A Hooniverse PSA: Beat Hoonibbles Into Submission

Okay, it’s no secret that “Hoonibbles,” the evil rodent gatekeeper at Intense Debate, will sometimes cast loyal Hoons’ comments into interweb limbo, should the views you express therein displease him. The symptoms of this syndrome are:

  • The comment shows up on your IDC comment feed page, and…
  • the comment is counted in the total comment tally for that post, but…
  • it doesn’t show up in the comments, so nobody else can read your pithy words of wisdom.

Good news, friends! You can stick it to the man rodent and put that uppity Hoonibbles in his proper place.

There are two possible ways to pass your “stuck” comment through the eye of the hamster’s needle:

  • If your comment was a reply to another comment, simply post an additional reply to the parent comment using the same IDC account. >Poof!< …both comments from will most likely appear. Just be forewarned: if you delete your “rescue” comment, the original one will go back into hiding. I hereby suggest we use some shorthand for these replies, such as the phrase “rescue attempt,” so we don’t have a bunch of extra stuff cluttering up the comments.
  • But what if it was a root-level comment, not a reply? Well, this solution is less likely to be available, but: Before Hoonibbles reads your comment and considers its worthiness for publication, he sends a copy to anyone who has subscribed to the comment stream via email (see the screenshot at right). If you or someone else you can contact has subscribed to the post via e-mail, replying to the e-mail from IDC will kick the original comment loose from The Royal Rodent’s fiendish grasp. [I typically subscribe via e-mail to the posts I scribe, so I can read the comments on my less-than-smart cell phone]

These techniques don’t work 100% of the time (solution #2 didn’t work for me on behalf of a fellow Hoon earlier today), but the majority of the time, you’ll be able to say, “Suck on that, Mr. Long-Teeth; you’re here to serve me.

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  1. OA5599 Avatar

    rescue attempt

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      Suddenly, I'm not so sure I explained the process correctly.

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        Hey! It worked!

  2. mdharrell Avatar

    Good to know. On a related note, sometimes I can't comment on particular entries despite being logged into my account. For example, I haven't been able to comment on the "What French Car…" topic since this morning. Just checked again– still can't. Any hints?
    On an unrelated note, will there be a followup on the Secret Santa project for centrally posting the results? I got a couple of cool items….

    1. zsm Avatar

      I hoping we can wait a little longer on that ninja santa post since I have not gotten mine yet. I'd feel all left out.
      I tried #2, didn't work. Maybe I should not have put "Suck on that, Mr. Long-Teeth; you’re here to serve me." in the reply as suggested?

      1. ZomBee Racer Avatar
    2. ZomBee Racer Avatar
    3. Tomsk Avatar

      This. Some posts it shows me as being logged in, some not. Eventually (the end of the day?) the latter ones change to showing me as logged in and I can comment, but well after most of the activity has died down.

  3. Jo Schmo Avatar
    Jo Schmo

    My biggest issue is hoonibbles snacking on my photos but I have had comments turn to hamster poo as well. Stupid hoonibles.

  4. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    I think >Poof!< is a great shorthand. Oh hell, I like it so much I'll probably just start using it at random.

    1. Thrashy Avatar

      I think PAH! would be more contextually-appropriate, though…

  5. zsm Avatar

    While I'm thinking about it I'll ask a question. Sometimes I go to a post and all the comment threads are collapsed. It's pretty annoying to have to go and click the bitty little doodad to open all the replies to every thread. Is there some set it up so that things aren't collapsed like that or a way to open them all in one fell swoop? It's funny because there is no doodad to close them if the post is recent.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      I think once the number of comments on a topic reaches a certain point (maybe 100), then the comments all become collapsed.

    2. Mike_the_Dog Avatar

      Actually, there is a doodad that collapses them. Just click on "1 reply".

  6. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    I may have to open a web-based email account just for Hooniverse.
    And if that's not dedication to the cause, I don't know what is.

  7. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    Ok, folks, decision time
    Personally, I'm getting increasingly frustrated with IntenseDebate Comments (IDC). Comments disappear, logins fail to persist, and the various features that are supposed to work do not. They have little-to-no customer support and the system is a closed/mysterious java-based one that I can't even look under the hood of (a bad trait around here). On the plus side, it looks good and the feature-set is great (when it's working). I tend to consider IDC the Alfa Romeo of commenting systems. Additionally, there are a few other car sites that use it as well (Speed:Sport:Life and The Smoking Tire).
    Off-hand, there's no easy way to do image embeds and email notifications with with the default WordPress comment engine. There are plugins, but they can be iffy (at least they were the last time I looked into it).
    Another option is Disqus, which is similar to IDC in that it's an all-in-one solution. Based on what I've seen and read, it's a more robust system. For reference, engadget.com is using it. The obvious downside is you all have to go create yet another account and avatar and associated BS. You also lose your points. Engineerd will shed a tear there.
    Here's an entirely non-binding poll (a nifty IDC feature, if it works):
    [polldaddy 4343987 http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/4343987/ polldaddy]

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      I'll take it as perhaps not the best sign that the poll doesn't seem to be working….

      1. mad_science Avatar

        Or that I'm posting this without loggin in, as IDC logged me out and when I go through the log in dialog again, it doesn't work.

        1. facelvega Avatar

          yep, there is no poll for me either.

      2. Syrax Avatar

        I saw, and voted. It's not here anymore.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          I just saw the poll! I saw it! It was there! It flashed on the screen for less than a second while the page was reloading. So pretty. So ephemeral. Now it's gone.

