Quick Thoughts On Joystiq 2.0's New Comment System

Online gamer-blog Joystiq has just redesigned. While the design of the new version 2.0 is a shining example of mediocrity, the comment styling is interesting.

Comments with low karma have their text obscured by low contrast, while popular comments have their crisp contrast intact. It’s almost like a comment temperature. This is another approach to combatting useless comments than that of other high-traffic sites such as digg or reddit—sites that both collapse and hide such comments entirely.

Which is more useful? Depends on what you want to do, of course. Digg might save some traffic by only loading crap commentary on demand, but the essence of a discussion on the web is, so unfortunately, chronological and sequential. Burying or even re-ordering comments to show only the good stuff kills any traces of context and dialogue, leaving only the punchline comments. Then again, do anyone ever follow discussions on those sites, anyway?

Is it even possible to create a useful web-based comment system? If so, is it chronological, selective and/or partial?

3 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts On Joystiq 2.0's New Comment System”

  1. Vindberg, A. says:

    Personally I don’t think fading comments work that well. I would rather have it was minimized or completely hidden. It hurts my eyes when I see faded text – automatically I try to read it!

    The question you raise in the end is probably one of the oldest, actively battled issues of IT-communication, and still not resolved. What have we, email, newsgroups, forums, blogs, comments, wikies, and so forth. I would love to come up with a better solution but it always seem to fall within one of those categories.

  2. Joen says:

    Personally I don?t think fading comments work that well. I would rather have it was minimized or completely hidden. It hurts my eyes when I see faded text – automatically I try to read it!

    Perhaps you’re right, perhaps it just takes a bit getting used to — after all, you can just mark it if you want it contrastful… or with CSS you could contrast it on rollover…

    I would love to come up with a better solution but it always seem to fall within one of those categories.

    Me too. I’ve tried and failed.

  3. mo says:

    I like the CSS rollover proposal ..

    .. I guess the whole idea works better in public places with a whole lotta comments, where following the conversation may become hard due to the abstractness of the replies. I like the fading colors better than collapsing them, and the CSS fix may just be what it needs to remove all confusion.

    Regarding temperature websites.. not comments but posts – you guys probably have seen Shaun Inman’s website.. compare that to a post from 2002.. old news is unreadable. But you could resurrect it with the toggle high contrast button which you could intuitively navigate yourself to if you were familiar with the place. I really like its platform.

    haha, well.. I guess we could also try this for popularity with hits in mind .. but I would rather keep it always readable (?!) hot and cold colors are nice.. I don’t really like fading for posts ..

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