Site Notes on Recent Server Switch and User Rating/Voting

The server switch over the weekend went relatively well, although there was one hickup. If you tried to contact us via the feedback forms between Friday night and Monday at about 2PM EST then we probably did not get your submission. I had tested this functionality before the switch, but the new domain caused an issue that went unnoticed. Please contact us again if you submitted something that we might have missed.

Aside from that, you'll notice that there are a couple new features I turned on tonight.

One of them is blog entry rating. All blog entries now allow logged in users to rate a given entry, and will display the overall rating of the entry. Basically you choose between a 1 and 10 star rating based on the blog entry. Your rating should be some mixture of rating the quality of the post (profanity, spelling, well written, etc.) and your rating of the content itself. You should also note that you can go back and change your rating later. This would be useful if a user posts a great entry, but has bad spelling or grammer. In this example you could give it a mediocre rating and leave some helpful comments, and then later rate it higher once it is improved. This functionality eventually may be used to promote blog entries to the front page, or to a 'top rated' blog entries block, note exactly sure yet.

The other new thing that is added is the vote up/down abilities in the comments. At the moment this just shows the total number of points a comment has (+1 for positive, -1 for negative), but eventually this rating will be used to publish/un-publish comments so that the community as a whole can do the comment moderation and not rely on a Team Member catching the spam, trolls, etc. etc. I would ask that you not go through and vote up/down every single comment, that is NOT the point, and that may cause extra stress on the site. The point is to give credit for good comments with good sources and insight, and to moderate inappropriate comments.

Right now this new functionality is definitely just in test mode, it may turn out that we go with some other solution. Right now I am just trying to garner how it is used, and from there judge what actions should be associated with given votes/ratings.

If you have some comments on the new functionality feel free to post it here, but please keep in mind this is just a test, and we are somewhat limited with the currently available solutions. Likewise this functionality may be taken down if it doesn't work as desired.

(you'll note you can rate this entry since it is a blog entry, as I stated above news stories will not show rating stars)

I like it..... Question??

Is it possible to make the stars a roll-over rather then having to go in and rate it???
Secondly, when you give points and take away points, does that move the comments up and down???

first, there are other

first, there are other voting modules which do have mouse overs, but they aren't as good in other spots. (one requires flash and only has 5 stars, another uses ajax but wont display on preview listings, etc. etc.)

and second, no it does not.. we could actually use the vote up/down module for the blog entry posts as well, but i think what people were looking for was an overall rating that can't really be garnered from a random number.. this functionality primarily will be used just to filter out what are deemed trash comments.. how many points that will be will be determined after we watch the usage for a week or two.

btw, i got your email about a chat.. that is actually an option.. another option is a 'shoutbox' (do a search for examples) which we had before the server issues.. the chat abilities would basically popup a chat window with anyone else who joined into the chat, whereas the shoutbox would be more for just giving quick shoutouts or heads up on things..

anyone else want chat abilities? anyone think a full IRC channel would be a worthwhile idea?

My opinion

We will see if people feel the same way as I do... the shout out thing may be trouble, but to have a continuing conversation on the left side of the site would be ideal..... It would be interesting to watch how people comment, and what topics are brought up. Especially from new people to the site. All of us would be right here to answer questions, raise interest, and it would proably eliminate a lot of the bone head comments because some one who is going to post a bad comment on a blog or try to infiltrate the site would choose the easy route and just type in the chat area rather then clogging the blogs.

Just my thoughts.

PS Man how do you do all day, then work on this all night?? Good job dz.

eh, i take some time off

eh, i take some time off here and there.. like yesterday.. but yeah, this site is almost like a 2nd full time job sometimes :)

you can see an example of what an embedded shoutbox looks like here:

the chat would be a seperate window, and when you arent in the chat you wouldnt be able to see what was said (its not permanent state) whereas a shoutbox is.. so i guess it depends on what exactly your looking for.. hopefully others will chime in with their thoughts.


