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Comments 45

OffG site development & improvements

We’re pleased to announce, thanks to our monthly donations and one-off contributions, we are at last in a position to do some of the improvements we’ve been wanting to achieve for some time.

In the next few weeks/months we’ll be implementing a complete redesign and upgrade, improving accessibility and adding some new features.

A priority will be overhauling the comment system and installing new software to (hopefully) eradicate some of the glitches and make discussions much easier to follow and more fluid.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to hear from you about how you would like to see the site improve or grow. Add any suggestions or thoughts below and we’ll take them under advisement.


45 Comments

  1. Tony M says

    It is also difficult to find older articles no longer listed in the right-hand sidebar, without ploughing through each and every preceding article one at a time, starting with a more recent one, which must load the server unnecessarily and chew bandwidth. Older articles such as this one very quickly simply fall off the radar after a few days, that the site must seem to casual visitors rather ‘thin’ when there is a vast back-catalogue to explore but no key or index or chronological list to locate things. It doesn’t matter, might even be better that comments are closed on those articles after a period of time, but some of these will still be ‘greatest hits’ of continuing interest and relevance.

    • Yes, that is an issue. We are thinking of providing an archive link and also possibly internal index pages for the main categories

  2. Tony M says

    Can I also suggest prevening the embedding of images by users in comments for the same privacy reasons given below. This is a textual medium, there is no need for irrelvant pics of Bart Simpson or whatever. Users at present can embed an image simply to harvest the IP addresses of those visiting the page.

    • Alpha Particle says

      I don’t know how to embed images on here. Is there an option? And how does that harvest IPs from visitors?

  3. Sergei says

    I personally would like to see “Monthly Digest” articles summarizing the most important stories of a month.

    • Agreed: it can be useful when you’ve been OTG & OFFG , up the Limpopo with some stimulating company for reflections, to get away from the cesspool of Diamond Dogs: Pavlov’s dogs eating dogs these days, always when you’ve chosen to go Off The Grid, it seems ..

      7 days in politics & all that Jazz, lol 😉 User Comments individual Profile also very useful, at a glance, to catch up .. 🙂

  4. Francis Lee says

    I think that OffGuardian website has been one of the more interesting and informative opposition outlets to emerge during the great clampdown on dissent. It’s our ideological foci or guerrilla base-camp in the AZ-Empire where we can harass the enemy. But let us not get too carried away and self-congratulatory. The opposition we face is formidable and almost totally dominates the political discourse. Arrayed against us (or indeed any dissenting voice) is the might of the Anglo-Zionist media; a lavishly funded hydra-headed monster with a completely ruthless intent. This much is known, this much is clear.

    Bearing this in mind seems to me that the systemic left (of which I am a paid up fully fledged member) are the overwhelming contributors to OffGuardian, both in terms of the articles and comments. OK, fine. However, I think it would be politically worthwhile (in fact imperative) to cast the net a little wider than it is presently doing. We need a popular front if we are to take on this Goliath just as the resistance movements to Nazi occupation in Europe 1940-45. Yes, I know that these insurgent movements were dominated by communist partisans, but this didn’t necessarily invalidate the necessity of a broad popular front against fascism and its modern day version.

    Non-leftist opposition to the AZ empire, the Neo-Con clique and its propaganda shills, exists among a variety of foreign policy realists: E.g., (Patrick Buchanan), libertarians (Ron Paul) and can be found in publications such as The American Conserative, The National Interest (occasionally) Doug Bandow and also more popular writers such as Peter Hitchens, a high-Tory maverick whose column gets a regular spot in the Daily Mail (Mail On Sunday) . The Daily Mail it should be said is a bastion of support for the AZ-empire and it’s political and philosophical outlook is diametrically opposed to everything Hitchens believes in. Why is he thus published? We can only conclude that a fair membership of the Mail’s readership actually thinks along the same lines as Hitchens.

    In this connection a poll taken during the whole Brouhaha involving the Skripal affair and alleged chemical attack in Syria revealed that up to 80% of the British public were against any British intervention in Syria. Among ordinary folk an unconscious realist-Westphalian foreign policy is their natural default position. ‘What’s it got to do with us’ ‘We should mind our own business’? being the usual response. The baying for war, seems to be restricted to, and an affliction of, the post-modernist, cosmopolitan middle-classes, the Guardian/Times readers, the ‘outer party’ fanatics.

