The new comments system is here

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We’ve just added our new comments system to the site. Have a look? The thinking behind it can be seen on this post from a few months ago.

It will help us do the following things:

  • Help readers find the best comments quickly. We often have 100+ comments on a thread. You will now be able to highlight the points that you agree with and that you think are original or well-made points.
  • See who you regularly agree / disagree with by looking at readers’ profiles – and see how often their posts have been commended by other readers
  • Make it easier to apply the comments policy. All users will be able to flag comments that they think breach it, and the site administrators will have the option to award the offender a yellow card (short ban from the site), a red card (longer ban) or – in extreme cases or cases of repeated rambunctiousness, the black spot (indefinite ban)
  • See an archive of each commenter’s activity – see what threads they’ve commented on and what they’ve said in the past.

We can’t always respond to flagged comments instantly, but we’ll miss a lot less skulduggery this way. At the moment, the Yellow Card = a seven day ban and a Red Card = fourteen days but we can change that. Let’s see how it goes?

Lastly, thanks to Channel Four for sponsoring this development – it’s an experiment that we think will be worth watching. In due course, the system will be released as an open-source WordPress plug-in and other sites will be able to use it if they want to. Also, thanks to our developer Simon Wheatley who has been at his problem-solving best throughout the development and Simon Dickson who did the back-up donkey work getting the rest of Slugger to work so effectively under our WordPress-busting volume of posts and comments.

Please let us know about any bugs that you find or features that you think could be configured a bit more effectively in the comments below?

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  • alanmaskey

    There are more ways of killing (or confroonting) a dog than stuffing its mouth with butter. Chill out.

  • alanmaskey

    I had a lonjg day today and just came back after midnight to do some destructive voting. I have several problems:
    1. Not many others have voted. This is not good by any standards: Fermanagh South Tyrone, Dublin 4, Finchley or back in Hokha’s Albania. People should be TESTING.
    2. Just mass vote for some dude: say Paul Evans and vote against someone else.
    3. Is voting too much of a chore for Generation X?
    4. Some other points but I am too tired to remember them. More votes please. Vote for anybody. Here,. I will give Turgon a vote. Someone has to

  • alanmaskey

    I could only vote for Turgon once. On his other post, his profile does not show up.
    People without a profile should STFU for now as they cannot vote.
    The profile eligible should vote to see how it goes.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I didnt even know I had a profile.
    But it turns out that 60% of the people who agree with me like my comments.
    And it turns out the only person I disagree with is myself……to a factor of -10 which doesnt sound good at all.

    Im sure it all makes perfect sense but not to me.

  • joeCanuck

    We need an extra button where we can label people as idiots as an exception to Rule 2.

  • Alias

    I haven’t used the rating system (and don’t intend to) but it nonetheless informs me under “Alias usually agrees with” on my profile page that I have expressed “complete agreement” with Simon Wheatly by awarding him a 10 and the same for Cahir O’Doherty, whereas I have only awarded Alias a 6, thereby indicating that I’m more or less in agreement with him.

    It also informs me under “Alias usually disagrees with” that I have given a -10 to Alias (presumably expressing “complete disagreement” with myself) and have give a -2 to Mark McGregor.

    So it looks like I can’t make up my mind whether I am more or less in agreement with myself or in complete disagreement with myself.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, Alias.
    Same here. Some tweaking obviously still needed.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Same here. I havent used it and dont intend to.
    I was only curious because of the word “profile” being highlighted alongside my name.
    I have always posted on the basis that I dont care what anyone thinks and am not ratings obsessed.
    But I really wish that I had not clicked on other names.
    Turns out someone that Ive never knowingly agreed with approves of me with a +2.
    While someone I am usually in agreement with has me at -7.

    As Rab Burns might have said……we now have the gift to see ourselves as others see us.

  • pippakin

    Call me super suspicious but a glance at the ‘commended and judged’ through the threads show the people getting the scores at the moment are mostly (by a mile) the bloggers and other known names. It leads me to wonder is there some sort of love in going on to encourage the unwilling (me) to judge.

    Of course it could just be the bloggers and known names, I see you got a vote FJH, are just so right and so brilliant that at least some could not resist.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Pippakin, Ack Im sure its all harmless.. I just couldnt be bothered. I will as always be agreeing and disagreeing in complete sentences and (occasionally) paragraphs.
    I dont think I have ever been part of the Slugger love in.

    I dont get the X Factor comparison. But I do have a striking resemblance to Wagner and am regularly mobbed at the shopping centres.. Its more like the Weakest Link to be honest……in the sense that there seems no logic to the choices. Where the best contestant is voted off early.

    As I am not going to be rating anybody …..good or bad…..I suppose its ok for me to stipulate Id prefer people NOT to rate me. Indeed I urge people NOT to rate me.
    Apart from the fun of it all, there is a serious side where effectively Slugger will have “parties” emerging. Human nature Im afraid.

  • slug

    Test message.

  • pippakin

    FJH

    Ah sure, I know its all fun, just a bit of craac but I can’t help feeling we are being gently persuaded.

