Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Re-Evaluating the Comment Situation

Quite a terrific string of comments (100+) on today's main a.m. post. Here's my question for those of you who comment regularly: Would it make sense for me to put each substantial-ish item in its own post, so all the comments will stay on one topic? Or do you find it fairly easy to follow your particular comment string, even when other comment strings are going on around you? I'm happy to keep things how they are, but I just wanted to give you all a chance to revisit how it's handled.


CMFost said...

The way it is been going is fine, the only time it should be a separate item is when there is an item that will cause a ton of debate.

Marcus T said...

I would say break up some of the items. I just now commented in the other thread, and I would not mind getting caught up in whatever discussion is going on, but I am not reading 100+ comments. So I just said my thing, and then left. Might scan later to see if anyone else had a problem with your Griffey dig.

Note: I only comment on here 2-3 times a week. So maybe my opinion isn't the most valuable.

Dan Shanoff said...

Yeah, I hear you. That's why I was glad to have the McGwire item alone yesterday. But in the a.m. post that has basically every important story of the day in one place, it's hard to break it out. Maybe what I'll do is keep an eye out and if a particular story is emerging, I'll give it its own post -- though then all of the old comments will be stuck in the old post. Anyway, good thought.

SF said...

I think the top priority every day is the quickie, so you can quickly and conveniently touch on all the fun stories. Then, as you mentioned, I like the excessively controversial issues (i.e. BCS, Hall of Fame, etc.) to have their own post so the comment string is not interrupted...good talk.

ToddTheJackass said...

My hope would also be to have the Quickie, then have other, more controversial things, as separate entries.

That way we'd all be able to really appreciate the Quickie in its glory (though admittedly not as great in its .com glory), but we'd also be able chime in with our own thoughts on other topics.

It just becomes kind of a pain when comments are all jumbled together but address completely different things. For example, I could care less what other people think about the Alabama head coaching job (not my thing), but I am really interested in talking about the idea of trading Manny (I'm sure a lot of people could care less). But if you want to find comments on either, inevitably you have to sort through both, which can be kind of a drag when it hits anything above 40 posts.

Anyway, thanks for doing all this Dan. It is pretty cool of you.

-Todd (Boston)

Big D said...

Honestly, I'm fine with the current setup.

The McGwire post deserved it's own section (as the numerous comments can attest), and many of the items in the "catch-all" posts could be seperated out - for example, the Michael Irvin story probably would have generated a TON of comments, especially considering the climate this week in the wake of Michael Richards' psychotic break.

I think the best approach would be to put everything in one post, except from the stories that either A) Are obviously blockbuster news items, or B) You personally want to hear a lot of feedback on.

Like this one, for example.

Jared said...

I think have the Quickie in the morning, and take 1 or 2 of the best debate topics and give it a seperate post.

You guys know you can hit control+F to search the page for whatever topic you want...

Brave Sir Robin said...

I find days you break it up a lot rather discouraging to me posting. The main thing is, I like to have people respond to my comments and when there are a chain of things, a lot of people will just comment on the newest one.

In fact, if you do split it up, I think you're still going to have the same chaos. People will post whatever they want on the newest post just to make sure it gets read.

Anonymous said...

Break it up, please. Too much going on in one thread.

Sheldiz said...

i have no problem leaving it all in one thread... but whey you switch formats PLEASE widen the comment window or lower the font. :)

Travis said...

Heres another Idea too. While it wouldnt be as simple as just clicking to respond on here but you could create a free forum on say http://www.instantbulletin.com/ and people could post the comments on there, and readers could even create new story threads as news becomes available say on weekends when your not around as opposed to having the newest thread become the breaking news thread. I dont think it would be that much of an issue since before the blog there was no direct comments section on the old Daily Quickie page.

Also, while I never knew about it while the Quickie was around, I guess there was a morning chat session. If thats something you wanted to have again where people can chat live time theres a server called Buzzen.com that has the old MSN Chat service and you can create free chatrooms on there.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

on one hand, 100+ comments is a bit much

on the other hand, the tangents are good


how about we condense to sport by sport and misc at the end

for instance, this mourn would have been

Vick's birds
Eli vs. Plax
Idiot/Liquored-up Kicker
Cutler in Denver

Ripken and Gwynn
Manny to LA?

Big Ben's Band

Bama Job

so Dan,

how bout it?
As I see it, there are some + and some - to other ideas. this one however is kinda the best of both worlds.

Aitch said...

i personally like the setup as is. I follow a few sports, so I like being able to comment and reply to all the topics of the day in one place, rather than having to go into 5 or 6 different threads to post comments, then checking again through 5 or 6 threads to see if anyone replied to what i said, etc. etc. If I find a comment about something I'm not interested iun, it is easy enough to scroll past it in my opinion.

