Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Jan 2012 23:53 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The last few weeks there's been a considerable amount of chatter on the web about whether or not a news website, blog, or some hybrid thereof, needs comments. Since we are working on the next version of OSNews, which means I've been thinking about things like this a lot, I figured I'd pen down my thoughts on comments.
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Member since:


Let me say, I enjoy being able to voice my opinion here and discuss topics with others. Without that, osnews would be less interesting. Twitter and friends are certainly no substitute for interacting with other osnews readers directly.

Some criticisms:
The comment voting system doesn't serve very well the purpose that we users use it for (this sentiment is often reflected in the comments). Osnews admins want it to be used for moderation, but the fact is it is not being used that way. And even if it were, the notorious spammer some months ago shows that it's not all that useful for "moderation" either (at least from a user's perspective - I want you guys to block spam, but not unpopular opinions).

Users are trying to use it to gauge the overall community opinions, but we cannot because of some rather silly limitations (ie we've already posted comments of our own). It could be paranoia, but sometimes we observe voting anomalies that suggest that trolls are using duplicate accounts to vote, while this is not osnews fault, the problem is exacerbated by the fact that people playing by the rules often don't get a vote.

I find myself clicking on "parent" just to see who the comment was in reply to, could osnews show the parent comment's author?

Login problem:
When I try to login after hitting "reply" the first login always fails.

Edit bugs:
Could you fix the edit bugs where spaces are unexpectedly added to every paragraph? Also, once displayed, the comment spacing information is lost.

All in all you guys have done a fairly good job and I'd like to thank you for your efforts.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:

ie we've already posted comments of our own

This is really my only beef with the current system. We're all grown ups here and we should be trusted to actually moderate even after commenting.
It's just lame.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Vanders Member since:

"ie we've already posted comments of our own

This is really my only beef with the current system. We're all grown ups here and we should be trusted to actually moderate even after commenting.
It's just lame.

I can see the reason for it (essentially to stop people down-voting replies to their own posts). How about a compromise where you can't moderate posts that you've replied to directly or are direct replies to your posts?

Reply Parent Score: 7

acobar Member since:

I find myself complaining from time to time to the "once posted can not moderate" "feature".

Perhaps, the moderation system would be more useful if, instead of just +1 or -1, it could display also positive (for informative, insightful, funny and agree), negative (for inaccurate and disagree) and "go ride" (off-topic, troll and spam). We would still see the total score, but have at hand also a better filtering tool.

The problem now is that even when some comments are insightful or informative it does not mean that I agree with them and things can be funny and off-topic. Even troll comments can carry useful information from time to time.

So, I would propose something you could pick up to 2 options from 3 columns:
[] informative(+1)..[] agree(+1).....[] off-topic (-1)
[] insightful(+1)...[] disagree(-1)..[] troll (-1)
[] funny(+1).........................[] spam (-1)
[] inaccurate(-1)

It would generate a range from -2 to +2. It could also balance out things a bit (like funny but off-topic for those of us without sense of humor).

You could set a spam threshold (like -20 spam tags) that would "freeze" the account) and also a troll threshold (like 100 troll tags). May lighten your duties on this kind of behavior.

We could have the footer display something like:
Reply Permalink Bookmark Score: 1 7+ 5- 1#

Hum, perhaps, a bit too much.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Neolander Member since:

As an admin account, you can see who voted what on any given post.

While I certainly don't think that the identity of voters should be made public, I tend to agree that it could be good if users could see why a comment was voted up and down.

Reply Parent Score: 1