NEW Add Reader Comment

The much-asked-for new Add Reader Comment facility is now online.

Due to the continued abuse of many of the diarists on here that are constantly plagued by people posting abusive comments to diary we have brought on board the first of a few changes to begin to curb this disturbing trend.

Stage 1 is now online.

Anyone leaving a reader comment must now have a valid Atomic account. You don’t need to have a diary and the account is completely free. If you don’t have an account yet then simply click on Create in the top right hand corner and make yourself one.

DO NOT USE THE LOGIN BUTTON unless you want to make a diary.

Setting up an account involves the following simple procedure:

You click on Create.

You fill in the form with your desired username and email address information.

The system will email you a random password.

That’s it. That’s all that’s involved.

Does this stop the anonymity of comments? To some extent yes it does because your username will always appear on comments now – if we are asked to we could allow you to hide the username, drop us a note if this is a desired feature.

Your email address however is completely optional. It will show the public email address you have configured (remember, Atomic accounts have TWO email addresses – one is private and only for use within the system itself, this address should be the best one to get to you. The other address is the one that will be given out when you request your email be added to the comment and can be anything you like).

Since the username is that of your own, it is also now impossible to pretend that you are somebody else, <sigh> just what kind of mental age do some of you have anyway?

What’s coming next?

Stage 2 will allow diarists to prevent a user from ever commenting on his/her diary again. Stage 2 will begin work asap and shouldn’t take long.

Even with this upgrade there is still scope for abuse, such is the nature of the Internet sadly. However, the amount of effort required to do this will now be significantly more – anyone who wishes to write abusive comments will need to obtain a new email address for each time they get banned.

I’m certain that we’ll receive comments (or probably emails now actually hehe) telling us that this is a silly thing to do. Diarists can just disable comments after all. Why can’t they just ignore the ones that they don’t like and delete them?

Why do they have to read them in the first place, is my response. If I know that you have nothing to say to me then I will ignore you but on the Internet you can keep sending things to me, you can keep adding comments and you can be a pest. This is our way of preventing such behaviour.

Reader Comments are probably the most popular feature on the site, it allows diarists and readers to communicate and for 99% of the time it is extremely positive. If someone has something negative to say they will either just leave the diary in disgust, or they will write something that is an informed ‘this is my opinion’. Flame Wars and Brawls seem to then ensue when the diarist attempts to justify their thoughts/beliefs because the reader won’t just let it be. We are all entitled to make our own choices and decisions – you are entitled to say you disagree but leave it at that, you aren’t going to ‘convert’ everyone to your way of thinking because frankly, you could be just as wrong as the people you are flaming.

We haven’t remove the original ‘Add Reader Comment’ script and one option we have is to allow diarists to choose which mechanism they would like to use. What do people feel about that? Are there diarists who very much dislike the new system and would prefer to stick to the old one for their own diary, knowing they are quite happily handling any flamers?

I say again as much as I have said before, we are always open for discussion, if you have a comment to make please make it – they are all taken seriously and in to consideration. We’d like to find some kind of common ground and balance between everyones needs.

I look forward to both positive and negative feedback – just make it constructive please!! :)


How to know when a diary is updated

We’ve had this question posed a couple of times so here is a definitive answer that should walk anyone through the process to use the Notify List system that is built into Dear Diary.

Any references to the FAQ shown below you should be able to get to by just clicking the ‘FAQ’ button at the top of the screen.


How do I enable the notify list for my diary so that others can subscribe to it, and be emailed when I update?

The short answer is in FAQ 3.3

Enabling the menu as described in the FAQ is done as follows:

Log in to your diary and click on Customise in the top right hand corner.

From the three options presented, click on ‘General Diary Options’ and this will reveal a number of other options.

Select ‘Menu Bar Editor’ and scroll down a little, you should see a number of options with checkboxes next to them and a description.

The option you are interested in has a description of ‘If you want users to be able to subscribe to a mailing list that only you can post to in order to tell them when a new entry has been added to your diary then you need to enable this option.‘. Tick the box next to it and set the text to whatever you would like (the Default is ‘Notify List’) to be shown on the menu itself, this is what your readers will click on.

Scroll all the way down and click SAVE and it will send the updates back to the server. If you now view the menu on your diary you should see the new option has appeared.

If your menu bar is not visible then you can go to various places to make it visible (depending on which screens you want to make it visible). These places are:

Screen Settings / Welcome Page / ‘Show Menu Bar’

Screen Settings / Main Index / General Settings / ‘Show Menu Bar’

Screen Settings / Diary Entries / General Settings / ‘Show Menu Bar’

Some diarists prefer not to have a menu bar on the entries to make sure there is the maximum room possible for the entry itself and only put the menu bar on the index and welcome screens – for example.

