Note: In 2009 this website moved to WordPress and the system referred to in the post below is no longer in use.
New MuddyWatersMX reader Chris Wilson recently asked the following question:

The code used on this site exposes the email address of the registered commenters. In the item in the right-hand margin that says “Logged in as X”, the name inserted as “X” is a direct email link to the address used when registering to comment. That means that any email harvester crawling this site will be able to collect my email address.

Can you confirm or deny and/or fix?

I thought this was a good opportunity to explain how the system works for everyone. First, let me put your mind at ease. The content system used for MuddyWatersMX has been around a long time and its privacy features are quite robust.

The link you see in the right-hand column that says, “Logged in as YourNameHere” is only seen by you – and only when you are logged in. It’s just a link to your account settings, which are tracked by your e-mail address. No one else can see it. And no harvester can get to it. If you logoff the site you will see that your name and account info disappear.

The only place that your e-mail address is ever exposed — and this is exactly the same as Yahoo! and Google Groups e-mail lists — is in the FROM: address when your posts go out to the MuddyWatersMX mail list.

But we even give you control over that. The MuddyWatersMX system provides a completely anonymized FROM: address in outgoing list mails for any registered user who wants it. You can change this setting in your preferences.

I hope this clears up any confusion and thanks to Chris for prompting me to write it.

I’ve been working on some updates to the site, in an effort to make it friendlier for readers. I’ve got more to do, but the changes I made this round are:

  • Consolidated “Comment” links – There is only one comment link now, and it always goes to the same place. The old way had two links – one to a separate comment posting form, and one to the threaded message list where all the previous comments were shown. Now it’s just one link, and the form is at the bottom of the page when you click that link.
  • Improved layout of the [More…] page – I have modified the layout of the page you see when you click [More…] to read an article. This is now the same page you get when you click the “Comments” link. You see the original article and all (any) comments on one page. I have added bigger titles and better headers for the comments so you can see who’s posting what much easier. I also added some bookmarking tools for those of you who may want to bookmark certain pages.
  • Better navigation – I have added new navigation links at the bottom of each page/article. Depending on where you are, you can now move back-and-forth through the weblog, or easily link to similar articles in the same category as the one you are reading.
  • Improved Logon/Signup process for commenting – this was a problem before. You would logon or signup (only required for posting comments) and be taken to a confirmation page and then not be able to easily find where you were. That’s fixed (mostly). The Logon/Signup forms are now included right in the article page with the comments. When you click the button to Logon or Signup it remembers where you are and takes you back there immediately. Much easier. (There’s still a small problem with Logon, but it’s still a big improvement and will be fixed 100% shortly.)

In the next round I am going to add a list of recent comments. I know how to do this technically, but I haven’t figured out how I want to do it from a practical standpoint. There’s already a ton of stuff on the homepage sidebar, so maybe I should add them to the sidebar on the article pages. Or maybe somewhere else on the home page. They need to be somewhere they can get attention. Suggestions welcome.