Allow comments on shared items with no comments

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  • Updated 4 weeks ago
Allow comments on shared items that weren't shared with a comment. I know that this was a design decision you made to try and keep the interface simple, but users want to comment on items without comments and it isn't clear why we can't. New users will think your system doesn't allow comments at all.
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orthodonticjake

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Posted 3 years ago

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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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If you want to comment on a story, why not share that story? Alternatively, reply to somebody who has. But I don't like the idea of having a free radical shared comment with no requirement to back it by your own share.
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ardent

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You're replying to the share itself, rather than to the comment on the share. The same "reply" button, which opens a text entry box, is still relevant.

P.S.: AWESOME!
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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But in order to reply to them, you would have to hit something to reply to. More than one of your friends might be sharing it. Oh, and I can't add anything to the control list (train/save/share). It's crowded enough as it is. This is the dilemma and why it hasn't shipped. The backend supports it just fine.
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ardent

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OK, let's take a step back. In the old Reader (I'm sorry if I keep using this as a touchstone, but it was so great), if more than one of your friends shared something, the share was not coalesced into a single item; you'd see the shared item multiple times, each of which could be commented on. That's one way to go about it, and probably what I was expecting to happen because I hadn't thought about any other way.

The other way would be to share it implicitly, and add your avatar to the list of people who shared it. The trick would be to syndicate your comment to all instances of the share that you can see. This would lower the perception that "sharing is endorsement". But even then, what if you knew your other friends wouldn't be into the share, or you didn't want to talk about it with them, but you did want to have a discussion with the people who could see it on your friend's original commentless share?

I think my first paragraph gets to the heart of the confusion: people don't expect multiple shares to be coalesced into a single entity whose origin is now obscured. The significant speech act is perceived to be the share itself, and the identity of the sharer changes what the actual message is. "Samuel said foo," is something you can reply to; "A bunch of people said foo," is, as you point out, difficult to engage with.

There is a lot of surprising behavior for users here.

EDIT: What happens if multiple people share something with initial comments? Can't you just insert an invisible default comment in case none was supplied?
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ardent

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One more thing: this issue, https://getsatisfaction.com/newsblur/... , also is relevant. It's more than just "I want to be able to see the comment and the content at the same time." Having the initial comment at the top, made upon sharing, is a framing device for the reader of the share to understand why the sharer shared. When someone is replying to the share, they aren't necessarily replying to the initial comment, which is why its proper place is before the content of the share.
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Chris Hiestand

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How about an option to allow friends (and maybe public) to comment on your story?
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orthodonticjake

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I don't want to share the story because I want to comment on my friend's shared story. I can't reply to her shared story because she didn't know that she had to add a comment when sharing her story in order for me to comment on it. Essentially, you can share a story without a comment, and that means that it's closed for interaction from your friends. That's unexpected and nonsensical, and without coming to getsatisfaction, I never would have known that the reason we couldn't comment on each others' shared items is because we didn't leave initial comments on them.
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Garrett Guillotte

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"I don't like the idea of having a free radical shared comment with no requirement to back it by your own share."

"Back it by your own share" implies that sharing is endorsement. If sharing is endorsement, and I want to comment on a share without endorsing it, I'm unable to do so unless the original sharer remembered to leave "//" as a comment first.

See also:
https://getsatisfaction.com/newsblur/... (7 likes)
https://getsatisfaction.com/newsblur/... (6 likes)
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Bryn

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It seems to be 2 trains of thought here for the following scenario:

Scenario. user1 wants to share a story, but they don't feel they have a comment about the story. User2 who follows user1 finds the story interesting and wants to add a comment about the story.

There are 2 ways with the current system to deal with this

1) User2 is unable to comment story because User1 did not leave a comment on the story so they have to re-share the story with their comment

2) when User1 share the story they add a "useless" comment such as a "*" or something like that, so this story now has a comment which would allow User2 to comment on the story

Basically I would like to be able to do option 2 above without have to add a "useless" comment so people can comment on something I have shared. I know I am not the only person that does this because I have seen a number of users doing this.

I don't think that this comment would be a "free radical" the comment would be attached to the item that was shared by User1, it just happens that the first comment is by User2 instead of User1

It just seems a bit strange that you have to reshare an item just to leave a comment, you may not necessarily want to share the item you just want to leave a comment.
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rchlnnmllr

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For those of us that don't want random strangers commenting on their shares, this option isn't about "free radicals," it's about our friends. What we want is the ability to have conversations about things online, without the inevitable public riffraff trolling. Conversations, between friends (and friends of friends on their shares) with real privacy controls. I've been reluctant to put comments on my shares because they are public. And the lack of privacy controls is the major reason my circle of friends from Google Reader have refused to make the switch.

