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Curating Comments Threads

Published by Chris Coyier

Long comment threads on blog posts are a mixed blessing. It is great to have stirred up such great community discussion. But anything beyond, say, 20 comments is beginning to get beyond what anyone is willing to actually read. What likely happens is people read the article, read the first few comments, then start just scanning them (at increasingly swift rates) until they hit the bottom, then read the last one or two. At least, that's what I do.

WordPress automatically appends a class name to individual comment <li> tags for the author ("bypostauthor") and a variety of other similar things. Many themes use these hooks to apply special styling. That way author comments stand out a bit and someone scanning down the article can pause to read author comments, which are presumably of greater interest than the others.

That's a good start, but we can do more to curate comment threads to make them more readable for our visitors.

The tools we have now

There are some design patterns that have emerged for dealing with comment threads in the past few years.

  • Replying / Threaded Comments
    Threaded comments are when comments have "reply" buttons next to them so other commenters can click that to continue that specific sub-conversation. This seriously helps the readability of conversation threads keeping each conversation contained rather than reading a comment 20 comments down that was a response to a comment 20 comments up.

    I like limiting the "depth" of threaded conversations to only a few deep, as personally I find it more confusing when trying to follow a nested thread more than 3 deep.

    This can also be potentially abused, with people replying to other comments just to appear higher in the comment list.

  • Author / Admin Comments
    Chances are, when the author of a post (or other site admin) chimes in on a comment thread, it is of particular interest. That sounds a little pompous to say like that... but I generally find it to be true on the other blogs I read. Highlighting these comments can be useful to those scanning the comment thread. As I mentioned at the start of this article, WordPress makes this easy by automatically applying class names like "bypostauthor" to comment list elements.

    Extending this idea: regular commenters or commenters with reliably quality insights could be treated in the same way. Intense Debate sort of does this with "reputation".

  • Voting
    In a large enough community, allowing the readers to vote on comments is a way to naturally allow curation of comment threads. The big flaw I find here is that the more controversial the original material, the more people will vote based on which side of the fence they sit on rather than the quality of the comment. The less controversial the material, the less motivated people are to vote.

    Asking people to vote soley based on the quality of another persons insights is, I feel, a lot to ask.

  • Pagination
    If the site in question is commonly in the hundred of questions, you might consider pagination the comments if for nothing else, to help with bandwidth (the scrolling itself, is no big deal).

    Personally, I hate paginated comments. No way I'm going to read a page comments, click over to page 2, read those, click over to page 3. Just not gonna happen.

    Above is Nick La's Web Designer Wall. Nick is a killer designer who is facing the problem of abundant comments. He probably has his reasons for pagination, but in any case, no way am I going to read all those that way.

  • Moderation
    The topic at hand here is "curation". As I mentioned above, one way to do that is elbow grease. Remove comments that are pointless, off topic, or rude. This alone goes a long way in making a comment thread more readable.

A New (Sweet) Solution for WordPress

I was looking for a different solution, something simpler, where I could curate a discussion thread myself. I posted it as one of my WordPress Wishes on Digging Into WordPress. Just a day later, a developer named Utkarsh Kukreti emailed in with a version 1.0 to a Feature/Bury Comments plugin for WordPress. Here is the plugin in the repository and here is Utkarsh's announcement post.

What this brand new plugin does (WP 2.9 and newer only, by the way) is add new clickable options when viewing comments in the Admin area:


These options are also available when viewing an individual comment. You can feature, bury, and of course UNfeature and UNbury.

Clicking Feature or Bury applies that comment meta data to the comment, and then is output with the rest of the class names like this:


Class name applied to comment output.

That is literally all it does. It gives you class names to work with. Hooks, my friends. Hooks that you then use to apply unique styling to target with JavaScript to appropriately "feature" or "bury" them as you find necessary for your site.

