of bloggers on the support boards pretty upset over this, and at this point we shouldn’t rule out the possibility that WP could make another change to it. So…
Anyway, for the time being, commenters who are using a phony or non-gravatar/wordpress email in our comment form are not affected. Your auto-generated avatars will appear and you can comment as you always have.
For commenters with a gravatar, you must now login if you want to comment here (or any WordPress.com blog). It’s lame, but here’s the easiest solution:
1) Click the “log in” link in our sidebar:
2) enter your Gravatar username and password* (and you might want to check that “remember me” box):
3) because the geniuses at WP.com haven’t quite thought this through, you’ll be greeted with a message like this (unless, of course, you’re logging in as one of the authors here):
4) But it’s OK! You’re logged in. All you have to do is go back and/or refresh our front page, and you’ll be ready to comment.
But wait! Some folks don’t want their gravatar username to be the display name for their comments. Now that you’re logged in, you can change that:
1) in the comment box, click “change”:
Then clear out the box for the username, and enter the new one:
*for this example, I used “blogwarriorx”, which is one of the house gravatars that I created (located in our sidebar). So, I was able to do this because I know the password for this account. This recent change means that, unfortunately, these house DoD gravatars won’t be usable for visitors like they once were (by simply c/p the addy into the comment form). Since publicly posting up the passwords for these would be problematic, I think I might hand these out to people if anyone is interested (hit us up on the comment form, maybe after a week or so; let’s see if WP changes it back).