Introducing 💬 Comments!

Let’s Build a Diverse and Welcoming Community on Analog.Cafe

4 min read by
Olympus Muji I with Kodak Pro Image 100.

118 writers, artists, and photographers published 428 quality essays, insights, and guides on this blog. I’m beyond grateful to be in such a company.

Thank you all who contributed to this project along the way and those of you who advised me to add comments to this website. Which is the topic of this post.

You are right, it’s a basic feature. And you shall have it.

I’ve been resisting the comment section for five years, relying on email, IRL, and social media to connect with the human world of photography. I did this because I didn’t trust myself enough to be a moderator and I don’t like creepy, generic, slow plugins. But certain events have convinced me to do the obvious thing.

Starting today, I will be testing and gradually opening up this blog to public discourse with the comment sections. I invite your input in shaping how the comments work on this website.

Help me build a diverse and welcoming community on Analog.Cafe.

I’m building the commenting tool from scratch — so that we can engineer and fine-tune an ideal platform together.

Please have a look at the launch schedule, rules, and features below and let me know what you think in the comments. 👋

Launch schedule.

Until January 2023, the comments will be enabled on this article and, perhaps, a few others as I test and improve the tool. Then, I will turn on the comments on all articles except apps and download pages.

👉 Authors: If you don’t want comments on your article(s) — please email me!

Features.

Once launched, comment sections will appear below all new articles (unless the author requests them not to be there). Comment sections can also be locked upon request.

Anyone whose article(s) have ever been published on Analog.Cafe can publish comments freely. Same with people whose comments I’ve approved previously. Everyone else will have their first comment reviewed before being allowed to post. I’m hoping this will facilitate greater freedom of expression while also keeping this space clean and friendly.

You can edit your comments. They’ll be marked as “edited.” I won’t store the history of edits — only the last revision.

There’s a limit of 750 characters per comment (with a minimum of 3 characters) that I plan to keep for the foreseeable future. Comments are text-only entries, so no images, highlights, etc. If you have a grander idea, you can always submit an article. The comment sections will respect line breaks: feel free to write in paragraphs.

As you type, your text will be “beautified” slightly. That is, straight quotes and apostrophes will become “curly,” short-dashes with spaces around will become long — em dashes, and three dots will be converted to a single character: ellipsis…

There’s a ❤ button next to each comment. If it’s your comment, you’ll see the last five people who ❤’d it. A good way to respond to someone without having to type up a new comment.

You will be able to subscribe to comment threads — but the work on that feature is still ongoing. 🚧

There will be a comment stream page where all the latest comments on the website will be visible at once, Twitter-style. Also, WIP for now. 🚧

Data privacy. The comments hosted here will store only the necessary bits, like the comment itself, user ID, and article ID. I do not plan to create “shopping profiles” and sell any bits of private or public information to anyone.

Design and experience. I built Analog.Cafe from scratch to be the fastest and best-looking blog for film photographers. The comments follow this ethos by loading minimal, tailor-made code only.

Rules.

As you would expect, offensive, threatening, off-topic, and spam comments will be removed. Users known for repeat offences will be suspended. I will also not tolerate perpetual toxic traits on this website. I welcome your feedback and questions on this topic.

I am not blocking or censoring swear words or topics as long as they comply with the above, but the content will need to be SFW for now.

New community members will have their first comment pending approval until I get the time to moderate — I’m aiming to have a 24h cycle for approval and replies in comments. It may be longer if I’m on vacation or unavailable. I haven’t yet built a tool to notify you when your comment is approved — I’m working on that.

Like features, I expect the rules to evolve with your feedback. Which, by the way, I encourage you to share below. 😁