March 12, 2008

Removing your name from the Top Commenters Widget

Important Update: You can now remove your name from the list using the revised widget installer for the Top Commenters widget.

This means that you don't need to follow the instructions below, though they will remain as a reference point for anyone using Yahoo! Pipes to create their own applications.

The Top Commenters Widget enables you to display the names of the top ten people who comment on your blog. However the default installation does not remove your own name from this list.

Here are the instructions to follow which will enable you to remove your own name from the list. This does require you to make some customizations to the Yahoo Pipes application which is used to generate the widget, but I'll take you through the process step by step.

Assuming you have already installed the Top Commenters widget in your blog, you will probably see your own name in this list. To remove your own name from this list, you will need to apply a filter to the Yahoo Pipes application used to parse and display this list.

There are essentially three steps to this process:

  1. Make your own copy of the Yahoo Pipes "Top Commenters" application.
  2. Filter your own name from this application.
  3. Change the reference number in the widget code to match that of your own application.

It is not difficult at all to make these changes, and should take only a few minutes to achieve.


You should have already installed the Top Commenters widget in your blog, so if you haven't already added this, please do so now as it will make things much easier for you to understand!

Making a copy of the Top Commenters Application in Yahoo Pipes

This step is much easier than it sounds! Simply visit the page for my version of the Top Commenters widget. You will be prompted to enter your Yahoo! login information to see this pipe. If you're not already a member of Yahoo! you can create a free account in minutes to begin working with this application.

The page for this pipe will look something like this:

To make your own copy of this application, all you need to do is click on the "Clone" link as highlighted in the image above.

On the next page, you will see the output of the pipe application (the top commenters on Blogger Buster), along with some configuration options near the top of the screen.

Here you need to click the "Edit Source" link, as shown in the image below:

This link will take you to the page where you can add your filter to the application.

Filter your Name from the Pipe Output

For those who haven't used Yahoo! Pipes before, the next screen may be rather intimidating! There are many different boxes and options on the screen, though there is only one which you need to alter: the one which says "Filter your name" as shown in the image below:

As you can see in the example above, I have filtered my own name from the Top Commenters widget by adding my name into the text input box.

Simply replace "Amanda" with your own name (that which would normally appear as your name in comments). Then click on the "Save" button at the top of your screen.

Edit: While this method worked fine for me while testing, many of you have experienced problems in filtering your name from the list. There is one extra step you can take to ensure your name will be properly removed from the list.

In the pipes editing screen, you will notice a box marked "Blog's URL (Text)". In this box, remove both instances of the URL for Blogger Buster, and replace this with the URL of your own blog, like this:
Be sure NOT to add a trailing backslash to the end of your URL as this will prevent the pipe from working properly!

The Blog URL box appears like this in the template, with the boxes for the URL input marked for your convenience:

Once you have changed the URL, be sure to save your pipe.

Change the reference number in your widget's code

This is the trickiest part of filtering your name from the Top Commenters widget, but so long as you are careful you should experience no problems.

Your own copy of this application has a different reference number to that which is currently installed in your blog. To filter your name from the widget list, you need to change the reference number to match that of your own widget.

Firstly, you will need to extract the ID number of your new application. You can find this easily by looking in the address bar of the page you are on (providing you have not changed location since saving your pipe). I have highlighted an example of how this would appear in the image below:

Copy only the number string from your address bar to your clipboard. An alternative way to extract this ID number is to go to My Pipes, click on the link for your copy of the Top Commentator widget, and look for the "Pipe Web Address" which should be just beneath the description of the pipes application.

With this long number saved to your clipboard, go to your Blogger dashboard and click on the link to edit the contents of your Top Commentators widget.

Here is what the code inside your widget should look like:

<script type="text/javascript">
function pipeCallback(obj) {
var i;
for (i = 0; i < obj.count ; i++)
var href = "'" + obj.value.items[i].link + "'";
var item = '<li>' + '<a href=" + href + ">' + obj.value.items[i].title + '</a> </li>'
<script src=" render=json&_callback=pipeCallback&_id=c92ac21897d8b56e61cfa85930dd89a1&url=" type="text/javascript"></script>
I've highlighted the existing ID number in yellow. You need to replace this with your own unique ID for your newly edited pipe. Be careful that you only replace the ID number, and don't accidentally delete or move any other section of code!

Once you have changed the ID number, simply save the changes to your widget and take a look at the widget in action in your blog. You may need to refresh the page to see your changes in place, but if all has gone well, your own name will now be omitted from the list!

I hope this tutorial helps you all to filter your names from the Top Commenters widget easily and without problems. If you do experience problems with this, feel free to leave your comments below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

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