Please Read The Comments

Oh, and to link to Google searches use # instead of ?
As in:'t+read+the+comments

I have to say Rob’s got a point here. I am also quite confused as to which comments are replies to what. I open up the “X replies” box, read them and then scroll further down and re-read the same comment again. This has happened four or five times on this post alone. Yet it seems to be exactly what you are trying to avoid.

It gets more confusing because when reading the comments having clicked “X replies” the comments often have quotes from subsequent comments I have not read yet. eg If you read the replies to post #30 you will see comments quoting post #43. This is really confusing…

I understand you are trying to add context to the comments, but perhaps this is what threads do quite naturally anyway?

If you are confused and angered by the idea that you may occasionally read things more than once, I suggest you avoid the Internet altogether.

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I am not angered at all, although your comment is a little harsh. I made the point I made because it was actually sam_saffron who said:

On the other side you have a conversation that is practically impossible to track without constantly hitting the refresh button and re-reading stuff you read a hundred times.

I was merely pointing out that the re-reading problem has not been solved…

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How would you improve on the current situation without falling into the “just give a threaded view button” solution.

I think I’ll write a little “blog post” here as I got really excited with all this! :blush:

Without any experience moderating communities whatsoever, I agree with this solo statement out of all you said. :stuck_out_tongue:

How about a blogger plugin? I’d really really love one… :wink:

Amen to that!

I hope as Discourse evolves, those comments can be simply hidden and/or voted down or something, rather than deleted. I think deletion should be reserved to marketing spam and lorem ipsum. Shouldn’t it?

While the current “Summarize” function is awesome, sometimes I do want to read the underdog comments… And, though more rarely, even the annoying ones might have its value. We got just 2 of those layers (popular and regular unpopular) right now and if you’re deleting the awful comments that’s deleting the 3rd layer (negatively popular).

It does get confusing. Right here I’m answering this, a long thread started by rob, and it’s hard to follow back and forward.

I do like how Discourse add context, but I agree it would be better to still be able to see it threaded. Also, new users will have a very hard time realizing the conversations are being threaded…

But threading does remove the serendipity off the topic. And replying as a new topic sounds like a good solution to all that… Maybe over time the community will get used to it and stop bringing subjects out of topic. Maybe it’s all a matter of grasping the concept.

It’s like using Gmail. Some people still do it with FOLDERS - as it was never meant to be, nor does it bring any advantages. You should label, archive and search. But people’s inertia is really hard to change…


Now I come to think of all this, here’s an idea:

We should press reply to someone, write, and press SEND. Want to reply to another one? Go on, quote, reply, whatever, and press send. If you do it fast enough, in succession, then Discourse should join them in one post automatically, just to make the reading layout better. If not, well, then that’s done.

Have you thought of doing it this way? I can envision it being much better than the current “avoid posting more than once” warning given on the 3rd time you post, and also it will make the reply context following much simpler, as it will be able to point to the exact reply, instead of a chain of replies like most of Jeff’s posts here. This would also bring more sense to “like this post” (which, by the way, is wrongly showing after the “X Replies v” button), as long as you keep one such button for each post, no matter it was automagically joined together in one layout.

As for duplication of posting, when you click on the X Replies v, all posts showed there should be collapsed below in their original place. You can still click and read them, but they will be collapsed as long as they’re already showing elsewhere. What you think? Click, collapse other ones. Click again, undo. Easier said than done.

I couldn’t disagree more. I can’t understand how words can be damaging at all. At all. Especially in written form. But…

I try to respect who do feel that way, as know plenty. So yeah, maybe blogs with comments isn’t for everyone indeed. For that fact alone.

As much as I love keyboard, Discourse also works great with the mouse. Just saying… :wink:

How the community curate itself? As I understand it, the more you stay around, the more likely you are to get moderation privileges. You can also flag bad posts. And so the moderators can moderate focus points. That’s all quite enough IMHO.

Couldn’t agree more!

This is really the only one disadvantage I can think of, for small traffic anyway.

Hahahaha, are you implying Homer is a scientist?! :lollipop:

What the fuck was that?! O_o

I did give an idea up there, if you bother to read / find it! :sunny:

Now, let’s see how well Discuss will behave with such a freaking large comment… And the community with this small topic resurrection!