I want the people I've allowed to follow me to be able to comment on my shares even if I didn't leave a comment. And I want people who don't aren't allowed to follow me to have no idea those comments are happening.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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I just [silently] launched those privacy controls. You can test them out by going to Manage > Profile. I think that will do much of what you're looking for. I'll be blogging about it soon.
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karen

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Hooray! So, I see this in "Profile & Blurblog" > Privacy. But how do I approve people ("Only people I approve can see my shared stories and reply to me")? Is it assumed that those I follow and follow me back have approval?
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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If somebody requests to follow you, you'll get an email and they'll show up on your dashboard.
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karen

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So, those that I've already followed/have followed me are already in my secret club? If I decide I suddenly hate one of my [existing] close friends' opinions and want to block them, how do I do that?
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Yup, follower removal is something I'll be adding soon.
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Ian Gray

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Any follow up on this topic?

As I posted in the other topic on this question, it's really important to be able to comment on the shares of your friends. This is what Google Reader allowed and if you can't do it, it is exactly the sort of thing that will stop us from migrating to you. It's making NewsBlur a hard sell to the old Reader crowd.
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Chris Hiestand

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Yes, please address this problem. It doesn't seem to be addressed by those privacy controls.
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Holly

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I want the people I've allowed to follow me to be able to comment on my shares even if I didn't leave a comment.
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ardent

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I don't have much to add, other than everyone I know wants this feature. Furthermore, from a UI consistancy point of view, the expectation is that "shared story is commentable". Whether or not it was shared with a comment initially is completely immaterial, and the fact that that makes a difference is a bad case of abstraction breaking/implementation leaking.
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Greg

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+1 for this. It really just seems to make sense to allow comments on posts that don't already have a comment on them.

If there's opposition to enabling it across the board, maybe make it an opt-in in preferences?
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orthodonticjake

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I'm really disappointed with your response to this issue. The most enticing features of Newsblur were its sharing features, but this renders them unusable. Not only that: it paints a grim picture of your understanding of software usability in general.

Despite paying for your service, I've switched over to Feedly. If the sharing features improve, I'll consider switching back.
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Ken Wehr

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Samuel, I feel like you still haven't addressed the main issue here.

I switched from Reader to Newsblur. I even paid money for it. I got a bunch of my friends to do likewise. Very positive reviews from everyone, with one notable exception: we all end up sharing items with a "//" comment for the sole purpose of allowing comments from each other. Such an annoying work-around for preserving the one key feature we loved most in Reader.

Please either implement this, or, if there's a fundamental decision NOT to implement this, please communicate it clearly.

Frankly, most of us will probably abandon Newsblur if this feature isn't on the roadmap.
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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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I believe I've communicated this clearly enough - I can not figure out a decent way to get the UI built to support this workflow. It's more complex than what I have now, and if I can't figure out a simple way to allow it, it just won't happen. I want to build it, but for the life of me I can't figure out a NewsBlur-ish way to do it.
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francisco delatorre

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the last i checked, it was more of an "i'll think about how to fold this into the newsblur paradigm", whereas now the answer is more bleak. if you can't figure out how to get this to work, that's perfectly fine. but if someone were interested in taking a stab at getting this feature working, would you be open to a github pull of that code? you've got a lot of people on your side here, and even if they're dissatisfied with the current state of things, they're eager to help out. would you be open to using that resource?
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Ken Wehr

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Okay, so maybe I'm missing something. What's complex about adding a "Comment" button to shared items that don't already have a comment?
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Ian Gray

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Samuel, your only post in this thread not about unrelated privacy controls was to say "if you want to comment then share it" and people rightly said this was silly. All we wanted was to allow your followers to comment on your shared posts, regardless of whether you remembered to add the inelegant "//" comment.

Anyway, thanks at least for the clear answer that NewsBlur won't do what we want.
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ardent

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I'm still curious about what happens if multiple people share an item with a comment, and how that's currently handled. If it's sane, then automatically adding an invisible dummy comment to a share without a comment should make everyone happy.
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When I first started using NewBlur for sharing articles, it was only after one of my friends poked me after a few shared stories of mine that I learned no comments were allowed on ones I didn't initially comment on. It's not expected behavior from folks coming from Reader, and there really is no indicator of this by default.

Right now, I see a whole lot of rogue '//' comments instead of genuine ones. While it's not the intended use of the feature, it's what's happening. I'd much prefer to see a comment button without inserted random characters being the workaround most folks use.
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Chris

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I don't quite understand the design decision made here. I don't share anything publicly - so everything I share is specifically intended to start a conversation amongst friends, even if I have nothing to say to begin with. At least I now know that I can use "//" as a workaround..

Why not give the choice to allow comments when sharing to begin with?
Just a simple checkbox, all other privacy controls can stay in place.
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Eric Wall

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Completely agree with this topic. This really seems like a simple solution here unless im missing something.
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Joe Milito

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I'll +1 this. Right now I have to add a little comment like "lol" or "good read" if I want any sort of comments to follow