Last month, we rolled out a new commenting system at MLBTR for various reasons. Yesterday, we implemented the great wpDiscuz plugin to add back some of the features you’ve been missing. The following features were added:
- Upvoting and downvoting
- Ability to edit your own comments
- Live update of new comments for logged-in users
How can we further improve the commenting system? Please let us know in the comments of this post and we’ll get to work.
Wait, we can edit our comments? Okay, wow. Thanks for that. The member thing under our names is a little unnecessary. Unless you’re going to go for tiers for people that comment more. Can you even comment if you’re not a member?
Currently you can edit for 15 minutes after leaving a comment. I could change that though if there is a need for it.
On this site you do have to be registered to comment; that is not the case on Hoops Rumors and Pro Football Rumors though. I have to look at whether the Member thing is necessary here, that’s a good point.
I beg you Tim to keep it members only registered to comment. Doing otherwise could lead back to where it was post wise with all those trolling/spam several months back with certain people (no names) dropping by and going wild.
It’s that way around the Trade Deadline and Winter Meetings every year. Then they disappear.
That’s true. Having people register before posting does make them take an extra step, which is an inconvenience to most that would stop some of the nonsense however IMO.
Also. ability for the guys to track via IP, should some go on spam binges.
We both know it happens. Not having to create an account just makes it easier.
I particularly notice the troll crowd comes out at about the time schools let out for summer break. I can take wit…but it’s incredibly obvious sometimes a post is coming from a junior high/hs kid
One thing that might help this time is that first-time comments require moderation. So a person can’t drop by and say something stupid and nothing else. But for their second comment…
or you could give a warning before blocking them. Why do you dislike me so much Tim? Can you cite an example of when I violated the terms prior to the trolling I received years ago?
A 24-hour “cool down” period before being allowed to post would also help.
No, though the MLBTR staff does get “Admin” or “Author” under our names instead of “Member,” so it adds a bit of clarity for those who maybe aren’t familiar with the whole writing group.
EDIT: And there’s Tim with a far better answer than mine. Clearly, I only made this comment to demonstrate that the Edit function is alive and kicking. Ha.
Maybe ditch the ‘Member’ thing but keep the ‘Author’ and ‘Admin’ labels? I do like knowing immediately that an author/admin is responding rather than recognizing the name.
Plus , we get to see the “Member”, “Author”, “Admin” do its thing.
I’m happy to see the upvoting and downvoting have returned.
I’m glad you decided to add that plugin. It was an easy fix. Not sure if you saw my comment or not about it and decided to add it, but it’s a step up for sure. Thanks for doing it!
Make it easier for people to sign in and comment. I had a Disqus account, but if you have auth sign in for Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter/etc, then more people will be interested in signing up quickly to comment.
I think your recommendation of the plugin was a factor, so thank you!
I’ll look into the idea of alternative registration methods.
Love the new commenting system since I got banned by Discus for no reason a few months back. As far a suggestions, maybe a feature to allow commenters to follow others? I know I have met and become friendly with a few people from these boards.
Great suggestion. Public comment history might work, i.e. as here mondoweiss.net/profile/eva-smagacz. As there our MLB comment history could be directly linked from our names (instead of external URL).
Didn’t even notice the live update thing. Nice.
-in-built notification system for replies and upvotes (I would imagine the latter is less essential, but being notified of the replies stokes discussion)
-Comment sorting by ‘Oldest’, ‘Newest’, and ‘Best’
-having the page load more than 8 comments before having to click the ‘Load More Comments’ thing. Previously, disqus would load 50 on the web and I believe 25 on the mobile site before having to load more
-being able to minimize (‘hide’) an entire comment nest rather than just the ‘Hide Replies’ thing
Anyway, excellent job so far!
I agree. I miss seeing if my comment invoked discussion. I would love to see other peoples opinions, or insight on my responses.
I completely agree about the notification. I know I cannot be the only one that does not want to rely on notifications delivered to my e-mail. The majority of the time I do not have my e-mail open and after being bombarded with notifications from other comment sites I discontinued that option altogether. One of the nicest things about Discus is being able to come back to a comment board and know immediately if someone has responded. I have commented on here much less (which undoubtedly pleases many) because I do not want to make comments, then log off to take care of life’s little necessities only to come back later and have to scroll through the articles trying to remember which ones I commented on.
I got them by email, which worked fine for me….but I’d definitely go for a built in system….this current system doesn’t seem to even work…if you wouldn’t mind replying I’ll test it again.
