You may or may not have noticed the recent addition of a brand new comment system at the bottom of each post here at Faithfindings called “The World Table.”
The basic functionality is the same as other comment systems, like Disqus, where you create an profile (use your Facebook or Twitter account to make it more convenient) and then leave a comment in response to the post.
But it’s what happens beyond the basics that makes The World Table stand out among your average comment box. Namely, how it aims to solve the dire “don’t read the comments” dilemma that has led more than a few bloggers and publications to ditch comments entirely. (And almost led this blogger to ditch this blog entirely.)
Angry-troll-infested comment sections are even more common than rage-filled Twitter pile-ons, and just as emotionally unhealthy. So what would an intentional commenting community really look like in 2016? And how would one achieve such a thing? The answer just might lie in The World Table’s rating system, where each user is rated by other members of the community according to behavior, not content.Specifically, users are rated on the levels of Respectful, Helpful, Honest, and Likable behavior in their comments. And every rating contributes to an overall score for each user. In this way, the community polices itself, and if a user’s score falls below a certain threshold, they are automagically restricted from commenting.
But restriction in and of itself is not the goal. The goal is to create an intentional commenting community instead of a readymade battleground for disingenuous Internet rage warriors. The goal is to foster conversations that matter and build a thoughtful culture around a blog and its theme – even a re-launched and re-themed blog like this one, still in its renewed infancy.
The goal is not to stymie all disagreement or even the occasional sparring match, but to maintain honesty and meaning in the dialogue, even if it becomes disagreeable.
The goal is also have fun while joining the commenting community on a blog again.
So if this is a community you’d like to join – and I sincerely hope it is! – then I’d encourage you to create a profile below with your Facebook or Twitter account and start commenting.
And when you feel so moved, rate the comments of other users to make this community the best that it can be!