    2. Syrax Avatar

      If you think IDC is bad you certainly won't like Disqus. It's on eternal PMS.

      1. mad_science Avatar

        In all seriousness, care to elaborate?

        1. Syrax Avatar

          I didn't have my comments lost, my ACCOUNT went to Valhalla. I emailed them, they replied this happened before and they would look for it. Eight months and I'm waiting.

    3. RSDeuce Avatar

      Is there a poll on this comment? I don't see it.
      The non-persistent login annoys me the most… Maybe a bit lazy, but logging in constantly does make me comment less.
      The only question: Is the grass really greener on the other side? I can't read comments on Engadget or Autoblog due to the "special" user base there, but does anyone here use it? Does it actually work better?

      1. Syrax Avatar

        The non logged thing happens for me when the page somehow fails to load, cause it seems the ID login is the very last thing it does. A reload usually does it here.

    4. skitter Avatar

      I have a site using Disqus, with all of 7 comments. I haven't actually done the admin work, though.
      If there is a change of systems, I would hate to lose all the existing commentary on previous posts.
      I like being able to easily check for replies to my comments.
      I like following other commenters for a quick review of the 'verse, without even using your bandwidth.

      1. Tim Odell Avatar
        Tim Odell

        Actually, all the comments are redundant between IDC and WordPress. Ever notice some days when things are really slow, it loads the default WP interface.
        In theory, if we ditch IDC, all the comments will still be there. I'd guess the day of any changeover would be pretty touch-and-go, but that's to be expected.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          Well, that's a relief. Loss of precious, precious points would be bad enough, but I'd hate to think that all of my, er, I mean of course, "our" accumulated wit, wisdom, and pithy sayings would be swept away.

    5. B72 Avatar

      IntenseDebate was so annoying at first that I posted anonymously for what felt like a year. Now the kinks seem far fewer. I'd say stick with it, at least until we're absolutely sure something else is better, and is likely to stay that way.
      Seems to me it would be really easy to jump from the frying pan into the fire on this one.

    6. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      Last time I put a poll in a comment, i broke the site.
      For what it's worth, it seems like ID is mostly working, some things aren't ready for prime time, but that seems to be true of any Web2.0 things. I'd say stick with what we know, even if we have to use work arounds, until something that is a real improvement is found. ID is okay, and it works. Something else may be okay and work, but be a lot more frustrating for you or us.
      Plus I don't really want to dump my points. I'm trying to catch up with Engineerd.

      1. FЯeeMan Avatar

        I thumbs-upped ya', just to help in catching the 'neerd.

    7. Thrashy Avatar

      Since, as others have noted, the "does IDC fail at life?" poll has itself failed at life, I'll throw my two cents in a more wordy fashion: Default WordPress comments are A-OK with me, and while my problems with IntenseDebate have actually been few and far between, it seems like it screws up quite a bit for others. Intuitively, it doesn't seem like it would be tremendously difficult to prettify WP comments in the theme editor, and only marginally more difficult to find and/or hack together a comment and commenter rating system (that could even be seeded with the ratings from IntenseDebate, to keep engineerd happy!), so if it's decided to give IDC the old heave-ho, the site wouldn't have to lose much.

    8. Manic_King Avatar

      Is Disqus trial possible? Some posts could have Disqus comments instead of IDC. I would register with them as they have some other customer-sites were account can be useful. And their ref. are impressive, CNN and TelegraphUK for example. Points? Nah.

    9. Mr_Biggles Avatar

      Good Alfa Romeo comparison. I like Alfa Romeos. Change can make people cranky.

    10. zsm Avatar

      Disqus? Never trust an unpronounceable name – ZSM

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        It's pronounced "disqus."

    11. Mr_Biggles Avatar

      Ooh. I can see the poll this time. Looks like Chad's friends are back too.

    12. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      You can see the poll here…

      1. Tim Odell Avatar
        Tim Odell

        Unsurprisingly, the drift truck is in the lead.

        1. Alff Avatar

          Driftruck FTW should become a standard option on all Hooniverse polls. PAH!

  8. FЯeeMan Avatar

    I'd say you really irked Hooniblbles with this post. I clicked to read it, it loaded, then as I scrolled down, the window went white and my little Firefox icon rotated for a while. Took about 4 tries to get it to load.
    Other than that, I haven't really been having issues of late, so I'm content…

  9. eggwich Avatar

    Less filling.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      Same great price, new low taste!

    2. tiberiusẅisë Avatar

      Tastes Great!

  10. fxgeorges Avatar

    Wow,very cool,

  11. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    It's good to know why a lot of my comments seemed to disappear a day or so after posting. I'd figured that Jim wasn't amused with my witty repartee. But know I'm relieved to know that the reason is really a psychotic virtual hamster, and Jim.

  12. SSurfer321 Avatar

    Aside from the period of time over the summer where I couldn't even load the page, ID works for me. Most oft run into problems is I'll see something funny in the RECENT COMMENTS widget and click JUMP TO only to find that the comment isn't there. Rarely do I have any other issues with ID.
    But I also walk around with hamster pellets in my pocket…

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      I was getting ready to ask whether those "pellets" are pre-hamster or post-hamster, but then decided it doesn't matter because in neither case do I have any intention of emulating your behavior. Glad it's working for you, though.

  13. highmileage_v1 Avatar

    So far I haven't had any problems other than a dropped comment in the New Years thread. It mysteriously appeared some hours later. Just taze the hamster every once in a while and life is good!