I would love to see a comments system that provided insight into commentary occurring across the web. Is there a good reason why online discourse is still fragmented?
You can see it in action on this page : https://aaronparecki.com/oauth-2-simplified/
Seriously thinking about giving it a spin, remove the parts that HN was not happy with and relaunch it.
Medium allows you to import pretty easily and sets the canonical URL so Google (hopefully) won't get confused with duplicate content.
The fact that every comment is another "article" is bizarre. Also, comments have become increasingly hidden behind suggested articles and require a click to load.
But I like that you can highlight a word or sentence and comment on that. The clapping thing is kind of interesting because you can give more "internet points" to better articles.
The one thing that Medium is great at is getting an article into the eyes of the people who want to read it, which is something that my personal blog will not do.
Also, there is something nice about consistent look n' feel with the same font when reading blog posts, so someone who is used to medium might be more likely to click on a medium.com link than a ceriously.com link.
And yet right here on Hacker News, submissions and replies are both just "items" and the UX is fantastic. It's not so much about the way they are represented as the way they are presented.
Good reason? I don't know, probably only because no single platform has become ubiquitous. Of course, as soon as that happens we'll be seeing a lot of comments here about how it's terrible that online discourse is centralized and that people should abstain from using <platform>.
In thinking some more, I prefer to spend my time here as opposed to reddit because the level of discourse is just much higher. Can you imagine sifting through potentially _millions_ of comments, many of which are of youtube level quality? Maybe fragmentation is ok here.
Reddit uses moderators to police their subreddits basically for free . All of the founders have been admins which police the moderators or do the things that mods can’t do.
It’s not like this phenomena is new. Digg and Slashdot had similar problems . Newsgroups even before that with eternal September. Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter use paid moderators (but have the pockets to do so) and they still are deluged with issues.
Microsoft even has some class action lawsuit over people having PTSD after performing image moderation. 4Chan has had similar problems also.
We haven’t gotten even to advertisements that have conflict of interest. Even worse though is that if you have groups that your site allows in and your advertisers see it they will flee you really fast. Also, the fact that those same brands can just buy social network PR services for a fraction of the cost and all of the upside. Even better that they will be platform agnostic which means when reddit gets replaced they will still be there.
cmd-l cmd-c ctrl-a r <space> u r l : <enter> cmd-t cmd-v ctrl-a h n <enter>
!hn => hacker news
!se => stack exchange
!w => wikipedia
!r => reddit
(Not all of these are forums, natch.)
Usually if I find something interesting in the tech sphere I just find people commenting about it on Hacker News and it's a tight but broad enough community to get good discussion.
I don't like the idea of walled gardens for advertising at all mind you. But different communities, some of them private, makes total sense for such a large population.
Nothing has devolved except the willingness of users to explore to find new content. But that's not because it no longer exists, but because for the most part new content is delivered to them.
Surprised no one else has pointed this out, but that was one of the original problems that Disqus was trying to solve. E.g.:
So why not just use a CMS or blog engine which supports traditional server-side comments? I suppose there is a case if you're hosting static HTML pages but still want them to be commentable, but how many people are doing that? I don't get the use case for this.
If something goes wrong with the server you host (suddenly tons of visitors, some failure), only your comments are down, not your entire site, assuming the static hosting is on other infrastructure (and even if not, it's easily moved again).
Maybe you used an external service before and want to get rid of it, like the example in the article, but do not want to completely change how your blog works for this.
Going full DevOps just for blog comments is not great ROI. If I couldn't use Disqus/FB Comments and was forced to self-host my own blog comments on my static blog, I'd just remove blog comments altogether.
Sure, I could’ve just live without comments, but that’s again forcing the discussion into other „centralized“ communities like Twitter or Facebook. So I threw in the time to create and set up Schnack.js to have the best of both worlds: a static no-hazzle website with self-hosted comments.
Also I grew up in a time where virtually everyone would have self-hosted comment systems on their static self-hosted websites. Only they used to be called guestbooks then. Working on Schnack really reminded me of that magic time.
I’ll give it a try during holidays.
Doesn't mean others wouldn't throw up a comment system somewhere, in the knowledge that the most important part of their site (the content) isn't affected if it doesn't keep up and they exactly do not need to invest the time and energy to "go full DevOps" for that.
In addition it improves the site security. An XSS bug in commenting code in Wordpress can allow the attacker to become the administrator for the whole site. A similar bug in commenting engine only allows the attacker to damage the comments and temporary disfigure the site with straightforward recovery.
And having user content on a separate domain isn't a bad idea from a security pov.
5-10 years ago I used to get 2-3 digit views on my posts. And I used to use Wordpress / Blogger and the like.
Then, when it became fashionable, I spent a lot of time (at least 20-30 hrs, and mind you this was not the geeky kind of work, it was like refactoring code using just grep) converting the blog to one of those static generators, and I suspect that I spent more time migrating all posts than the TOTAL TIME all readers combined have spent on my blog since then.
Now I am almost regretting migrating and definitely have no interest whatsoever in spending any more time doing DevOps for the blog.
Honestly that's why I use a managed blogging host. I have better things to do with my time, such as writing content.
I used to use static generators but I like what I can do with Express more. I now have a custom built static site generator based on Express.
