We know, it’s been a minute since you heard from us. We’ve slowed down our new releases while we do a bunch of things behind the scenes to make the next steps possible. Below are updates from the team that’s building the commenting experience, about what’s new, and what’s next.
DUPLICATE_ID error - some of you might have occasionally seen this error where the comments box might be. It only happened when we changed the URL of a post or updated a story. It’s fixed.
One-line bios - some commenters want to identify themselves, customize their profile, give shoutouts, share views on the last game, and have a signature-like feature without making signatures compulsory for everyone to read. So we’ve brought back commenter bios.
You read someone’s bio by clicking on their name in the comments, and add your own under the My Profile tab, by going to Preferences. Commenters can report the bios of others for abuse.
If you had a bio in the old system, you’ll have to type it out again here. Like with comment history, we’ll be moving this over to the main profile pages in due course.
Performance improvements - We learned a LOT from the first game days, and made our platform more stable and faster to use as a result. We’re adding more performance improvements over the coming days and weeks, to get the platform even faster and smoother. (Note from MRW: Week 1 sucked. I know. This should be better now.)
Better Badges - we have different badges for Admins vs Moderators vs Site Authors, set at an organization level. You should see new badges appearing soon, to differentiate types of permissions and users. When you see me or other SB Nation personnel in the comments, you’ll see us badged as “SB Nation,” rather than “Staff,” which should help avoid confusion.
Better way of showing/reading replies - our design team has been focusing on the biggest complaint we hear: the ‘Read more of this conversation’ feature, which opens a new tab or window at a certain depth of replies. As promised, we’re overhauling it and making it so you don’t have to leave the page to follow the discussion. We’re showing it to our feedback group this week, with the goal of getting it out soon. This will make a big difference in readability. (Note from MRW: I’m in the focus group and it’s a lot better that you don’t have to go into a new browser. This was a lot of your number one complaints so it’s time to celebrate!)
Single-site bans and the ability to add site moderators - By popular request, we’re building this for you, so you can ban someone just from your site, and add/remove site mods. (Note: Right now, if we ban someone, they’re banned everywhere so if we get a trolling fan from another community, now they’re banned from their own community, too.)
Plus a bunch of design tweaks and small bug fixes.
Still in the pipeline
The Z key / Find Unread comments - As we mentioned in a previous email, we rolled out a prototype of this to our testing group, and it got a very mixed response. As a result, we chose not to move forward with it, and instead focus on the above pieces before we return to this.
“Show me what I haven’t read yet” and “Let me use Z to jump between what I haven’t read yet” – will be there. But it’s going be a few months at least before we release anything. It’s a big piece of work, and we need to get it right.
Scrolling/Load more - We know you want to read new comments without clicking load more or using the C key to navigate through the comments (though in case you didn’t realize, ‘C’ key navigation also auto clicks ‘Load More’). We’re looking at ways to improve that experience. There will be more to come on that.
One of our goals with this platform was always to make moderation easier, faster, better, so you can focus on other things. We’re really encouraged with what we’re seeing – spammers getting caught fast, habitual rule breakers not coming back, and the quality of the discussion staying high. With the backup of some SB Nation staffers, the community moderation seems to be much easier and better than before.
Keep the feedback coming, and thank you for working with us as we keep improving the platform. On that note, fire away in the comments. We want to hear from you.