As many of the TTAG Armed Intelligentsia may have noticed, TTAG has been evolving lately. As we approach a milestone of a quarter of a million views per month, we’ve been working on streamlining the design, so we can add some advertisers (gotta pay the bills somehow) and generally working to make things easier on your eyes. We’ve also added some horsepower under the hood, which should make TTAG more reliable, with faster load times, fewer delays, and (hopefully) no downtime. We’ve also added some plugins to add features (did you know you can easily read TTAG on your smartphone?) and functionality. That brings us to comments, or more specifically, your comments . . .

We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our readers. And when we brag on our ever-increasing readership, it’s with a sense of pride, that TTAG readers are a diverse lot, but are generally speaking a lot more knowledgeable and better-informed than most people on all things gun-related. We know there’s a lot of you who choose to read us and not comment. That’s cool. (Although we’d love for you to speak up when the mood strikes.) There are many others who prefer direct participation, in the form of commenting on what you read here. We like that.

To date, we’ve tried to make it as frictionless as possible to comment here. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort to put anti-spam measures into place so we don’t get deluged with a lot of unrelated comments that are thinly-disguised ads for crap like male enhancement products. (If you could get a look at our spam folder, you’d understand why the war we wage on spam is vital to your enjoyment of the site.) One way that we can keep the spammers at bay that we haven’t employed is to require everyone that wants to comment to register as a user/member of the site.

We’ve done that for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we suspect there are a lot of people who are happy to comment, as long as they can remain anonymous. Secondly, we don’t want anybody to feel as if we’re doing anything to track anyone’s visits here. (We do keep track of how many visits we get per day, but we don’t have any way to detect the names/addresses of specific visitors). We’d prefer to keep this on a voluntary basis. But there are some advantages to registering. To wit:

  1. We can contact you offline, if there’s a problem with a comment. Most of the TTAG Armed Intelligentsia treat everyone with respect. But sometimes a Tr0ll will inflame those on the site to the point where it gets a little nasty. If you’re a registered user, we have the email you used to sign up, and we can contact you privately to resolve issues, before things escalate and we start getting complaints that lead to banning.
  2. If you’ve signed up with Gravatar.com, you’ll see our generic icon/target guy replaced with your own, custom icon.
  3. We can notify you about limited opportunities (shoots, demos, that sort of thing), when it would make no sense to mention publicly. For instance, if I organize a TTAG event in North Louisiana on short notice, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to publicize it to all our readers.
  4. It helps us build a community. We have a complete and total aversion to spammers. We’re NEVER, EVER gonna give your email to advertisers, list merchants, or any other 3rd party that you don’t know about. Period. But we’d love to be able to contact you directly, on occasion. (We promise – we won’t abuse the privilege.)
  5. It will eventually help us demographically, as we scale the heights of the blogosphere.

But there are, we admit, some reasons you might prefer to remain anonymous:

  1. You may feel as if remaining anonymous somehow protects your privacy. (Privacy is a myth. And just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they’re NOT putting on their little lists.)
  2. You think that by not registering, you’re free to snipe at will. (Not true. Break the rules, and you will be banned – you’ll get a warning, but start flaming, and you’re history.)
  3. You feel as if registering will force you to reveal too much about yourself. (Nope. Only the site admins have access to user accounts. Currently, that’s RF and me, and our webhost administrator. It’s a small group. And we’re all dedicated to keeping identities safe.) All we need is your username, your first and last name and your email address. That really isn’t a lot to ask.

We’d like to take this opportunity to encourage you to register here on TTAG (and go to Gravatar.com to set up your custom icon, too!). The more registered users we’ve got, the happier that makes us. So if you haven’t already, please consider registering. We’ll do our best to live up to the trust you place with us, and make it worth your while to part with a small part of your personal information.

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24 Responses to We’d Like to Know a Little Bit About You (but NOT for our “files”)

  1. You left off a big reason someone might want not want to register (or might be discouraged from commenting if registration were required):
    4. It’s yet another username and password to keep track of. It’s the online equivalent of the discount cards bursting the seams of my wallet.

    On a tangential note, have you tested leaving a comment with Firefox? On both my home and work computers, typing is extremely slow with Firefox but fine in IE and Chrome. This seems to have started happening in the last month or so. Anyone else notice this? When you mentioned the new plugins and upgrades to the site, it made me think of it.

    • Same thing has been happening with me on Firefox. I’ve been typing in Word and pasting my comments in.

    • As a I.T. professional, let me recommend LastPass (.com) You have one master password to log in to lastpass, then it will keep all your user/pass combinations and log you into your favorite sites, once you set it up. There is a vid on their site which explains how it works, much better than I can. I have over 100 web logins for various sites and now that I use lastpass, I only have to remember one, the master. Your data is encrypted in the program and backed up to lastpass.com, meaning you can use it anywhere on any computer. Hope this helps. Its free, BTW.