    All of which shows a huge reservoir of political opposition to the present dispenasion which hasn’t found an outlet. In Chesteron’s words. ”We are the people of England who have not spoken yet.’ For ‘England’ you can substitute the US, France and any other state under the yoke of the A-Z Vichy occupation.

    It seems to me that without an alliance between all the oppositionist groups the AZ- empire will win. Divide and Rule has always been a potent weapon and sectarianism a luxury the left cannot afford.

  5. Can you incorporate “Off-Indy” as a sub heading to the site, and encourage commentators from the Independent. I migrated from my beloved Graun to the Indy as it changed character, aligned d itself with the establishment, and stopped comments on any contentious subject, even delting and censoring them!

    The Indy does at least still open.comments on.most subjects, but it too is now removing, deleting, flagging politically undesirable comments. Censorship. And I don’t know if it’s just my connection or deliberate, but on many subjects, e.g. Palestine, Syria, Salisbury etc, I’m not able to log in at all.

    So what about asking Indy commentators to copy potentially ‘problematic’ free speech and bring it to ‘Off-Guardian (incorporating the Off-Independent)’ !

    • reinertorheit says

      The Indy is a Russia-hating rag, positioning itself as a UKIP mouthpiece.

      • Francis Lee says

        ”The Indy is a Russia-hating rag, positioning itself as a UKIP mouthpiece.” Yes, and owned by Evgeny Lebedev emigre Russian oligarch, who also owns London Live TV station, although they never seem to be broadcasting. Cut from the same cloth as the late (and unlamented) Boris Berezovsky.

  6. My son-in-law is a developer – spends a lot of time coding ie, looking at a screen – and he claims that a black background with some variation of white type is easiest on the eyes.

  7. rilme says

    I know it’s boring, but black on white text is much easier to read than your grey on whatever.
    No “Comment Preview”?

  8. Steven Hohensee says

    Suggestions . . .
    1. No Disqus, or outsider controls on comments.
    2. On those rare occasions when comments are deleted, store them in a “Deleted File” which remains publicly accessible to anyone wishing to investigate a deletion.
    3. Expand OG’s universe: create an editorial/comments section where posters can repost and discuss their comments which have been unreasonably deleted– not only by The Guardian, but any other media sources (including non-UK media). If this part of the website is transparent and easy to use, it will attract much activity. Censorship and deletion of comments is rampant in mass media comments sections, and the aggrieved have nowhere to go. OG could provide that place, and by doing so widen the scope of the website and attract a much broader audience . . . not to mention provide a valuable public service. I suspect, however, that other media publications will not be pleased to find comments they believed had died a quiet death showing up for not only the world to see, but to also discuss. There are many ways to expand on this idea, along with fundraising avenues.

    Something to think about.

    • Admin says

      That suggestion about a deleted comment archive is excellent! Thanks!

      • ** ? ? Were you also contemplating incorporating an option to view an individual user’s comments history, similar to the Guardian ? ? **

        • Steven Hohensee says

          @balkydj, If the design of a Deleted Archive were up to me, here’s what I would do:

          A deleted archive could be offered just for Off-Guardian, or for both The Guardian and OG. I would expand the concept to encompass the much larger universe of deleted comments and postings from the entire galaxy, starting first with Planet Earth.
          As several have already observed many of us now already store copies of our comments, esp. when posting to mainstream websites such as The Guardian, which often delete comments. Other readers, though, may regret not having taken proper precautions. Or they may be curious as to other comments which were disappeared.

          An archive serves both as notice of the act of deletion, as well as access to the content of the comment which was deleted.

          Considering the now widespread censorship and deletion of comments, there is a need for a central archive of deletions. The archive would be maintained by users themselves, for the most part.
          It might be necessary to require registration to add new deleted comments records. Data such as the publisher and article name, username, text of the deleted post, date posted, and perhaps other information would be needed when adding a new deleted comment record, to properly identify the comment and relate it to the article source where the deletion occurred.
          What is the demand for such an archive? I don’t know. But I do know I would be more entertained by the salacious and scandalous saga of an unfair deletion than I would the latest doings of Kim and Kanye.
          I know of no website that now provides this function for the internet as a whole.
          An additional feature might be to allow users to discuss not only a deletion, but also the original article (linked) for which the comment was originally made. I wouldn’t be surprised if this resulted in more comments at the Deleted Archive site than at the original site where the article was published.
          With time, the archive would become more valuable, richer, and would become known to more users. The need for such an archive is ongoing, not an ephemeral fad.
          Perhaps pdf reports based on search criteria could be available, possibly for a fee, or free to members.

