Input Needed for Commenting Upgrade

About a year ago folks asked for the ability to ‘edit’ their comments after publication–the native wordpress system did not allow for editing. At that time I thought I would go ahead and change the entire commenting system.

Then I found a wordpress ‘add in’ that allowed ‘editing’ of comments (which is set at allowing 5 minutes for edits)–which took care of that immediate issue.

NOW it looks like it is time to upgrade the commenting system to something that allows a more robust search capability–to search by user name–maybe to allow ‘scoring’ of comments–to get notification when someone responds to your comment–etc, etc. There are many, many possibilities in commenting systems.

So what I am asking ALL OF YOU is if there is a commenting system somewhere that maybe you use that you think has lots of great features? If you could let me know the website I could look at it.

If there isn’t one that you are aware of then simply what are some features that you would think would be desirable?

In about a week I will make a decision on a change. I have about 10 options so far–and of course they all sound great, but without seeing a live system who really knows. If I choose the wrong one–oh well we will just move onto a new one.

Please leave some feedback for me – it would be helpful.

32 thoughts on “Input Needed for Commenting Upgrade”

  1. I missed this post so I will say I don’t read the comments for the most part..I read thru the new posts on new issues/calls and look at the various resources provided. To be perfectly honest, I would prefer a site like the old Yield Hunter w no comments! Tim putting a topic out there and then letting me decide if it is right for me was most helpful. Tim’s almost 50yrs of experience is what is valuable to me! But ‘clicks’ matter I suppose.. and this endless daytrading chatter is important to those who participate.
    As far as descending into ‘yahoo finance’ville.. the site has to a certain extent, albiet 99% respectful. Anyone active in the Canadian market is probably familiar with Stockhouse and their billboards for comments have ruined that site other than being a source of CA stock info. Bea

  2. Some thoughts….
    Your user base is getting large. It seems people can freely join, but I dont know what you have on the backend website. I would be thinking about more admin features for the site. user registration, user banning, content finding for abusive words.

    You have some wealthy users here throwing around their weight. They want to walk and talk like big players and they want others to know they are big players. They want input on their investments, but when you do, name calling starts to happen. There is a difference between having some fun and sarcasm vs verbally attacking others. Sentiment analyzers that scrape your posts can detect this as you wrestle with your time devotion. You could also introduce blog captains/monitors (pick people you trust) to do this monitoring and make decisions for you, as a form of delegation.

    1. Mr. C hits the nail on the head. I would add that name-calling has quickly turned many sites toxic in the past. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen to this most excellent site.

      I can also say that I have performed administrative duties on other, non-financial sites in addition to setting up and runing my own bulletin board automotive site. I would be a admin volunteer, Tim, if you decide to go that way.

      1. mikeo–certainly some things get by me but not too much–if I wasn’t working 24/7 on my ‘real job’ I would more actively monitor.

    2. Mr Conservative–I can ban anyone with a couple clicks based on user name, IP etc, but mostly choose not to do that–that is a slippery slope (there is 1 person banned). I will add your suggestions. Mostly I have been quite happy with commenting all things considered.

      1. cool, good to know. Yes the comments are great, and the challenge is how to read 100+ posts per day :-). So then your biggest challenge is probably:
        – a site to directly interact/communicate with another user.
        – upvote/downvote a post
        – have a rollup capability so that all sub replies are nested, and are collapsed by default
        – After posting a new topic, have a drop down list of pre defined tags to help a searching engine.
        – search capability ( – all posts and replies by user – highest upvote posts – recent posts – topic/tag …)

  3. This board has great info and appreciate all the content from Tim some of the regular fixed-income insiders who comment here often.

    Do not quite know of any commenting system that would help the way this board has posts (multiple topics being discussed for few days / weeks and a couple of catch-all ones like Sandbox-page, Canada chat, sock-drawer etc).

    However, a suggestion that may be not too difficult to implement in the current system and make the board much more useful. Simply allow sorting option when you are viewing a given post – say in descending order of date and or threaded with date-time sort. Also, an option to limit comments to past 30/60/180 days may perhaps be of help to some of the longer posts such as the Sandbox page.

  4. I would like to be able to search by symbol, search by commenter, search by date, and search by subject.. I would like to be able to ‘PM’ a commenter and Tim himself. I do not like the up and down vote function, as that leads to personal friction, and I have always found this site to be friction free, AND one investor’s up vote is another’s down vote. I would like to have it mandated that any comment has to include the subject or symbol being commented on. Well, THAT WAS EASY ! Making the site more complex would mean Tim would have to have a bunch more help, and so I suggest Tim be very careful with adding complexity. It’s already a very fine site.

  5. One small thing. Clicking on the number of comments which is listed next to the thread title should take you to the comments. I still click there occasionally since most sites are set up that way.

