Today the Cross Examined blog gets a new commenting system, World Table. Older posts still have their old Disqus comments, and new comments can be entered with either system. Going forward, however, posts will only allow comments with World Table.
The New Idea is the ratings system, which is designed to create more civil conversations—take a look at the comment box below, and you’ll notice the slogan, “Credibility Matters.”
A top-level comment (a comment on the post) shows four “virtues” of the post, and you’re invited, though not required, to rate each one. Was the post respectful? Helpful? Honest? Likable? You’ll see “Bob’s post is …” to remind you what you’re rating.
A comment on a comment shows a different label, “BuddyChrist’s comment is …” so it’s clear that now you’re rating his comment.
You can write a reply or just give a rating, or you can do both.
We’ve had discussions through comments lately of what to do with commenters who are more trouble than they’re worth, but with World Table, the problem resolves itself.
As an example, take my profile below. I’ve made a couple of comments at another Patheos blog that uses World Table. My score (scores run from 0 to 100) started at 50, and now it’s up to 62. The faint “(16)” means that I’ve gotten 16 virtue ratings (4 ratings that set all 4 virtues). But suppose readers felt that I was not respectful, helpful, honest, and/or likeable. In that case, my score might’ve fallen below 50. At some point, it could fall below the threshold at a particular blog (say, 40), and I would no longer be allowed to comment or rate. Someone might have a decent score but have bad ratings on one comment. When the ratings are bad enough, that comment will be hidden.
Banning as such will be unnecessary. Ratings are crowdsourced, and obnoxious or useless commenters will soon find themselves unable to comment, and they will know why. Ratings by commenters with high scores count more than ratings from low-score commenters.
You have a single World Table score that follows you around to other sites that use it. That score becomes part of one’s introduction, and a new commenter with an 85 score might deserve a closer look than someone with a 55.
Commenting with World Table
You must sign in the first time, but your profile at Disqus (or other social media) can be used.
I found the various features very discoverable, so jump in and have a go. Write a sample comment below to see what happens.
Patheos is rolling out World Table among the blogs gradually. It’s an alpha version, which means that there will be both bug fixes and new features in the future. More information from World Table is available here, and a brief introductory video will be helpful to those people now saying, “We’ve got to learn another commenting system again?”
- The Internet Explorer browser is not supported, though Microsoft’s new browser (Microsoft Edge) is.
- Comments are not editable (yet).
- If you sign up through Disqus, the email address isn’t passed along to World Table, so you won’t get email notifications as with Disqus. This should soon be fixed, but you can add other accounts like Facebook to your profile here to get an email address attached to your account.
- If you have questions, ask them below, and if you find bugs, have complaints, or get new ideas, send feedback to World Table.
The aim of an argument or discussion
should not be victory, but progress.
— Joseph Joubert, French essayist
Image credit: pixabay, CC0