Front-page Comments Idea



  • I wrote this note to @mark_bowytz in lieu of email. The openness was appreciated, so, I'll try again.


    Hey @mark_bowytz,

    I was thinking about front-page comments some more. I know the original plan was to have article discussion on the forums, but now that I've seen it in action (granted, it was "just" an Error'd), it just doesn't feel right. Maybe it's the transition from "front page" styling to "forums" styling, maybe it's the lack of anonymous comments (there is just something about the obnoxious captcha quotes), I dunno.

    Anyway, what do you think of this idea...

    1. Keep the same "auto-post discussion / hide / show" forums integration thing
    2. Use the API to pull all of the comments to the front page...
      a. featured comments displayed below article (as current)
      b. all comments display on secondary comments page (as current)
    3. Users can post anonymous comments on front page by entering captcha
      a. this uses a special account we create
      b. community can flag/like posts as needed
    4. Users can post non-anonymous comments by going to forums (as planned)

    This will keep anonymous comments (Which, looking at several moderated pages worth, are actually pretty decent), while also giving some commenters ability to register/watch comment threads, and introducing more users to the forums community, and giving frequent commenters .

    LMK what you think...

    Alex



  • Oddly enough, one of my biggest gripes was having a Reply button when everyone should be using the Quote button. You can quote here, but it's even easier to Reply to a post. You can see the conversation history at a click, but with quoting, it's already there.

    I guess it's one way that we didn't lose functionality moving to the new software.



  • Bonus points if you can make it look exactly like the old commenting system and not tell them that Discourse is involved and they'll just wonder why it's running faster and with less* bugs.



  • I'm not sure if @codinghorror has mentioned a barrier to reading before, but I think that requiring people to register for an account to post definitely makes a (worthy) barrier to contributing. it's not like it's foolproof, but it proves that someone is passionate enough about a topic that they will create an account in order to share their ideas.

    it won't prevent throw-away accounts posting "FRIST", and it will prevent some interesting stories from being posted, but the pros do outweigh the cons, IMHO.

    so, I definitely wouldn't mind anons having to watch.



  • Thinking further... this whole thing is JavaScript, so couldn't we just make a little button on the front-page comments that calls the same API that the JavaScript here does? It's a subdomain cookie (what.thedailywtf.com), so I dunno, would that even work w/ cookies and whatnot?



  • crowd-sourcing featured comments?


  • Banned

    @apapadimoulis said:

    This will keep anonymous comments (Which, looking at several moderated pages worth, are actually pretty decent)

    I would look verrrry closely at this, as letting drive-by anons post with no barrier to entry generally results in youtube level comments. The only exception would be very narrow technical topics, but I am not sure TDWTF is quite that. Might be. But look at a lot of examples first.



  • Well, logged-in people will generally know that Discourse exists, and not-logged-in people can't like things, so I don't really see a use for a front page like button, but the "like" request is basically just:

    POST /post_action HTTP/1.1
    Host: what.thedailywtf.com
    Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=UTF-8
    
    id=6386&post_action_type_id=2&flag_topic=false
    

    with a few other headers mixed in to prevent CSRF.



  • @codinghorror said:

    letting drive-by anons post with no barrier to entry generally results in youtube level comments.

    Don't the classic Article comments already allow anonymous?

    @codinghorror said:

    youtube level comments.

    The crazy of youtube comments has been greatly exaggerated in my experience, but perhaps I only visit the civilized areas? I generally don't read comments regardless, but when I do, they're usually just... people... talking... about the thing in the video.

    In fact, I have even seen one commenter apologize to another for being crass. FYI.



  • Some TDWTF article comments are funny because of their unregistered user names. Keeping that feature would be nice.

    @ben_lubar said:

    Bonus points if you can make it look exactly like the old commenting system

    That would require pagination...



  • @dhromed said:

    The crazy of youtube comments

    And then you have dramatic youtube reenactments of youtube comments...