I am still thinking through exactly how I want to handle this on CSS-Tricks, but I'll show you what I have so far. When I feature a comment, I just turn it a blue color. Very simple little change, but remember our only goal here is to set the comment apart a little bit to catch the eye of a visitor scanning through.


CSS uses the class hook here to simply change the color of the featured comment to blue.

For buried comments, I hide the text and user Gravatar of the comment, as well as fade it down with opacity. The comment isn't gone, it's just just basically a ghost when the page loads. If someone wanted to read the comment, all they need to do is click it and it will expand to a normal view.

Why bury and not delete? Well I'll still do some deleting, especially for rude comments, but some comments aren't rude they just don't add anything to the conversation. Stuff like "nice post!" (when it's clearly not spam), is something I would bury.

The ghosting stuff in jQuery:

$("li.buried").each(function() {
  
    $el = $(this);
    
    $el.find(".avatar").hide();
    $el.find("p").hide();
  
  }).click(function() {
  
    $el = $(this).animate({ opacity: 1 });
    
    $el.find(".avatar").slideDown();
    $el.find("p").slideDown();
  
});

...and again, I'm not sure this is the best possible solution or how long I'll keep it around, but I definitely like the feature/bury system and intended to keep that around. It's just the visual design part of it I'm still thinking through. One problem is that the ghosted comments don't indicate just how to expand them. I'd rather not have text explaining it (preferring something more natural) and I'm not sure I want to give it a rollover state either. Maybe just a pointer cursor, I dunno.

Those who have came before...

People have been thinking about curating online conversations since online conversations began. Here is some other thinking and other work that has come before.

Milemarkers

Jason Santa Maria wrote about "Cultivating Conversations" and summed up the problem nicely in the opening statement:

I go to a website and read an article. Man, that was really great. I’d like to comment and ask the author a question. I scroll down… 384 comments. Ugh. Screw this.

He suggests a "milemarker" idea. Quick bits of text to summarize what happened and what is head. Great idea, but makes for quite a bit of work.


Jason Santa Maria's "milemarker" example

Inspired by

Dunstan Orchard had some ideas seven years ago about adding some meta information to comments about who inspired the comment and what other comments this one inspires. It's a similar concept to threading only without the threads. I'm not sure I like that idea very much (well, I do sort of, but I think it adds too much visual clutter).

Dunstan's other idea though was to put a checkbox option when replying to a comment to "Alert (Original Commenter) to your comment". This would send the original commenter and email to let them know their comment has been responded to.


Dunstan Orchard's idea for inspired/inspired by comments, plus option to notify original commenter.

I do like this idea, as I think it's fairly universal that people want to know when their ideas are responded too. There would need to be some kind of opt-in system for this though, since there are definitely some people that wouldn't appreciate it.

Digg

Digg has tried to better their comment threads by using a microcosm of the Digg model itself. Users can digg individual comments up or down. Comments with too many down votes are hidden from general browsing, unless a reader explicitly chose to view them. A pretty decent solution, but that puts a lot of weight on the users of the site. Not to mention you need to have a pretty huge audience for it to work at all.


Presumably, the comment in the middle here wasn't worth reading, as determined by other Digg users. I think this probably helps Digg comment threads, but they are still pretty terrible.

Comment aggregators


Comment systems like Intense Debate and Disqus (above) offer a similar system. People can "like" comments in Disqus or thumbs up/thumbs down them in Intense Debate, then sort by different options including the Best Rating.

Elbow grease

If you want to curate a conversion, one way to do it is to roll up your sleeves and curate it. Roger Ebert does this by moderating his own comments and chiming in when needed.


Roger Ebert chimes in in the comments on his blog (example) by just appending his own bold text to comments. Simple but surprisingly effective. I remember Smashing Magazine used to do this as well, back when.

Of course, please chime in here with your thoughts and ideas regarding curating comment threads. The following conversation will be curated =)

Comments

  1. Permalink to comment#

    great inspirations and solutions. i really love this article.. well done

  2. Permalink to comment#

    Nice Article i love it! lots of great information thank you chris!

