Comment Ratings

December 9th, 2009 at 11:13 am by David Farrar

Have installed (thanks to Inspire) a new plugin. You can vote a rating up or down, as before. But there are now some consequences to it.

Comments with lots of positive ratings get highlighted. I have set the threshold for now to 5. I may need to raise it. I don’t want too many highlighted – just those which get lots of people saying this is great.

Comments with lots of negative ratings gets hidden – you can still read them if you want by clicking on them, but it allows you to skip over them. Now I have set the threshold at 10 negative comments, as I don’t want lots of comments hidden. I will increase this if people are voting comments down just because they may not agree with a comment, as opposed to it being a comment of poor quality. There is a huge difference.

Ideally I want a plugin where each reader could choose their own thresholds, but the one time I tried that it crashed the system as 500,000 comments and 5,000 users is too much for it. We’ll see how this goes. Remember nothing is blocked – it is just requires a click to view.

Also comments with lost of both positive and negative ratings also get highlighted as a hot debate comment. The threshold is a total of 12 votes (both positive and negative). Again I’ll revise this an necessary.

Also the sidebar now displays not just the most recent comments, but the more highly ranked ones.

Feedback, as always, welcome.

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60 Responses to “Comment Ratings”

  1. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,785 comments) says:

    Looks like good fun. :twisted:

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  2. getstaffed (9,188 comments) says:

    David, thanks for your commitment to improving the quality of kiwiblog. I appreciate you hosting these discussions.

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  3. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    It’s rubbish.

    The bold and background colours are horrible to view and we could infer all that stuff anyway by simply looking at the +/- counts (particularly when they were at the top of the comment, rather than the bottom).

    And it’s clunky. Often the comments with lots of negative karma are the most interesting. If you want to ignore a poster than you can just used Firefox and get the RIP add-on. Much cleaner.

    A native RIP feature would be good. Click to ignore that poster from that point on. They could even have a % showing how many people were not ignoring their comments.

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  4. transmogrifier (518 comments) says:

    I don’t like the idea of having to click to read individual posts. It’s the kind of thing that keeps me away from other messageboards. All you need is a voluntary ignore function for users, rather than posts.

    In other words, no thanks.

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  5. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  6. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    seems good so far.

    i dont want to have to use firefox and install “RIP”.

    any chance you could set phils threshold a bit higher? there are a dozen regulars that will ping his every comment!

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  7. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    If the thresholds are adjusted it could work ok – I guess it has to be decided based on busier topics, quiet topics aren’t a hassle now anyway.

    See what happens – there could even be unintended consequences, at least in the early stages getting hidden might attract more attention from the curious….

    Worth a try and see what happens, then re-evaluate.

    Edit – much easier with karma at the top

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  8. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    Seems cool.

    Yesterday one of my posts had something like [+13, -10] at the time I looked at it. What would happen in that case? Does the positive override the negative?

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  9. Jeff83 (765 comments) says:

    Yesterday one of my posts had something like [+13, -10] at the time I looked at it. What would happen in that case?

    I wanted to say it would go to civil war with itself and combust but..

    Also comments with lost of both positive and negative ratings also get highlighted as a hot debate comment. The threshold is a total of 12 votes (both positive and negative). Again I’ll revise this an necessary.

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  10. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    ps, not to be rude or anything and I know you probably need the income from them – but the ads on here (scoop, adsfac, adserver, google) are really slowing down my experience on here. I must admit I am blocking them with a Firefox plugin, but it seems like they still load in the background, seen or not, and the forum won’t display until they are loaded (takes 30 seconds each time I load a page over my dialup before I can see anything – I can’t get broadband here).

    Anything can be done?

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  11. Ross Nixon (599 comments) says:

    Great news!
    PhilU’s posts will no longer clutter the more intelligent discussion.

    DPF & Inspire.net – Thanks for the early Christmas present!

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  12. Repton (769 comments) says:

    The bold and background colours are horrible to view and we could infer all that stuff anyway by simply looking at the +/- counts (particularly when they were at the top of the comment, rather than the bottom).

    Agreed.

    If anyone out there is still using greasemonkey, I have modified my script to disable the background colours, making it look the way it used to.

    [hmm, I wonder if I could move the vote buttons back to the top as well..]

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  13. getstaffed (9,188 comments) says:

    Same situation as dime. Don’t want to switch to Forefox, so no RIP. Instead I can -ve karma the resident parasite’s posts and feels like I’m doing a public service. Yay.

