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How would you feel about having your comments rated? SezWho?

Sezwho is building a service to enable just that – comment aggregation and ranking. I am skeptical of the business model, or at least the revenue projections, but the core idea may have legs. If we’re about making stars of the community, then I suppose people need a chance to shine. What do you think?

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7 Responses

  1. not happy.

    Christopher MahanAugust 6, 2007 @ 8:35 pmReply
  2. Excellent idea. Blogs were never designed with genuine community discussion in mind, which has led to the convoluted system links, trackbacks, etc. It is more like an individual soapbox medium with a right to reply. Hence the limelight is always on the blog owner and comments are somehow viewed as second class content. This is why I, and others, think twice about investing lots of time writing comments. It is also why many of us find following a discussion so tedious.

    When I was a lad, we had things called bulletin boards and newsgroups that were genuinely community or theme (rather than individual) oriented, with coherent threads of discussion. In these media, the comments were actually the meat of the content, and quite rightly so. Many threads, in fact, simply started with someone asking a question or requesting help.

    Some reasonable newsgroups still exist, but many participants have drifted away into the blogsphere. This is a shame, because not only are their opinions now fragmented and virtually impossible to browse, but the number of coherent dicussions and debates is now extremely limited. And sadly, it is now really hard to ask one of these groups or communities a question.

    IMHO, blogs are therefore a step backwards in terms of the mechanics of facilitating community discussion. Wikis are actually a much better tool for communities who want to interact on a peer to peer level, but people make them so bloody complicated.

    Nah, bring back the newsgroups with live threads, and faqs for the newbies to a topic to browse and learn from.

    Back to the original question, though, perhaps if comments were rated and raised in status on blogs, then people would be more inclined to participate in a discussion “in place” rather than feeling the need to rush back to their own blog, reply or comment there, and rely on linking/trackback to maintain the integrity of the thread. Comments in-line are to be encourage in my view and would make blog content so much more accessible and coherent, so if rating and highlighting of good comments achieves that then I am completely in favour.

  3. chris – gotcha

    dale – great feedback – thanks for taking the time…

    jgovernorAugust 7, 2007 @ 9:16 amReply
  4. Dale, you nailed it on the head…its about rewarding the commenters and making them an equally important component of the conversation. SezWho does this by identifying and recognizing the good commenters…

    -Jitendra
    SezWho

  5. Drupal has had this for a long time and is open source and free. http://www.drupal.org

  6. I joined Sezwho, so I guess my answer would be to do it … we’ll never know otherwise!

  7. I agree about the disappearance/decline of newsgroups and listservs…I miss them immensely. Although some excellent forums have emerged in their place.

    Regarding comment ratings…I believe they are no more helpful than the comments themselves.

    Naturally, one must question the qualification of the person rating the comment (or the book, or the movie, or the product, etc). Why the 2 out of 5? Direct experience? Secondhand information? Evidence contrary to the opinion presented in the comment?

    A number rating seems inadequate. Surely the rating must be accompanied by a supporting comment to substantiate it. Which, in turn, may be rated.

    It is my belief that the resulting recursion would be unhelpful in the context of a blog. Such a conversation would be more appropriate and accessible in a forum. Which probably explains why I participate in over a dozen forums daily and comment in blogs only on occasion.

    I really could care less about ratings made by others. I prefer to follow conversations, and participate, and judge for myself.



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