  6. Tim, this website is great. I could not ask for more. RSS Feed Reader and Feedboro have helped me keep up with the latest posts. I am also able to keep up with the latest posts by using the browser’s Search (Find) function on each of your latest posts (listed under Recent Posts). I search on today’s date, “08/20,” on each of your “Recent Posts” and find all the corresponding comments, be it 100, 200, whatever number of comments. If I’ve been away for a few days, then I search on the date of each day I missed.
    Thank you for the website and best regards, No. 12

  7. It would be a real shame to lose the ability to aggregate comments in an RSS Reader, so I hope any new solution would continue to allow this.

    Also, allowing users to up-vote or down-vote comments has been a useful setting for me on other sites. I can see the reaction of people that I respect and it helps me in evaluating the comment.

  8. Adding a ‘Tips and Techniques’ or ‘How To’ page with a section on installing/using an RSS reader would be helpful. Other tips, like how to use your browser’s Find function to search a thread and that Ctrl+F keyboard shortcut could be stored there as well.

  9. Hi Tim – Thank you again for your dedicated work and for this great site community. Landlords suggestions are in line with my thoughts
    ” A way to read through all of the last 100 or more comments would be great. That way you don’t have to go to several pages — Reader Alerts, Sandbox, etc. — to check for new comments. Also, searching for comments by ticker symbol would be great.”
    And also Aussie’s comments: “I often find a thread that is interesting, step away for a few hours and then lose it because it has fallen off the recent comments page.”

  10. First, I know I’m not alone is saying how much we appreciate the site! Thank you, Tim.
    A few thoughts on how commenting could be even more useful:
    1) ability to see which comments I’ve already read (or even exclude them if I’ve read them before)
    2) ability to see all comments from one person
    3) ability to search for ticker symbols (not just the parent), which is hard with preferreds because of the variety of ways they are listed (such as -X or .prX or prX). For example, if I search for SR-A, I get no results, which can’t be correct. If I search for GGT-G, I get hits for all of GGT.

  11. if anything is to be changed, my only suggestion is to have a “Re: Topic” line for each post.

    this could make posts easier to quickly parse, categorize, and search. however, that said, the site, its content, and its users seem to do quite well as is by simply using the search function.

    thank you for always thinking of others, Tim!

  12. I am of the opinion that:

    1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
    2. Simpler is better

    personally I have no issue reading the site . I use an RSS reader and get all new comments that way. If there is something of interest I want to keep, I just keep it in my RSS reader. So no need to search the site.

    But if you are making changes, simpler is better. The more bells and whistles you add, the more issues and problems that can occur. From a user perspective (and I have an IT and finance background and at one point in my career in the early infancy of electronic medical records (EMR), I oversaw one of the largest EMR installs in the country, rolled out to over 2,000 MDs systemwide at a time none of them had any experience with such a system) and I can tell you from researching systems, talking to and working with end users, selecting a system, developing installation and teaching strategies, etc – a simple user interface that is easy to learn is key.

    A good example of a simple system for finance commenting that works is Silicon Investor. Straightforward system anyone can easily learn to use with no effort. Gives you all the basics – clean and simple user interface, good search capabilities, knowing if someone responded to a comment of yours, ability to recommend a comment, etc

    While I could adapt to anything out there, given you probably have a wide range of readers with differing tech ability, keeping it simple and easy to use / learn is key

  13. Since you asked, if you want a forum software for comments, I think Discourse is a decent modern one. Here’s one such example for non-investing finance.

    The features that are important are search, editing, and rating comments, all of which Disourse has. I also think for investing it’s good idea to include a “down vote” not just the feel-good style “up vote only” for comments. If you’re too thin skinned to take some disagreement, make better comments! Then you can do things like filter a long discussion only by positive rated comments or the like. It’s also good to have both positive and negative feedback from the community to encourage better behavior and contributions.

  14. honestly comments on a blog arent the best way to foster discussion. Using dedicated forum software like Discourse is probably the best complement to the Blog aspect

  15. It ain’t broke, so don’t try to fix it! I am not aware of any changes that would make a dramatic improvement. Only thing to change is some way for us to contribute $’s. It can be for the retirement fund, the beer fund, the Lafite Rothschild fund or a charity of your choice, but it needs to be something!

  16. You are providing a free service, Tim so it isnt my position to say anything negative…But since you asked… Im a mentally soft and lack intellectual curiosity so I don’t know how to track comments by using any method given here or how to use search effectively. But I am adept with SA system and and use it well, as that is where a few of us communicate via PM. But maybe that is because I learned it when I was still willing to learn something.

  17. I’d love to see the recent comments available for more than the last 15 on the home page. Perhaps include a page 2 or even more pages that are easily accessed. I often find a thread that is interesting, step away for a few hours and then lose it because it has fallen off the recent comments page.

    1. I second that. A way to read through all of the last 100 or more comments would be great. That way you don’t have to go to several pages — Reader Alerts, Sandbox, etc. — to check for new comments.

      Also, searching for comments by ticker symbol would be great.

      I’m not a huge fan of the way comment replies are currently nested. I think one or max two indents and then no more indenting. Or even better, only the original comment shows and then to get all nested replies you have to click on it.

      1. Just use a RSS reader. Easy to read all the latest comments that way. I set the parameters to download and keep a certain number and just read them in order. Doesn’t matter what section they are posted in

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