You can expand hidden comments in the summary by clicking the “30 posts hidden” bars.

These statements are contradictory, and part of the problem with threading, the mental model is too demanding and has many, many cons.

A reply that says nothing other than “first post” is spam in my book.

Oh, sure. But this is part of the summarize function and not what I meant! I also agree with threading being evil and all, you took my sentence completely out of context there. Your reply suggest me I didn’t make my point across.

For the first one, I meant there are 3 kinds of comments: popular ones, which will often be considered good by most, and thus they become very liked and aggregated by Summarize. Then there are regular ones. They are not hated by anyone, but are also not particularly good. Those are currently hidden by Summarize. Finally there are the bad ones, which get negative popularity. Those are still not spam, they’re just mostly unwelcomed. In my book a post that says nothing other than “first post” is not necessarily spam - it depends on context. But it is mostly unwelcomed. I’d rather see it hidden by default, instead of deleted. Of course, “first post” is an edge case. I just think it’s hard to draw a line there…

Now that I think of it again, maybe it’s better to have just the first 2 kinds of comments, and spam. I’m pretty sure you gave plenty thought to this already, while I haven’t. I was just throwing my 2 cents.

More importantly, the second point there: it was about “context threading”. Just try going back and forward right here. You’ll see it’s not as easy as it would if we had a way to see that thread as a thread. But I don’t think a traditional threading would be a good solution either. I just think something could be learned from it - making that single navigation easier, so we can promptly read the context without needing to navigate through all other comments in between.

Maybe all we’d need is this: when going back, it expands only that 1 reply. When going forward it collapses the other replies within the X Reply v. This would get higher advantage with my other idea for separating/joining replies there:

To add to it, it should also separate posts that reply to many different posts all in one as to avoid huge uncontextualized “context threading”. :smiley:

If I’m still not clear, please let me know. I’ll try to actually draw a picture! :wink:

I think you are confusing the terms Libertarian with the term Libertine.

this is further elaborated here: (first 4 minutes will suffice)

I suggest you make the appropriate correction.

You can further enrich your knowledge about Libertarianism in this paper from the mises institute:

I’m copying this from the comment I made on the linked “If your website’s full of assholes…” article so please keep the context in mind when reading.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with large parts of this article. Much of this is easy to say when you have a site with maybe a few thousand followers. I found this article when reading through coding horror and being so specialized I doubt he has substantially more than you.

For arguments sake let’s say that you or even he have in the 10s to 100s of thousands of followers (which I highly doubt). Let’s take something like Yahoo news – which probably recieves more comments on their combined articles in a few hours than you and Jeff Atwood have combined followers. Let’s take this and add the fact that an article on Yahoo news will recieve additional comments in perpetuity and some articles will remain relevant and stay up for months to years at a time. Now let’s also add the fact that a typical follower of your blog or Jeff Atwood’s blog will be fairly educated – if they weren’t they wouldn’t be attracted to the content in the first place and wouldn’t bother to read. Yahoo, on the other hand appeals to the masses.

It isn’t a matter of scaling, the numbers game is simply impossible – you couldn’t find enough people to intelligently police all the inane, idiotic, off-topic comments, spammers, racists, etc, etc, etc. Consider, a good number of these are even bots and, while easy to detect, work at a pace that humans couldn’t hope to keep up with. Even if you combat their bots with your own bots, new bots will be made that will out-smart yours leading to a never-ending arms race. Even the “community policing the community” system that Jeff Atwood implemented on stack exchange (or the similar system used on reddit) doesn’t work exceptionally well. If you don’t believe peruse the depths of either site for a while and you’ll find just as much trash as you will anywhere else. As another example, take a look at Wikipedia. Though I won’t argue that it isn’t an excellent resource, it can also be a resource for a substantial amount of dis-information and idiotic, inane, pointless, stupid arguments and I doubt any of that will stop any time soon, if it ever does.

Ultimately, if you appeal to the masses in any way you have to make two choices:

  1. Implement dracoinian policies (which everyone will hate and probably won’t work anyway)
  2. Shrug your shoulders and mutter “people will just be people” and refuse to take responsibility for their stupidity.

