Best way to enhance comment writing: a poll

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David Byron

David Byron is a software developer working for the military-industrial complex. At Popehat, he writes about art, language, theater (mostly magic), technology, lyrics, and aleatory ephemera. Serious or satirical poetry spontaneously overflows from him while he's recollecting in tranquility. @dcbyron

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38 Responses

  1. Burnside says:

    I don't often hear my blog posts, but when I do, I hear them in the sultry voice of Morgan Freeman.

  2. Richard says:

    This is the last blog you will ever hear.

    I had my speakers off. Did I miss it&#8253

  3. Richard says:

    Okay, the preview pane showed those as proper interrobangs.

  4. Zack says:

    wtf? OOOH COMMENT SYSTEM UPDATED? Amirite? Izzat the point of the post?
    Otherwise I got no clue.

  5. BaronLurk says:

    We want <b>smellovision!</b>
    (That way, I can smeel the popcorn …)

  6. BaronLurk says:

    (and no preview pane to see my silly HTML didn't work [Firefox or IE].)

  7. David says:

    Live preview has been restored. Please return to your seats and observe the no smoking sign.

  8. David says:

    @BaronLurk Try again. I was experimenting with another option during your attempt.

  9. BaronLurk says:

    Now the preview is working … must have been trying to comment while David was working behind the curtain.

  10. James C says:

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

  11. Third News says:

    Why do I feel like I've read a porn script after checking out the the headline, links, and comments?

  12. SirWired says:

    Another vote for threading… non-threaded comments makes discussions awful difficult.

  13. Billy V says:

    Please no rich text editor… that just leads to people trying to be 'cool' and getting 80 point fonts in all read saying "U MAD BRO?!?!?!?!"

  14. Steven H. says:

    So, is it just me, or does the "view results" link not work?

  15. Chris says:

    Another vote for threading… non-threaded comments makes discussions awful difficult.

    I'd prefer not to have threading. Threaded discussion makes it very hard to see what has been posted since the last time I looked at a particular comment thread.

  16. David says:

    @Steven H.
    "View Results" seems to work ok. Press F5 (or CTRL+F5, or COMMAND+F5) and try again.

  17. David says:

    To the person who requested "What you see is what you get": Both of the approaches in the poll are WYSIWYG solutions.

  18. Steven H. says:


    Tried all those. Still no results. :(

  19. ChicagoTom says:

    I vote against threaded discussions…threading is hard to read.

    One thing I have seen that i like is where each comment is assigned a number…and when you hit reply to the 3rd comment, your comment is prefixed with something like

    Re:(name) @ 3:

    I like that

  20. Richard says:

    @ChicagoTom – I would prefer a link to the comment being replied to, as opposed to the number.

  21. ClaytonH says:

    So I've noticed that all of the avatars are broken. Is that happening for anyone else?

  22. Josh C says:

    I voted rich text editor. After reading the "other" suggestions, threaded comments or editable comments would be much, much better.

  23. Justin Kittredge says:

    I voted rich text comment editor, but I love the write in vote of;
    "Making comments editable for a short period of time (10 minutes?) to correct embarrassing typos."
    15-20 minutes would be great but, is there any easy coding solution (or whatever) that allows a comment edit expiration deal-io? What I mean is, is this do-able for you guys?

    A shame if cannot have both, I seem to quite like the preview feature as well.

  24. David says:

    @ChicagoTom I like the @ link idea, since @ all the time anyhow.

  25. Matt says:

    Kudos to the person who wants the MLP/Alien/Predator/Thomas the Tank Engine slash flick.

  26. Myk says:

    Preview is A1OK doubleplusgood.

  27. David says:

    @Myk Love the clerical gravatar!

  28. Shane says:

    OK WTH I want a pony background that was not an option when I voted. What is this some sort of republican/democrat choice?

    Ohhh fun now I can edit stuff too. That means I can ignore that these were write ins and point out some other thing that will make me look smarter like … hey SQUIRREL.

  29. DRJlaw says:

    Real time preview is nice. Of course, I still manage to screw up posts even when a preview is available, so editable comments would be a nice feature as well.

    Arstechnica has a commenting system which allows silent edits for an initial period (~10 minutes), 'flagged' edits which indicate when a post was edited (for some longer subsequent period), and an end after which no editing is allowed. Since those are server-side features on a non-WordPress site, it's not a given that anything like that could be done here.

    Instead of timed editing, you might implement a self-delete feature. That would allow commenters to deal with double-posts and engage in a form of editing using a copy-delete-edit-and-repost process. Might be less messy to implement since timers are less imporant and 'rewriting history' would kick you down amongst the new messages. It could even be done without using user accounts if you set a cookie or use a session variable.

    I see a timed click-to-edit has appeared. Kudos to David.

  30. AlphaCentauri says:

    I vote against threaded comments, too. You can't find the newest comments. I think it tends to encourage private off-topic arguments, too, and we have enough of those.

  31. Christenson says:

    A few, SIMPLE, features should do fine. Doesn't matter what they are as long as instructions are nearby. If someone can't figure out a little HTML, you probably didn't want to hear from them anyway, certainly not in 40 point type!

    …and a link near the top to the last post, because my stupid iPad takes a long time to get to the bottom of 400+ comments you get between musings on the Prenda saga.

  32. Myk says:

    @David – Popetown; possibly the greatest cartoon of all time.

  33. David says:

    "Git style version control" — was that you, @Grandy?

  34. Sharon says:

    Preview preview preview preview I love you preview preview

    Editing's nice, too.

    "eh" on rich text and not very thrilled about threading.

    My one OH SH*T NONONONOooooooo is … I hate it when sites show who's posted the most. It gives the impression that the number of posts you've left, or the average word count, is important. On nearly all of the LinkedIn groups I'm in that aren't heavily moderated, the "Top Influencers" are the top link spammers. Depending upon the forum the high post counters are the best candidates to put ignore in terms of actual constructive content.

    Thank you for the work you put into this board. Even the stuff I bitch about.

  35. princessartemis says:

    The preview pane is the bestest. Time limited editation is awesome too.

  36. David says:

    @Sharon, I agree that being a top commenter by volume is not necessarily a good thing.

    I'll change the widget's caption to reflect this ambiguity.

  37. babaganusz says:

    wish i'd thought of 'hammer throw'.