New Commenting

Housekeeping note: Disqus has upgraded and it seems I cannot go back to the old version (that would be strike one).

I'm keeping an open mind about the new sytem, and am trying to modify it so it fits what we do and how we communicate. Let me know in the comments here if you notice anything that's completely off the wall bizarre? 

Thanks. I hate forced upgrades. Dammit, Beavis.


General Bitching...

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    SB Sarah says:

    It is possible that I am not sufficiently caffeinated but my initial reaction to this new system is, “THIS SUCKS. CHANGE IT.”

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    One thing I dislike: the upvoting and downvoting, and the ranking of commenters by frequency. I don’t want to create a ranking system of commenters because yuck, and I certainly don’t want to value some comments over others, especially based on frequency. Just because someone comments once doesn’t mean her comments aren’t valuable.

    Oooooh, I’m cranky.

  3. 3
    Beccah W. says:

    Yeah…I’m not loving it either. First I was really confused. Then I was kinda upset but it to be honest. :(

  4. 4
    SB Sarah says:

    I totally understand! I’m not happy, either. There are some administrative things that I really like (there’s an app I can use to moderate comments on my phone, for example) but the changes that I dislike outweigh any convenience I might have on my end.

    I’m researching alternative options, so stay tuned. Also, though I had nothing to do with choosing the changes that were made, I am really sorry about this!

  5. 5
    cleo says:

    Another blog I read regularly moved to upvoting and downvoting awhile ago – my main complaint with it is that it makes it hard to come back to the thread and identify the new comments (and that’s my main complaint with the replies going under the parent comment instead of at the end of the thread (I’m sure there’s a name for that but I can’t think of it right now)).

    I really liked the old system here – I liked being able to “like” comments and I liked the little buzz I got when someone “liked” my comments.  That was enough ranking for me.  This has me completely confused and cranky.

  6. 6
    jliedl says:

    Automatically promoting the “best” comments? How “best”, Disqus? Ugh!

  7. 7

    I’m not a fan of Disqus changing, but then I’m still sobbing over Google Reader going away. I don’t have room in my heart for more computer drama today.

  8. 8
    Elizabeth Houston says:

    This is my primary complaint. Although other than nested replies (which I like), this is the only other major change I’ve noticed…

  9. 9
    Elizabeth Houston says:

    Ok, I lied. Two other differences are the ‘My Disqus’ section which allows you to view direct replies to your comments. And, if you click on someone’s name it allows you to view every post they’ve made on any blog that uses this system.

    The first is neat, but the second I don’t like. They’re called secret lives for a reason, darn it! Now everyone knows my passion for cute puppies and free airline miles.

  10. 10
    katherinelynn_04 says:

    I’ve been using the new format on other sites for some time, so it isn’t an issue for me. I think the top commenters is a nice little widget, and it is a bit of motivation for the competitive to comment. I’m not a huge fan of the downvoting, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the nested replies. I have a really difficult time following threads otherwise.

  11. 11
    LauraN says:

    Agreed.  The kind of conversation we have here lends itself to a chronological arrangement of comments.  Apparently, voting things up and down moves them up and down the board?  How confusing!  Also, our conversations aren’t always direct replies to one another, so the nested replies aren’t going to help organize the conversations at all.  Basically, this “upgrade” has made it harder to have coherent conversations with one another.  Boo!

    Also, vote down?  I’m not usually one of the “the interwebs are sooooo mean!” people, but honestly, we don’t need this.

  12. 12
    SB Sarah says:

    Oh, that’s interesting! I hear a lot of hateration on nested replies, so I’m glad to hear from someone who likes it! I wish there was a way to let people choose their layout. I wonder if that’s possible.

  13. 13
    LauraN says:

    I know!  Just one more example of why I started that junk email account all those years ago that all my blog commenting is tied too.  I’d like to keep my online life and my private life separate, thanks.  Maybe I’m a curmudgeon, but every time I hear about one more way the modern world is infringing on my privacy, I have a “move to a shanty in Montana” moment.  Unfortunately, I’m not a gun nut, so I’m afraid the lifestyle wouldn’t suit me.  I do like to garden, though!  Can one be a pacifist survivalist?  Perhaps I could join the Amish instead, but bonnets, you know?

  14. 14
    SB Sarah says:


    Yeah, I can totally see how that would be irritating. I think the emphasis on their ability to connect you everywhere you go is more for their benefit than to yours (obviously).

  15. 15
    SB Sarah says:

    I’m sorry – it has me confused and cranky, too. I’m looking for alternatives that do all the things you & I like but not the things we do not.

  16. 16
    SB Sarah says:

    Another couple of things I do not like (since no one asked, heh):

    1. I can’t use CSS to customize appearance at ALL. I can’t number comments, either, which is a feature I really, really like.

    2. I can’t move the comment window to the end of the thread instead of the top. That bothers me because when I comment here or anywhere, I’m usually talking to someone, responding to what they say – not delivering what I think THEN reading what everyone else has said. One of the things I value most about y’all is that we listen and talk, and this layout places talking over listening, and that isn’t what I want.

    3. Oh my good Lord, the back end is all HERE IS MAKING THE MONEY, SEE? I can add links to content elsewhere and earn money if y’all click on the links and GOOD LORD. That’s not what comments are for, in my perspective. I have more ability to customize the commercial aspects of the comments (which I turned way, way down) than I do how the comments themselves are laid out, what they look like, and in what order they appear. Oh, that makes me saddest sad.