          • You had me smiling in full agreement , before the end of the first paragraph and I’m with you all the way to the last letter of your comment 🙂 in fact , it is probably fair to say, that were we to Develop Open A.i. in this way, metaphorically speaking, it would all add a whole new dimension of understanding to the virtual world of terms & terminology, starting with ** “Bold & Rich Text” ** ..
            (lol, chuckle, naaaah >> lmfao 🙂 )

    • OG might like your suggestion, which would be fine. I would add that there’s nothing stopping you, or anyone, from doing your own ‘disappeared’ section on a blog of your own. I do.

      • @Admin & @Arrby : STEVE’N’s suggestions sound good to me , too. As Admin might recall, last weekend i demonstrated my solution to OFFG’s present limitations, with the solution that Arrby has also creatively opted for ..

        Arrby, ‘Life is so simple when you fully understand it’ & the energy expended,
        which you clearly do ..

        @Admin – May I add one Question..?

        ** ? ? Were you also contemplating incorporating an option to view an individual user’s comments history, similar to the Guardian ? ? **

        ******** @Arrby
        #Me too;) I decided to use a 3 year old wordpress account for exactly the purposes you had in mind 🙂 , affectionately known as my ‘Sin Bin’ 4Sins & Cardinal Sinners against elementary Morals, Laws of Humanity & Science, to be adequately recorded in the ANALS of A.i. at some point soon in the future, where those that live by the sword will quite feasibly be Foil-ed , too:) , unless they repent & acknowledge their abuse of ‘FREEDOM’s & Privilege granted to them, legally speaking ! I spent many years saving deleted comments from the Guardian (Loads), FT (less) & Indy (incessant connectivity problems, lol, Loggin’ in?) and have now started my OFFG collection of pure Cardinal Sins & Sinners, that I find wholly Offensive intellectually, in both a Fascist Nature & Suggestion or cause & effect, scientifically speaking ..
        I caught a minnow the other day, who thinks he is number one & has the right to Command Censorship & control others & any environment he tries to occupy, with ignorance & arrogance learnt in LALALand, whilst verbally abusing to boot start all conversation , even when proven WRONG: in other words dictating to a common public space & place in a totalitarian fashion, where only he decides what is acceptable and what not. He shall remain nameless , lol, but scroll down & See !? Lmao 😉

        Loved both yer’ comment and yer’ Avatar, spot on .. It looks a bit like what NASA would refer to as S.T.E.V.E. (you know the Purple Streaker ‘Aurorasaurus’ Project, studying the 3,000 degree hot gas cloud, travelling at 13,420 MPH, above us, about the distance from London to Bristol, at an altitude that 99% of people seem to simply fail to compute?) Well NASA do & itsa’ another BS :-
        ‘Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement’
        STEVE for short, designed for the average fart face in cyber-space ..
        or space suit 🙂

        STEVE’s Stunning & a concern in scientific terms !

  9. Jen says

    Would it be possible to have a review and edit feature for commenters so they can see how their comments might appear before they actually post? Something similar to what is available to commenters over at The Fraudian.

  10. nazeing3101 says

    Would be very grateful and pleased to see the addition of a 24 hour clock beside/in addition to the month and date for published articles and comments.

    • reinertorheit says

      A ‘block this user’ tool would be useful as a defence against offtopic spammers and trolls.

      • summitflyer says

        So who decides if someone contributes to the discussion ,if it is actually a troll or spammer.
        The contributors to the discussion will very quickly discover who those entities are .And , the
        best way to deal with them is just to ignore them .They will quickly go away.
        Sites like OffGuardian provide very good dissemination of real news in my estimation.

        • reinertorheit says

          Most sites allow individual users to block spammers and trolls, on an individual basis. For example, I have one particularly offensive troll who is wasting my time with gutless offtopic racist insults on this site. If Admin will not deal with him, then I want the ability to block this little turd myself.

