Blog notes

blog updatesHi. Some updates to the blog. (1) I changed my name, (2) Names are now required on comments, and (3) Google Reader is going “poof” on July 1. Details after the jump.

1. Name change (or: Bye, bye Ms Terri)

I changed my blog name from Ms Terri to Marj. I originally started using the name Ms Terri on my LOST blog because if you say Ms Terri quickly, it sounds like “mystery” — and LOST had many mysteries.

Now I’m tired of the name. It’s awkward to type and difficult for people to remember.

My new name is simpler. One syllable, five keystrokes: Marj. Say it fast, and it doesn’t sound like anything except itself.

2. Name now required on comments

Lots of people are posting as Anonymous, which is what automatically shows up whenever someone leaves the “Name” field on the comments form blank.

I want to make posting comments as easy as possible, but it gets confusing to have so many Anonymouses (Anonymousi?). People reading the Anonymous comments don’t know if all the comments are from the same person, all from different people, or a little of both. It also makes mentioning a specific comment difficult without having to type something awkward, such as the comment by @Anonymous at 11:31 a.m.

Names are now required on the comment form. You don’t have to use your real name if you don’t want to. But please pick one name and stick to it to make it easier for everyone else to follow the thread of the conversation.

When I made the name required, my blogging software automatically made the email address required as well. It’s fine if you don’t want to leave your real email address. Just make up something that the form will accept.

3. Google Reader is disappearing on July 1

You may have already heard that Google is shutting down its Reader. Google is saying the shut-down date is July 1, 2013. Needless to say, the decision is not popular.

A couple of alternate readers that should make it easy to transfer your subscriptions from Google are The Old Reader and Feedly. No doubt we’ll be hearing a lot more about other readers as we get closer to the July 1 shut-down date.

If you subscribe to this blog via Google Reader, another way to get notices of new posts, besides transferring your subscription to another reader, is to subscribe via email by filling in the SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL form on the sidebar to your right. Checking the box that says “Notify me of new posts via email” after you leave a comment will also set up the same email subscription.

There’s an advantage to subscribing via email, rather than via a reader, if you’d ike to avoid spoilers. When a post is split with a “jump” break, a reader shows the whole post (or at least Google Reader does), while the email subscription only shows the top part. You won’t see any below-the-jump spoilers in the email. If you do want to see the spoilers, just click through to the blog.

What do you think?