RIP Bill Sakovich

Some sad news—Bill Sakovich, the man behind Ampontan, reportedly passed away from cancer on Dec 21.

Bill was one of the first bloggers I followed, initially when he was with Japundit and later when he started Ampontan. I didn’t always agree with his commentary about Korea, but he was witty and he knew his shit. Above all, it was clear he loved and respected his adopted homeland, and his strident commentary about Japan provided a refreshing contrast to the bitching and moaning you sometimes read in the Western press and blogosphere.

Bill, you will be missed.

Looking for a few good moderators

One of the nice things about Disqus is that it makes moderation relatively easy.

Anyway, if anyone wants to help moderate the comments, just shoot me an email (or leave a comment).

I know some of you want an official commenting policy. Me, I’m not so sure—I enjoy a certain amount of chaos. What I’d prefer is something akin to what Bunny tried to do in season 3 of “The Wire,” i.e., give the more excentric sorts a place to be themselves so that normal commenters can feel safer. How one goes about creating a blogging Hamsterdam, though, I have no idea.

Open Thread: The Housecleaning Edition

Hope you all like snow. If you’re driving, please take care.

Anyway, I’ll be experimenting with the template this weekend. The aim is to find a lightweight, responsive theme that automatically resizes for mobile platforms without the use of a separate plugin. The blog has been eating serious CPU (leading to frequent down time) and I’d like to rid it of some of the bloat.

Oh, and if anyone knows of a “Recent Comments” solution that works with Disqus, I’m all ears.

OK, we should be back now

Sorry about that.

Experienced an unexpected technical issue yesterday that required a rather time-consuming solution.

The Marmot’s Hole appears to be working now, but my photoblog will require another day or so. Please let me know if you continue to experience technical difficulties.

Disqus mobile issues

I think I now realize what people were complaining about in regards to Disqus on mobile.

Just took me forever to post something because of the mobile window.

And I use a Galaxy Note. Can’t imagine what it’s like for iPhone.

Mobile issues are a deal-breaker with  me, so if I can’t resolve this, I might have to revert to the old system. Which, I take it, many of you may welcome.

Now about to watch Dark Knight with wife and her aunt and uncle.

OK, I think I can go back to posting actual content now…

I apologize for the recent mess and lack of postings.

The thing is, unless I’m happy with the way things look, it annoys me so much I can’t really post until I fix it.

I was hoping to find something with a bit bigger font—something like this—but alas, I couldn’t find anything that worked for me.

My old template, Thesis, was great, but it doesn’t play well with Disqus. The Platform theme, however, looks a lot like Thesis, and works well with Disqus.

Anyway, I think it’s pretty readable.

No rotating banners—sorry, Mr. Barch—but I did put a widget in the sidebar linking the three most recent photos at my SmugMug account (which I use for my photoblog).

Threaded comments off

I’ve turned off threaded comments just to see how folk like it.

Mind you, you can still respond to comments, but the responses automatically show up at the end of the thread.

I’ve also reverted back to the older version of Disqus. Let me know if that makes mobile commenting any easier.

Disqus Updates

I’ve enabled the new Disqus 2012, which handles long discussions much better (see this example) and has got a lot more nifty features, all of which you can read about here.

In theory, conversations should be happening in real-time now. Be sure to check out the cool community functions, too. And if you’re logged in, the “My Disqus” has recent responses to your comments as well as a list of your recent activity.

Oh, and I’ve crafted two rotating banners. More to come when I have time.

NOTE: Installing Disqus Comments

Going to give Disqus another try—they’ve made some changes to it I want to check out.

It’s going to take a couple of hours to export all my comments to it, though. Sorry for the inconvenience.

UPDATE: Still uploading the comments. Might be a couple of more hours. Feel free to comment in the meantime, though—your comments will be saved.

UPDATE: Disqus is behaving in a rather frustrating manner, with effed-up comment counts and missing comments. Trying to figure it out. If I can’t rectify it today, I’ll abandon the effort. Will let you know when things are finished.

UPDATE: Disqus import behaving in an infuriating manner now. Going to give a try to Livefyre, which they use at a number of big sites. You might not want to comment until I’ve imported everything and seen how it works, unless of course you’ve already got a Livefyre account or want one anyway. Again, sorry for the inconvenience, but really, this is for the best in the long run.

UPDATE: Livefyre ran into import issues, too. Shit. On advice from email, comments, Facebook, etc., I’m going to give Intense Debate a try, but frankly, I think I’m going to end going back to Disqus and hope they figure out why I can’t import comments made since July 16, 2011 (the last time I tried Disqus, coincidentally, we seems relevant).