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  14. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    DPF: have set the threshold at 10 negative comments, as I don’t want lots of comments hidden. I will increase this if people are voting comments down just because they may not agree with a comment, as opposed to it being a comment of poor quality. There is a huge difference. /Quote

    Yeah good luck with that.
    Your hounds cannot abide dissent, and they vote it down hugely wherever they see it.

    Get ready for your comments pages to become an unfettered right-wing circle jerk – reminiscent of a mirror image of The Standard. Is that what you want?

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  15. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Actually the “hounds” can’t abide crapweasles.

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  16. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  17. lyndon (330 comments) says:

    While draw attention to the comment, I find it hard to read actual the text. Partly, my eye gets drawn to the “Well-loved. Like or Dislike”

    Also, I don’t find a strong correlation between karma and quality here.

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  18. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Is that the sound of phool slipping into oblivion I hear?

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  19. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Firefox also helpfully hid all my posts from Philu. However this is much better. Happy Times.

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  20. MT_Tinman (2,790 comments) says:

    I find the highlighting disconcerting and the sidebar confusing but no doubt I’ll get used to them.

    For the record I bought a mouse with a scroll button that seems to eliminate the need for fancy RIP type programs.

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  21. Chthoniid (1,966 comments) says:

    So far I’m liking it.

    I think I can easily adapt to the new colour schemes and layout. There are, I think, very few posts as a percentage that go above or below (+/-) 10. So I’m happy to see the experiment played out.

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  22. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    so..any thumbs-down after the blocking facility kicks in..

    must mean the thumber has clicked to view..

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  23. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Firefox also helpfully hid all my posts from Philu..”

    it’s obviously worked..i’ve never heard of you..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  24. lofty (1,295 comments) says:

    I don’t mind this and will watch the experiment with interest.

    PhilU is right for once…RIP is rubbish, a device for lazy folk, just don’t read what you don’t want too for Gods sake.

    Like I said elswhere, the day a computer program dictates what i read or not is the day hell feezes over!!

    You go for it phil, I will exercise my personal ability to ignore or read. (and comment if I feel the want)

    free speech is just kicking still!

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  25. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Poor old Philu. All that aggregation, and all you do is polarize opinion. Sometimes in the past you have been nearly funny.

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  26. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    Fletch, have you tried disabling javascript to see if the ads are being loaded from behind by javascript?

    I also use adblock but I haven’t noticed any ads re-appearing.

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  27. Chthoniid (1,966 comments) says:

    Please revise the “hot debate” trigger. :) It’s bringing back hidden posts, which kind of defeats the point of posts getting lots of dislike scores.

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  28. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    New home page sidebar of recent comments is an improvement.

    The text by the karma buttons is just clutter, e.g. “Hot debate. What do you think?”, “Like or Dislike”, “Well-loved” etc. tyou should get rid of those. The highlighting and the karma buttons speak for themselves.

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  29. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Chthoniid 12:19pm I disagree.

    If we are interested in having a discussion, then hot debate should override like or dislike.

    Surely if a highly disliked post also gets lots of Likes, that means something?

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  30. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    DPF “Have installed (thanks to Inspire) a new plugin”

    I wonder if you consulted with Clayton Cosgrove about installing plug-ins?

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  31. sheath (63 comments) says:

    The first line of a ‘top comment’ seems to be in smaller font and bolded.

    Also the yellow background makes it harder to read due to the reduction in contrast.

    Finally lots of likes does not mean higher quality comment. Means that people agree (or not) with it and some inane comments get bumped big time as they pander to the masses.

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  32. Chthoniid (1,966 comments) says:

    RRM

    If a post is receiving a lot of likes and dislikes, I can make my own judgment as to whether it is of value to click the post to see the text. I don’t need the plugin to decide for me.

    If a post has received a lot of dislikes, then presumably there is a reason for it. In my view it’s often because these posts add noise, rather than information to the debate. I’m happy to see attempts to inflate the noise levels hindered, rather than being let back in under a ‘hot debate’ rubric.

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  33. Repton (769 comments) says:

    The first line of a ‘top comment’ seems to be in smaller font and bolded.

    The HTML looks a bit broken.

