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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Suggestion: Comments of the Week

    Obviously the staff of RPS and their informative, insightful and entertaining writings are the main attractions of the site, yet comments from readers contribute in no small part to its appeal also. Only there's so bloody many of the things that one can't possibly read them all, with the consequence that many worthy comments go unnoticed. I've lost count of the number of great comments I've stumbled across only by fortuitously catching them on the sidebar in the (generally short) period during which they were visible. And of course even that only happens when the opening sentence catches my eye.

    So, the suggestion: as an addendum to the Sunday Papers - or possibly as a 'Sunday' piece of itself - to re-publish or link to some of the worthier comments or comment/discussion threads of the past week.

    The obvious question at this juncture is how to select the comments in question? I suspect that to achieve the desired outcome without adding overly much to the staff's workload would require a combination of nominations from registered users with those being parsed manually for selection by the staff.

    Thoughts? Abuse?
    Last edited by Rii; 08-07-2011 at 09:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Network Hub tomeoftom's Avatar
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    Sometimes you people are just far, far too funny. 'sa great idea.

  3. #3
    Administrator Rossignol's Avatar
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    But Tei would win every week?

  4. #4
    Network Hub SMiD's Avatar
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    I think you've got a proper idea there, but I too wonder at how this would be accomplished. Either the staff would need to pore over every comment submitted; or possibly there could be a community thumbs up/down rating system that would naturally allow the best to rise to the top of the heap. That does open it up to abuse of course. So I think you'd get the best results if the writers picked their favorites, however, this is on the condition that they'd be willing to take on such a role.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossignol View Post
    But Tei would win every week?
    That's certainly a risk. You could always give him a little chatter box down the side of the main page. ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by SMiD View Post
    or possibly there could be a community thumbs up/down rating system that would naturally allow the best to rise to the top of the heap.
    Only I don't think this is necessarily the case. Aside from the issue of turning comment threads into a popularity contest with minority views marginalised, between two equally worthy comments the one made first (or in reply to a comment made early in the piece) will get more eyeballs and votes. Given that one of the points of the exercise would be to throw light on comments that might otherwise not have received their due, having the most visible comments get the most votes and thereby even more visibility seems somewhat counter-intuitive. But as you note clearly the other mechanically simple method of having the staff peruse every comment is non-viable from a workload perspective. Hence the hybrid methodology I suggested in the previous post.

    I envisioned not so much a '+1/-1' system as a 'nominate for consideration' button which folks would be encouraged (possibly via an 'R U SURE???' screen) to press only if they actually believed the comment in question was entertaining/informative/insightful enough to warrant bringing it to greater attention. +10 rather than +1, in other words. Maybe there'd be a minimum number of nominations necessary to flag a comment for the staff's perusal, I guess that would depend on how many nominations there were each week.
    Last edited by Rii; 08-07-2011 at 09:32 PM.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    I think it's a good idea though I don't think it should be so formal. The writers clearly read the comments on a lot of if not all the stories, and often reply. All that's needed is some way for them to flag anything particularly good then compile them all together on a Sunday. They might not read every page of every comment thread so maybe some stuff gets missed but that's not a huge deal.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMiD View Post
    I think you've got a proper idea there, but I too wonder at how this would be accomplished. Either the staff would need to pore over every comment submitted; or possibly there could be a community thumbs up/down rating system that would naturally allow the best to rise to the top of the heap. That does open it up to abuse of course. So I think you'd get the best results if the writers picked their favorites, however, this is on the condition that they'd be willing to take on such a role.
    One of the nice things about RPS is that all voices carry equal weight. Let's not go down the voting route because popularity rarely equates to insightful at the end of the day. There are far more people out there who are happy to blindly and blithly jump in feet first with the idea that 'EA are Evil!!!' rather than 'EA aren't that bad...' in my experience. voting tends to promote the chest thumping popularist viewpoints rather than the necessarily considered.


    As regards the comment of the week. Personally no. I'd far rather the Hivemind point to the discussions taking place on the forums occasionally as they used to do in order to perhaps garner us some more discussion minded members, than potentially humiliate a poster off the site by pointing out the 'funny' they said once a week.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 09-07-2011 at 12:02 AM.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    As regards the comment of the week. Personally no. I'd far rather the Hivemind point to the discussions taking place on the forums occasionally as they used to do in order to perhaps garner us some more discussion minded members, than potentially humiliate a poster off the site by pointing out the 'funny' they said once a week.
    You realise that interesting discussions can take place in the comments as well as on the forums, yes?

