Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New story commenting features debut today

You’ll see a new look today at the bottom of stories on CharlotteObserver.com as we transition to an article commenting service that offers several new options.

(The new feature appears on stories created after 10 a.m. For stories created before then, you will see our old commenting system.)

We’ve prepared a Q&A to answer questions being asked most often about the change. I won’t repeat a lot of that here. But as a user, let me tell you some of what I like best about this new service.

Before, when you responded to another comment, your response often showed up amid a stream of unrelated comments. That could be very difficult to follow. Now, your response will be grouped with the original comment regardless of when you enter it.

The new feature also lets you go back into your comments and edit them at any time. Nice to know in case you see an error or have, uh, second thoughts.

Many of you are avid users of Facebook. The new feature gives you the capability of sharing your comments with friends on your Facebook page.

While this is a new commenting feature, you won’t have to re-register if you are already registered with CharlotteObserver.com. Your existing login information will still work. If you have forgotten your user name and password, you can have them resent to you by visiting http://www.charlotteobserver.com/member_services/.

Here is one downside we could not avoid. Your old Avatar will not migrate to the new system. We have a default Avatar that will appear unless and until you upload another. But we’ll make that easy enough to do.

Some users reading about the new system say they hope that this "fresh start" to commenting will lead to more inviting and enriching conversations. It’s no secret that a few rude and unruly voices can ruin the dialogue for everyone.

We've kept some features in place to help discourage that. The "report abuse" button still exists beside each comment to allow you to quickly alert us that someone has violated our rules for civil conversation.

We’ve also expanded the rules to expressly forbid some frequent forms of abuse. This includes the practice of camouflaging profanity with asterisks or abbreviations, and posting comments that bear no relation to the story. Go here to read the full policy.

Of course, only a small percentage of the thousands of comments each day violate these standards. And with your help, we can shrink that percentage still more. So, let us know when someone tries to mess up what is essentially your house and our house.

Oh, I should mention that this blog is a new look for me, too. For years, I’ve communicated through a Q&A column. I’ll still be answering questions about the Observer as you submit them through the link to the right. But I’ll also use this blog, as well as occasional columns, to keep you up to date on happenings in the newsroom.

So let me hear from you.

23 comments:

YagNam said...

It would be nice to be able to see who is in the ‘time-out box’ and for what violation for trending purposes.

Anonymous said...

Rick you failed to address readers concerns about the possibility of web tracking, analytics, and digital marketing in the Disqus system. Wonder why?

Anonymous said...

The comments in at least 30 articles in today's Observer website are spam.
When is the Observer going to stop allowing spam to be posted?

Anonymous said...

Need to check you system. I am logged on but it tells me I am not. I try to log on and it will not save my information and refuses to post my comment.

Anonymous said...

Rick, maybe you can explain what is obscene or profane about the name Hassan?

Anonymous said...

Please make these lifeless, blowhard, windbags use their real names when they comment.

Rick Thames said...

People most often are blocked from the site for posting obscenities or racist comments. And, yes, our policy prohibits spam, so we also delete that as we find it. If you see any of this, flag it as such with the "report abuse" button. Working together, we can discourage people from abusing the comments feature.

Rick Thames said...

If you are having trouble with your login, let us know. We can help. Email online@charlotteobserver.com.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this feature is there, but I'd like to see one where you can permanently IGNORE a poster without deleting them.

Some people are out there deliberately trying to get comments shut down so there will be no legitimate discussion on a lot of topics.

I don't see where the general population is served when one person is allowed to do that on a consistent basis.

It would be best if people could just isolate them on their own and reduce their chances of getting caught up in the fray that causes so many comments to get shut down.

discourser said...

Did I miss somewhere in the instructions that you have to log off and log back into your account for it to activate? I wonder how many other people are trying to figure that out. It took me some playing around to enable commenting...

Where's my friends list, profile comments & pictures?

wiley said...

So far I haven't seen anything different than before.

Anonymous said...

is this the new format? it stinks.

there are 10 different types of comment sections within CO.

Also, I am against the deletion of posts, allow viewers to hide the ones or the posters they don't like. i say this mainly because there is no rhyme or reason to lots of the deletions.

J said...

Is there any chance we will get the capability to change the number of comments per page? I hate being limited to 10 per page, because the page loads on this site can be excruciatingly slow at times. If I had my druthers, my default would be 50 comments per page.

Anonymous said...

is comment moderation the same as censorship?

Anonymous said...

It'd be nice to see more than 10 comments at a time.

Anonymous said...

Many of the posters on here will do their best to try and violate policy, such as name calling with slander such as 'Idiot', 'Moron', 'Clown'. This is still name calling and we appreciate the CO for enforcing their policies.
We will continue to report these commenters who are out to incite others into an argument and try their best to post slanderous comments about others. Thank you for keeping the abuse option so we can continue to help keep the comments clear of such hatred and racism.

Anonymous said...

Man those "default" avatars are ugly!!!

wiley said...

You must have received a package deal for all of your online newspapers because this comment engine is worse than what you're trying to replace.

ThaQueenCity said...

Hey Rick, I like the new comments, but how do I change my info on it & add my avatar? When I click on it now it just tells me how many likes/dislikes I have.

Anonymous said...

So when and how can we change our avatar? And will there be any personal info page?

Anonymous said...

When I click on other commenter's avatar it brings up their activity, but when I click on my own it shows no comments but at the top of the box it shows how many times I have commented & the # of likes/dislikes? Why is nothing coming up for my own?

Anonymous said...

ATTENTION ALL DAILY COMMENTERS:

For Gods sake, find something productive to do with your life.

You think you have all the answers, stop talking and take action, do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Agree with several folks above re: "hiding" the users known to be obnoxious on a daily, if not hourly, basis.