I agree with Todd(Boston) though. I'm glad you decided to do this blog and I'm actually liking this better than the quickie on .com because I can interact with other readers. I couldn't get access to the Morning Quickie chat through my work server.

Jen said...

I don't mind everything together, but how do you get the HTML tags to work!? I am a pretty smart person, but kept getting an error message when I tried to do it.

It'd be nice to be able to use those to reply to others' posts.

Anonymous said...

I, too, vote for intuitively breaking apart some of the most major items for individual discussion. For the most part, people that comment tend to focus on the things they want to comment on, and leave what doesn't interest them alone.

Also if you broke apart every single item, you wouldn't really see an increase in comments. You'd likely see a decline in comments, because at times, comments about a topic someone is less interested in can draw out more comments within the same thread, and having all your ideas spread into each individual thread would prevent this cross topic comment sparking.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Dan I think breaking up some of the more controversial stories would be beneficial.

Although since I was gone for a bit setting up Minuteman Athletics Blog I probably dont get a vote :) Even though I've been reading and commenting since day one, heh.

Good debate today though.

Anonymous said...

It's not just the comments that are too long, your Quickie post feels too long in this blog format. You should widen it.

I think you should separate by sport, or at least football/non-football during football season, and the same with basketball in the Spring, and baseball in the summer.

People basically give up when the comments go over 30 or so. Plan for the future. What is manageable now might be awful in a couple more months. I think you should plan for success and having more comments in the future, not fewer.

Maybe you could squish posts right together vertically and then post single paragraphs without a ridiculous waste of space. Maybe find someone who knows the blog templates to come up with different prototypes? Something more unique?

btw, GREAT JOB with this blog. I don't go to ESPN.com every morning anymore.

I'd also like a crack at a weekly Quickie chat session, maybe a Monday morning recap chat, or a Friday morning weekend preview chat?

Anonymous said...

not on the topic but i'd point out that it was created because the ACC and Big 10 were constatnly the best top to bottom with like no bad teams

now with the Big East addition to the ACC it's not as strong

but the ACC has still never lost even though the days where the ACC was 9 teams (duke, unc, nc state, maryland, wake, g tech, clemson, virginia, fsu) are gone

WuzUpG said...

I like it the way it is. How would you know when a small blurb would spark a big debate?

Perks said...

I'm with Horatio. I had to stop because the lists are getting LONG.
What's the answer? I don't know if it will be to break up the topics individually, because people will natrually flow the most recent topic, drop the other (or just not revisit them).

In conclusion, I think I would keep it the same though because it seems to be working, and everyone is fending for themselves on the comments as to what direction the discussion follows.

Brian in Oxford said...

Something graphical might help....like a comment tree. Quickie at the top, 5 subpoints laid out left to right, and then we could navigate up and down within a specific tree more easily.

Of course, I'm too busy at my real job to try to program that. Oh well.

marcomarco said...

Dude, re-evaluate the money you're throwing away by not having Google Ad's on your blog.

marcomarco said...


marcomarco said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sheldiz said...

ugh, google ads.

don't do it, dan! :)

Mega said...

Mr. Shanoff- I'm ok with the current way the comment section is structured. Put everything into one spot...UNLESS the issue is so big/controversal that it deserves its own spot.

Like what everyone is saying, the McGwire section. You know something like that will generate lots of feedback and conversation.

Or other big sporting events, such as the Superbowl/College Bowls/World Series/NBA Finals/March Madness etc.

Anonymous said...

i am satisfied with how things are done...

any major issues deserve its own thread.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Maybe separate one or two more items per day, but please, widen the main column or make the font smaller (bolded so you'll notice) so that more than one topic can fit on one screen/page.

Anonymous said...

i don't like when people think that a major sport shouldn't be covered

that's very "manningham"esque

note to hockey fans: reread my 1st sentence, note the word "major"

Anonymous said...

Breaking News:

Next year there will be a Big East / SEC Challenge.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it would hurt to try out the alternative method. It's not like you couldn't switch back the next day even, if it didn't work out.

Jared said...

Why not team up with some other well known internet journalists and create your own sports blog website. With your own website you could better organize this blog to hold multiple debates on various topics. Half the reason we watch sports is to debate sports, so why not make the biggest sports blogging site on the web?

SF said...


i posted earlier, but one more thing that i think would be cool, is if, time permitting, you can perhaps sum up a string of comments on a post, so as to bring a little closure after afew days of disucssion, and perhaps provide your view on the issue, and whether it has changed at all after reading the comments

good times


Anonymous said...

Break it up by sport. Great Idea.

Love the NFL, MLB = yawn

ToddTheJackass said...

Bring back studs and duds!

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the random string, but the long posts can mess a good thing up. You've got to, at a minimum, limit the length of the post unless the post is really good. Deadspin has long comment threads, but they're quite readable because everybody keeps it short.