    Here’s what a normal post looks like:

    <p>First paragraph.</p>
    <p>Second paragraph.</p>
    <p>Third paragraph.</p>

    Here’s what a highlighted post looks like:

    <div>First paragraph.
    <p>Second paragraph.</p>
    <p>Third paragraph.</p>
    </div>

    i.e. the first paragraph of a highlighted post is not inside a <p> element, and thus it doesn’t get the styling that <p> elements get (which is: normal font-weight, extra space between lines, 12pt text).

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  34. Repton (769 comments) says:

    I also note that we have lost the ability to edit posts..

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  35. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    Not here. Edit still working (Firefox).

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  36. the prince (10 comments) says:

    so anybody who dares post an opposing view to the majority here will now get hidden?

    Oh dear. This is just suppressing intelligent discussion isn’t it? or in other words a DPF wank fest.

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  37. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    not here..edit not working/visible..firefox..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  38. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    the prince “Oh dear. This is just suppressing intelligent discussion isn’t it? or in other words a DPF wank fest.”

    Read the comment from DPF below, its supposed to be about suppressing the unintelligent disgussion, ie removing the poor quality posts not the debate…

    DPF “I will increase this if people are voting comments down just because they may not agree with a comment, as opposed to it being a comment of poor quality. There is a huge difference.”

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  39. the prince (10 comments) says:

    yeah, that’s all well and good … in theory. but in reality its going to become a ‘vote down anyone with a left leaning argument’. this is the interwebs don’t forget.

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  40. peanut (139 comments) says:

    I love the highlighting. Due to lack of time, unlike some on this blog, I can scroll through and read the entries that people have liked or disliked most.

    Much more exciting, well done

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  41. Camryn (549 comments) says:

    Fonts need sorting out.

    1. The text on the thumbs up / thumbs down line should look different from the actual comment (I’m getting Verdana for both)

    2. Some highlighted comments are coming through smaller and bold for no apparent reason. Possibly blockquotes and highlighting are interacting poorly.

    In short… the CSS and new plugin need to play better.

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  42. Nigel (503 comments) says:

    I think the idea is great, I don’t like the colours, or the “Like or Dislike:” comment, the up thumb/down thumb is heaps.

    The hiding of low commented posts is excellent :)

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  43. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I feel sorry for phool, it’s not his fault he was born a noddy, life isn’t fair despite what the good little socialist would have you to believe. I would not rip old phool or anyone else. I believe in free speech an assume most here do also. 99.9% of the time we probably disagree with him but how can we level criticisms of others when they try to such down debate ( remember Liarbore and no comment in election year ) and seek to do the same to others. We may not like the message but if we stifle this message we are no better then the people who would silence us.

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  44. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    He wasn’t born anything, he chose to fuck himself up with drug abuse and violent crime Side Show. No pity from me.

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  45. petal (698 comments) says:

    I…

    …think

    …most

    …. people ….

    ..
    .

    just hate….

    the….

    delivery

    more than the

    message

    As for free speech – he exercises it on his own blog, no?

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  46. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    I will increase this if people are voting comments down just because they may not agree with a comment, as opposed to it being a comment of poor quality.

    I have often wondered about that. Clearly most people are using the karma system as an agree/disagree measure rather than as a rating of quality. And calling it “like / dislike” is reinforcing that.

    I give people with whom I disagree positive karma for a well thought out and/or well written response. But I see some quite well-composed comments — though expressing opinions unlikely to be agreed to by the majority of commenters here — get hammered with negative karma.

    I want to read quality comments, not ones I necessarily agree with. But given that the karma system seems to amount to “Oh look philu / Redbaiter / RRM / someone else I viscerally dislike has said something. Time to hit the negative karma”, I have to ask if there’s even a point?

    If I wanted to watch rubes form opinions based on personal prejudice, I’d sit in the audience for “Dancing with the Stars” :-D

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  47. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    RRM 12:23 pm,

    The text by the karma buttons is just clutter, e.g. “Hot debate. What do you think?”, “Like or Dislike”, “Well-loved” etc. tyou should get rid of those. The highlighting and the karma buttons speak for themselves.

    I agree that the two karma buttons are sufficient without the additional comments.
    Also, I agree with others that karma buttons at the top are better.

    One gripe I have is that when you open an older topic up (say 2+ days ago) all of the karma scores have reset themselves to ‘zero’. Is there anyway to retain these as these were quite helpful when reviewing older topics, especially identifying ‘high value’ comments.

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  48. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    I see the karma text has gone, that’s better. The numbers speak for themselves. It also makes it more tolerable at the bottom, I think it was the text that was more distracting than anything.

