Commenting Primer

Last night we began a limited beta test of the new comments system here at TPM. We surfaced a basic version of the new system for Prime members for a weekend of testing basic functionality. So we’re clear: This does not mean or suggest that in the future article comments will be limited to subscribers. For technical reasons, this is the simplest subset of users we are able to filter for. Plus, the new system is based on the Discourse forum software package that already runs The Hive. So Prime subscribers already have some familiarity with the system. After the jump is a cheat sheet, giving a basic overview of the new system, the upgraded functionality and also answers a bunch of basic questions about how it will work.

Why did you switch commenting systems?

Many reasons, but mainly we want a commenting system that can seamlessly interoperate with the publishing platform we’re building and which does not force our community into a larger social network or data-extraction scheme – which most third-party commenting systems on the web currently do. So we’ve decided to adapt Discourse for our commenting needs – the open source platform we already use for The Hive forums in Prime. We think it’s great software which will only get better. It has more robust moderating controls, a full system of notifications, and it’s highly customizable

What are the browser requirements?

Internet Explorer 10+ (IE 9 is supported, but some functionality will not work or will appear broken. Approximately 2% of our readers use IE 9 and IE 8)
Google Chrome 24+
Firefox 14+
Safari 5.1+

What about device requirements for mobile?

Mobile Safari, iOS 6+
Mobile Chrome, Android 4.1+
Mobile IE, Windows Phone 8 or later

Do I need to be a Prime member to comment?

No. Anyone can comment. All you need to do is register for a free TPM account.

Will the account I already have with TPM still work or do I have to register all over again?

No, your existing account will work. No change or re-registering is necessary. This change in no way affects the sign in process.

Will this system better protect against trolls and spammers?

Yes, that’s a primary goal. Discourse wants to build a better forum software and part of that mission includes a full array of moderating tools that we will employ to minimize trolls and block spam. Additionally, we are going to be experiment with restrictions on the number of comments people can make immediately after signing up. We’re going to use this and other tactics the new system makes possible to up the cost of trolls and disruptors who spin up new accounts immediately after being blocked.

Where do I sign in?

You may sign in at the top of any page by clicking “Sign in”.

Where are the comments? They aren’t on the bottom of the page.

We moved them to the side of the site and put them in a drawer so you can access them at any time.

Here’s the drawer closed…

…and here’s the drawer open

The comments aren’t threaded. How can I tell if someone has replied to my comment? Or if a comment is a response to something else?

You can see all the replies to comment by clicking “replies”, as you can see here.

Before clicking reply…

….after clicking reply.

You can also see if a comment is a response to something else by clicking “replying to”

Before clicking…

…and after.

Can I still like and flag comments?

Yes, here’s a key showing how to perform the various actions:

Can I see my commenting history?

Yes, your comments, along with likes and replies, are stored on your profile page. We will also be implementing live notifications. So you can be alerted whenever someone has replied or interacted with your comment.