June 7th, 2017

Updates on the new blog theme

No, the new theme for the blog is nowhere near ready. But in response to all your comments on the previous thread on this topic, I wanted to announce that:

(1) I can’t stand nested comments either. They make a thread hard to follow, because it becomes difficult and confusing to track which are new comments and which are old. They also tend to make the discussion develop into a series of sidechats rather than a group roundtable. So, no nested comments are planned here.

(2) I’m strongly considering a drop-down menu for things like the blogroll and/or the archives.

(3) I don’t think I’ll have little photos as a regular feature. Nor will I have teasers with a “click here to continue” as a regular rule. Of course, I’ll still have photos when I think they’re appropriate, and every now and then for a very long post I’ll do what I’ve long done at times in that situation, which is to have a click-to-read-more button. But it won’t be the regular default format for posts.

At least, that’s the way I’m thinking at the moment. Any other suggestions?

27 Responses to “Updates on the new blog theme”

  1. Griffin Says:

    I see Hot Air has redesigned and dropped their blog links among the changes. I used to use that to go to a few other sites but now I guess that won’t be happening. So hopefully you will keep that feature as most of the other sites I visit regularly are on your list. Another thing it looks like they have done is they are not just going chronologically but they are apparently putting popular posts at the top even if they are older.

    It’s interesting to me how jarring it can be when sites change things and how it almost always feels like it’s for the worse at the beginning. Something about change being unwelcome I think.

  2. Cornhead Says:

    1. Good decision re nested comments. Unreadable.

    2. Adopt an informal rule that no comment can have more than three times the number of words in neo’s post.

  3. Griffin Says:

    Cornhead,

    Or more than three links to outside sources. Nothing like a pithy comment getting stomped by a War and Peace like copy and paste treatise.

  4. Mike K Says:

    I think links in comments tend to substantiate the commenter’s point. I agree that lots of cut and paste is a waste.

  5. The Other Chuck Says:

    Your inclusion of photos is a nice feature of your blog. For instance, the video link for the Weinstein/Rogan interview is a capture still that says a lot. It encouraged me to listen. You are very selective and judicious in most of your choices. Please don’t cut back too much.

  6. Griffin Says:

    Mike K,

    Yeah I just don’t like the double where a link is provided followed by a huge excerpt. Don’t like that in a comment that’s more appropriate for an article/blog post.

  7. Mark30339 Says:

    Good news on the upgrade.
    .
    Nested comments have led to reading everyone, and getting a feel for the entire neo community of commenters (which is not a bad thing). If you’re expecting huge comment traffic, then thread protocol is probably necessary. The thing about threads is it more readily feeds conflict, animosity and off topic diatribes when we slip into high OCD mode.
    .
    A lot of sites have punted to require FB for commenting; I think Disqus is far superior and gives us access to comments across the blogosphere.
    .
    Dropdown on blogroll/archives is fine.

  8. Yancey Ward Says:

    Nested comments are beneficial to me only if the comments sections are regularly 100+, and I can’t remember a single comment section here that was even over 50 comments. So I definitely wouldn’t add them here.

  9. Harry the Extremist Says:

    What it should include is either a “Top” button at the button of the page or a “home” button or both.

  10. Rufus Firefly Says:

    Would appreciate last 10 comments on posts somewhere on a sidebar. Comments on any but the most recent 2 posts often go unseen here, especially on days when you are extra prolific with posts (and we appreciate your prodigious output)!

    My blog has this and we often get interesting comments from folks who stumble onto old posts. One in particular, on best planes of WWII, has become a bit of a running joke as we’ll get new, impassioned comments years after it was first posted.

  11. David Aitken Says:

    An editor friend of mine says that inline links tend to slow reading and comprehension, so that may be something to consider.

    OT: I’m having to use /?no_cache=1 to see the latest posts – running the latest version of Firefox in a private session.

  12. parker Says:

    I endorse limits on the length of comments and the number of links in a comment. I might read the first paragraph of a long comment but after that I skip the rest.

  13. AesopFan Says:

    I put excerpts after links to show why I thought that particular post was apropos the topic, and because I don’t like clicking links without knowing what’s on the other end.

  14. Patrick Says:

    I really don’t like the to have to click on a button to read a full blog post. It tends to discourage me at least a little bit from reading the whole thing, so that’s a good decision.