    I agree with you about the ‘parties’ almost inevitable I think.

  • Granni Trixie

    Whilst on a need to know basis I can do most of what I want to on a computer, usually picking up something new after each bout of troubleshooting. But I am no more computerised than that and hoped that the innovations introduced here would work out without making much difference to my wee Slugger world.

    But am horrified if above is accurate – people rating your contribution!. Adding up how much you are ‘liked’ OMG. And as for profiles thingy…And ‘comment’ – isnt this one of GAs favourite christian brothers type words?. Is he behind this?

    PS how do I access these personal ratings ..just in case

  • Granni Trixie

    Should have been “commend” ofcourse.

  • Granni Trixie

    Alias – enjoyed your comment. Would give you a great approval rating except I dont really approve of doing so and not really srue how to.

  • alanmaskey

    All the nay sayers and boycotters. How typically Irish.
    The voting system has, perhaps, another intrinsic flaw, one it shares with democracy itself. It is predicated on a large, informed and a actrive electorate.
    It assumes people will read the earlier comments and think upon them. The end hoped for result would give a distribution of marks. Though this might, for example, help to see Turgon (name at random) see what he has in common (or not) with his political opposites, it assumes an earnest reading of the comments. But very many comments are not worth reading.
    Rating systems are useful and have proved to be so on ebay, amazon etc.

  • alanmaskey

    You have to make a profile to rate. Do one for the Gipper. Help the admins by being a guinea pig, Guinea pigs do it better. Make a profile. It’s time…

  • Granni Trixie

    But some above have profile written beside their name and no content. This seems to be arbitory as I have no such word presumably because I have also not described a profile.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Granni Trixie, Ive tried replying but seemingly my reply disappeared. The gist of it was that RATING comments is harmless enough. So is NOT rating.
    It would clearly be wrong to request people NOT agreeing with a post to refrain from rating it.
    But I see no harm in saying……if you like this comment, please feel free to say so but I dont thin it needs to be rated”
    You and I have had a few disagreements…….even some agreements.
    But I respect your opinion far too much to rate it.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Pippakin,
    I think we had a thread some months ago on compulsory voting…..or maybe it was another website…….but the general view was that compulsory voting is wrong and counter productive. Id assume the same logic applies to compulsory rating.

  • pippakin

    FJH

    Oh I’m sure it won’t be compulsory, just increasingly ‘normal’.

  • joeCanuck

    My profile has now been fixed. Don’t agree or disagree with anyone.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Excellent.
    I agree and disagree with this equally :)
    I am still showing as disagreeing with myself to a factor of
    -10.

  • alanmaskey

    http://www.economist.com/node/16910031

    Here is an article well worth reading on mining data from social networking. It is a pity so few take this seriously.
    It would be fun to see where TUV supporters agree with Labour etc:
    Save Ulster from Sodomy and much else, for example.
    Also implicit is this link is how the Adams gang will colllapse when some of their main gurus go down.
    Anyway, I wil now vote for all and sundry here, with the exception of the euthanasia candidates I tend to ignore.
    Enjoy the article and masticate on its implications.

  • Simon Wheatley

    We’ve just zeroed the opinions and commendations now everyone has had a chance to shake down the new functionality.

    In other news, we continue to work on performance and “gateway timeout” issues. Thanks for your patience.

  • joeCanuck

    Soon, Simon, I hope.
    Past 2 days I time out about half the times I refresh or log on. I’m close to giving up though that will really please some; well, one anyway.

  • pippakin

    Time out is a real problem. In my case I’m not sure its Sluggers problem my mobile b/b is unreliable at best, but it is frustrating!

    Can I just add that the people I apparently agree/disagree with bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to reality…

  • joeCanuck

    Same here, Pippakin. Although I have never rated anyone, apparently I disagree with you all of the time.

  • pippakin

    joe

    And I with you to a degree of -70!

    I have commended genuinely I would not commend for the sake of it: Ardoyne Republican and Munsterview, but also to test the system.

  • http://www.royal.gov.uk/ alanmaskey

    The new system is coming along well. It will be a while before it settles down. Some questions and comments.

    1. An ideal final result would be, in the case of an interested commenter (IC), a distribution giving over 20 other commenters IC agrees with on the scale from -10 to +10.
    2. This, for example, might show how Turgon (TUV, Presbyterian etc) might agree with a FF or FG supporter on a range of isuses. If done in sufficient numbers, that could be revealing of attitudes.
    3. That will take time. However, it will mean combing out the trolls and the me toos. some of who have already been warned about their behaviour. I, for example, have a few useless trolls on my back. Though they don’t personally concern me, they do block up the discourse and tere seems little motivation to remove their comments to increase quality, message/njoise ratio.
    4. There are a few distasteful threads currently active. On one of them a number of yellow and black cards have been dispensed. In soccer, two yellows equals a red. What is a black card? Where does one go to find out how many yellow points equals a black or it is red or is it anarchy? Up down.