Hello, TalkBack; meet blogs

Hello, TalkBack; meet blogs

Summary: [A note from the product folks] On Wednesday, ZDNet Blogs joined the community of ZDNet News in using our TalkBack software. When you post comments on this blog -- and please do!

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TOPICS: Browser
12
[A note from the product folks]

On Wednesday, ZDNet Blogs joined the community of ZDNet News in using our TalkBack software. When you post comments on this blog -- and please do! -- free registration is required and your post appear in a threaded tree instead of one long list. TalkBack will be a familiar feature to regular ZDNet users; it works the same here as every else on the site.

(We continue to display TrackBacks and PingBacks from other blogs, so if you'd prefer to do your commenting on your own site, feel free.)

TalkBack pretty much eliminates the all-to-common problem of comment spam on the blogs, and it will make it easier for you to track who's replying to whom. That would've been nice on some of our longer discsussions. The new format may be a surprise to some of our new users. If you have any questions, please post 'em below.

Topic: Browser

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Talkback

12 comments
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  • nice step backward, people

    Can we get back some of the blog comment markup features? I'd like to be able to include links in my comments or use <b> to emphasize key points.

    I'm not sure it was worth the switch simply to restore the reply tree. Enough people were using it wrong to start with - replying to replies when they wanted to reply to the article, and vice versa - that the perceived benefit in having a tree structure may be moot.

    Another annoyance is that, with the blog comment system, all of the comments appeared inline with the article, not on a separate page. That made for MUCH easier reply scanning. Who wants to click on 45 separate links just to see all the replies?

    It would not be unreasonable to assume that your major interest in returning to "Talkback" was the requirement that users register and log in before commenting. Maybe a better approach would be to enable inline blog comments ONLY for users who are logged in and include their identification with the comment.
    GDF
    • RE: Hello, TalkBack; meet blogs

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  • TalkBack might be an acquired taste

    "gdf55": Let me answer your questions and concerns about TalkBack. First of all, basic formatting is allowed -- you just use [brackets] instead of normal HTML tags. It supports [b][ b ] [/b], [i] [ i ] [/i], [u] [ u] [/u].

    The tree structure is only important when discussions get long. For short ones, it's easier to just click "Next Message" link and whip through the comments linearly. But once we saw people in the blogs trying (awkwardly) to reply to specific posts far up the list, we knew the tree was needed. But just ignore it if there's fewer than 20 replies.

    One cost of this structure is you can't see all comments at once just by scrolling. You have to pick the comments you want to read. Long scrolling lists have their fans -- sounds like you're one of them -- but the user feedback mechanisms on ZDNet have worked the same way for many years. There's some value to having the same function work the same in all parts of one site, even if some people don't prefer it.

    As for registration, this is a big benefit in that it pretty much eliminates comment spam. Because the spam is gone, we're able to post people's comments immediately -- without waiting for a moderator to check them. That's a big improvement, especially for hot topics.

    The only way to get that benefit and keep the in-line comment capability would be if we required registration / log-in before the user got to the blog page. We don't want to make people register to read the content on the page; they only have to register to add to it.

    Stephen Howard-Sarin
    VP, ZDNet.com
    shs@zdnet.com
    Stephen Howard-Sarin
  • searching Talkback

    Is it possible to search Talkback? For example, on TechRepublic, if I see a comment by a visitor, and I think, "Hey, this fellow is sharp", I can search TechRepublic for other comments by that person. Is it possible to search Talkback to see all of the responses from a particular person? For that matter, is it possible for me to view all of my *own* Talkback contributions?

    If so, please tell me how. If not, that would would be a great feature to add.
    bblackmoor@...
    • RE: Hello, TalkBack; meet blogs

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