Blogger changed its comment form
Recently many bloggers have become upset upon discovering that a comment they write for a Blogger blog no longer links back to their own blog–unless they have a Blogger/Google ID. Blogger has responded by saying these commenters can post using OpenID.
As the official OpenID site explains,
…people are already creating identities for themselves whether it be at their blog, photostream, profile page, etc. With OpenID you can easily transform one of these existing URIs into an account which can be used at sites which support OpenID logins.
The idea behind OpenID is that you would have one login and password for all the places you visit on the web, and that login could be associated with a website, either your profile at a service you use, or your own website. But many non-Blogger commenters resent having to sign up with yet another service–and are annoyed with the inconvenience of typing their url into every post.
You may already have an OpenID
News Flash! You may already have an OpenID. No fooling! If you are a member of AOL, LiveJournal, Vox, Technorati, WordPress.com, or have a TypeKey id, your username for any of those is an OpenID login. If you self-host using WordPress software, do you use the Akismet plugin? Then you also have a WordPress login, remember? That’s how you got your Akismet key.
Send readers of your comments to your website
You do have to type in a bit more than the username, as the OpenID website explains. It often is the url to your profile page, and that’s where the comment will link back to. But the website with your already-established OpenID may not your primary hangout on the web, or it doesn’t have your website associated with it. For example, you may have registered with Technorati for other reasons, but you don’t want your blog comments to link to your Technorati profile. You want your comments to link to your website. If you have access to the part of your html code enclosed by
<head> tags, there is a way to remedy this.
Just a little html will do the trick
If you are using WordPress.com as your OpenID provider, put these two lines of code into your
<link rel="openid.server" href="http://username.wordpress.com/?openidserver=1" /> <link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://username.wordpress.com/" />
If you are using AOL as your OpenID provider, put these two lines of code into your
<link rel="openid.server" href="https://api.screenname.aol.com/auth/openidServer" > <link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://openid.aol.com/screenname" >
If you are using TypeKey as your OpenID provider, put these two lines of code into your
<link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://profile.typekey.com/username/" /> <link rel="openid.server" href="https://www.typekey.com/t/openid" />
If you are using LiveJournal as your OpenID provider, put these two lines of code into your
<link rel="openid.server" href="http://www.livejournal.com/openid/server.bml"/< <link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://username.livejournal.com/"/<
If you are using Vox as your OpenID provider, put these two lines of code into your
<link rel="openid.server" href="http://www.vox.com/services/openid/server"/< <link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://member.vox.com"/<
If you are using Technorati as your OpenID provider, put these two lines of code into your
<link rel="openid.server" href="http://technorati.com/openid/" /> <link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://technorati.com/people/technorati/username/>
In each example, you would substitute your unique username for the part that’s in italics. Only use one of these, even if you have OpenIDs with more than one of them. You can use the other OpenIDs without the redirection, however. WARNING: Do not copy the code straight from this blog into your html file. As Bill points out in the comments below, the quotation marks are not right. I just tried to fix them and they aren’t fixing. Copy the code into a plain text editor (like Notepad) and delete each quotation mark and retype it. That fixed it for me.
Delegation is the name of the game
These two lines of code are known as OpenID delegation, in case you want to look up more about it. By adding these two lines of code, you are linking your website with the OpenID that you already have. When you comment with that OpenID–when you use it anywhere, in fact–your name becomes a link back to your website.
OpenID delegation in action
Here’s how it works in practice. After you’ve added those two lines of code to your website’s html, go to your favorite Blogger blog and comment as usual. Complete the word verification, and then choose the OpenID option and pick Any OpenID from the drop-down box. If you want it to link to your website, you need to type in your website’s url. You only need to type in the domain name; you can skip the http and the www. For example, when I comment on gardening blogs I would use my gardening website,
When you click on Publish Your Comment, the browser window gets sent to your website, which refers it to your OpenID provider. The first time you do this, the provider will ask you to sign in or ask for some other verification. If you’re lucky, it will also ask if you want to be authenticated just for this time, or always. If you often comment on Blogger blogs, telling it “always” will make the process go faster next time. If all goes as it should, your comment will be published and automatically linked to your website.
I used my WordPress OpenID to test this out. Besides asking permission, WordPress also asked if it could pass my name to Blogger. I said yes, and so my comment is signed with my first name, and my name links to my gardening website. Even though I do have a Blogger id, I am considering using my OpenID to comment on Blogger, because it links directly to my website instead of my Blogger profile, eliminating an extra click between potential visitors and my site.
What if I’m scared to mess with my code?
Most bloggers have a friend or relative who helps them with this stuff. If you don’t, I can help you for a fee.
I went to an awful lot of sites trying to piece this together. The most helpful site by far was Simon Willison’s post, which I found via a Wired article. While I was testing it out, I posted an awful lot of comments at May Dreams Gardens and A Study in Contrasts. Thanks to Carol and Kim for your kind toleration.