Site Comments, February 2022 Edition

This is the next edition of “Site Comments”, a parallel to the “Random Comments” threads, and meant to relieve the density of commenting in those. While the Random Comments threads will continue to welcome comics-related (and semi-comics-related) topics, as well as life-in-general, this Site Comments thread is the place for suggestions / complaints / questions / musings on how this site is organized and operates. So if you have thoughts about, say, the placement of Recent Comments versus Recent Posts lists, this would be the place for that.

(That is not to say this is the only form of feedback available. Among other routes, you can write to Editors at the submissions address, submissions dot cidu at gmail dot com. But it is explicitly intended to funnel off site commentary from the Random Comments threads.)

This will also be a place for site managers to post questions and requests for ideas, along with operational notices like warnings of theme experimentation coming up etc., besides alerts in separate sticky posts.

At the same time as inaugurating this kind of thread, it is time for yet another rollover of the venerable Random Comments thread. The one about to close, with 369 comments, is “Random Comments, Late 2020 Edition” , and the one getting started contemporaneous with this Site Comments is “Random Comments, February 2022 Edition”.

Also: A list of the site’s most recent comments can be found in the left sidebar (under “folder” icon 2nd tab). A database of all the comments, compiled by larK, is here, and can also be found linked in the left sidebar menu.

And the site’s former FAQ is here, representing the unique voice and outlook of CIDU Bill. An update for current addresses and notes is now available here, and can also be found linked in the left sidebar menu.


  1. If the microscopic data entry frame is a side effect of a wordpress change to their core, then there is nothing we can do about it, except possibly to complain to WordPress about how they have made their system less usable. However, WordPress has proven (multiple times) that they have a Teflon skin when it comes to user complaints, so that unlikely to help. The same applies to any “hidden” changes to the Editor theme, over which we have a similar ability to control (zero). The only potential exception would be investigating the possibility whether the recent configuration changes led to a side-effect, and seeing whether restoring the old configuration fixes the size of the window. However, since you do not feel that this has any chance of success, and are probably unwilling to try it, we will just have to live with the system as it currently is, or use one of the workarounds that you have proposed (with all of the attached advantages and disadvantages).

  2. Sometime in the past I have said that we have no administrative control over how the Akismet plugin handles spam. (As opposed to moderated comments, or Pending as WP calls it, where we do have several controls.) I just found a link which leads to the following area on an Akismet page:

    The “display a privacy notice” option is what I just now activated, mostly to see that this controls page is for real. It is why you might be seeing “This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.” below the comment box. There is no list of strings or users to mark as spam.


    I would make it a survey but that block seems to be available it posts and pages only, not in comments.

    Here is a setting that might merit changing. Note that the “preview” section is like an example. Please comment on whether you would like to try having this “Show related” option turned on. I do see a lot of linking of previous CIDU posts.

  4. I had noticed the “related” posts in the first one I read. At first I thought it was something from the strip source that got sucked in it. I don’t think think it hurts anything but so far the ones I’ve seen haven’t been all that useful either. I do see the Akismet notice.

  5. I can expand the textbox vertically by just hitting ENTER (or Return) a few times. Then go back to top to start writing.

  6. Some updates to sending in and processing comics

    (Also posted to a thread under a post )

    1) LOL and OY submissions automatically approved

    We’re trying to promote the understanding of LOL and OY collection posts that they are reader-driven ideally.  And apart from correcting duplications or filtering the not-safe-for-family, the editors are not going to be judgey about whether we think a sent-in comic is really funny or not, really a good wordplay or not.  It’s more like anything-goes.

  7. 2) Classifications of cartoon send-ins actively sought

    The classifications of cartoons we are mainly interested in receiving currently are:

    CIDU — Comics you didn’t understand (duh). You don’t see a joke there or think you see where it is intended but just don’t get it. Not just a glaring mistake by the cartoonist (we can find some special place for those OOPSES!). And it’s fine if you sense the point you are missing must be due to some allusion to something you’re not familiar with — the editors will also see if it remains mysterious to them, and if so and it’s published as a stand-alone, commenters may help.

    LOL — Comics you consider really funny! And that’s just by your subjective judgement. Any cartoon sent in under a LOL rubric will be used! The editors will not evaluate whether we also consider it highly funny. (But not totally automatic — don’t flood us with more than a handful at a given week; and no objectionable material.)

    OY — A good old-fashioned “groaner” of a pun. Or really clever word-play, even if not precisely somebody’s definition of “pun”. And that’s just by your subjective judgement. Any cartoon sent in under an OY rubric will be used! The editors will not evaluate whether we also consider it highly punful or highly clever as wordplay. If we think it more a matter of funny, we may transfer it to LOL. (But posting will not be totally automatic — don’t flood us with more than a handful at a given week; and no objectionable material.)

    These accept-anything-sincerely sent by readers policies are just carrying over something CIDU Bill was trying to use.

    Yes, there will still be editor-selected OY and LOL cartoons in with the reader-sent ones.