        • Not worth discussing with reineFrecheit, because he believes in Censorship and his right to command same, to one & all.. even directed @Admin .. (sense raised intonation 🙂 )
          From LALALand ..completely!

          He will never admit that he is ever wrong about anything and .. well simply put, the most arrogant Fascist person in character , thus far, that I have encountered @OFFG ..

          Congrats. ! Fine Comment , I agree wholeheartedly ..

  11. Robbobbobin says

    The use of Disqus is generally a bad idea except for things like wholly inconsequential chats between members of a local Tiddlywinks club, etc.

    • always write says

      mintpressnews.com use the DISQUS format I’d hardly call it a Tiddlywinks club, the quality of any comments forum depends entirely upon who comments, I’d suggest this site could be rabidly reduced to ranting trolls irrespective of what type of comments format it used

      • Robbobbobin says

        Actually, as that was meant as a reply to “always right”, I think I might have fallen over one of the glitches in the current commenting system referred to in the article. The first time it happened I assumed it was me and the pesky “wrong” button that randomly appears under my fingers, but perhaps not.

        More actually, I don’t know what I was thinking of when I posted it. Using Disqus at all is a thoroughly bad idea on the part of any webmaster, regardless of their site content, who thereby knowingly or unknowingly commits their not necessarily security-technology-aware visitors to its gross privacy and personal security vulnerabilities (especially any “activist” or other visitors in hostile real world environments).

        If you fall into the latter category, or are just your average common or garden cheater or fiddler (or both) or hold any other persons who might be described as such, known or unbeknownst to you, as valued friends or loved ones (including their valued friends and loved ones, even unto the seventh degree of separation – one more degree than Kevin Bacon), I’d respectfully suggest you mind your ill-informed, internet-security-ignorant back. And all theirs’ too.

        Not my problem if the Internet “security” experts at Sony or scores of banks or shopping sites, etc., lose millions of their visitors’ or staff details to hackers or just dump them straight into the public domain on a more or less weekly basis (years of news reports, q.v.) and you’re still dumb enough to believe that a large proportion of them are not considerably less than competent and/or insufficiently diligent.

        P.S. Thanks for the heads up on their nincompoop colleagues at mintpressnews.com.

        • always write says

          perhaps we should all meet in the park in disguise, you know we couls all get dressed up in brown mackintosh coats with fake beards! then drop little notes on crumpled bits of paper to each other in the park bins

          I’ve got it! we can send each other messages via carrier pigeon, then no one can intercept them!, right…although i think they tyred this in Afghanistan with the result that pigeons are, or were banned

          personally i think you sound totally paranoid, if the security/ intelligence services want to know what you write do you honestly think its currently safe? especially on this site, after all little old me, thick as fuck as you infer, managed to find it

          of course though i forgot off guardian has so many millions of readers it doesn’t need to be afraid, or should we just park it away in the darkest of dark parts of the dark web behind the thickest of fire walls and encryption that no one could ever find it, maybe thats the solution?

          sorry my old son but if you’re so shit scared of talking out then you’re not gonna change much, I’ll leave you to hide back under your techno secure stone, probably best place for you, i mean FFS i give a suggestion and people jump down my throat like i work for the NSA its pathetic, frankly I’m not sure if I’ll be coming back here as its full of the same kind of angry ranting like so many comments sections regardless of what system they use, to much of this stuff isn’t good for your mental health, and you my friend are proof of that

          • Robbobbobin says

            “frankly I’m not sure if I’ll be coming back here as its full of the same kind of angry ranting like so many comments sections regardless of what system they use, to much of this stuff isn’t good for your mental health”

            Missing you already.

      • Robbobbobin says

        Oh! I see you are “always right”. So:

        “pease use the DISQUS comments platform its so much easier to follow”

        If it’s lung cancer you’re after remember to use tailor-mades – they’re a much more convenient way to get it than roll-your-owns. Oh, and don’t forget always to hide a copy of your house key under the front door mat. You never know when you might lock youself out and it’s a lot easier to find there than well concealed out the back somewhere.

    • Everyone knows that Disqus data-mines. Everyone knows that Facebook, Google, Twitter etc is evil. Even progressives – who have bylined articles urging progressives to ditch the above – can’t leave those deep state tools alone. There’s always an excuse. And the excuses all add up to “We have no choice but to use the Devil’s weapons to fight him.” Except that that doesn’t work.