    It might also encourage us to read and then judge, rather than see name and click karma :)

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  49. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    I give people with whom I disagree positive karma for a well thought out and/or well written response. But I see some quite well-composed comments — though expressing opinions unlikely to be agreed to by the majority of commenters here — get hammered with negative karma.

    I agree. Good luck trying to get people to use karma in such an open-minded way.

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  50. Chthoniid (1,966 comments) says:

    @malcolm

    I agree. Good luck trying to get people to use karma in such an open-minded way.

    I think this inflates the problem. While some people do have a ‘reflex’ action towards some posters, there are certainly occasions where ‘minority viewpoints’ do get a mix of karma, with readers weighing in with positive responses. As it stands, it is actually difficult to routinely get 10 negative ‘thumbs’, even with the reflex responses (excpetions to be made for Phool).

    I try to read posts carefully where they do make a cogent argument, and respond where I have the time. I’m more likely to assign negative karma to posts that are thick with ideological declarations, where the poster is signaling a complete unwillingness to consider any variation in viewpoint.

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  51. lofty (1,295 comments) says:

    @petal..As for free speech – he exercises it on his own blog, no?

    Yes.

    He also has a right, as do you to free speech here, or at least until the blog owner gives him the arse.

    If having your own blog is a reason not to express your views elsewhere, we would lose the contributions of about 30% of commentators here.

    Not a huge thinker are you petal!

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  52. Andrew W (1,629 comments) says:

    This system could cause people who get hammered by the yappers to pack-up, leaving this place an echo chamber. Something many here would applaud.

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  53. RightNow (6,336 comments) says:

    The highlights make it seem like you’ve downloaded a ‘pimp your page’ plug-in. Basically the text is less readable in my opinion. Also as funny as it is that some people are bound to have their posts hidden, I think it is a bit like censorship (yes I do realise you can still click to read, in the same vein you can google for dissenting opinion on climate science even though it didn’t get published in Nature).

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  54. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    Generally I’m getting used to the changes. But like others I think the highlighted text (yellow or pink) is harder to read, which is a shame for the potentially more notable posts. I’m finding I’m almost having to squint at them to read them. Is it possible to highlight them differently eg a colour background just for the header of the post rather than for the body?

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  55. Dave Mann (1,125 comments) says:

    Actually, I think the highlighting of positively rated comments and hiding the poorly rated ones is only going to shut down debate and leave people ‘preaching to the converted’.

    But highlighting the hot debates is a great idea. This is where the actual exchange of views comes in. Can you cut out the rest of it and just leave the ‘hot debate’ feature in? Also, put the karma at the top of the comment please?

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  56. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    After having a good read through topics this morning I suspect that it may not be sop much the coloured background that is the problem but a lack of top and bottom margin on it – the colour squeezes in on the text too much. If a blank line with colour was added top and bottom I think it would improve the readability quite a lot. A 1 character marginn left and right would also help. OR – colour highlight the whole post including header and footer (karma).

    Once I have got used to it the grouping under topic Recent Comments is a good change.

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  57. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    But like others I think the highlighted text (yellow or pink) is harder to read, which is a shame for the potentially more notable posts.

    Half the comments in Jadis’s post are bloody YELLOW and bold. Is bloody annoying.

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  58. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Pete George 7:05 am,

    Generally I’m getting used to the changes. But like others I think the highlighted text (yellow or pink) is harder to read, which is a shame for the potentially more notable posts. I’m finding I’m almost having to squint at them to read them. Is it possible to highlight them differently eg a colour background just for the header of the post rather than for the body?

    Agree – the yellow background is harder to read.
    Would it be possible to just highlight the commentor’s name, or, better yet, just change the colour of the name?
    Say ‘Green’ for Well-loved.
    ‘Red’ for Poorly-rated.
    ‘Orange’ for Hot debate.

    This would leave the main text body unchanged backgroundwise, and thus easier on the eyes.

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  59. Dave Mann (1,125 comments) says:

    OMG I have got 2 positive Karmas and 0 negatives for my last comment!!!! Hahaha….. This will never do. Normally I’m well into the negative here :-)

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  60. tvb (3,937 comments) says:

    You are dead wrong about hiding the negative ratings. They should be highlighted as much as the positive ones. Though it is much easier to say something stupid and get a big negative rating – depending on who you are.

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