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The over 400,000 comments on this website constitute perhaps 75% of the total content material, so supporting the effective production and reading of comments must obviously be a central goal of our software. Over the years, a few longtime Sailerites have produced many thousands of comments each, reaching into the hundreds of thousands of words, with one determined individual now having crossed the 650,000 word mark, the equivalent of writing several lengthy books on a single blogsite.

Even careful writers are prone to occasional errors or typos, and there have been numerous requests for a capability of editing comments to correct these, which I am happy to now provide. Henceforth, any submitted comment will have an “Edit” link available for the first five minutes, allowing the text to be corrected or deleted.

More importantly, the website now allows readers to locate the aggregate production of a single commenter, by accessing his accumulated archives, organized by date or other characteristics, and conveniently provided as a “Comments Archive” link next to each of his comments. For example, clicking on the link for “John Emerson” brings up the full archive of his 1,317 comments, which total 140,000 words. In effect, the system now transforms every commenter into a quasi-blogger, with his total wisdom or lack thereof over the years made available for everyone to examine and review. Perhaps in some cases, the ideological evolution of a given individual will become apparent, though I haven’t noticed much myself.

All this commenting material is organized by name, with virtually all of these being pseudonyms intended to maintain anonymity and protect the identity of their writers. All the comments themselves have been publicly available on the Internet for years, and easily accessible via search engine. However, any of these commenters who wish to prevent their archives from being conveniently made available in the new system should contact their blogger and we will gladly honor this request.

 
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  1. The Z Blog says: • Website

    Well, let’s test it out.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
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    /announcement/comment-editing-and-comment-organizing/#comment-605381
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  2. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Mr. Unz, thank you for this website – I am really enjoying it as well as all the neat upgrades. I assume all the upgrades have taken a ton of work, so thank you for your time.

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  3. At Steve’s site I was always “anonymous” but signed each entry as “Robert Hume”. Any chance those could all be brought together under Robert Hume instead of being lost among all the other anonymous comments?

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  4. ….

    Very nice comments feature offerings, Mr. Unz. Dare I call them…Unzpectacular? (!)

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  5. I’m curious, any plans to try and ferret out sock-puppets from various Cathedral organs?

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  6. e says:

    Here’s a problem: I went to a thread in which I had posted a comment, clicked “commenting history” and found a bunch of posts from someone whose pseudonym is “E” (a capital letter v. my small letter.)

    It’s really no biggie for me to adopt a new pseudonym, but I’m pointing this out in case there are other failures of the system to differentiate between similar names.

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  7. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I absolutely hate this one:

    “More importantly, the website now allows readers to locate the aggregate production of a single commenter, by accessing his accumulated archives, organized by date or other characteristics, and conveniently provided as a “Comments Archive” link next to each of his comments. For example, clicking on the link for “John Emerson” brings up the full archive of his 1,317 comments, which total 140,000 words. In effect, the system now transforms every commenter into a quasi-blogger, with his total wisdom or lack thereof over the years made available for everyone to examine and review. “

    Commenters did not ask this site to turn them into “quasi-bloggers” and those who’d rather not have every word said on the Web recorded never asked this site to make it so easy for nosy people and insane stalkers. E.g., I don’t think commenter known as RKU wold be thrilled if someone went to the trouble of digging up all of his comments on various blogs and conveniently presented it as his aggregate production on some web site. It’s not that different for those who comment here on different blogs. Way too Big Brotherish! Please kill it.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    But I do LOVE "Click to Edit" option! Except that I'd recommend changing the time out to 15-30 min. Thanks!
    , @reiner Tor
    However, it makes it easier to follow someone who is intelligent. I like this feature.

    But I think a login feature (especially a login using maybe G+ which I got used to at the old Sailer site) would be better.

    those who’d rather not have every word said on the Web recorded
     
    I'm sure it gets recorded anyway.
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  8. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    I absolutely hate this one:

    "More importantly, the website now allows readers to locate the aggregate production of a single commenter, by accessing his accumulated archives, organized by date or other characteristics, and conveniently provided as a "Comments Archive" link next to each of his comments. For example, clicking on the link for "John Emerson" brings up the full archive of his 1,317 comments, which total 140,000 words. In effect, the system now transforms every commenter into a quasi-blogger, with his total wisdom or lack thereof over the years made available for everyone to examine and review. "

    Commenters did not ask this site to turn them into “quasi-bloggers” and those who’d rather not have every word said on the Web recorded never asked this site to make it so easy for nosy people and insane stalkers. E.g., I don’t think commenter known as RKU wold be thrilled if someone went to the trouble of digging up all of his comments on various blogs and conveniently presented it as his aggregate production on some web site. It’s not that different for those who comment here on different blogs. Way too Big Brotherish! Please kill it.

