Admin note – OpenID login button for comments now fixed (blame Facebook!)

Hi there, Mark the geek here (¿Come se dice “geek” en español?) with a tip for commenting here on Uruguay Expat Life. Use OpenID, and forget about extra passwords! Many of our current and new followers may not know that you can log into our comment system with the cross-site, cross-platform, “non-evil” OpenID. Why didn’t you know that? Because we also want to offer you the convenience of leaving comments with a login from your Facebook ID. Facebook was hiding OpenID! 

Our Intense Debate Comment Form with all login options showing including OpenID
Now it works! No more hidden-by-Facebook OpenID.

We also offer you the option to use your existing WordPress ID, an existing IntenseDebate ID (our commenting platform, from the makers of WordPress, Automattic), or your Twitter handle, in addition to Facebook and OpenID. We don’t require any particular one, but offer you the choice of whichever you like.

At least we thought we did! The problem is, Facebook’s login button was clobbering the OpenID login.

On my travel-specific blog, The Fuzzy Wanderer, I also use the Intense Debate commenting system that we use here at Uruguay Expat Life. Except I don’t have a Facebook App ID and a Facebook Connect ID for Fuzzy. I do offer WordPress, Twitter, and OpenID logins for comments over there. Works fine, looks good, buttons show right where they should. 

Ah but add Facebook to the mix, and the FB button sneaks into the mix as a narrow little thing, waits for the unsuspecting OpenID button to appear which thinks it is going next to a tiny image, then it expands all over it! Killing it better than a spray can of Jupiter-brand “Mata Todo!” does to our giant moths! Hiding all but an edge, so unless you know it was there, you cannot use it. I’m sure that Mark Zuckerberg didn’t do that on purpose. Even though Facebook, unlike its big competitors Yahoo and Google, is not an OpenID provider itself.

I was tempted to disable FB logins, but so many of you use it, and it is the most common ID out there. Remember, we use Facebook login only to authenticate you and to pull in your name and picture. We don’t store anything, we don’t send your comment back to Facebook, and we do not use the Facebook Social Reader type of plugin that shares your activity here back to you and your friends’s Timelines. We just use it to get your basic info so you don’t have to create yet another ID just for us. We do require logging in with some sort of ID to prevent blogspam.

So what’s this OpenID? It’s a great way of using a single ID across many sites, while you remain in control of what gets sent. I just used my OpenID yesterday to comment on a Latin-America-related newspaper article on the Tampa Bay Florida paper. I don’t live there, don’t routinely go there, don’t need Yet Another ID PITA. But they take OpenID as an option, so it was simple. We take it too, for the same reason!

You can get an OpenID from dozens of different providers. In fact, your Google ID and your Yahoo ID, among many other common ones, are themselves OpenIDs. I choose to use a separate OpenID so that my ID across the dozens of sites I use with OpenID is not tied to what I do extensively across the web with my Google ID, except when I choose to link it. I got mine from MyOpenID, which despite their name, is not some central official controller of the OpenID concept. They just picked a really good name for their business.

By the way, if you have problems seeing or using our Comment form or any of the login options, you may be using an overly-assertive set of Privacy and/or Adblocking extension settings.

If you use Ghostery, the popular anti-tracking cross-platform extension for Firefox, Chrome and their variants, and have blocked all Widgets, Intense Debate is hidden. You can select just Intense Debate in their options and clear it (easiest way is to bring up their options, then just search for “Intense” to find it.) If you use the highly-recommended Comodo Dragon Browser, which is a more-secure, faster version of Chrome, they just launched a similar Privacy extension called Privalert. You re-enable Intense Debate the same way, except there is no search for it, just pop open the Widgets section and scroll to Intense Debate, then uncheck the box. Obviously if you are still blocking the Twitter and/or Facebook options, you won’t see those login options but you will get the form. (By the way, you may want to look for and un-block the popular Disqus commenting platform too – many blogs and a huge number of new and opinion sites use Disqus. I love Disqus. And I log into it with my OpenID!)

screenshot showing the Intense Debate unblocking in Ghostery extension
How to unblock our comments in Ghostery
screenshot showing unblocking Intense Debate in Comodo Dragon's Privalert
How to unblock our comments in Comodo’s Privalert

If you are using Adblock Plus or Adblock Lite (the newer, no-“allowed-by-default”-ads variant of Adblock Plus, and my choice on Firefox) on Firefox (or its variants like 64-bit Windows Waterfox, 64-or-32-bit Windows Palemoon Browser, or Windows security-enhanced Comodo IceDragon Browser), or Adblock Plus or plain Adblock (the best Chrome adblocker) on Chrome or its variants, you may have added the “Fanboy’s Annoyances” social media widgets block list (this link will install it if you have a blocker). It doesn’t come by default, but it is on all my machines and blocks every single in-page widget, share button, tweet, pin, +1, digg, reddit, addthis thingy you may see. Or not see, that is the point. That will kill some of our commenting functionality too, and definitely disable our 3rd-party login buttons. So you may want to whitelist our site if you have that deep a level of blocking.

Please let me know if you have any problems or questions about site access, blocking, or just info on these topics unrelated to our site. You can contact me via our site’s contact form, or via Google+ (my personal profile is on our About page.) We want you to enjoy our site, and if you don’t want to see the few ads we have (from Google Adsense and some for our own products like Lisa’s books at Amazon), that is fine! We just want you to be able to engage fully with us here, so if you are having a problem technically, use our form to let us know.

And by “us” in this case, I mean me, Marcos, Mark-the-geek. Lisa has enough to do!

PS for the geekiest, including any other bloggers using Intense Debate, here’s a link to the fix. Except where the padding is 0px 6px 0px 0px the 6px needs to be 90px. You’re welcome. 🙂

Published by

Mark Mercer

Site co-owner Mark Mercer. AKA Marcos Cristoforo Mercer, AKA the Fuzzy Wanderer. Expat from USA living in Uruguay as of mid-2012, after "test-driving" it for a few months in 2011 and early 2012. Married to Lisamaria, AKA well-known travel and fitness writer Lisa Marie Mercer. Follow Mark on Twitter @mcmxs and his many other sites, which you can find at http://about.me/MarkMercer. I write and engage about many of my other interests, on Google+ at https://google.com/+MarkMercer

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