New Comment System + Other Features

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📅 Published on September 26, 2014

"New Comment System + Other Features"

Written by

Estimated reading time — 4 minutes

As most of you have no doubt noticed, a new comment system has been implemented. We are now using the DISQUS commenting system, which will add the following features:

  • You can set up and customize your own Disqus profile – my hope is that this will satisfy those of you who kept asking for user profiles while allowing me to avoid the higher server cost and security issues that would manifest if we implemented user profiles via our blogging platform.
    • You do not NEED to register for Disqus; anonymous/guest commenting is still enabled.
    • However, having a Disqus profile will allow you to utilise the new comment system to its fullest extent: you will be able to subscribe to comment threads, receive notifications when people reply to or vote on one of your comments, follow other commenters (there’s a Disqus dashboard that acts in a similar fashion to a Tumblr dash or Facebook feed for the people and posts that you’ve followed).
  • You can edit and/or delete your comments without having to “request” deletion by me (this function was glitchy and slow as I frequently didn’t receive the deletion requests for hours after they were sent, often resulting in the comment being approved long before the deletion request showed up).
  • You will be able to easily upload and insert images into comments.
  • I will be able to appoint comment section moderators without actually having to give them access to the site’s backend; this will allow comments to be approved more frequently.
    • I already have some long-time and frequent commenters in mind for mod positions; please do not volunteer or sent me contact requests begging for mod access. I will only be recruiting a few mods at first, and if we end up needing more down the line they will be chosen by the mod team based on who we see contributing to the site’s discussions in a mature and useful fashion.
  • If a comment gets through the mod queue and you feel it’s over the line, there is a ‘flag’ function that will bring it to the moderators’ attentions.
  • For those of you who are very active and just like the acknowledgement of how much you’ve contributed to site discussion, there will be a ‘top commenters’ box on the sidebar.
  • Very long comments will be minimized until YOU personally choose to expand them. Similarly, the comment section will only load ‘batches’ of comments at a time, so you can tell the plugin to load more comments when you’re ready. This should make things less intensive for those of you who were complaining about having too many comments loading at once on your phones.
  • Clicking the “Creepypasta” heading on the Disqus form will show you the comment threads that are currently most active on this site.
  • There are some back-end benefits as well: the spam filter for Disqus is free, so I will get to save $$ on that front if it works properly (I currently pay a monthly fee for our spam filter – we get around 1000 spam attempts per day between the two sites, so believe me, it’s necessary to have some sort of filter). Additionally, having the comments hosted off-site should help with the site load.

I hope that you will all enjoy the new system! As of this writing, the comment import is about 80% done. If you find some posts where comments aren’t displaying yet, do not be alarmed. We’ve got about 6 years worth of comments that are being imported into the new system, and it can take up to a day on average, more if we run into any weird errors.

Two other new functions have been added over the past month (these aren’t related to the new comment system, but I realised that I haven’t yet made a post introducing them):

  • Hiding Content: You’ve probably noticed the (hide) link appearing next to tags and categories. This allows you to ‘hide’ a specific tag or category that you dislike. If you absolutely haaaate Ritualpastas, for example, you can ‘hide’ them and – as long as you don’t clear the cookie – you will not see any posts tagged as Rites & Rituals when browsing the site. To be clear, these preferences are not stored server-side; it uses cookies on your computer/tablet/phone/whatever. Just like the ‘add to favorites’ function, this means that you will need cookies enabled to use this function, and clearing the cookie will result in your ‘hide’ preferences being removed. Additionally, as the cookie is stored on your device, contacting me and asking me to clear it for you will not accomplish anything. You will have to do this yourself using your browser’s settings.
  • For those of you who wanted to know which pastas were the most popular each month, the sidebar now displays the top ten socially active posts. It’s currently set to display the top posts for the past 30 days, and it uses a combination of comments and social media shares to decide its rankings. Since the “all-time” top-ranked pastas are rarely dethroned, I thought that this would be a nice way to give attention to some of the newer pastas that are causing buzz.

Lastly, in regards to the Disqus system, we have a few decisions to make.

Please click the ‘read more’ link to view the rest of this post.

First, we need to choose between a light or dark color scheme for the comments section. Unfortunately, as it stands now I am not able to make any customisation – this is a either-or decision.

Here is the dark color scheme – it’s what we have in effect now:

dark

 

This is the light option:

light

 

I personally favor the dark color scheme as, to my eye, links are nearly invisible in the ‘light’ version, but given that people were already complaining about the dark scheme being painful on the eyes, I wanted to give you all the choice. Unfortunately, as I said before, these two options are quite honestly the only two options presently available. If you’d like to see more, you’ll need to message Disqus themselves and ask them to either create more palettes to choose from or implement a way to let site admins edit the color schemes.

The next option that we have involves the order in which comments are displayed. We have three choices:

  1. Oldest First – self-explanatory, the oldest comments will be at the top. This is how it was before.
  2. Newest First – also self-explanatory, newer comments will be at the top.
  3. Best First – the most upvoted comments will be at the top, and the most downvoted will be the last comments displayed.

Please weigh in with your preferences in the comments section of this post – I’ll give you all a few days to voice your opinions and then go with whichever options are the most supported via comments and upvotes.

Thanks for your time, and have fun with the new comment system!

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