Tuesday, August 02, 2011

What I learned from the comment survey

Thanks to all of you who took the time to complete my survey on the current commenting system.

No surprise here, but most of you think it sucks. You say it looks bad (agreed), responds slowly (agreed) and that threads and conversations are hard to follow. I am not sure I agree with the last complaint, but enough of you took the other side to convince me that this was a problem that had to be fixed. As you may have noticed, threads are now published in chronological order with the oldest comment on top.

I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that many of you value the old comment threads, and return to them with a fair amount of frequency. I do this, too. One of you said my comments "are an important historical record of the development of the J-blogosphere,"; many others told me that they've found the old comments to be a reliable source of laughs and information. I agree with this, too. I also agree with the woman who said "Losing them would be a tragedy", though I hasten to point out that and I'm not patting myself on the back when I share these compliments: You wrote the comments; not me. I'm merely the person with the responsibility of preserving them. Sort of like how the owner of a landmark may have done nothing to contribute to the historical significance of his building, but still holds a responsibility to keep the place in good shape.

Now that I've heard from you, I intend to take that responsibility very seriously. Here's my promise:

  1. I will not delete any comments that are more than a week old (I will continue to delete abusive and disruptive comments when they are new)
  2. I will never switch to a comment system that jeopardizes the existing comments.
  3. I will continue to pay JS-Kit/Echo$10 per month to maintain the archive (By the way it costs $10 per month to keep the old threads active. If you value the old comments as much as the survey results suggest, please help out by tossing a few shekels into the plate.)

Meanwhile, I will also continue to search for a way to implement Disqus on this site, without sacrificing the 500,000 plus comments this site has collected over the last 6 years,



  • Search for more information about Disqus at 4torah.com


  • Buy one of the books that changed the way I think.

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