Response Posts for Discussion Between Authors

A simple mechanism could be added to the setup procedure for Pro blogs. Authors could toggle a response-tag switch on/off. By default the response tag could be auto-filled, when toggled “on”, as their username or blog alias. They could edit the name in the blog’s settings. That could be parsed and added to the directory, and maybe an about page auto-generated with the tag if the page doesn’t exist.

Alternatively, instead of the about page, there could be a kind of widget added to the bottom of blog posts. This widget could have a yes/no toggle. Set to No it would display “Do not want responses to this post”. If set to Yes it would say ”Responses wanted to hashtag xyz”. The hashtag would be auto-filled from the blog settings.

I’m in favor of having something on an About page that specifies what hashtag to use for response posts. That way the author themselves can pick and choose the hashtag to be used for response posts.

I also like the idea of having a page that has a listing of blogs/sites and their corresponding response to hashtags.

I think for us to end up with a standard for this, we need to get more user input… How do we get more people to share their input on here? I suppose we can write a post that can be shared on the read.write.as feed that will point to this thread. It would be even better if we can pin that post to the top of the feed.

I wrote some javascript to automatically insert one’s preferred response hashtag below posts, including the option to skip responses for individual posts.

I will post the script after I’ve made it a little user friendlier.

If there is a post you do not want responses to, you only need to type the keyword “ResponseNo”, anywhere in your post. Then text will be inserted that you do not want responses for this post. The “ResponseNo” keyword will also be removed.

Here are the screenshots for both cases. Let me know what you think to it.

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Really like the idea of a post footer @nibl! Constant reminders would be great. I could also imagine there being something that people can add into their blog’s footer - a link to the aforementioned directory. This strikes me as a similar practice to how a lot of webrings organize (one example and another).

Definitely agree with you @dino. We can also write about it on our personal blogs and just start practicing this. Curious what other people think (@matt, @sfss, @bugbuster).

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I think this is a nicely thought-out idea by @nibl, giving complete control to the blogger as to which hashtags to use, either by manually inserting or using the forthcoming js code by nibl, or by communicating a no responses messages. As @cjeller1592 mentions, it can be used right now without anything further needing to be implemented.

This is a read.write.as idea/solution, there are a few limitations I can think of off-hand regarding WriteFreely. No javascript support on WF, so the @nibl code wouldn’t work, though of course the hashtag could be manually inserted. Also, as far as I know, there is no overall WF reader, as there is with read.write.as. Each WF instance has a reader, and this hashtag technique could be used for that instance, but AFAIK a hashtag wouldn’t be discoverable across WF instances. Is this right, or does someone know otherwise?

Regarding hashtags in general: I think a nice-to-have feature would be some sort of enhanced hashtag discovery mechanism. I know of two useful, partial attempts at this: (1) a glitch app by @cjeller1592 to list the hashtags in use by a specific blog, https://wa-tags.glitch.me/, and (2) read.write.as has a pinned header list of 4 trending hashtags among all reader posts. It would be nice to have a link that displays a more complete listing of hashtags in use.

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Here is the code. The hashtag link is now clickable so you can quickly view responses and visitors can read how others have responded. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you. Instructions are included as comments in the code.

/* This code automatically inserts a hashtag below your post informing readers you are interested in response posts, and requesting they use a specific hashtag so you can find their response. There is also a mechanism to specify when you do not want a response.

Usage: Edit the "myResponseText" variable below to include your username or whatever text you want to display below posts.

When you don't want a response, type "responseno" anywhere in the post.

Tech note: By default, the text will be inserted above the first horizontal rule (<hr>, or "---" in markdown). This works with the default theme. If you insert horizontal rules in your markdown, you will need to change the code. If you use a different theme, you will need to check if and where it places horizontal rules.
*/

// EDIT this variable
var myResponseText = 'Responses welcome on Read Write.as using &#35;<a href="https://read.write.as/t/username">username</a>';


// Insert response hashtag on posts, but not on the homepage
// Check for post body id
if(document.getElementById("post-body")){

var content = document.getElementById("post-body").innerHTML;

var result = /responseno/i.test(content);

if (result) {
    var MyResponseTag = '<div style="margin-bottom: 2rem"><h3>No Responses Please</h3></div>';

var newContent = content.replace(/responseno/gi, "");

document.getElementById("post-body").innerHTML = newContent;

document.getElementsByTagName("hr")[0].insertAdjacentHTML('beforeBegin', MyResponseTag);
  }
  else {
    var MyResponseTag = '<div style="margin-bottom: 2rem"><h3>'+myResponseText+'</h3></div>';

document.getElementsByTagName("hr")[0].insertAdjacentHTML('beforeBegin', MyResponseTag);
  }
} else {

// remove responseno flag from homepage if displayed as part of post preview

 var bodyContent = document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0].innerHTML;

 var newBodyContent = bodyContent.replace(/responseno/gi, "");

 document.body.innerHTML = newBodyContent;

}
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I like the idea of creating web rings. They are really useful for discovery of small groups without being overwhelmed by huge content offerings. As a reader I find them most useful with the classic left and right arrows in the footer. It’s nice to discover sites by moving from one to the other.

Is there a plan to add per blog custom footers? That said, a web ring would require a Javascript snippet anyway.

Ok, I tested the @nibl javascript code on a new temp blog and it works. A test blog post is at https://tempblog.writeas.com/response-hashtags in case anyone wishes to post a response.

