September 24th, 2009
We’ve put up a new comment system that will hopefully make comments more ‘reader-friendly’. For a while now, some comments were starting to get on people’s nerves, myself included. I know readers here are intelligent, funny, and passionate about the neighborhood, so I thank everyone here who participates and contributes to the discussions. (And all your emails too!). Commenting should be fun and informative. But when comments start to turn people away from commenting themselves, the site stops becoming an open forum and turns into a soap box for a handful.
The new commenting system allows you to do the following:
- Flag an inapprorpriate comment – If a comment is flagged multiple times, the comment becomes dark or not displayed. This allows the community to decide what’s inappropriate and displayed.
- Sort comments by rating, popularity, or newest/oldest.
- User registration for verified identities/profiles. This prevents commenting using someone else’s online identity. You can still register anonymously, but your comments will be consistent with your online name or handle.
- Real-time discussions: View the chatter with real-time posting and updating. With rich interactive features such as threaded replies and comment replies, your discussions never feel dull. (Ok, this one is a marketing point from Disqus.
Currently, anyone can comment without registering, allowing for easier discussions. But registering allows you to do things such as click on “like”, which increases the comment visibility by making it popular or use your Twitter account for posting. Registering also gives you a persona and as you accumulate points, your comments are more influential to the site. Eventually, we will be able to see the top commenters and can become a better online community.
As I’ve stated in the past, I’m counting on everyone to stick to comment etiquette, like a civil conversation in a person’s home:
- stay on topic
- contribute new information to the discussion
- don’t comment for the sake of commenting
- remember that nobody likes a know-it-all
- cite your sources
- be courteous
- do not feed the trolls
We’re still tweaking the site with the comments (and there are probably some bugs), so you’ll see some quirks, but for the most part, the comment system is working as far as I know, and over time, we hope this brings out better discussions for the Dumbo community. Please let me know how this is working. If you have any feedback, I’m always open to ideas. Thank you for your patience on this.