  3. Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for an inspiring post!

  4. Even comments have a governing model, the rule of Democracy where each person votes on popularity or helpfulness; the Dictator – waiting for moderator approval; and, the Socialist – 55 pages of user comments.

    How great would it be if you could leave a voice or video response?

    • I think there are some comment systems that allow this… I can’t remember the names of them though. I’m sure someone else can chime in with them.

    • Permalink to comment#

      There’s a WordPress plugin for Seesmic, or at least there used to be, that lets commenters choose to leave a video response. I think that kind of thing is especially effective on a video-blog when readers/viewers are expecting video content anyway.

  5. I think another benefit of curating comments using the bury/feature method is it encourages visitors to put more thought into their comments which should improve the overall conversation.

    If you’re looking for feedback, I really like the way you’re curating comments in this post. I agree that you shouldn’t go too many levels of replies but the multi-color approach makes the conversation very easy to read.

    Great post! (please don’t bury me because I said “great post”)

  6. iTrace
    Permalink to comment#

    Surprise!

  7. Poor invisible comments at the top! Seems a bit harsh to me. Oh god, I hope I don’t get buried!

    Even so, I think you’re right, a lot of invisible comments like that in a page of 30+ comments would help readability a lot.

  8. boersnoes
    Permalink to comment#

    In my opinion all the current systems have either (or both) of the following problems:

    - Continuity: Ever tried reading comments on /.? I find myself un-hiding close to every hidden post because I don’t get the conversation. Good replies can be a reaction to bad (hidden) post.

    - Which brings me to problem two: Uniformity. Or better, the opposite of it. A post in a certain category can have replies in multiple other categories. This is why @Nathan’s suggestion can sadly never work.

    As a side note: Up/Down voting (or feature/bury) have the problem which is on SO refered to as Fastest Gun in the West problem (http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/9731/fastest-gun-in-the-west-problem). It comes down to the fact that because posts at the top have more viewuers, they therefor have more chance to get featured. Excellent comments that get posted a day after the facts are going to have less upvotes then mediocre comments posted seconds after the original post.

    I have been thinking about this issue too so I could implement it on my sites. Sadly I haven’t got anything productive to chime in either…
    In my opinion the system on SO seems to work decently. But I would love to go beyond “decently”

    • Permalink to comment#

      I agree about Slashdot. The commenting system is so bad that I would rather not look at the comments on there, because understanding a whole thread’s flow is so difficult.

  9. Permalink to comment#

    Chris, what do you think of http://Disqus.com ? Have you used it?

  10. Hm, I think “burying” comments that are expressing appreciation for the blog posts is kind of problematic, even though nettuts-comments consist of 90% “OMG DUDE FUCKIN HELPFUL POST!!!eleven”-posts which really sucks while scanning the comments. I would suggest a “Thank you”-Button below the blog post where people can express their thankfulness (which is obviously very important) without having to write a comment. The aggregated data could be used by you to improve the quality of your posts or just to see which topics are appreciated most by the community.

    The aim of every platform should be avoiding repetition. Youtube is kind of a “worst case”-example as every 40 posts the same discussion repeats because people won’t read 20.000 comments. “What’s the name of the song in the video?” – Answer. 40 comments later, same question again. The possibility to avoid that was already mentioned in the blog post, but this isn’t practical ’cause no one is going to summarize dozens of posts.

  11. Grant Z
    Permalink to comment#

    Can anyone point me to where I might find a tutorial on how to set up reply-able/threaded comments in my WordPress themes?

    I love the idea’s Chris and plan on doing the same in my future sites!

  12. Permalink to comment#

    Hey, is typekit now working with chrome? Or did you get rid of it? (I can’t see a difference besides no longer having boxes for spaces)

    • Permalink to comment#

      And I’m a fan of this burying comments. It’s something that I would like to implement somewhere (but I don’t really have a project that it would work well).