By now, you, the diarist, should have a Notify List option on your menu (or whatever you called it). If you can’t see it or still don’t follow what to do then drop us a line and we’ll see what’s wrong.


I’m enjoying a diary but I want to know whenever it is updated so I don’t miss anything!

The short answer is in FAQ 4.1

You need to see if that diarist has a Notify List menu option. First, make sure you can see the menu itself (they may or may not have menu’s, some diarists have even removed the menu from all screens!) and then look down it for something that looks likely. As a hint to help you look, the URL that it will go to will include ‘publicnotifymanager.cgi’. Most people will generally use something quite obvious though, such as ‘Notify List’, ‘Stay up to date!’, ‘Notify Me!’ and so forth.

If you don’t find it, contact the diarist and point them to this news entry and ask if they would mind putting a Notify List menu option up – some people don’t have them because they specifically don’t want them however.

If you have found it then clicking on it will bring you to a screen that asks you for your email address.

Enter your email address carefully into the box provided and click Proceed.

The system will now immediately send you an email to the address you gave, this is to stop people subscribing ‘unwilling’ people. The email will contain a URL for you to click on, either cut and paste it into your browser or click on it (some browsers may line-break the URL and this may then stop it working, in this case just cut and paste it yourself).

When you click on the URL this is your way of completing the process, you have validated that you have access to the email account and this is all the proof we need that we’re not going to start spamming some poor person!

That’s it! You’re on the notify list.

I’m on a notify list, how do I get off it!?!?

Short answer in FAQ 4.2

Follow precisely the same procedure as for getting on to a Notify List, the system will automatically detect that the email address you gave is currently on the Notify List and will send a confirmation email to you requesting that you confirm the unsubscription. Again, click the link in the email (or cut and paste it if you have problems) and the system will remove you.

If you have any problems with any stage of the above then please do email us and we’ll do our best to help!


A Dear Diary Moment

Steve sent me the WAV for this quite some time ago but I didn’t know which episode it came from. It’s a snippet from an episode of Friends (I don’t have it anymore or i’d link to it :) ).

Everyone needs to go and watch the first episode of Friends and wait for Chandler to advertise the site for us :)


Some help with Jabber

A bit more help for Jabber is needed I think!

When you first start it up, you will see the following:

Click the ‘Create new Account’ link at the bottom if you don’t have a Jabber account on the system.

Fill in the details for the new user wizard, using as the server name that you want to connect to. Click Next, fill in the next page of information and then click the Finish button and it should create your account on the system.

Next time you get the login box fill in your details as you signed up and ensure that is in the server box.

If you get this error message then it possibly means that either your system can’t connect to our server or that there is a firewall stopping you from getting to port 5222 on our machine – check your ISP or your network admin to see if they can shed any light on it if everything else looks fine.

Let us know how you get on ! :)

(I’d show you more screenshots but the firewall where I am at right now specifically doesn’t let most things go through so I can’t actually get connected using Jabber from here :) ).


Jabber – Information!

I thought Jabber deserved a bit more detailed explanation than there was room for on the front page, especially with all the work Steve has put in to getting it working today, so here goes :)

Jabber is another kind of Instant Messaging system like AOL IM, MSN IM, Yahoo IM and ICQ for example.

Oh no… not ANOTHER one….” I can hear you groaning already :)

Yes and no :) Yes, it’s another one but no, it doesn’t add another running application to your machine – it replaces all of the other ones.

When logged in to Jabber you can add all of your AIM, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ contacts to your Jabber screen and interact with them just as if you were on each of those services.

Personally it’s fantastic because I have some friends that refuse to use anything but ICQ, some family that understands MSN and do not want to have to figure out another one and so forth and this means I don’t need loads of them running.

So what do you do?

Head to – download the Jabber IM client (it’s free, even though it’s called the Commercial client).

The latest is version as at the last time I checked the site.

Install it, point it at for the server and create yourself an account using whatever username and password you fancy. I would strongly suggest using your Dear Diary username if you have one, as later on we will be enhancing the Jabber server to talk directly with our database so users will get their username and password from their Atomic account (eg. Dear Diary). This also means do not use a username that somebody else has as an Atomic username – when we migrate to talk to the database, original owners will take priority so you might lose your details or have to be renamed to something else.

My contact name is and Steve is

Let us know what you think of it – we’d like to start hosting the chats and things using this so that we can all get together easily.

Oh, one more thing, all your contact information is stored on the server, which means that if you run it on another machine (eg. at home and at school/work) then your contacts follow you around, much nicer :) (Something that AIM has only just implemented).

Have fun!