Admin: Improving the Comments Section

Admin

It didn’t take long for loyal readers to notice that a couple of days ago I made some changes to the comments section. In fact, I had my first feedback within a few hours. I thought it would be a good idea to talk about this in a post so I can get more ideas from you all.

One thing I’ve learned after writing this blog is that I really look forward to reading the comments, good and bad. Even if you roast me for what I say, I still enjoy all the thought (most of) you put into the comments. Disagreement is great, and that’s what makes the blog such a great place for me and hopefully for you as well.

So, I tried to think of ways I could make the comment system work better for everyone. One thing was easy. I just installed a plugin that allows you to sign up to receive an email when followup comments are posted. (You’ll see it right below the comment box.) I know I hate it when I have to keep checking back on comments to see if someone replied. Now you no longer have to worry about that.

The other thing I did was install SezWho. This basically creates a rating system for each commenter. Now you’ll see ratings from 1 to 5 for each person who comments on my blog. If you like the comment, you can vote it up or down to affect the rating for that person in the future. Everyone starts with a 2.5 rating and it goes from there. The ratings also are altered if you comment on another blog that uses SezWho using the same address. So your ratings reputation can follow you around if you want it to (if not, just use a fake email address).

I think the coolest feature here is that if someone sees a comment you write and likes it, they can hover over your profile and see other comments you’ve made on my blog. This will encourage people to discover past posts they may have missed and it will make you the center of it all. All of these things help to build the community on the blog, I think, and I hope you find them valuable.

Of course, the main reason I’m writing this post is because I want your feedback. Do you like the idea of SezWho? If not, please explain why. If so, do you have better ideas about how it could be implemented? What concerns do you have, if any?

Please leave your comments below or email me privately so I can make this blog as interesting as possible for you.

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2 comments on “Admin: Improving the Comments Section

  1. So going back on what I said on your piece about the restaurant in LAX, I think this is a great blog. I realize you’re one guy, but eventually it’d be great if we had logins…who knows, maybe this could be your bread and butter some day? Logins would help so we don’t have to enter our emails each time with SezWho, which might be a pain and certainly discourages feedback.

    I brought up a point about Yelp, which was that on that site there is no negative feedback…you only punch buttons for positive. You brought up an equally good point (amazon does this well) that sometimes people just write really dumb, or uninformative I should say, things. It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree…it’s when people just write silly stuff that doesn’t matter. Speaking of, I’m sure you’re familiar with Amazon’s format…instead of SezWho, you just have a thing that shows x/x of respondents thought the comment was informative. If you only have a few minutes that’s the fastest way to figure out whether or not to read a comment.

    Anyhow, great blog keep it up. Glad to see you’re working on some changes but the content is really good, I know I’ll keep reading.

  2. Man, are these all ideas you learned at BlogWorld? Very cool.

    I have to admit, my first instinct was wary of the grading system about comments. I can see QRCs point that it helps guide you to which comments to read, but I also think that sometimes there are people who may have one really good point – I would hate to miss it because the majority of times they are an idiot so I skip over them due to their low rating. Just a thought.

    BUT, since I just finished posting a fairly, let’s say pointed, post on SWA’s blog about people needing to chill out about the changes, I figure I will practice what I preached: see how it goes before making a full evaluation in my mind.

    On a separate point, and maybe this is just me, but I find that I avoid posting on sites that require log in. I find it to be an extra step I don’t want to take – which is why I don’t post on the Delta Airlines blog. I hadn’t thought about the benefits QRC mentioned – but even still, I think I would prefer no log-in.

    Thanks for all the news and for putting it in a way us airplane wannabe geeks can understand!

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