Polling Readers on Comment System Features

I receive a lot of comments about “the comments.” I am interested in the community’s view on ways to improve the current comments system on Please participate in these two polls on potential changes for 2014!

The first one is easy. Should we keep the Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down feature?


I am also considering whether to implement a registration and login system for commenting. You can read some of the latest debate on this Universal Hub post. It points out many of the pros and cons of having folks login even if they are still anonymous. Fortunately, the comment queue here is not nearly as high maintenance although I still find moderating comments the worst part of managing this site. Comments by logged in users would appear immediately without moderation although they could still be deleted later as necessary.


Longtime readers will remember the real name system that we tried to implement a few years ago. Unfortunately, it did not work out because it was too easy to fake names.

Please add any comments below with your suggestions and feedback. As always, thanks for your support!

4 Replies to “Polling Readers on Comment System Features

  1. Matt, Your polling questions became my questions a few days ago while following comments that had become rather antagonistic. ‘Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down’ can easily provoke reactions in the author. The blog then quickly degenerates and gives rise to a secondary topic. The exchange goes on ad infinitum, and becomes a venting arena.

    Keep the system you have implemented, without registration and login.

    The paper is a treasure. I refer to it every day, and trust its accuracy. Perhaps your ‘polling’ will be a wake-up call for us, and we will, henceforth, review our own comments prior to hitting the submit button.

  2. Hi Matt,
    I’d like to post a comment, at the risk of receiving thumbs down !
    Love this paper. Keep things just the way they are. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it !
    You can’t imagine how ‘nifty’ (aging myself) it is to read your news and view the photos.

    1. Thanks Olivia!

      I agree with your assessment of “it if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The readership continues to grow as do the number of comments.

      Sometimes I feel I am moderating too much or not enough. It is impossible to keep everyone happy. There is a ‘thumbs down’ in every crowd!

      The polls have been helpful in getting a pulse.

      But don’t worry, I don’t plan to change much, if anything.

  3. I agree. Who cares about thumbs-up or thumbs-down as long as actual replies are kept civil and respectful? I see the whole “thumbs” thing as a product of our go-go-go rushed society of trying to condense everything down to minimalist interaction. It’s easy to click on a thumb. If you have a real opinion or something constructive to say, do so in a post or I personally don’t give it any attention whatsoever.

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