Hi NoAZPhils and Red Line 9,
I’ve just added a “Notify of new replies to all my comments” option for subscriptions if you don’t want email notifications for anything except your own comments. The email system does work (I’m getting my notifications) so check your spam box and whitelist comments at symbol mlbtraderumors.com.
What doesn’t work are the links to comments beyond the “Load More Comments” divide. I can’t find a way to make these links work immediately but we’ll make them work. It may make sense to include some of the reply text in the notifications as well.
I’m still getting emails in blocks of 18-20 and at sporadic times…like it’s bundling them. When I go to manage subscriptions I still see subscribe
It’s strange, I’m also getting emails in groups and far from immediately.
That’s my exact issue…and my email doesn’t distinguish what post they are coming from. If you are a frequent poster this is bombardment. The Disqus model is solid if the web based site can achieve that. I’d HIGHLY recommend notifications based on replies…these will link to the post, and people can then peruse the other comments unrelated to their own. That’s the practicality of this. Receiving 1 email that links to a post is much more user friendly, and honestly much less annoying, than receiving 20.
Excellent upgrade. Comment sorting would be awesome; on hot topics, I like to sort by “newest” so my lazy self doesn’t have to go to “all the trouble” of scrolling down the page. Seriously. It’s come to that in terms of my own laziness!
Totally agree.. I got into some pretty heated arguments over my comments.. Which should never happen because I am always right.. Wouldn’t have known about them if there hadn’t been that little number by my name..
Would like to be able to see when there are new comments when I’m still on the page. Currently you have to refresh/reload the page to see if there are any new comments.
Ultimately it would be nice to see which comments are new based on the last time you read a thread. Not to name drop by SBNation’s commenting system allows you to read and article/comments and when you come back to that comment section days later – it highlights only the new comments that you have not read yet.
If I could thumbs this up 100 times I would. I so wish we could easily see which comments were new after already reading a story. Now I end up having to try and figure out about how long ago I was on, then look at every comment to see if it’s newer than that.
Great idea. Could be done with background colour. There are issues if you’ve changed browsers/devices though.
I’ve never been a fan of change but most everything that I initially thought was a bump in the road seems to have been smoothed out.
One small mater that I’m hoping someone can help me out with… how do I change my avatar?
Avatars are handled by Gravatar. You need to go to their website, create an account and add the email address you use on the MLBTR site to your account, then assign it an avatar icon.
Question: How do we create an avatar? I tried updating my profile and did not get that option.
I suppose it doesn’t matter, but changing over seems to have killed discussion quite a bit. Half of the fun of the site was reading fanboy posts.
Still get that with every post about the Cubs, haha
ha, I expected to get downvoted for this and did.
It’s because of the email-based notification. It’s a mess and needs to be addressed.
I didn’t mind getting email notifications… Now I get zero notifications and need to manually check posts..which is labor intensive. I just adjusted my subscription settings so we’ll see what happens. On the very first roll out post that Tim made I received every single comment after mine and my email was slammed with over 100…I used to receive notification of just my conversations. I don’t care if I get email in the future..but some kind of on site notification would suffice.
It’s in the right direction, but still needs tweaking.
From a visual standpoint, it blends in too much with the site. Maybe having a different backround or bolder text. Also, the voting system is nice to have back, but for some reason the upvote box seems weird. Might just be me, but I’d rather see that changed.
As others have also said, I’d like to get notifications for replies, because quite honestly I forget that I comment on something without it. Keep it simple, but it is necessary.
Some separation between the up/down vote and reply button would be nice for smartphone users…its so easy to fat finger buttons without maximizing the screen
Out of place Met fan
One of the difficulties I have noticed is replying inline from the phone app, unlike the PC where it is available. Not sure if my technical deficient mind is just not seeing it
These updates were far necessary, especially the up/down voting. THANK YOU. Live updating of comments would also be cool and same with perhaps being able to follow your favorite commenters. Also you could do us all a favor and reduce the amount of Cubs fans on this damn site.
Cubs fans don’t typically even notice when something isn’t working up to par. I just assume they are kept happy by this sites pretty fonts, pictures, and hip party atmosphere.
Suggestions (sorry if I’m repeating any)
1- Fixing the log in. I am required to log in here, then in to Word Press. After I log in to Word Press, it takes me to a Word Press profile (what?). I click on the MLBTR logo in the corner and that takes me back to the main page instead of the article-comments section. And Then, on occasion, I have to log in Again. This needs fixing
2- Email notifications. Disqus did a fine job sending me an e-mail when someone replied to a comment. For this, we have to manage subscriptions and set separate notification e-mails for either replies to our comments or notifications for every single comment. That’s kind of a hassle too.