The downside is that a lot of what people say, maybe some real good points, will disappear and not be a permanent post.

well, lets say we had a

well, lets say we had a chat, and logged the whole thing all the time, then the issue would be trying to find the good points in a months worth of chat..

the shoutbox shows the last XX number of shouts..

dunno, i'm all ears.. i think an IRC chanell might be interesting in that anyone/everyone could link to it in their myspace, on other sites, etc. etc. and we could end up with a pretty big chat.. dunno.


good job on the new features :-

is it tricky or why couldn't the tracker
be RSSed/AJAXed/live bookmarked yet?
There is a feed indicator on the blog start pages though.

I also still miss the old digg and del.icio functions.

doh, didnt realize the digg,

doh, didnt realize the digg, etc. links weren't showing to users.. i thought i had already fixed that.. if you view a news story in full page view you should see these links again in the lower right below the story..

as for the tracker, there isn't an option right now for an RSS feed of that.. although there are RSS feeds for the main page, the blogs page, and individual user blogs.. im guessing the tracker can't be RSS since it tracks the recent comments not just new items overall.. dunno.

thanks for the heads up about the digg links!

thx for the response and

thx for the response and *your* heads up.

Keep the good work on the geek part of 911b :)


dz wrote:
"'ll notice that there are a couple new features I turned on tonight.

One of them is blog entry rating...

The other new thing that is added is the vote up/down abilities in the comments."



Nav Controls

The most aggravating thing about this site to me. Is that, I click a blog to read the comments. Then, I click the back button to go back to the original page. Everytime, you wind up at the top of the page. Now, I have to scroll down and find where I was at.

This is an easy fix! Open a new window when clicking. Or set a marker to remember where the user is at.

This experience makes my visit here much less enjoyable and less efficent on my blog time. Which I have precious little of.

PS, great site though!
"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain

interesting.. dunno how much

interesting.. dunno how much control i have over that, but i can see how that is different from what usually would happen.. hrm.

btw, we wont be doing popup windows, thats an even bigger no-no.. better some have to waste 2 seconds scrolling down than to piss off everyone with popups and popup blockers.. if anything you could right-click the link yourself and tell it to open it in a new window..

dunno if this issue is comon or not, maybe i can find a fix..

i love how when you click on

i love how when you click on comments it goes right to the newest comments, but as soon as it reaches 2 pages it stops doing that and just goes to the top of the page. am i the only one with this problem?

no your not.. it always

no your not.. it always takes you to the first comment page, so if the new ones are on page 2+ then it wont work properly..

the easiest thing would be for you just to change your settings (above the comments section) to show 300 comments a page.. that should fix you up.. i'll probably change the default to this higher number of comments being displayed now that the new server gives us a bit more power to do such.


I using a Mac. So the Mac does not usually have a right button.
However, I am using a funky PC keyboard and mouse lately. Cause my Mac keyboard broke.

I see I CAN open a link to a new window. I use a PC at work so that will come it handy. Why the hell I never thought of it is typical.
"Not being aware of these facts is in itself an evil because ignorance serves evil." Juri Lina - "Architects of Deception"


I do some of the web design on our internal sites at work
I disagree without your outlook on window management.

A popup is an involuntary action on behalf of the user.
A manually opened new window is a courtesy.

The number of times I have lost my place on your site
for something stupid is many my friend.

Crtl W is easy when it is info I am expecting.


"Not being aware of these facts is in itself an evil because ignorance serves evil." Juri Lina - "Architects of Deception"

Account problems

I have written to you a few times about my account problems. No one has ever written me back. And so, I have created another account, "melanie" - I hope I have better luck with this one at my work computer.

But I really, really like "mandrake" because I am a huge Dr. Strangelove/Peter Sellers fan so poo on you guys for that! I am beginning to think you don't like me one whit! =)

That's okay, I'll still "represent" you on Oct. 5. Just wait and see if I don't! ; )

i havent seen any emails..

i havent seen any emails.. we didnt receive any because of the issue i mentioned between friday and monday.. please contact me directly so we can get you settled!