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An observation from a longtime member

Submitted by kore in meta (edited )

it seems that the ratio of submissions to comments has skyrocketed since I have been here (over a year, which is pretty long as far as raddle is concerned) For better or for worse, Raddle is flooded with links, and the majority of them never get any comments. We had an amazing article submitted the other day about this very thing: https://raddle.me/f/Tech/54548 that seemed to go pretty unnoticed. I am starting to feel the "delirium" from all of these links on raddle. As a result I have started trying to make substantial comments more often, but they are usually replied to by only the OP unless the post is particularly contentious.

I value the discussion on Raddle infinitely more than the news. Is there a way to promote discussion more and the compulsion to share news less? Is it even desirable?

A couple ideas I had:

Make comments have a disproportionately large weighting when it comes to displaying submission on the front page.

Allow submitters to designate their posts as "discussion" posts and give a way to filter out non-discussion posts.

Also just like the general advice to "think before you submit." Raddle's upvote system is exactly like facebooks "like" system: submit a good post and get upvotes, which in turn gives you a little dopamine hit. I think this encourages people to submit things that will get upvotes rather than try to promote discussion.

Anyway, maybe I'm just a cranky old-timer, but I want discussion, dammit!

EDIT: please see https://raddle.me/f/Postmill/55566 for what I think is a straightforward step we can take, especially if you know PHP!!!

Comments

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7

LostYonder wrote

I participate in another forum, more lifestyle oriented, but there I find it much more dialogical as the posts that pop up on top are based on the time of the last comment, not the time of the original posting. Thus, if something has a lot of comments, it keeps popping up on top, while something that is less comment worthy slips away.

Not all comments are going to be made in the first day of a posting, but there are so many postings that those that deserve greater attention get buried along with everything else. It also allows for people to engage more thoroughly those that are worth of discussion - which is based on actual comments and not just up or down votes...

6

kore wrote

yeah I like this idea, maybe we could change the default sorting to "last commented"

5

Tequila_Wolf wrote

Adding another option for "last commented" would be great but presently it'll be a little while before emma's working on code again and she'll be focusing on whatever she prioritises, so solutions will need to come from us in the meanwhile.

4

kore wrote

I hope you know that I assume this by now ;)

2

Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

I was replying to you but also so it's available for everyone to see, in part because emma updated us today about her plans for next year (in the chat). Today I've seen a lot of people proposing features and although it's fun to do that I think it can backfire a bit given the current situation.

3

kore wrote

seems like functionality to do this already exists just isn't exposed, see

https://raddle.me/f/Postmill/55566

2

Fossidarity wrote

I think you are referring to https://raddle.me/comments which is already implemented but TW is probably talking about last commented per post, not all the comments.

4

kore wrote

https://raddle.me/comments

Yes! I guess what I want is for it to be really obvious that page exists and really easy to get to. For example, I think that there should be a tab right next to "most commented" on the front page called "recent comments" that links directly to https://raddle.me/comments. Idk how to do this though.

i was also talking about last commented per post initially, but I thought the per-comment thing would be a similar fix that wouldn't require too much extra work.

as far as displaying per post goes: when I'm looking at the FrontController.php code and also (especially) SubmissionRepository.php, it seems that the findSubmission() function only does searches based on submissions, and as far as I can tell submissions don't have a last comment timestamp associated with them. I know submissions have a comment array, but again like I said my php isn't good enough to know how to access this array and loop through it to find the most recent comment and then use that to sort the submissions in the findSubmission function.

6

amongstclouds wrote

This sounds like a great way to 'force' conversations on topics the poster deems worthy of discussion. I don't see any real point in forcing conversations that aren't happening naturally.

5

kore wrote

Yeah I guess my thought was just that maybe we could foster discussion by not overwhelming users with links and/or making it easier to find where the discussion is happening.

