About the Comments Here

In 2023, I moved this blog over to a static site generator system. I also moved the comments system over to Mastodon.

The Comments Policy

Every current post has a Mastodon thread. The thread is displayed live on at the bottom of the page. To post a comment, you must load the thread (in your favorite Mastodon client) and reply to it.

Periodically I may download the thread and import the comments into my blog system.

Old comments (from the Gameshelf and Blogger days) have been all been imported already.

Flaws in the Plan

Yes, I know this isn't perfect.

  • You have to turn on Javascript to see the live comments thread.
  • Live Mastodon comments are not included in the blog's "comments" count.

(But imported comments don't have these problems. That's why I intend to import comments regularly.)


  • I have not created a thread for older posts. Only the most recent posts are open for comments.
  • There is no RSS feed for "all comments on the blog".
  • You need a Mastodon account (or other Fediverse setup) to comment.
  • Even if you have one, this is a pain in the ass now.

Why did I do this?

The Long Explanation

I'm really not a Mastodon fanatic. I like Mastodon and the Fediverse system, but I'm not evangelizing it.

But I do want to get away from big commercial platforms. I used to rely on Google's Blogger.com, but how long will that be around? There are third-party plugins like Disqus, but being smaller than Google is a different kind of risk.

WordPress is open-source and self-hostable. But it's big, it's bloated, and you really have to keep up on security patches. So you wind up with the same disadvantages as a commercial platform. You're stuck with whatever the platform owner ships. (I hate WordPress's new visual editor and I don't trust them to keep supporting the classic one.)

I seriously considered dropping comments entirely. I have semiregular commenters here, and I've known some of you for decades. But I don't get a lot of comments. A handful a month, on average. I could survive losing that.

But shouldn't there be some kind of Fediverse solution? (I hear you cry.) I searched around, and there is! Thank you, Carl Schwan and Daniel Pecos Martínez. (Here's my script; there's not much to it.)

Using a Mastodon thread as a comments thread is a hack, but it's my kind of hack. It relies on a non-commercial, cooperative system. It's a system I already use. And lot of my friends (and regular commenters!) are on board too.

Yes, this plan could all go to hell. Facebook is coming. Spam is coming. I don't know what Mastodon will look like in a year, much less ten years. I'm sure I'll have to make adjustments.

But this is the current plan. We'll see.