On 09/26/2013 12:18 PM, Fabrice Florin wrote:
I think we can learn a lot from Stack Overflow about
and moderation of comments.
Creating and sustaining useful environments for web comments is a
difficult task for anyone, but there are methods that can make the
I would add that the best approach depends hugely on the community
who will comment, and the goals of the developers.
In a related note, YouTube is trying out different
their own comments sections, integrating them more closely with
Google+, as detailed here:
"You'll start to see a new set of comments rise to the top: those by
the video's creator, "popular personalities" (i.e., YouTube
celebrities), "engaged discussions" with a long thread, and people
you know and interact with — both on YouTube and Google+."
I think the last one is key -- surfacing comments from people you
know and interact with seems like a sensible way to weed out the
It is worth being aware of this. However, YouTube is acting under very
different constraints from us.
In particular, they have a huge number of commenters, who often have no
actual constructive feedback on the video, and simply want to vent
(often on something not at all related, or tangentially related). In
other words, they simply have to deal with a firehose.
Our goal is to enable productive collaboration. We don't have much of a
firehose, at least on actual talk pages. Even on our busiest articles,
it's far more manageable than on even a somewhat popular YouTube video.
Google is also still trying hard to catch up with Facebook, which is an
obvious secondary motivation for integrating Google+ into everything
In our environment, this could possibly be done by
tracking who you
interact with -- and eventually providing the option to 'follow'
users you find interesting, which I think is long overdue.
We should be careful about taking the filter bubble
) idea too far, where the app
mysteriously chooses what you see, for reasons unbeknownst to you.
If we look into following users, we need to be sure that will actually
promote productivity, rather than simply endless clicking around
(without actually *doing* anything) Facebook-style or wiki-hounding
This whole field is particularly challenging, as
nobody has found a
killer app yet that solves all these issues. Until we do, I think
comments will remain an important component of interacting on the
web, even if their crude and unsatisfying form. But there are some
promising approaches which we might want to learn from and possibly
adapt for Wikipedia.
There is no one killer app, because we all have different goals and