Website accounts and comment notifications

Greetings from the OTW Webmasters! We’re pleased to announce two changes to our blog on that will streamline the user experience. These changes do NOT affect accounts on the Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, or Transformative Works and Cultures.

We’re discontinuing user accounts on the OTW blog. Accounts have been a source of confusion for many people and offered little in the way of added features. New account creation is now blocked, and existing accounts will be disabled. Again, this does not affect AO3, Fanlore, or TWC accounts.

You can still leave comments on blog posts — simply enter a name or pseudonym to sign your comment. Existing comments will be preserved. And you can still receive comment notifications via e-mail.

In fact, we’ve installed a new comment notification system that is more powerful and easier to use. Notification e-mails now include the full comment text, LJ/DW-style, and you no longer have to leave a comment in order to receive notifications. Anyone can watch a post, with or without commenting, by clicking the “Watch this post” link and entering an e-mail address. (Your e-mail address will not be publicly visible.) You can unsubscribe at any time via a link in the notification e-mails or by returning to the post and clicking the “You are watching this post” link.

We hope these changes will make it easier to follow and respond to conversations on the OTW blog. If you have feedback about the website, please feel free to contact the Webmasters Committee.

  1. skg0 commented:

    It’s great that people won’t need to log in anymore to comment! Hurray for less confusion. I notice that I can’t put my old account name into the “Your name” field, at the moment, but perhaps that will change?

    That prior comment from “buy r4i software” looks like spam. 🙂

    • Kristen Murphy commented:

      Thanks for letting us know — that’s a wrinkle we hadn’t anticipated. I suspect your username is off-limits because you’re a former OTW staffer. We blocked old staff accounts instead of deleting them so they can be reactivated if folks decide to rejoin the staff someday. Since your old account still exists, it seems that Drupal is trying to protect you by preventing you from impersonating yourself. 🙂 We’ll have to ponder what to do about that. The good news is that it should only affect former staff; the bad news, of course, is that former staff members are likely to be fairly active commenters!

      And yes, it certainly does… *zaps*

      Thanks again for the heads up! <3

      • skg0 commented:

        Makes sense! Thanks for clarifying. FWIW, the protection is for the name field itself, not name + e-mail as unique combination (the way WordPress does it, e.g.), which is smart.

        • Cesy. commented:

          It looks like it’s anyone who had an account before. I’ve managed to get round it by adding a dot on the end of my name, but that’s not ideal.

          • Kristen Murphy commented:

            We have a fix for this now. 🙂

            We changed the usernames of the old, blocked accounts by adding a period — so blocked username “Cesy” is now “.Cesy”. That means you can leave comments as “Cesy” without logging in, and the blocked account won’t interfere.

            If a blocked account is reactivated in the future (i.e. if a former staff member rejoins the staff), we’ll remove the period to restore the registered username to its original spelling. We’ve tested this and confirmed that reactivation of the old account has no effect on comments that were left under the same username while the account was blocked.

            -Kristen (Webmasters Committee)

  2. nicolai commented:

    tnx! I have also changed user names of old accounts and added a period! So you’ve helped me to solve this problem! Tnx