Housekeeping: Where are the comments?

You’ve probably noticed that the comment “balloons”have read “0” for some time, giving the indication that there is no underlying discussion taking place on any of the NewsCut posts.

It’s not true.

A few weeks ago, some tinkering with the guts of Word Press destroyed some of the key features that you see on NewsCut and some of the tools that I use to produce each item.

Unfortunately, as these things go, the few WordPress experts have left the company over the last few months and we haven’t been able to figure out how to restore certain functions. Eventually, someone will, but it may not be fixed for awhile.

So, bottom line: Don’t pay attention to the comment balloons.

[Obligatory insincere apology here.]

  • Kassie

    Maybe MPR should look at getting a summer intern who can fix this. I’m sure there is some high school or college kid who could do it and get a nice line on their resume. Or a volunteer? Doesn’t MPR have a good volunteer network?

    • The MPR developers are pretty smart people and it takes time to learn the intricacies of WordPress. The thing crashed because someone changed a caption on a photo in the template. I don’t think we want interns diving into it.

      • Kassie

        I’m not suggesting they aren’t smart. I understand how priorities work and this is probably pretty low and maybe there is another solution.

        • I think the priority is to examine the code and figure out what it is that someone wrote that spiraled out of control.

          • It’s probably just a misplaced character or the like.

          • BJ

            a semicolon, {, or ( or whatever wordpress uses.

            I have been developing websites since about 1995 and gave up on wordpress about 3 days in on my first attempt at using it. Never been happier about a development platform decision.

      • Jeff

        I’m a software developer. I’m not doing anything over lunch and can stop by and fix it. Although I don’t have any WordPress experience but lack of experience in the past has never stopped me from messing things up further. By the way a Google search turned up a number of fixes.

        • I’ve delved into WP and messing with WP templates as well. I’m more than adept at blowing up a site…

          /What about calling Julia to the white courtesy phone?

  • boB from WA

    I appreciate the “obligatory insincere apology”.

  • Jack

    Can the change be rolled back?

  • Veronica

    My workaround in the meantime is to check the blog and comments sections a few times each day.

    • Kassie

      Me too. I’m sure this is upping page views. I wonder if it was really unintentional? Hmmm…..

      • Veronica

        It’s quite ingenious! 😉

        • One page view per customer. It doesn’t matter how many times you go to a page. You’re still 1 for the day.

          • Thomas Mercier

            How does it define customer? Does it matter if I check it at work over lunch and at home? What about computer versus phone?
            What do we have to do to make NewCut be known as the most engaged portion of the MPR website?

          • Just keep doing what you’re doing. NewsCut already is the most engaged portion of the MPR website. About one of every 10 page views on the entire site goes to a NewsCut page.

            It’s a little secret shared by the knowledgeable. :*)

          • 212944

            Well, clearly getting it to record *every* page load by a unique user and adding that to the toll should be added on your list, Bob. I’d suggest sometime before the comments bug gets de-bugged.

          • Let me clarify: Every time you go to a different page it’s a PV. But going multiple times to the same page counts as 1.

          • 212944

            Yeah, I was being a bit flip – I want your bosses to know how much this blog means (in spite of your determined humility).

            However, given that it is, IMO, an on-going conversation I do now think that it should record each and every page load – people do visit and re-visit to engage with material and one-another.

            So, change that from flip comment to serious comment. Thanks.

          • It does record every page, but the only PVs that really matter to anyone are “uniques”

  • Mike Worcester

    And here I thought I was going to get the privilege of being first in the comment cue for each new post. Shucks……

  • jon


    Though it’s pretty far down on my outrage list…. I’ll be back to complain some more once I fix everything else that I’m outraged about.


  • Jeff

    Interesting, I started playing around with WordPress recently, it does take a lot of time to investigate the intricacies of that program. I wish it was a bit more intuitive and user friendly when it comes to comments and the approval process…I’m still not sure how to get my comments to appear without having to approve each and every one.

    I assume MPR is paying for the premium WordPress service…I could look into this issue…maybe someone else has solved it or run into it…

  • Jeff

    Found it, looks like you need to define the #comment icon at the top of your page in the .

    Something is going on with this code:


    You need to connect that section with:


    Not sure how to do that since I’m not really an expert on HTML, WordPress or JavaScript but I’m pretty sure that’s the issue here.

    BTW, you can see the code for any website by hitting F12 with your browser active.

    • It’s not an html code issue.

      • Jeff

        Sure, the HTML part is pretty simple, the problem is most likely the javascript code that is being generated by the front end tool, WordPress.

        Like I said I simply tracked down the error in the HTML code, whoever is the WordPress expert should understand why the generation of the javascript isn’t connecting the class=”no-comments comments_number” function to the class=”comment-count” function. I’m no expert in WordPress, JavaScript or HTML…I just debug code all day so I thought it would be interesting to find the exact lines of code causing the problems.

        Good luck to your programmers over at MPR, hopefully they figure it out soon!