    YouTube Comment Reconstruction #1 - 'One Direction: What Makes You Beautiful' – 03:15
    — Dead Parrot

    But seriously, it's too late to warn TDWTF about anonymous comments (on the front page). The problem is that they went away. I thought that was obvious from @apapadimoulis' OP.


    Filed Under: Eat a shit


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @dhromed said:

    I generally don't read comments regardless, but when I do...



  • @boomzilla said:

    And then you have dramatic youtube reenactments of youtube comments...

    I watched the first guy speak a word and knew it would be gold.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    It reminds me of the conversations between John Bird and John Fortune.

    Bird and Fortune - Subprime Crisis – 08:50
    — kerviel88888

    Maybe not as exciting as such, but with something of the same æsthetic.


  • :belt_onion:

    @codinghorror said:

    I would look verrrry closely at this, as letting drive-by anons post with no barrier to entry generally results in youtube level comments. The only exception would be very narrow technical topics, but I am not sure TDWTF is quite that.

    That's exactly what this is, a technical site with a narrow range of topics..... Anonymous replies have worked for the last 5+ years, why wouldn't it work now? Does Discourse inspire anonymous users to be extra obnoxious?


  • :belt_onion:

    @darkmatter said:

    Does Discourse inspire anonymous users to be extra obnoxious?

    Actually, I think it does. I've certainly been extra obnoxious since Discourse was implemented! And I'm not even anonymous.



  • @darkmatter said:

    Does Discourse inspire anonymous users to be extra obnoxious?

    No. Just the non-anonymous ones.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    We've not been discussing much in the way of politics recently, so the obnoxosity is turned down.



  • @apapadimoulis said:

    so, I'll try again

    Cool!

    @apapadimoulis said:

    1) Keep the same "auto-post discussion / hide / show" forums integration thing

    Yes. I'm on board here.

    @apapadimoulis said:

    2) Use the API to pull all of the comments to the front page...
    a. featured comments displayed below article (as current)

    Definitely.

    One addition - "People's choice" - top 1 - 3 liked comments. There's your auto-feature. Granted, this is open for abuse, but it could have hilarious results.

    @apapadimoulis said:

    b. all comments display on secondary comments page (as current)

    Meh. I'm not so excited on this point. Feels a little weird making a non-interactive copy of the comments. To me, comments/forums are more like a separation of church and state. I come to tdwtf.com to read my story and see the top comments. Talkers head over to what.tdwtf.com to talk n' chat.

    @apapadimoulis said:

    3) Users can post anonymous comments on front page by entering captcha
    a. this uses a special account we create
    b. community can flag/like posts as needed
    4)Users can post non-anonymous comments by going to forums (as planned)

    I like the idea...and keep in mind that I don't like anonymous comments.

    To me, spam and hurtful, jerkwad commenters are a bigger threat than YouTube-style comments and giving the convenience of easy anonymous posting gives them that ability. IMHO, I would much rather see people sign up with a fake account, but I concede that the ability to do a drive-by comment is valuable.

    @apapadimoulis said:

    it just doesn't feel right. Maybe it's the transition from "front page" styling to "forums" styling

    THIS!!! You hit the nail on the head there.

    Feels like there's too much ...whitespace. One sentence comments, for example, are 40 pixels taller on Discourse than on TDWTF and there's also a striking difference between individual comments that make it feel more like...well.. comments.

    Technical question - can CSS for the comment threads be altered into a "minified" version?



  • @VinDuv said:

    @ben_lubar said:
    Bonus points if you can make it look exactly like the old commenting system

    That would require pagination...

    Yah, you're probably being snarky 😉 but really - as someone who doesn't make comment curating a priority once the 2 page comment threshold is crossed, is there a benefit of pagination of comments ESPECIALLY when conversations cross multiple pages?

    In my eyes: when I hit a comment page, I want to see the most recent message in a thread before contributing, not (potentially) four messages ago.


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