  13. TheDoc
    Permalink to comment#

    Chris, must say, this is a great idea. It’s one of my greatest pet peeves when going through comments. The amount of anger I build up when seeing somebody put “first!!111″ is enough to make me homicidal.

    This is a great system that I may just have to try out myself.

    Cheers to Utkarsh, too!

  14. For sites like CSS-Tricks and my own that have a forum and comments on articles, I’ve always loved the idea of (moderators) being able to click an option on the comment and pull it out into it’s own forum thread. This way big discussions could get easily moved into a place where ‘discussion’ is much more a primary focus, and replies are much more manageable.

    Sadly, I have never had time to implement such an idea.

  15. Eddy
    Permalink to comment#

    I like the idea, how about giving users the option to choose between arranging comments by date or by featured/buried option? So instead of having the first three comments being buried, we could see all featured, then all normal and then all buried.

    One thing I always thought would be interesting to do is somehow allow users to comment “inside” the article itself. So, for instance, if I read up until the part where you say that you 3 level deep comments the best solution, I could somehow click and comment right there and say “I used more levels on my site and I had to make the comments section wider” for instance. Think google wave but not really allowing everyone to “edit” your articles. Maybe there could be a small symbol by the side saying “7 people have commented here” or something and you can click that to reveal the comments. It should only be possible to comment between paragraph tags, so not just everywhere in the article. Does anyone know if there is something like this already? I’ve looked but haven’t found anything so I thought I’d start working on my own version.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Arranging comments like you propose in the first paragraph doesn’t seem a good idea to me since you loose the order of the conversation like that.

      e.g. In a tread of 20 comments (conversation) there are 3 comments that give a nice sollution or state something valuable. Hence the moderator/author will feature these 3 posts. When you organize them ‘featured posts on top” you loose the whole conversation order…
      While it may work beautifully in some case I think it wont in many others.

    • Eddy
      Permalink to comment#

      That is why you have the option – arrange by date or arrange by “quality” – if I see there are 100+ comments and I don’t have time to read through them all, I can look at the featured one to get the valuable stuff. If I then want to see what the discussion was before the feature comment, I can arrange them by date. Think about SM’s comments, hundreds of them are just “thanks you, great article” comments. It would be great if I could choose to move them all to the bottom so I can look at the useful comments.

  16. Mikes
    Permalink to comment#

    Great stuff as usual!

    One thing I’d add though. You can click to unhide a buried comment, but you can’t click it again to re-hide it. Minor feature I know. But when you click a buried comment and discover that it was best left hidden, it can be satisfying to cover it back up. :)

    • Optional
      Permalink to comment#

      On a related note, there’s no suggestion that buried comments are clickable. A pointer cursor or some title text would be handy.

  17. This is amazing Chris. I will try to play around with this a little bit more, but I know what you mean about comments that don’t add any value to the conversation at all.

    Thanks for this, and hopefully, WP will start looking into this and offer a standard solution. :D

  18. Permalink to comment#

    I think what would help with the comments issue is a js feature that appnr.com has where it lists only so many and then if you scroll to the end of that section it will load the next batch.

    • That’s a neat feature for saving bandwidth, but I’m not sure if it helps the overall readability of the comments. Or does it for you?

  19. Steve M
    Permalink to comment#

    I think this idea, while nicer to look at, will discourage people from commenting on articles. Although some posts don’t add to the conversation, people do take the time to offer thanks, and say “nice work”, and could take offence to have their comments slighted.

    • Maybe. Possibly. I’m not sure I really care though, for this particular site. Of course I appreciate any kind words, I’m not trying to be unappreciative, but I don’t think two word comments are the appropriate way to do that. If you want to thank someone, then write something up and explain why. Two word comments where you link back to yourself aren’t they way to do it.

    • Permalink to comment#

      That’s what I was thinking when I read this comment as well. I don’t think the goal is to get the maximum number of comments. Just as the goal of writing a comment shouldn’t be to get a zillion click-throughs to your site. If it discourages people from writing “i like this” — oh well.