    But I do LOVE “Click to Edit” option! Except that I’d recommend changing the time out to 15-30 min. Thanks!

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  9. Ron Unz says:

    Thanks for all the kind remarks…

    (1) It might be a little tricky, but I could probably try to filter out the “Robert Hume” Anonymous comments and give them that direct name. Frankly, I’d half-assumed that lots of the more paranoid commenters might almost want me to do the opposite and fully anonymize their old non-anonymous comments.

    (2) I don’t have any of the IPs from Steve’s 350,000 old Blogspot comments and I very much doubt most commenters would appreciate me investigating the IPs of the current batch of commenters, even if I had the time to spend on such an endeavor. Don’t know who these “Cathedral” people are supposed to be…

    (3) The problem is that SQL is generally case-insensitive, and so that’s the normal indexing used. I probably could add an extra binary filter to get around that problem and see how much it hurts DB performance. Another difficulty is that sometimes commenters are a little careless about the case of their names, so if “e” is picking up unwanted “E” comments, I’m sure there’s also a “Mike” somewhere who would be unhappy about losing all the “mike” comments.

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  10. Dahlia says:

    On my chrome book last night I was able to see the commenter histories. Now, on my mobile device, I cannot.

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  11. There used to be an rss feed of comments left on the posts of a particular blogger, such as gnxp, but that link doesn’t work any more. Is there some other link?

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  12. Let me try this…

    Hmm, Preview is a little broken, the above, previewed doesn’t show my pseudonym:

    says:
    Current Date at Time Now
    Let me try this…

    Ha, that allowed me to find out that someone else is posting as proofreader (with a capital maybe, while I use lowercase). Time to change pseudonyms.

    If I choose a unique pseudonym, can other people use it? Seems like a login procedure would be necessary for that. Which would be fine by me.

    PS: Would like a Preview button while editing, but I guess I can just re-edit. And would like to be able to change my pseudonym while editing, but that’s not important. And would like to be able to just delete my post. Maybe if I blank it out it goes away?

    Carry on! Thanks for the work you are putting into this!

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  13. PPS: ha, it seems I am given only one chance to edit? After that I can’t edit anymore?

    And yeah, that other Proofreader was from long ago, and he’s uppercase. Would be nice if history were case-sensitive. As far as I know, “SQL is generally case-insensitive” is false by the way :)

    And also: I wish the site would remember that I checked off Remember My Information. It’s a pet peeve of mine that those “Remember Me” checkboxes often don’t remember how I checked them. Maybe they should be labeled “Remember Me (and my answer to this question)?”

    Let’s see if I can edit this more than once.

    Maybe I can edit it more than once within the 5 minutes allocated…

    Ah yes I can, well then it would be nice if the clock reset at every edit, no?

    One more thing: would like to be able to optionally get email notifications of further comments to a given post.

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  14. “A few longtime Sailerites have produced many thousands of comments each, reaching into the hundreds of thousands of words, with one determined individual now having crossed the 650,000 word mark, the equivalent of writing several lengthy books on a single blogsite.”

    Wow, who? Whiskey?

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  15. The one thing that really helps comments is being able to reply to someone in the comments section and then have the person notified that they have been replied to. This creates many more comments and an easy way to have conversations.

    So with that said, why not just switch to Disqus instead of having your own custom comments?

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  16. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    As someone who has had comments left on blogs used against them I am not a fan of the commenting history feature at all. Count me with #7 as requesting to remove it.

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  17. @Anonymous
    I absolutely hate this one:

    "More importantly, the website now allows readers to locate the aggregate production of a single commenter, by accessing his accumulated archives, organized by date or other characteristics, and conveniently provided as a "Comments Archive" link next to each of his comments. For example, clicking on the link for "John Emerson" brings up the full archive of his 1,317 comments, which total 140,000 words. In effect, the system now transforms every commenter into a quasi-blogger, with his total wisdom or lack thereof over the years made available for everyone to examine and review. "

    Commenters did not ask this site to turn them into “quasi-bloggers” and those who’d rather not have every word said on the Web recorded never asked this site to make it so easy for nosy people and insane stalkers. E.g., I don’t think commenter known as RKU wold be thrilled if someone went to the trouble of digging up all of his comments on various blogs and conveniently presented it as his aggregate production on some web site. It’s not that different for those who comment here on different blogs. Way too Big Brotherish! Please kill it.