      “Progressives And Their PRECIOUS Facebook”
      https://arrby.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/progressives-and-their-precious-facebook/

  12. Tony M says

    Please make the site free-standing, at present external/third-party content/scripts are pulled in from:

    wordpress.com
    wp.com
    googleapis.com
    gravatar.com
    polldaddy.com
    google.com
    addtoany.com
    typekit.net
    blogspot.com
    facebook.net
    facebook.com
    twitter.com
    pinterest.com
    youtube.com

    Quite unnecessarily as I have found it works perfectly well at present without allowing connections to any of these tracking/spyware/analytics/data-harvesting outfits.

    The implications for privacy of such insidious hidden tracking of every visitor to the site by third-parties of ill-repute hardly needs stating.

    And don’t for crying out loud use disqus as suggested above, the creeping presence of which around the web is alarming, you might as well hand control over the site and comment sytem to GCHQ/NSA or similiar malefactors. Or implement anything which requires users to login to or obtain accounts with facebook, google, twitter, disqus, wordpress or any other untrusted party in order to comment.

    We know we’re tracked relentlessly, but you don’t have to make it far easier for them to do so.

    • Robbobbobin says

      Some links on that site list could be to offsite content (e.g. blogspot, youtube, etc), which in many cases would be OK provided they are indicated as such (Wikipedia’s offsite “References” symbol is reasonably intuitive), so that more cautious readers can cut and paste them into a separate tab or browser, but links invoking cloud services should be evaluated very carefully before being used. That this site lives on WordPress should probably be made clear, too, as that subsumes qualms about gravitar and polldaddy, etc.

      My suggestions: grey type on a white background is harder for many to read than black type on white (black on grey is usually a better option than grey on white if reduced contrast is required) and/or a dark/light dpreview.com style “reading mode” is often very helpful too. And the use of “standard link colours (blue=unvisited, red=visiting, purple=visited) is generally no bad thing. Finally, a preview and/or option would be useful.

      • Tony M says

        Yeah in my haste to comment whilst over-seeing dinner, I over-reached, I did allow wordpress.com and wp.com to connect and load content and the youtube connection was pulled in from an embedded video in a comment on this site, but not on this page. All the rest are unwelcome, extraneous, deeply suspect and justifiably untrusted.

        The general point is if I visit off-guardian.org, or any site for that matter, I expect, not unreasonably that everything necessary for the essential functioning of the site will be hosted there and only there, on that site itself. Though it is worryingly nowadays only very rarely the case. If it’s simply a little widget or graphic, then there’s absolutely no reason not to host it locally on the serving host itself, though little invisible 1×1 pixels and such while harmless enough in themselves, provide these other parties with a shedload of metadata.

  13. Excellent news: perhaps an edit feature for my one fat fonger typing! Keep calm and Vive la résistance!

  14. always write says

    please use the DISQUS comments platform its so much easier to follow

    other wise excellent site, very good articles, keep up the resistance!

    • summitflyer says

      As long as DISQUS does not rule with abandon. I have been censured many times for just mentioning zionism on the DISQUS system .

      • always write says

        more often than not I’ve found its the blog owners, who just like this blog have their own rules, so its not necessarily the DISCUS platform, personally I’ve been blocked, banned and had my comments deleted but it was the moderator of the respective blog who did it, not some sort of omnipotent thought police, after all a good deal of the articles on this site can also be found on sites like Russia Insider who also use DISCUS, I’d hardly thinck such an anti imperial site, and one definitely part of the resistance, would open itself up to 3rd party censorship from DISCUS do you?

        • always write says

          apologies spelt DISQUS wrong, must be a Freudian slip fro my Athletics days!

          which i suppose proves the point we need some sort of ability to correct or add to our comments whatever system is used

        • summitflyer says

          Yes you are correct as I almost always view Russia Insider and never ever get banned or deleted and they use DISQUS also.
          I have been deleted from The Duran a few times for using those forbidden words.LOL.
          I really enjoy OffGuardian .I wish I could contribute monetarily more often.
          And yes the edit option would be good as I don’t always spell check when too anxious to post.
          Cheers.

Please note the opinions expressed in the comments do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of OffG as a whole