    Currently we are not looking for SYNCHRONICITY or EWWWW cartoons. It’s fine if a CIDU or LOL or OY has some EWWWW-ish aspects, but we just want to steer clear of “let’s see how disgusting these cartoonists can get!”

  8. @ Dana K – That used to work for me, too, but it doesn’t any more. Which browser and operating system are you using? I’d be happy to test the behavior on setups other than the one I normally use.

  9. Speaking of “Likes“, I recently discovered that I have been receiving e-mail notifications for them, but sent to my old “wordpress” e-mail address. For technical (and compatibility) reasons, that ancient address has become exceedingly tedious to read, so I guess I will have to supress the notification settings. I just wanted to mention that I do appreciate the support, but it’s only fair to warn the rest of you that “likes” are completely invisible to me.

    P.S. @ Mitch – After testing it for several weeks now, I think the “related” section is interesting as visible nostalgia, but not especially useful. My vote would be to turn it off again.

  10. How about stealing a gag back from the earliest days of the (recently discontinued) “Washington Post Style Invitational”: “The Ear That No One Reads“.

  11. @ deety – Precisely. Mitch wants ideas to replace the line near the top of the menu in the left column, which currently refers to “Descender“. Not everyone notices that tagline. Similarly, the “ears” of a newspaper are (or were) the little boxes at the top left and top right of the front page (or first page of a section), frequently used in many papers for slogans, ads, or quick topical references. During the first few years of the SI, the “Czar” placed very amusing jokes in those “ears”, giving credit in the SI column to the reader who submitted them, but never telling anyone where they were to be found: you either knew it, or you didn’t. That’s why the credit line called them “the ears no one reads“.

  12. A visitor to the site asked, via the contact form

       I would like to subscribe but I do not see a subscription button anywhere...

    Our answer:

    The site doesn’t support general email subscriptions, as such. If you make a comment in a thread, you can check a box which (when it’s working) will email you any subsequent comments in the same thread. Also, if you use Reader Mode at the Word Press site ( and make a free account), you can Follow any WordPress-hosted sites, such as this one.

  13. @ Mitch – That comment may have been questioning whether WordPress requires a subscription (or “login”) to participate, as is the case with many other social media sites. In many other cases, you can still read without “joining”, but they make it a lot easier to participate if you do sign up. The process of setting up a WordPress account is not at all transparent, so it might be worthwhile to provide a short summary or a link to WP in the CIDU FAQ.

    P.S. I was pleased to discover that the WP-Login that I created for CIDU also allowed me to comment without any trouble at all on Maggie the Cartoonist‘s new WP site.

  14. On behalf of the entire CIDU community, I would like to offer thanks to larK for adjusting some performance issues in his “CIDU comment scraper“, which were caused the ever increasing size of the CIDU archive. I just hope that the CIDU traffic is not costing larK any additional expenses.

  15. It’s a bit embarrassing to realize I haven’t examined our site layout in a while. And I belatedly realized that we do have a “follow by email” subscribe widget! It’s at the bottom of the second lefthand sidebar, the one headed by the tab with the file folder icon.

    Does anyone know if it works okay?

  16. @ Mitch – That feature has no difficulty accepting an e-mail address, and as soon as a new post appears, I’ll tell you whether the notification works, but at the moment I can’t see any way to unsubscribe from the notifications.

  17. @ Mitch – After entering my e-mail address in that CIDU subscription widget, I have not received any notifications of new posts. However, the address I used was different from the (de facto defunct) address that my WP login is still attached to, so it may not be a fair test.

  18. P.S. @ Editors – I would like to thank whoever deactivated the “related posts” feature in the CIDU template theme. It simply took up too much real estate for the low level of usefulness. I don’t know how long it has been gone: I just noticed it this morning.

  19. We didn’t initiate any change in that regard. Whether you are presented with that feature depends on how you are viewing a post. They are not present when you go to the CIDU home page and the scroll shows you just the posts (not the comment threads). They reappear if you follow a link for one post and get a screen of that post plus its comment thread. (Or in WP’s Reader mode, I think.)

    Thank you for trying to accommodate to WP’s technical vocabulary!

  20. @ Mitch – It appears that they may only appear from the links in “recent comments”. Unfortunately, there’s a new incompatibility (or caching problem) with the “folder” menu on my old Mac. All I see when I click on the “folder” icon is “#tab-3” added to the URL, the menu hasn’t appeared on my system for at least a month. (It does show up without any problem when I read on one of my more modern systems.) Therefore, on this desktop I have been forced to rely on larK’s comment scraper, which seems to avoid the related posts as well. Sometimes a bug is a useful feature.

    P.S. As for “template”, that too is an old CIDU Bill tradition: it’s the work that he always used for that piece of technology. I did not come up with that term myself.

  21. @ Mitch – If you really want to make sure that everyone sees your “Call For … Content“, you might consider putting it into a separate post, so that it will remain visible in the “Recent Posts” menu (which has a slower turnover than “Recent Comments” does).

  22. P.S. If you were worried that people might embed their suggested comics in such a post, you can always disable the comments there.

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