3

amongstclouds wrote

Raddle is my favorite source for theory, news, and pretty much anything else. Conversation happens fluidly as it should -- I'm not saying it's a bad idea, it just doesn't feel natural.

6

Fossidarity wrote (edited )

We've had a very similar discussion about this on the Raddle meta Matrix server today. This seems to be a problem many users are annoyed by.

I like the "discussion" post designation idea, if this is implemented there should also be a filter where you can just view these posts.

I have the same feelings about Raddle's upvote system, it's very big and clear with separate colors from the rest of the site. If you scan the submissions/comments from left to right the first thing you see is the arrows with the big number. I've personally created a theme to put all the vote buttons on the right instead of the left, this helps me pay less attention to the votes but I don't think everyone wants this or that it's the best solution.

3

Fossidarity wrote (edited )

Another idea could be that Raddle keeps track of a sort of "last viewed" for each post, and when a new comment is placed the post is highlighted or otherwise brought to your attention.

4

selver wrote

I think "recent comments" is a good idea. Discussions disappear off the front page too quickly. Like somehow I didn't see your posts on Arming Negativity, even though I've been on here quite a bit the last week and that's the sort of discussion I come for.

I'll take a look at the code if I get the chance.

3

ziq wrote

https://raddle.me/comments isn't as useful nowadays since most of the comments are on f/shoplifting. We need a /comments-subscribed so it only shows comments on forums we're subbed to.

3

selver wrote (edited )

Yeah that would be good, or only whatever your front page setting is, ie. featured, subbed.

Might not be too complicated because the format of the other ones is just raddle.me/featured/top, raddle.me/featured/controversial, etc.

3

nbdy wrote

I have some thoughts on this too.
There’s not a lot I appreciate about imageboards, and I think the design is fatally flawed, however one of the positive things about a text and image based platform is that it really does encourage replying(to its detriment 99% of the time in he case of ‘chans’ though it can occasionally be a good place for discussion). My dream raddle is one that is more similar to a forum and less similar to reddit. Bringing in the ‘bump’ mechanism of both imageboards and forums would (in my naive opinion) increase the dialog and general interaction on this site. Also cultivating a culture of discussion here would likely be a positive improvement.

3

Freux wrote

I have no idea why I haven't seen/remember your name before, hi!

I agree that there is too much news, sometimes it's the same stuff but a different source. At the same time I think the amount means surely there will be something that someone will want to comment on.

/comments is great but it could be better organised, I think it was ziq that was mentioning that there could be something like reddit were you can class in "most commented for the week", most upvote etc.

Being able to hide/unhide reply of comments so that you don't have to scroll so far to reach the end could be great.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

We had an amazing article submitted the other day about this very thing: https://raddle.me/f/Tech/54548 that seemed to go pretty unnoticed.

One thing I do like is this ^
Where we link to important conversations in newer posts. I like the idea of linking to multiple other related conversations in posts so it has a bit of multi-stage linking and referring-back to conversations.

2

Fossidarity wrote

That's a good idea, reminds me of the related posts sidebar of Stack Overflow which is really nice; it finds other posts similar to the current one based on keywords in the text, tags, the title etc. But probably this is quite difficult to implement.

3

Tequila_Wolf wrote

We were actually talking about this also your contributions specifically, on the meta chat room today.

Usually I can't tell ahead of time what will cause discussion. I try to post pretty much only relatively good-looking things, in a bit of tension with wanting to post a bit extra in order to not have the front page with too many shoplifting pieces.

I'm not sure which of these solutions would be good, if any, but I'm interested to discuss this more. It'd be nice if we could find a way to make conversations happen more.

4

kore wrote

re: shoplifting, I'm glad that raddle gives a place for people to discuss illegality and I think it should continue to do so, but perhaps it shouldn't be a default forum.

1

sudo wrote

I think we just need more users. With only about 30 or 40 active users here (not counting /f/Shoplifting, since that's kind of its own bubble), there aren't that many people to discuss things with. More users = more discussions.