Lessn and Comments

2 minute read

I really like how Jon Hicks handles comments on Hicksdesign. Instead of allowing direct comments on his blog he provides a link that pre-populates a tweet. I’m not a fan of blog comments and many agree. Alex Payne states why best:

For most sites, though, comments are worse than useless. The anonymity of the Internet inspires hit-and-run attacks, unintelligible ramblings, and truckloads of spam.

So I wanted to implement a similar feature on this site. This lead me down a path of some additional work…

##Lessn (and Lessn More) Since I didn’t really want to force people to use a full URL like, http://brandonbohling.com/2011/03/25/lessn-comments/, I decided to use a URL shortener. Of course, I could use one of the many URL shortener services out there like bit.ly or droplr, which I have many times in the past…for my website though I wanted something more personal and in my control. Thus, I turned to Shaun Inman’s URL shortener, Lessn. It took only a few minutes to setup after I purchased a new domain, brndn.me. I soon realized though Shaun did not provide an easy way to track usage or even list out the URLs I had shortened. A quick Google search later I came across Alan Hogan’s Lessn fork, Lessn More. A couple minutes later I had the perfect solution. Now I had a shorter URL that people could use to reference my web site. So now, http://brandonbohling.com/2011/03/25/lessn-comments can be referenced using http://brndn.me/5. If you own a domain and already have a hosting provider there’s few reasons why you shouldn’t setup Lessn More. Below are the 4 steps required directly from the README:

  1. Open /-/config.php in a plaintext editor and create a Lessn username and password then enter your database connection details. You may also choose other settings such as authentication salts and a default home page.
  2. For the shortest URLs possible, upload the contents of this directory to your domain’s root public folder.
  3. Visit http://doma.in/install.php to create the necessary database tables. (Watch for errors.)
  4. Visit http://doma.in/-/ to log in & start using Lessn More! Be sure to grab the bookmarklets.

Note: doma.in above should be replaced with your domain name.

##Comments via Twitter As I mentioned in Text File Revolution I am now using Jekyll to generate this web site. By default, it does not have a commenting solution. Some have chosen to integrate disqus, but I have chosen to go down another path and use Twitter. Honestly, the reason for this site is simply to provide me a writing outlet for myself so I don’t want to clutter it with comments (or deal with the inevitable SPAM). However, I encourage others to comment via Twitter using a link at the bottom of each post1, or better yet, create their own blog post providing their own point of view and referencing my post if appropriate.


  1. At this time I do not intend on adding a Comment via Twitter link on past posts.