    • Permalink to comment#

      I agree with Chris & Josh. The point of this site is to improve web design and functionality, or the web experience, if you will.

      Our lives are becoming increasingly bogged down with short chatspeak type comment’s and advertising that end up becoming a blur of noise. In the same way I do not want to receive a text/email that appears as it was written by a baby in a foreign language, ever more do I not want to read “blah blah blah sucks lmao lol ha ha” 50 times per thread.” This does not exclude “nice post blah blah blah”

      I read this site because I continually want to improve at everything in life(even if I constantly fail miserably). I feel this forum has that same purpose in mind. If only…well, I can dream:)

    • Steve M
      Permalink to comment#

      I understand that, I guess what I’m really getting at is that at this level of moderation you may as well simply delete the comments if you’re truly concerned about space and quality of posts. That seems like the best option.

  20. Ginger
    Permalink to comment#

    @Chris:

    I do see something in this “bury” option you currently handle. However

    1: I can’t close them again after openening
    2: There’s no option to “Collapse/Expand all”
    3: No clue as to why it’s buried (tho ofcourse it’s your blog, we are the audience)


    Ginger

    • 1) This could be added, but I don’t feel a strong need to. You already opened it, you read it, there is no functional need to close it again. Except, maybe just maybe, it would just feel satisfying to close it again even if it accomplishes nothing.

      2) I may add something like this. This discussion should trancend what I’m doing though. YOU can do whatever you want, and could easily implement this.

      3) I will personally bury comments that I find to be off topic or that don’t add any value to the conversation.

    • Dominik
      Permalink to comment#

      Hi, just my 2 cents:

      1) I can indeed confirm, that it would “feel satisfying”, because I found myself clicking on those buried comments just to make sure, that I comply with your opinion on those. This habit will possibly vanish over time, when I learned to “trust” your opinion, but I still wanted to close them afterwards, when I confirmed this.

      Hm, this reads like I got some kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder.. ;-)

      3)Maybe add a tiny like somewhere to the buried comments, to explain why you did this.

    • Ginger
      Permalink to comment#

      I agree your opinion is great, and we dont need to know why it’s buried.

      Instead I think the “Thanks”-button/counter would make a good replacer.

      Frankly, if I would say just Thanks, and it gets buried I’d understand but still feel bad. Nobody likes their comment to be buried.

      A Thanks-counter instead (or maybe a star-rating if you like it a bit more precise statisticish)


      Gringer

    • I reckon there should be a small 2 lines of text underneath the reply box saying

      ‘Please refrain from posting comments that do not add value to the discussion. If found, these comments will be buried to save space in the comments.’

      If you did add a ‘Thanks’ counter, you could also say ‘If you just want to show your appreciation, please instead [link]star[link] the article.’

  21. Permalink to comment#

    The other challenge with threaded comments is when you come to mobile devices. I struggle to read the comments on my mobile device (iPhone) even with this site when it comes to threaded comments, as they become really narrow and tall, rather than laying them out one by one.

    There needs to be a way of indicating thread hierarchy for narrow screens, rather than just placing the comments to the right. Any thoughts

    • Permalink to comment#

      That sounds interesting.

      Something you could try is to only have them slightly pushed to the right, with an image, perhaps an arrow, to indicate that it is a reply.

  22. Permalink to comment#

    Wow, the first few comments are already buried :P

    Shows that the first couple people to comment on large blogs don’t even read the post.

    Would it be possible to also move “featured” comments to the top, or to have them in a separate box, or in a list with links to each? I think that would be a good idea!

  23. Permalink to comment#

    I modified your javascript a little bit to basically replace buried comments with a box that says “show a buried comment”.