  15. John Guilfoyle Says:

    Neo, it’s your house.
    You choose the wallpaper & carpet.
    Just keep the kettle boiling so we can all drop over for tea & scones.

  16. Richard Aubrey Says:

    ‘way back in the day, AOL had discussion threads which went on forever. There was a feature where you could, starting up the next day, return to your last comment. You’d then scroll down until you recognized the name of one of maybe half a dozen with whom you’d been having a discussion, passing over flame wars, other subjects, and so forth. It was kind of fun, could go on forever, but not something an individual blogger should be expected to maintain.
    It would be helpful if a commenter referring to another’s comment made that clear. As in name and time.
    IMO, the reason for including links is experience with dishonest comments. As in, give us links or you’re a liar. So you provide links and….they call you obscene names.
    To avoid the process, some people provide links at the beginning.
    Everybody can search. So just mention a subject and let those interested go look for it. Likely, it won’t be unknown to them, anyway, and it’s only a matter of making the case that something we already know is relevant here.

  17. Cornflour Says:

    Next April Fool’s Day, spring a version with all the features that nobody wants?

  18. DNW Says:

    If the format proposed has the capacity to do it, you could include some HTML buttons for italics and blockquotes and embed links.

    That way they don’t have to be entered in manually. You just highlight, and click.

  19. NeoConScum Says:

    Neo: I’ve kinda’ been on a long leave from most post election stuff & commenting on the threads here. That said, Landlady, I consider you The Best. Follow your excellent instincts, large heart, impressive gut and very, VERY experienced head for your blog. Your House, Your Rules.

    NCS

  20. brdavis9 Says:

    2nd Disqus.

    Wouldn’t mind (read: would really like) a “10 minute rule” to allow self-editing of submitted comments for a brief period (for AFTER …when we just realized that we were only thinking something, and forgot to actually, you know, type it …and to change your to you’re, and its to it’s and vice-versa).

    …I’ve always like the layout anyways, so I’m good with the UI.

  21. DNW Says:

    “brdavis9 Says:
    June 8th, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    2nd Disqus.

    Wouldn’t mind (read: would really like) a “10 minute rule” to allow self-editing of submitted comments for a brief period (for AFTER …when we just realized that we were only thinking something, and forgot to actually, you know, type it …and to change your to you’re, and its to it’s and vice-versa).”

    Good idea. Ahem. But only for me. And not just for 10 minutes. The rest of you should have to live with the eternally embarrassing effects of your occasional thoughtlessness or haste; seldom or slight as those events may be.

    Only I should be allowed to rewrite history.

  22. brdavis9 Says:

    Lol DNW, lol.

    Hmm …and maybe like to liked. Y’know. Important stuff.

    It would provide some insulation from the grammar nazism subtly rampant amongst the snooty literati, which so adversely impacts the downtrodden anal retentives of the clan.

  23. Bill Says:

    I would love the self-editing rule, as someone who makes a lot of mistakes.

  24. Bill Says:

    And, as someone mentioned upthread, to be able to see a synopsis of the last n comments made to the blog – would be great to see who just weighed in.

  25. Sharon W Says:

    Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Neo. Just another way your blog is special. There are a lot of good kudos and recommendations here.

    I like what Rufus Firefly said, “Would appreciate last 10 comments on posts somewhere on a sidebar. Comments on any but the most recent 2 posts often go unseen here, especially on days when you are extra prolific with posts (and we appreciate your prodigious output)!”

    And I also agree wholeheartedly with The Other Chuck, “Your inclusion of photos is a nice feature of your blog. For instance, the video link for the Weinstein/Rogan interview is a capture still that says a lot. It encouraged me to listen. You are very selective and judicious in most of your choices. Please don’t cut back too much.”

    And I, too, think it is better to keep it to link(s) in the comments, and if necessary, a sentence or 2, rather than paragraphs w/the link.

  26. Brian E Says:

    Yes, the ability to edit a comment, even for a limited time, would be a great feature.

  27. AesopFan Says:

    DNW Says:
    June 8th, 2017 at 10:59 am
    If the format proposed has the capacity to do it, you could include some HTML buttons for italics and blockquotes and embed links.

    That way they don’t have to be entered in manually. You just highlight, and click.
    * * *
    If it’s possible, this would be great.
    I’ve been caught “shouting” because I mis-typed the closing HTML code.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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