    • I’d suggest you consider using Google Chrome. I loved Firefox when it first came out, and switched to it from IE. Then it slowly succumbed to the curse of bloatware. Chrome is a lot faster, and has the added advantage of a single entry field for both URLs and searches, as well as better wiring under the hood. Not sure about the latest iteration from the Mozilla folks, but Chrome will let you kill a tab that’s crashed (or a process, like Flash) without taking down all the other tabs. It also releases memory every time you close a tab – unless the new version of Firefox does that, Chrome will be better behaved, memory-wise.

      Also take a look at the new “full-screen editor” mode on TTAG. You can press a button in the toolbar, and go from a relatively small edit window, to a full-screen editor, that lacks all the crap that usually surrounds the interface.

      • The full screen editor does indeed help in Firefox. Great tip!

        I like Chrome too. In fact, it’s my favorite overall.

        Even IE won back some of my respect when version 9 came out. I’m a 3-browser guy right now (plus Android).

        But I still like Firefox best for reading blogs because of the way it shows RSS feeds in the bookmark bar. So I almost always end up landing on TTAG in Firefox.

        I’m actually pretty advanced as users go. I have a BS in computer science and work in IT. That’s why I went a month before even mentioning it: I’ve been working around the problem. But for a larger audience, it just has to work in all the major browsers. It has to be addressed on the server side.

      • I just experimented with typing into the comment box (not full screen) using Safari, Chrome and Firefox on my MacBook Pro. All seemed OK with little delay in echoing back my input. Maybe I noticed that Chrome was slightly quicker (or maybe that is the power of suggestion…! ;->).

        Be that as it may thanks for your comments about Chrome. Maybe I can suspend my distrust of Google i.e. that their “free” services are just the bait and we are the catch.

      • I’ve tried Chrome a few times. It’s going to take some getting used to, and it works pretty well, but I’m not wild about it.

  2. Regarding your 5 advantages, I don’t see why any of this can’t be accomplished with just a handle and a semi-anonymous email address. Giving out real identifiable information inevitably leads to abuse whether intentional or not.

    • Works for me. We’re not out to spam anybody or invade anyone’s privacy. I recommend that everyone have a free email account (Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail) that they use to sign up for stuff anyway. I do.

  3. How are a generic WordPress account and the WordPress account that I registered for through this site different? The TTAG WordPress account can’t link to Gravatar and the generic WordPress account will link to Gravatar but not to TTAG… Am I missing something? Reply or email with help s’il vous plait.

    • If you register here, we’re running WordPress, but we’re not hosted by WordPress – we have our own hosting service. Gravatar links not to a particular blog, but ties your email address to an icon or “avatar.” As long as you use a Gravatar-registered email to sign up for TTAG, we should see your icon when you post.

  4. Some of the scripts (ajax or javascript plugins) cause problems for me while entering text. (I use Firefox 5.) When I type, it takes several second for the text to be displayed. I block them with AdBlock Plus and it solves the problem.

  5. I must have registered some time ago (at least, my email is “taken” and I’ve had that since the mid 90’s). I have asked twice today for it to remind me of my password, but I have never received those emails in my in box or junk mail folder. Not sure if this is considered “registering” at TTAG or having some sort of a log-in for Word Press or what.

    If it is a registration, the process is pretty buried on the site, stuffed down there on the right-hand side after other stuff. As for requiring or requesting registration, I really don’t care one way or the other (provided I can get my password emailed to me). Facebook killed the concept of actual privacy for me long ago.

  6. How can I sign up to be a registered user? Are there any opportunities to write and submit articles, too? …just signed up!

    • Anybody can submit stories to TTAG. RF is Editor-in-Chief and has the final say on the stories. Generally, the way things work here is you submit a story via email to RF. He’ll review it, edit it, and if he likes it, post it. If you have more stories you want to write, talk to him, and we’ll set up up as a Contributor on the site, which means you can submit your stories directly. Note that RF WILL edit your work, some more than others. We also have a TTAG Style Guide for Writers that will help you with some of our, um…stylistic idiosyncrasies.

  7. I think it would be good to have an offsite and anonymous survey – volunteer only – I know some would not want to fill one out. But hear me out. I used to have a pretty narrow view of who firearms owners and pro-2Aers were. I think it might be interesting for TTAG to know some basic info of a cross section of the readers.

    But maybe that’s off base. If the idea is bad – sorry. I’m just making an off the cuff suggestion.

  8. Your comment-entering fields run very slowly on Safari 4.1 with an average cable connection. I see this very infrequently on a few other sites. (Do you test your redesigns away from the network your server is on?)

    Also, while I appreciate being able to use some HTML in the comments box, for some reason line-endings always work out badly.

    The search function is limited. It is hard to get back to an article viewed days earlier if not bookmarked.

    I for one have no problem registering ala THR…

    Otherwise keep up the good work!

  9. PS – Lately I am getting a pop-up on your site alerting me to a “slow script…”

    The warning looks like this except it mentions your page….

    An explanation can be found here.

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