    $("li.buried .comment-body").each(function() {

    $el = $(this);

    $el.hide();

    $el.after("show a buried comments");

    }).parent().click(function() {

    $el = $(this).children().animate({ opacity: 1 });

    $el.slideDown();

    $(this).children("span.show-buried").slideUp();

    });

    It would be ideal if I could figure out how to hide any number of buried comments in a row and still only show one box and say “show # buried comments” for the number of comments.

    For me, I still like this a little better than your way. Although there might be rare cases when you want to see who the author of the comment was to decide whether or not to unhide it.

  24. Matt
    Permalink to comment#

    Coincidentally, I’ve been developing a plugin for Rails that allows quick filtering of comments through a Regexp validator. So far, it can catch 42% of the “useless” comments with a 5% error rate based on 100 test cases (pulled from random sources).

    Currently, I’m working on a centralized model to store common junkments. From there, I can abstract it from the junkment and store it as an expression in a decentralized model that others can access. Think Akismet, but way more scrutinizing.

    Me, I’ve never had a problem with junkments, but I have clients who did. I personally couldn’t maintain a social network profile or blog. I never have time at the end of the day, so Chris is doing better than me.

  25. Permalink to comment#

    I would ask you if, after upgrading to wp 2.9, you found the new commentmeta table.

    I ask it because, after installing this plugin and marking a couple of comments as “featured”, I noticed that none CSS class was added to the markup. After a rapid look at my database, I realized that I didn’t have this new table, so I created it by running an SQL query.

  26. JustGage
    Permalink to comment#

    I have few ideas,

    First idea(or problem) is replies are usually only useful to read ONLY if you are interested in what the original comment was saying, personally I like the replies hidden because makes skimming a lot easier.

    Second idea, about what to do with the comments that don’t contribute much is stick them like in the sidebar column after everything else I’m not sure how you would do that

    I also like the idea of ratings or a “like” link, that way if somone just “likes” your article they won’t add a rhetorical comment they will just click “like”.

    Third, Perhaps having a subject field that way they can say this is what this huge paragraph is about.

    those are my ideas.

  27. Eddy
    Permalink to comment#

    @Chris

    I just got an idea. It makes sense to bury pointless comments or rude ones, but I think people that just say “thanks” or “great article” might feel bad and unfairly treated if their comments get buried. A solution would be to expand on the Thanks button idea: there should be a thanks button under the article and if the reader fails to click it and instead just comments “thanks”, you could “turn it into thanks” from the admin section. So there could be an additional button next to bury and feature called thanks.

    So if Bob clicks thanks and Joe comments thanks, after you turn Joe’s comment into thanks, it would say “Bob and Joe said thanks”. I think I’ll implement that on my site once I’m lucky enough to have to deal with this. Now I’m in the stage where I can spend lots of time editing the comments to perfection.. :P

    • A lot of people have mentioned this “thanks” idea… it probably has some merit. Perhaps a checkbox down by the comment area like:

      [ ] I just want to say thanks.

      If you check that, the comment textarea slides up and the comment just becomes, as you proposed, added to a list of thankers: Bob, Jim, and Sue say thanks.

  28. I like updates about replies to my comment / thread.

    I’d like to be able to edit my posts (fix typos, correct mistakes, strike out stuff) and have people who’ve replied to me be updated about edits (if they choose).

    I had other desire but the more I think about them the more I realize they’re leaning towards a full blown comment system. And mentioning video makes me want google wave based comments.

    A somewhat unrelated plug-in I’d like to see built for all blog & forum systems would give me the ability to paste in a special url on my own blog into the comment form and have a duplicate of my comment and your articles track back url duplicated on my own blog.

    I’m one of those people who writes way too much in comments instead of just posting on my own blog. A feature like that would help me create content for my own blog while contributing to the discussion. Then once I’ve cleaned up my comment and turned it into a full blown article on my own blog I could send a signal back here that transforms my comment into just a trackback (to remove my over-contribution to the discussion)

    As for the categorized comments this reminds me of DeviantArt a little. On DA they only have 2 kinds, Critiques, which come before the ‘regular comments’.