For #1, are you talking about via mobile? I use pc/laptop. I had to log in when I created my account, but since then (2 or so weeks?) I have not had to log in as wordpress/MLBTR has kept me logged in.
I think there’s a little checkbox when you log in that says ‘Remember Me?’. If you haven’t already, give that a shot.
Doesn’t WordPress already come with a great commenting system by itself?
Nope, the default WordPress commenting system is absolute poop. Which is why most sites use something like Disqus to enhance it.
Default WordPress comments was basically what we put in a few weeks ago. Gets the job done but isn’t feature rich.
It doesn’t get the job done. And neither does this, until you fix the notifications. It’s nearly impossible to know where you’ve been replied to, through email, if you post a lot
I’m not only a client. But also a member.
My one request is to be able to sort by “best” comment. I don’t always have time to scroll through and read all comments, it’s nice to be able to see the top comments that readers like.
I think it looks great!
How about adding a warning to those that you block before blocking them?
Everyone’s got a clean slate now and we have decided to back off quite a bit on moderation. So the past is the past, and to get blocked now you really gotta earn it.
I was always curious what triggered moderation. I’d have comments sent to moderator that I would have no clue as to why. I figured there must have been a word trigger…no idea…they’d eventually pass moderation. I’m sure moderators were kept busy. Only thing I really find offensive are personal attacks and foul language. We can have discerning critique of players without resorting to calling them names. Some of the best conversations I’ve been involved in have been highly educational and opinionated…that’s what makes this site great.
For the heck of it, I just down voted a stl_cards16 comment. 🙂 That just took away his up vote. Quickly I returned the up vote. Will the process remain like that? Sometimes there might be 50 ups and 50 downs resulting in 0. If you add the option for “best” comments – seems like it would be scewed.
Also, my Gravatar is not appearing here. As an older woman of retirement age with time to follow the season and watch games now, it might help others realize with whom they are dealing. Or you can add an “ignore” button for them.
To add your avatar, just visit Gravatar.com and add an image as well as the email address with which you are registered here. You can add multiple email addresses and multiple images if you like. I have something like thirty addresses in my own Gravatar account and five images. Some are for work and some are for personal use.
Good point about the upvote/downvote (someone else already suggested to just keep upvotes actually).
Still not as good, but I praise the effort in the updates. I think no time limits to edit would be better, but I’m also someone who types fast and makes typos a lot.
I like this update. Much, much better than the system when it first came out. The three additions really improve the system. One improvement just make the comments appear from newest to oldest
Expos '94 World Champs
I’m with some of the other people. It’s nice to have the kinks worked out. Would like to have it like Disqus where you can sort (Oldest/Newest/Most Popular), as well as notifications when someone likes/comments on your post.
I would like to see an implementation of the little red notification circle that tells you when you have a reply or an upvote to your comment. And a history of a user’s previous comments as well. Just a thought.
It’s annoying to have to hit the “See More Comments” button several times to read all the comments.
The setting was too low. Thanks for the reminder Rob. Should be fixed now.
I find Disqus easier to use, but you folks need to what works for you.
I really hate having yet another login to remember
I’d recommend LastPass (cross-platform, free), 1password (Mac) or Roboform (Windows) or KeyPass (free, cross-platform, open source). Trying to keep track of all one’s passwords in one’s head is impossible. Dropping them in a Word document is not secure. Modern life is complicated.
This interface is obviously an improvement than the start point. I’d be concerned about the loss of my old screen name, but perhaps it’s a good thing. Reducing the amount of trolls is clearly a plus, and to the extent you can encourage serious commenters with a a “quieter” forum that should help build a better community. The strength of MLBTR is clearly in content, but good comments from observers adds.
Editing comments is a nice addition. Allowing more than 15 minutes would be good, but not critical. That should cover 99% of errors to be corrected.
-Having a Disqus-like feature that alerts users/members someone has responded would encourage more dialogue, especially once they move to another story. Email notifications aren’t particularly helpful either, not to mention many people don’t want to clog up their emails with the notifications. Not sure if it’s technically possible, but it would be a helpful addition.
-Being able to sort comments by oldest/newest would also be welcome.
Great work so far.
(Edit: Hey, I’m using the new edit feature! Just to reinforce the need for a “sort by” feature, in order to go back to my comment, I had to load multiple pages to get to the end of the thread. So the ability to sort a thread by oldest/newest, and being able to load more comments on a page would speed up that process. Thanks again.
Just bumped the editing window to 30 minutes, that was a simple change. I think overall the momentum here is for more sorting options as well as an on-page notification system of some sort. I’m not sure how easy those features are to build but those two will probably be our next focus.