    However, it makes it easier to follow someone who is intelligent. I like this feature.

    But I think a login feature (especially a login using maybe G+ which I got used to at the old Sailer site) would be better.

    those who’d rather not have every word said on the Web recorded

    I’m sure it gets recorded anyway.

    Read More
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  18. tomv says:

    The “See Commenting History” link is too obtrusive, almost to the point of crowding out the commenter’s name. There must be a more elegant way. I would suggest making the name itself double as the link, but that’s already being done in the (rare) case that the commenter provides a link to his own website.

    Perhaps you could reverse that. Make every commenter’s name a link to his history and provide a link to his site if (and only if) it’s available. For example:

    The Z Blog (site) says:

    . . .

    Robert Hume says:

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  19. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    A simpler modification to achieve tomv’s goals for “See Commenting History”: drop the word “See” and maybe the word “Commenting” and put the remainder in a smaller font.

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  20. Ron,

    1. I sometimes hit return 3 times to indicate my comment is now addressing a new topic. But that’s reduced to a double space when published.

    2. BTW: You’ve previously discouraged users from posting multiple times. But I find this can allow for better chunking by separating unrelated topics instead of writing one long essay comment.

    3. Amren.com’s avatars increase the feeling of it being a community, and allow for easier recognition of commenters. (But I can’t comment on their system using Tor, so I don’t.

    4. Comment voting can increase user engagement.

    5. Congrats on the huge coup of getting Steve Sailer and Razib Khan on the same site. This has become my new home as a Dark Enlightenment reader.

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  21. tomv says:

    Thanks for implementing my idea. I think it’s working well so far.

    One wrinkle:

    Formatting is changed slightly in case of a trackback comment (from another site). A number appears*, left justification is shifted slightly forward, and the separator at the end of the comment disappears. Example (comment no. 12 just above Whiskey’s).

    *Either every comment should get a number or none should. Personally, I prefer the former.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Thanks for noticing the change, and for the original link suggestion. I also noticed and already fixed the additional numbering bug you caught, and should be loading the new software on the Live server a little later this morning.

    I've spent most of the last week adding some powerful new software technologies that I haven't yet got around to announcing.
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  22. Ron Unz says:
    @tomv
    Thanks for implementing my idea. I think it's working well so far.

    One wrinkle:

    Formatting is changed slightly in case of a trackback comment (from another site). A number appears*, left justification is shifted slightly forward, and the separator at the end of the comment disappears. Example (comment no. 12 just above Whiskey's).

    *Either every comment should get a number or none should. Personally, I prefer the former.

    Thanks for noticing the change, and for the original link suggestion. I also noticed and already fixed the additional numbering bug you caught, and should be loading the new software on the Live server a little later this morning.

    I’ve spent most of the last week adding some powerful new software technologies that I haven’t yet got around to announcing.

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  23. I get to this site by typing in this address: unz.com/comments/commenters/[my name]

    That allows me to check on the threads I’ve been participating in.

    If I could type in a shorter address, that’d remove a point of friction, and encourage readers to check their discussion threads. Example: unz.com/c/[name].

    (For privacy reasons, I don’t keep a bookmark on my computer.)

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    A very reasonable suggestion. I just added a shortcut www.unz.com/cc/[name] that redirects to the /comments/commenter/[name] section.
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  24. Ron Unz says:
    @Southfarthing
    I get to this site by typing in this address: unz.com/comments/commenters/[my name]

    That allows me to check on the threads I've been participating in.

    If I could type in a shorter address, that'd remove a point of friction, and encourage readers to check their discussion threads. Example: unz.com/c/[name].

    (For privacy reasons, I don't keep a bookmark on my computer.)

    A very reasonable suggestion. I just added a shortcut http://www.unz.com/cc/name that redirects to the /comments/commenter/[name] section.

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  25. tomv says:

    Comments are disappearing left and right. For example, this very post is supposed to have 24 comments, but none shows up and there’s nothing for the “Hide 24 Comments” button to hide.

    This doesn’t happen consistently. For example, this post currently displays 53 comments as advertised:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/for-jihad-recruits-a-pipeline-from-minnesota-to-militancy/

    whereas this one does only three of its 79:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/feminism-conformism-and-incoherence/

    Apparently, it’s the newer comments that remain, so there’s your clue for the debugging.

    Edit: Hey, all the comments show up here after I hit “submit.” Weird, indeed.

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