    I’m fully aware that I’m kvetching about a free service and I can in fact drop it and move on, but the technical involvement of switching out comment services is looking kind of intimidating and so I’m cranky about it. Sorry for the whinging. Clearly it’s lunchtime!

    But please know I’m listening to what you all think and don’t want you to be unhappy with this upgrade.

  17. 17
    SB Sarah says:

    Laura: you’d like Montana! I dream sometimes about living there, though it’s far from the ocean, which I also love.

    I totally understand your feelings, though.

  18. 18
    Tamara Hogan says:

    As someone who developed software back in the day, I am, and remain, absolutely enraged that migration plans and backwards compatibility don’t seem to be a requirement, or even expected, these days. “Here’s the new version. Suck it, users.”

  19. 19
    Jill Shultz says:

    I also dislike that feature intensely. While I tend to like nested comment threads, I’m happy either way, and can see how they’d be annoying on a small screen.

    The new Disqus didn’t offer me the option of posting a new comment. Huh?

    I’ve disliked Disqus for some time, so would be thrilled if you moved to something else. Sorry about the PIA for you!

  20. 20
    SB Sarah says:

    Oh, silly. I can upvote and downvote myself. SHEESH.

  21. 21
    SB Sarah says:

    Yes, there are some things disqus does very very well from an organization and management perspective, but these latest changes really don’t work here, for y’all or for me. I’m working on it.

    Prepare ye for me to breaketh the internet! Stay tuned!

  22. 22
    Lostshadows says:

    The main thing I like is that it lets me know about, and see, new posts and replies without reloading the page. And for entering giveaways, I think I’ll appreciate not having to scroll all the way to the bottom to post.

    Not a fan of the up/down voting. It works in some places, but I don’t see it working well here.

  23. 23
    GhengisMom says:

    Ok. I actually like the nested comments. I found it annoying to have to go through the list of comments and figure out who was replying to what comment which was a reply to another comment etc.

    My main dislike, is that people can share my comment on various social media outlets. I don’t like that at all.

    I also do NOT like the ranking system. ick. This is a great community and I’d hate to have it turn into a popularity contest. PLUS, I know when I pop onto a message board or blog and all the other commenters are “TOP commenter” and “Bitchy Expert” with my post saying “Romance Virgin,” I am much less likely to join in because I’m intimidated by a perceived set community.

    However, now I can post a picture of Johnny Cash with a kitten. You’re welcome.

  24. 24
    Blodeuedd says:

    Trying it out…the worst thing is when they log me out and I am too lazy to log in cos I have the memory of a chicken

  25. 25
    katherinelynn_04 says:

    Actually you can’t; it only appears as though you can until you refresh the page. Then any votes you made on your own post disappear. You can only respond to yourself, but not vote.

  26. 26
    Teal says:

    Several other sites I frequent are experiencing this, and have brought up some important points.  Please consider contacting Disqus and adding your voice to their concerns.  1.  For people with various visual processing issues, nested comments make it physically impossible to follow the discussion.  Forcing sites to use nested comments shuts them out of the community.  2.  For sites where the comments are a discussion with other commenters, rather than simply responding to the main post, voting comments up or down destroys the integrity of the conversation, and makes conversation difficult, if not impossible.  3.  All sites have more lurkers than commenters.  One of the key things that moves people to participate is how they perceive other commenters to be treated.  Voting down comments sends the message that not all voices are welcome, and limits participation.  (A decent moderator can take care of abusive comments – voting down turns commenters on each other.)  4.  The community that grows up at each site is unique, and reflects the content, the beliefs of the site owner(s), the accumulated experience of the community, and the mechanics of participation.  Changing the way the system works changes the site.  Each owner should be able to control their own comments.  Make these things options, not requirements.

  27. 27
    katherinelynn_04 says:

    I disagree about the nested comments, they are extremely easy to understand. Any comments added to that thread become a subset of the originator, and the set AS A WHOLE, moves up and down as the originating post gets votes.

    I think everyone will have to live with it for a little while to see the benefits; overall it’s quite ingenious. On the sites that I read very few people ever downvote; if they do they will comment and say why. Usually it’s all in good fun. But I would rather that someone be able to anonymously downvote my post than have them leave a nasty comment, if they’re that sort of person.

  28. 28
    katherinelynn_04 says:

    there is no longer a way to change your preferences. You used to be able to arrange them according to most popular (most positive votes) and then chronologically (still with nested replies), or chronologically only (with nested replies). It makes it possible to have a thread within the comments to those responding to the same thing, and that way you don’t need to search through all the comments to see what someone is talking about. I also think it helps build community overall, as you can easily interact with other users and their opinions.

  29. 29
    katherinelynn_04 says:

    I have the opposite experience with nested comments; I am not able to follow the conversation without them. If there were a way to have non-nested as an option for individual users that would be excellent. But otherwise I haven’t taken to commenting on SBTB as much as I do others as I cannot follow the thread of conversation when it is numbered replies. The other site I’m pretty vocal on has been using the new disqus version for some time, and it works very well.

  30. 30
    katherinelynn_04 says:

    Thankfully no-one knows who the top commenters are unless they look at the community page. Otherwise there is no denotation on the site about it next to their avatar. The only thing that shows is if someone is a moderator, and then they get that little grey box that says ‘mod’ in it. Usually the top commenters are the mods anyway. I would go and check out forever young adult’s thoughts on the subject, they’ve been using the new system for some time.…

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