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:
- 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.
- If you’ve signed up with Gravatar.com, you’ll see our generic icon/target guy replaced with your own, custom icon.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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:
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.