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    I think it's a good idea though I don't think it should be so formal. The writers clearly read the comments on a lot of if not all the stories, and often reply. All that's needed is some way for them to flag anything particularly good then compile them all together on a Sunday. They might not read every page of every comment thread so maybe some stuff gets missed but that's not a huge deal.
    Curse your simple pragmatism that is so foreign to my own fondness for systems design!
    Last edited by Rii; 09-07-2011 at 05:47 AM.

  9. #9
    Network Hub SMiD's Avatar
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    Right, I was not in favor of the whole +/- route as it's way too easy a system to manipulate.

    Deano, I agree. Adding formal systems of comment approval for great success makes the whole thing seem cold and mechanical. I think I trust the writers to spot the gems. And if, like you said, a few get passed by, is it really that big of a deal?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    You realise that interesting discussions can take place in the comments as well as on the forums, yes?
    Yes they do occur but they are few and far between. Generally the best comments come up either in the Sunday papers or in response to a developer interview. If it's game coverage, people are either interested, or raging about some issue/percieved developer slight most of the time.

  11. #11
    Network Hub Donjo's Avatar
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    I am in favour of this, it's a nice idea. Don't know in what shape or form it could be implemented but I like the gist of it.

  12. #12
    Network Hub tomeoftom's Avatar
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    We <i>could</i> just copy/paste the comments that made us short-circuit our peripherals into this thread here. (?)

  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node sinomatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomeoftom View Post
    We <i>could</i> just copy/paste the comments that made us short-circuit our peripherals into this thread here. (?)
    That sounds like the most reasonable thing to me....anything more formal than that I find strangely uncomfortable.

  14. #14
    Network Hub tomeoftom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinomatic View Post
    That sounds like the most reasonable thing to me....anything more formal than that I find strangely uncomfortable.
    Yeah, it is a bit weird. The way comments work on here (and basically everywhere) makes telling someone "thank you for that amazing joke/observation" completely break the flow of a funny/healthy/insightful conversation. What's worse is that any system of +1s or whatever just makes for continuous self-consciousness, and a layer of unsavoury competition which is totally un-RPS. There's no good way to converse or joke on the internet without the core tenet of actual laughter. (There's an idea, actually! For MAXIMUM CREEPY, you click a button next to a comment, then record yourself laughing. This is then played back simultaneously with all the other laugh-bytes for that comment when the user scrolls past that point in the page. Brrrrrrrr.)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossignol View Post
    But Tei would win every week?
    Surely sometimes Wulf would get in there for unintentional hilarity?

    I find it amusing that Tei is so popular not despite, but because of his shaky grasp of English. A lot of what he says would either not normally be popular, or isn't that insightful, but the way he has to get himself across makes a lot of the comments more interesting. (This isn't to take away from the times of course when he does come out with something noone else has mentioned).

  16. #16
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    I must admit Wulf is so walloftext I generally TL:DR (succinctness is a virtue) and Tei inscrutable I tend to pass them over, unless anything that's written leaps out at me.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomeoftom View Post
    Yeah, it is a bit weird. The way comments work on here (and basically everywhere) makes telling someone "thank you for that amazing joke/observation" completely break the flow of a funny/healthy/insightful conversation.
    I don't see where you're getting the idea that people would be aware that their comments had been nominated, let alone by whom. Of course under the copy/paste system you're proposing that most certainly WOULD be the case.

  18. #18
    Activated Node Temple's Avatar
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    Disregarding Tei as he is not allowed to play...

    Sinister Agent is the best in recent memory and makes me wish for a decent search on the front page for comments by people.
    Forums you can do searches, but I presume you cannot in the comments threads?
    Try London on Board for free and easy boardgaming

  19. #19
    I like the idea of this, but only if the comments chosen are chosen because they are insightful or spark an interesting conversation, not if it's something someone says that's stupid, but funny.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    Surely sometimes Wulf would get in there for unintentional hilarity?

    I find it amusing that Tei is so popular not despite, but because of his shaky grasp of English. A lot of what he says would either not normally be popular, or isn't that insightful, but the way he has to get himself across makes a lot of the comments more interesting. (This isn't to take away from the times of course when he does come out with something noone else has mentioned).
    I find its often the people who do not have English as their first language that use it in the most creative and insightful ways.

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