If you want to skip all that, you can use Effective Discussions embedded comments, demo: https://www.kajmagnus.blog/new-embedded-comments. It's open source (https://github.com/debiki/ed-server, I'm developing it), no ads, and has the features Schnack has (notifications via email) and some unique things people here at HN might like:
Anyway it loads quickly on my mobile phone (before I've scrolled down to the blog comments if I start scrolling directly) — maybe that's what matters, anything else people aren't going to notice anyway. ... Hmm unless they're on a slow 3G connection, then would be good if I could remove more js.
How does this project compare to Mozilla's Coral Project?
Schnack seems to provide a simple solution to the "let us put some comments on the site" in a very simple and pleasantly small package. (Like seriously small, we're jealous of those numbers :))
Talk on the other hand provides a full admin panel for moderators, a robust plugin system for configuring every part of the experience.
Admittedly, not every small blog is going to need all of our features. If you want comments to work on your small site, Schnack seems to suit that role fine. Talk on the other hand is currently supporting millions of users and tens of millions of comments. It's a matter of scale really, both are great solutions that take the data out of a marketers hands.
From the site, Ask and Talk seem to be aimed exclusively at News Sites (Online Journalism.)
What's your Team's take on using Talk/Ask for other purposes like Blogs or community sites for companies?
Once we reach better adoption, and we have seen quite the adoption (just today The Intercept launched), we'll be able to focus on improving the landscape further.
That seems like an unusually low number of comments per user, best case 99:1.
~ 1:99 seems to suggest the platform is pretty new and/or dominated by low participation communities. Is Mozilla Coral Project federated? Can the same person be easily counted multiple times (user)?
The ease of use of the moderation system as well might mean that more bad comments are pushed out of the system, making it full of more higher quality discussions.
One of the pillars of Coral is to provide lots of research to assist orgs develop community strategies, I'd suggest taking a look if you're interested!
At this point just build your website around the numerous CMS/Blog options available that have numerous solid comment and spam prevention systems.
> There won't be an analytics dashboard with a hundred different pie charts telling you every which way the user interacted with the comments box. (There will be a moderation dashboard in the future, however.)
> Commento is not a centralized multi-site commenting system. It's simply impossible to be that and not have some sort of tracking.
I want this sort of thing. My clients want this sort of thing. What we don't want is Disqus or whoever it was that just bought them being in control of the analytics, being in control of the comments, being able to willy nilly chuck ads into the mix, being able to go bust without warning and lose all of the data
Otherwise the number one reason I stated using disqus is spam. I wrote my own blogging and comment system in 2000. When that got spammed I switched to WordPress around 2008. Even with their anti-spam features I got tons of comment spam. I switched to disqus many years ago and I think I've had no more than 2 spam comments per year since.
Disqus benefits from being everywhere in that it can see a bad actor and prevent them from being bad everywhere else. How will this system handle that?
Disclaimer: I work for this company.
Build distinctly better moderation tools, and the experience will be enjoyable, too.
Schnack takes you back to square one? At that point why not throw up a wordpress install?
I haven't looked at the repo yet, but I wonder if it would be possible to make the datastore pluggable so that you could replace SQLite with, say, DynamoDB. It seems like at that point you could potentially keep everything serverless.
Barring that, would it be possible to separate out the frontend code and define an API such that a lambda function and serverless backend could be produced for this?
I support Redis and SQLite for hosting comments, and it should be possible for another user to contribute support for different backing-stores.
Plugins are supported for spam-detection, which lets me use the https://blogspam.net service (which I host) for doing real-time blog/forum spam detection.
My project is here:
That makes me wonder if there is also an opportunity for a 'meta comment' section which pulls comments from web sites like HN, Reddit, or Slashdot and puts them below the blog / article that they are related to. You could set an arbitrary vote level cutoff limit.
That way, everything displayed on your blog is explicitly added there by the author, but once an interesting discussion has started you can easily direct users to it and they can participate under moderation rules of whatever forum that is.
How is Schnack pronounced? How easy do you think it would be to tell somebody to try it out and how high are the chances that they'll misspell it and give up finding the site?
I don't get it.
Here is the translation including audio: https://dict.leo.org/englisch-deutsch/schnack
I still think it's very hard to both spell and pronounce as a name for a product, though...
And I don’t think software projects with inscrutable names are a new thing. I still have no idea how to pronounce “PostgreSQL”, for instance.
It's German. I would bet it is more like shock, but with an N added.
(I can't readily verify that. I am in a library and all searches for the pronunciation lead me to audio files and I can't listen to them.)
It was originally just named Postgres, as in Post Ingres, because it evolved from the Ingres database project.
What is your point?
wish there are some light-weight forum code that is nodejs based, nodebb is a little heavy, and I don't really enjoy discourse's UI.
I feel it encourages responding to the post, rather than the person making it.
By contrast discourse stuffs a big image of the poster and their username in your face, as does Reddit.
I find the first impression on those platforms is that I'm talking to someone with Donald Trump's head as an Avatar and a provocative username. Which does not naturally lead to considered response.
Then, when reading a comment, one won't know who wrote it. And can think about the content, more unbiased. And afterwards, one can click the username, in case one wants to know who the author is, because ...
... who wrote it can still matter. For example, if someone says a Linux kernel version should be avoided because of a serious bug, and he is Linus Torvalds, then you can trust that info for sure, just by looking at the name.
+ improvements about two things here at HN that make me annoyed :-P
Ironically, while trying to post this comment I got ... Bad gateway: The web server reported a bad gateway error.
That's what worries me about every single website out there. Suddenly they consider users' comments "their own data"
I wouldn't be happy if Google owned my emails, but I'm happy they store them so that I don't have to run a server in my kitchen.