Identification icons are quickly becoming a popular way for bloggers to encourage responsible use of blog comments. A variety of solutions are available, all of which aim to provide useful benefits to the blog reader.
Identification icons allow blog readers to personalize their posts just like a forum avatar. The additional personalization may encourage responsible posting as well as increased commenting and discussion. Identification icons prevent users from impersonating one another, leading to more responsible posting. They also may prevent flaming, since a user tied to an identification icon will have to take additional steps to obfuscate their identity.
Version 3.4.1 of the Blog module supports all popular identification options available today:
Gravatar, or Globally Recognized Avatar, provides an easy service that allows users to upload an image avatar that follows them from site to site. This simple solution ties the image to an email address, providing a very easy way for blog software to retrieve the image.
Identicons, Wavicons, and MonsterIDs are automatically generated images that can be used in place of a Gravatar in the event that the user does not want to create one. These images are generated by a hash of the user's email address (or IP address, in the event that the user chooses not to enter an email address).
One feature that may be unique to DotNetNuke is the ability for the user to instantly preview their image in the comments section before submitting their comments. As soon as the user enters their email address and tabs out of the email field, their Gravatar (or other icon) will automatically display in a preview area. As far as we know, this preview capability doesn't exist in any other blogging platform.
Other Comments Changes
We've included a few other improvements to the comments area as well:
- Users can now enter a website address with their comment. This feature can be enabled or disabled by the blog owner
- Blog owner can show or suppress unique comment titles
- Blog owner's comments have a unique CSS tag, enabling them to stand out from other comments
Many thanks to Rip Rowan and Don Worthley for this great new feature.