To be honest, the new commenting system has decreased my visitation to the site as well as how engaged I am with the stories. It’s more difficult to log in, and I’m not sure why. I keep getting redirected to log in to WordPress, then have to go back to MLBTR. I hope I get it figured out, because I love MLBTR, but as of right now I kind of miss Disqus. Glad the upvotes and downvotes are back, though.
If you don’t mind, can you walk me through your login issues?
I tried to update my subscriptions an hour or so ago to see if notifications are working…now I’m receiving and email for every single comment on this thread. I checked my email and had 18 emails from mlbtraderumors….none,of which were responses to any of my comments. A notification system that works in notifying of responses to our personal comments is exactly what Disqus did. It doesn’t make sense to receive an email for every remaining comment on a post….we could come to the site and.read the comments as easily. It’s like being mass spammed in an email inbox.
The manage subscriptions box allows to subscribe to follow-up comments now…it would be best if that were replies to personal comments. At present if I were to be first comment on a post that went on to garner 150 following comments….I’d be emailed 150 times.
This is a very well-articulated argument for replies only notifications. On the other hand on a lower traffic post, it’s sometimes nice to hear other people’s thoughts, even much later, even if those posts are not direct replies to one’s own thoughts.
I agree, in a way, but on low traffic posts its also much easier to simply read the replies. I tend to comment on many different posts…keeping up with replies is quite a bit of work. At present it seems to be a little like the dreaded Facebook status updates that once you comment…you start receiving every reply whether it has to do with you or not.
I just simply want to be able to know when I have a reply, so that a.conversation can be had in a timely manner without spending much time making he rounds of my posts to see if there are replies.
I love the new commenting system.
We need a single page where all replies to our own comments can be seen. Your email-based “subscription” system is wrecking my inbox and makes it much, much harder to follow up on comments.
I agree 100%…please address notifications
Is there a way to comment from the mobile Trade Rumors app?
That is under development currently, with iOS likely to be done before Android.
Here are my big issues:
1: we lost a lot of commentators from the community. I, for one, have been commenting and reading the site daily for approximately 7-8 years. And there was a lot of bs to create new log ins, a new email address bc mine was already in the system, and the new mlbtr password generator gives crazy passwords. And to be honest, if you didn’t ask for feedback concerning the new commenting system, I may not have ever created a new log in.
2: some commenters have had to change their handles… Now I have to figure out who is who in order to figure out who knows what they are talking about and who doesn’t. My former handle was Jeffrey Toman
3: this one drove me nuts: if you post a comment mentioning a link (to a site not on your “approved list) that was specifically contained in a mlbtr post, the comment gets blocked. In that specific case, I had referred to a Washington post article specifically cited by I believe steve Adams or jeff Todd discussing dan haren, I provided the link to the mlbtr article, and it still got blocked by the mod. It was infuriating because I took the time to actually go back months worth of articles and find the proper posts and write up a well thought out and sourced response. I understand the concern you have about random links looking to sell handbags or work from home/get rich schemes, but mods/admins need to actually read the comments.
Right now it’s just time consuming checking posts for replies. I’ve also wondered how many have needed to change handles. Handles for regulars always enable me to know their background by the various conversations we’ve had previously. For example…if something is going on with the Phillies I can find certain commenters and know their thoughts from previously. There are about 20 of these Ive come to know over the past 8 years or so.
I’m really hoping for a high functioning app I suppose… Even though I don’t want to store the app or give up permissions to use it. I realize it’s supposedly easier to program apps with all permission requests enabled…but I’m leery.
If you go to Edit My Profile in the upper right after you’re logged in, you may be able to change your display name to match what you had before.
I agree that normal links like that should be allowed in the comment section, and we’re not blocking anything like that now.
Hi jtt11 (and Red_Line_9),
Here’s how you set your handle.
1. Go to your profile page. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/wp-admin/profile.php
2. Add your first and last name.
3. Save changes.
4. Go to the “Display name publicly as” option. You will be able to choose your old handle, “Jeffrey Toman” or just “Jeffrey” or “jtt11” or “Toman”.
Here’s a graphic to help.
Comments will not load on my mobile app ever since the new rollout – any suggestions?
We actually have never had comments available in the new app, but I am beta testing that addition on iOS at present.
Anyone still checking out this thread may be interested in this new page:
Last 100 recent comments.
We’ve got a bunch of different improvements in the works at present.
You can also access the Last 100 Recent Comments from the Tools menu so you don’t need to bookmark the page to find it again.
The URL is mlbtraderumors.com/recent-comments just in case anyone would like to type it in.