    The “thanks” area sounds good. Just fill in my e-mail and hit a button. My gravatar shows up in a box that says “These people said “thank you”

  29. Permalink to comment#

    I really like that idea of categorizing by Nathan, but rather than categorizing them yourself like the feature/bury thing in the back-end you could let the reader do it when commenting. If he/she for example just likes to thank you he can mark them as a Plaudit and then in the tread those comments get some kind of visual attribute (specific colour). This way other readers can skip them easily if they don’t like to read them as they don’t really ad to the quality of the article/conversation.

    I would really prefer this to deleting or hiding cause it may offend some of your readers if their comment gets hidden or deleted when they only posted them with the best intentions. It also eliminates the confusion for someone who isn’t used to the hidden/empty comments.
    You should be able to override this category choice in the back-end though for those cases the reader abuses this feature (e.g. spam like posts)

    I’m not a big fan of paginated comments either but maybe it is possible like other readers kinda suggested to just make a link that says “Read the following ten comments” at the bottom of the ‘page’ and they just get pulled in by jQuery (or something like that) and that way the page doesn’t have to load all the comments, witch could be a big problem with a lot of comments, for readers who aren’t going to read them anyway. It may also be nice to have a button to load all the comments at once for those who are just going to scan through them (eliminating the tedious opening of every single page manually every time you reach the next bottom)

    Sorry for the long post I had more to say than I tought :)

    Also: Nice post thank you! :)

  30. Permalink to comment#

    YAY!!!!! THANKS! I’m going to give this a shot!

  31. Mikes
    Permalink to comment#

    I installed the featured/buried addon but wasn’t sure if I was going to add the jquery. Instead, I display the buried comment in gray at 8px.
    First I noticed something unexpected. I buried one of my test comments that had replies and the replies inside that comment were also gray in 8px. Perfectly reasonable. I just hadn’t expected it.
    Second, I realized that I don’t want people replying to a buried comment. Being buried may be a hint to people that they shouldn’t comment on it but just to be sure I’d like to remove the reply link from the buried comments.
    Unfortunately, that’s a bit beyond me. Anyone feel like putting together some jquery for that?

    • Permalink to comment#

      Hi Mikes,

      You you try something like
      $('li.comment.buried div.reply').hide();
      Haven’t tested it out, but it should work.

    • Permalink to comment#

      It’s that easy? Geesh, I feel dumb for asking :)

      I’ll go try it right away. Thanks!

  32. Hannes
    Permalink to comment#

    Fantastic article, Chris; it was a great read.
    I’ve always had a dislike towards paginated comments and extremely long comment sections.

    Most readers simply do not have the time available to read a lot of comments.

    Your ideas present some nice solution to this problem – I especially like the burying and featuring.

  33. Permalink to comment#

    One could ask for more relevant comments in a nice way, say:

    All comments are greatly appreciated but comments that add to the discussion will be given priority

    I read some posts on discouraging negative and spam comments that tried posting their policy above the leave comment form and got good results.

    Also, rather than fade out simple “Great post!” type comments, which has a punitive feel to it, why not give them a cute thumbs up icon and hide the message? Same thing, just friendlier. If people want to read every comment they simply click on the thumbs up icon.

    And finally, what I would like to see is some sort of slider widget above the comments that shows a bar graph of where the longer comments are (taller bar), where the author (different color)comments are and allows me to slide quckly to that section of comments. Have the comments scroll rather than the whole page.

    This could fit in a small area. I’m imagining a minimized thing, not very tall and the full width of the column.

  34. I like the Google Code way of doing things. Option for starring, to represent ‘Good post’. Moderators would be given the ability to convert a post to a star, etcetera.

  35. Permalink to comment#

    can anyone please gave me a link of comment template that have reply and quote nested comment
    i really link css-trick style

    thanks you

    regards
    Hrkhiangte

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