Do you blame DARPA for all the violence, crime, stupdity, etc, etc, etc, that has occured because of the wide-scale implementation of the Internet? I didn’t think so. Everything in life is a double-edged sword.

It would be really nice to get some kind of semi-automatic Q-A from the comments. That way you could see important/common concerns without having to read all of the comments. Sometimes I guess editing the post to address the concerns/answer the questions would be better though.

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1 minute sufficed. He didn’t confuse anything, he used it in context. Don’t hung in word definitions when there is context.

And I think you’re confusing the reply buttons! :wink:

You mean like the Summarize function?

But you gave me a new (or maybe not) idea: it would be really nice if we could get a summarize function with only the op’s loved posts. That way it could instantly turn a discussion into a Q&A. :smiley:

I trust you mean this “if your website’s full of assholes” link.

Stackoverflow is huge, and the whole moderating idea works there. So is wikipedia. To me, your argument is null with just 1 of those instances. But you bring them as an opposite example, for some reason, as if they were at same content quality as yahoo answers. That’s just wrong. They’re not perfect, but they’re awesome and moderation is the reason.

Everything in life are shades of several colors, not a “double-edged opposite dichotomy sword”. There isn’t simply 2 choices to make. Two is just the minimum amount required to have a choice and hardly it’s the true number behind a decision, if you dig enough.

(As a self note reminder, I should probably not even be replying to this…)

You’re essentially agreeing with me if you re-read my comment. The point i’m trying to make is that you can’t implement some ultimate policy of comment moderation on any site that allows public comments; size is a huge consideration in this and as a site scales upward it because even more difficult for numerous reasons. Obviously, you can make attempts and moderate comments to some extent, but what i take issue with in Atwood’s piece (and the other piece) can be summarized exactly as follows: “If you run a website, you need to follow these steps. if you don’t, you’re making the web, and the world, a worse place. And it’s your fault. Put another way, take some goddamn responsibility for what you unleash on the world.”.

No, Anil Dash, you aren’t making the web a worse place. My double-edge sword reference is not a binary comparison but a statement that you can’t create something with the power to do great harm or great good and often times whether your creation is used for harm or good is largely out of your own control. Blaming creators for how other use their creations is a regressive and harmful attitude. Are Wikipedia and Stackoverflow great sources of information with good systems of moderation? Yes, but at times they are also terrible sources of dis-information, ignorance, and stupidity. The both have in place help but they are FAR from perfect and i don’t blame anyone for that.

“You should make a budget that supports having a good community, or you should find another line of work.” – Yes, please, instead of doing the best we can, let’s all go hide in our closets and cry because somebody somewhere might do something with our creations we disagree with and we might not be perfectly prepared to control them.

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If there’s nobody to blame, there’s also nothing to improve, and nowhere to go. I don’t believe in free will, I think the universe is deterministic… But your general thought is way and beyond too conformist even to me.

I love blaming myself. It means I can do something about it. And move. Live.

I think we’re not agreeing at all, but I’m not even sure what you were trying to say or accomplish there. Nor what I am trying to do by replying to you, for that matter! :stuck_out_tongue:

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How about hiding the posts in the main flow when you View Replies.

So if you never View Replies, you get a linear list of posts, but the posts that you’ve read in threaded mode aren’t duplicated.

Well it’s right there in her quote: “Angry Bad Divorce Guy”. She, and Salon, make gross sweeping generalizations about men, and dismiss any comment or critique regardless of how legitimate with “Angry Bad Divorce Guy”. Since Williams (and most Salon authors) rarely comment in reply to any comment, it is difficult to provide more specific examples, apart from suggesting you to read ten of her columns at random.

There could be an “echo chamber” mode that skips all the suspected troll comments of marked contrarians or contrary posts marked as such by esteemed fellow users or moderators. Isn’t that how facebook does it with its “top comment” mode?

(I’m new. this page got sent to me this week in a coding horror digest email. The topic is still relevant despite being more than 4 years old. Could tag this #oldPost maybe.)


I just finished reading this entire topic and yes, it is still very much relevant. I even got a few ideas to discuss with my mods for our forum. :wink:

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