Why There Are No Gravatars At JLog

by JL Beeken on 10-03-2010

The story of why they are no gravatars at JLog is a long one.

Back in the day, a few of you will recall, when JLog began, it wasn’t on WordPress. It was some kinky thing I threw together using NVu. Because NVu is a blank screen. And I’ve never been able to resist a blank screen. They remind me of blank paper.

So there was NVu looking like a blank sheet of white paper. And I’d taught myself to type and it’s not a pen but it sort of works and the next thing I knew I had a website.

People had to send comments to me directly through email. Well, first of all I didn’t know people were going to want to leave comments. Hell, I didn’t even know people were coming to read. It was total shell-shock and I had to scramble to accommodate. And I didn’t keep anyone’s email address or their email because I’m not nosy and neurotic like that.

Fast forward a couple of years. I decided to move to WordPress so I had to move all the comments, one by one, copying and pasting and putting the dates in. That worked out pretty well, right? Everyone’s accounted for?

You know the regular blog commenting drill. You have to put in some kind of name and an email address (that’s mandatory) and your URL if you want to. On the database side it also records your IP address. I don’t know why it works like that; I didn’t design WordPress.

I was over at Kerry Scott’s Clue Wagon and noticed that some of the comments had their own gravatars and I didn’t have one and I felt deprived. I wouldn’t care except I have so much loose time these days what with the new computer still weeks away … She told me to go over to Gravatar and get my own. So I did that. You just have to sign up and upload the picture that you want to use and associate it with the email address you use for commenting and your gravatar shows up automatically, at least on WordPress blogs and maybe some others, but not Blogger because they’re Google.

So, now, everywhere I go there I am.

JL Beeken

You can do it too. Right now. Gravatar.

I could have gravatars turned ON at JLog except it doesn’t work. The first 100 or so comments on JLog all have the same gravatar (mine) because most of the old comments don’t have email addresses (see above) and the blanks are attributed to me by default.

I thought about this for awhile and came up with a plan. All I had to do was go through the comments and put in fake email addresses. “John” would become john-fake@whatever.com. It wouldn’t be John’s actual gravatar but a computer-generated one, unless he came back to comment again and complained and then I could get his real email address and fix it.

That didn’t work. The gravatars were still showing just me.

Then I remembered hearing about it being the IP address that a gravatar is connected to. So I logged in to my web host cpanel and got into phpMyAdmin and changed some IP addresses.

phpMyAdmin is a hell of a scary place for the average human being. I’m about average and I was terrified. You could blow up your entire website mucking around in a place like that.

If someone commented in 2010 I would take their IP address from there and paste it into their 2007 comment. I figured if that worked I’d fake all the other ones.

Still no change.

Then I found an option for ‘refresh’. I was having a sober day so I didn’t press the button. Just in case.

So that’s where I’m stuck. I’m going to see if I can get some help messing around in the intestinal tract of a MySQL database.

In the meantime if anyone has email and IP addresses for John, Linda, Brad, Robert, Bernard, Sally, Luis, Mary Lou, Eileen, Melanie, Gwynn, K, Roger, Nik, Don, MW & Anon just send ‘em over here.

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