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View Poll Results: What should we do with comments?
Allow all that aren't spam! Even ones which say "Thanks!!" 2 40.00%
Allow only those which either add info, or raise problems like "I get this error" 3 60.00%
Allow only those which add info (e.g. links to other ways of doing it, etc) 0 0%
Some other option. Please post a reply suggesting your alternative. 0 0%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-28-2008, 01:55 AM   #1
Jesse
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Default Your Opinion of Comments

Some of you will know that it is possible to comment on articles and tutorials.

When we set up this function we specified that only comments which add value to the tutorial (e.g. link to other relevant resources, or talk about another way to achieve the same effect) would be approved.

Despite this, the majority of comments which are posted are along the lines of "I get this error" or "Great tutorial!".

We're interested to hear what other people's experiences are. Personally I have sometimes followed instructions in an article, only to run into an error which is discussed (and often resolved) in the comments. It's great when that happens. We've always felt those sorts of questions and solutions should be posted here, on the forums.

But similarly I've read a thousand articles where the comments are nothing but flames or praise, and the useful stuff is buried somewhere in the middle.

Please vote and post your comments [pun] accordingly.
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:51 AM   #2
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As one of the moderators on those comments, I've stuck to the rules of only approving comments that add value to the article, such as methods of improvement or possible issues that could arise by using a particular method. I think we should allow those, "I get this error" and let me respond to that. Its become difficult to direct those posters to post in the forum.
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:55 AM   #3
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One plus I see of allowing those comments is that keen authors can come back and respond themselves. Also, they will show up in search engines and if someone else has posted a solution, it will probably assist people searching for help. It'll probably also decrease duplication of posts on the forums.

You'll be glad to hear the new CMS has some good features that allow you to respond to people who post comments directly from the Admin console.

Thanks for your help as always Cota.

Other comments?
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:27 AM   #4
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Some people commented on my tutorials saying they got errors. They got errors because they didn't follow the instructions correctly, even though I did my best to spell things out explicitly. So I was able to go back and edit it again, and try to make it even clearer. When I write, it takes a huge effort, but I read things over and over again, trying to make sure that what I'm trying to say is not ambiguous.

So, it's nice to get the feedback, even the kind that says "thanks." However, you can tell an author "thanks" just as well in an email. I've been grateful for the people that have written me emails, it's a real boost to have someone say that I explained something in a way that really helped them understand it. And I know it's a small percentage of people that will take the time to write.

I voted for the first choice, that all comments should be allowed that aren't spam. I have a couple of suggestions, though:

1. When someone adds a comment to the bottom of a tutorial or article, the author might not even realize it for days, weeks, or even months. So, it would be nice if the author could get email notification that someone has commented on their article. Otherwise, you have to manually visit your tutorials to find this out.

2. I've mentioned this before, but I perceived a disconnect between authors and users of the forums. Authors are also forum users, but which ones are they? In other words, my username here is "Mazoonist." My tag is "Site Contributor," which tells other people (assuming they notice) that I'm an author here. Beyond that, though, there's nothing that says who, or what, author I am, or what I wrote. So, I tried to fix this by putting the links to my tutorials in my signature. From the other end, though, there is also nothing in the tutorials that connects people the other way, that my name is such-and-such on the forums.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:14 AM   #5
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Hey mate,

Thanks for the comments.

Some responses:
1) I think this actually is a feature but we diabled it by default to stop Authors being spammed. Pretty sure it's a site-wide feature, not controllable at the Author level; e.g. if we enable it, all Authors will be notified about comments on their content. I'm not sure everyone would want to get a notification each time.

2) We've done our best to integrate this as best we can. There is promise down the line of the CMS including API hooks for better integration into things like vBulletin but I think it's six months off at least. I guess you could edit your Author Biography to show your name on the forums. You could probably even create a link to your profile on the forums if you wanted...

Keen 'em coming people.
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