Important Reminder: For this to work, the Preferred URL in your blog’s Customize page must be in the format <blogname>.writeas.com, NOT write.as/<blogname>. That is a system requirement for javascript to work.

@nibl, I just noticed one little response test situation: the responseno line shows in the post on the read.write.as listing page. Perhaps one way to make it not show is to use the <!–more–> feature to display only that text which is above the responseno line.

responsetest

Thanks @bugbuster, good catch! I was hoping someone would do a real test with it. It looks to me as though posts are truncated after five lines on read.write.as. So the responseno keyword would only appear on very short posts. I will add your suggestion to the script instructions.

I had considered asking people to place the “responseno” keyword below <!—more—> because that would have halved the amount of necessary code. But then I thought maybe some people want to have their entire posts readable on their homepage.

Oh, and I didn’t know blogs needed to use a Write.as subdomain for Javascript to work. That also needs adding to the instructions.

Yeah, I had forgotten about that and after creating the test blog, the js code didn’t work since I hadn’t initially configured the blog to use the writeas.com subdomain setting. Then I remembered about it and after that change the code immediately worked perfectly.

Many thanks for your js coding on this. Not only is this a useful technique for those interested in a response dialog, but it also is a good reference illustrating some techniques for how to do certain useful things with js on the write.as platform.

Testing it too:

Thanks for your test post so we can see if everything works as expected.

Your post on tinkering.writeas.com included the #responsetest hashtag and therefore anyone going to https://read.write.as/t/responsetest could follow that discussion thread.

For your own blog’s Test 1 post on tinkering.writeas.com, your response hashtag has an issue:

// EDIT this variable
var myResponseText = 'Responses welcome on Read.Write.as using &#35;<a href="https://read.write.as/t/username">Tinkering</a>';

The hashtag displays as #Tinkering in the post, but if anyone clicks on that hashtag, note that they will be directed to this link: https://read.write.as/t/username, NOT https://read.write.as/t/tinkering.

If you really intended the response hashtag to be #Tinkering, you should replace username in the javascript code with tinkering.

If that’s what you intended, it would be interesting to see what happens if you change the javascript code accordingly: as I understand it, that javascript change will then be automatically reflected in any future reads of the original post on your blog and also on read.write.as. But it would be good to verify that.

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Hey there, good call and thanks for the clarification: it wasn’t intended, nope. Editing the code now.

Not knowing Javascript, I wonder if what you describe would be the end result if I change the code accordingly.

Will ask the question to a buddy.

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@sfss @bugbuster It will show the most current link in all your old posts too. The script runs each time the page is loaded. It’s dynamic, as opposed to static.

I can make a separate variable where you only need to enter the hashtag name. I guess most people probably don’t want to edit the rest of the inserted text. That will be simpler for most people.

I believe read.write.as is also dynamic because otherwise edits to your posts would not be reflected there.

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Trying different stuff, doesn’t work anymore heh.

Gotta go unfortunately, I’ll wait for my bud’s answer.

One last try: it’s back on read!

Cool, will dive deeper at the end of the week when I see my friend.

The reason it’s not working is due to this in your blog’s javascript code:

<a href="https://read.write.as/tag:responsetest">responsetest</a>

Replace it with the following instead (the /tag:responsetest needs to be changed to /t/responsetest):

<a href="https://read.write.as/t/responsetest">responsetest</a>

The full line of code would then be:

// EDIT this variable var myResponseText = 'Responses welcome on Read.Write.as using &#35;<a href="https://read.write.as/t/responsetest">responsetest</a>';

If you want to use a different tag, replace the two responsetest occurrences with whatever you wish.

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@bugbuster @sfss, thanks for your experimental posts and feedback.

I will have to revise my original idea. This system really only works if you stick to the same response tag, or only change it  occasionally. That’s because the script will always insert your current response tag into all your posts. Meaning old posts would only have the new response tag.

There is a simple way to work around it, but it involves some manual editing. You would visit the old tag’s response thread and manually edit each of those posts, inserting the old tag. That way the old tag remains static in all the old posts. The new tag would be displayed in the text by the script. That sounds too impractical to me.

I think sticking to one response tag is the way to go. You can additionally use a specific hashtag for a thread, while your response tag makes it easy to view all responses to your posts without remembering, individual tags.

Example post:

“Bla bla bla …

#SomeSpecialEvent #Music

Responses welcome using #username.”

You can easily find all responses to your posts under #username, but also filter threads by specific tags when you want — and you don’t have to remember, or keep track of other tags because you will find them in your responses.

Your response tag has two main purposes. The most important one is to encourage responses when you seek them. That’s done by the reminder at the bottom of each post. It’s a call to action. The second is to make it easy for you to find all responses without getting muddled by lots of different tags. It works like a silent “mention” because you only know about it when you look for it. That’s how it differs from other hashtags.

Does this usage explanation make sense?

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Makes perfect sense @nibl! I loved this “silent mentions” idea so much that I joined in and wrote a post about it using the #responsetest hashtag. You should see it in the updated feed link.

I think keeping to one hashtag for a user would make sense. And even if it got complicated with multiple hashtags, people could add them manually as you showed in the example post above.

As far as discovery of others go, we could do something similar to how webrings do it where each blog in the webring have a similar footer (see an example here).

That footer could read similar to the response JS: “This blog is taking mentions using #cjeller - see who else is taking responses here” and link to the directory blog. We could even include left/right arrows that take people to a random blog that is taking responses. That way people not only see how to respond to one blog but can see a network of people who are also taking responses.

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