Sunday, September 02, 2007

Comment ratings on YouTube

YouTube recently made a series of changes to their commenting system. Any long term YT user will know what that means. They fucked the comment system beyond all recognition. I don't think YouTube have ever managed to change the comment system without screwing it. Then they have to apply fixes until they sort it out.

This time was probably their biggest fuck-up ever. That's a big call but they really borked the system totally. You literally can't see follow comment thread. Answering comments actually results in the comments no longer being visible. The "view all comments" function doesn't... ummmm... function.

BUT they've done one good thing. They've introduced a ratings system for comments. Anyone familiar with Slashdot, Reddit or Digg (among others) will be familiar with this concept. I'm really hoping this concept takes off with users, to me it's the ultimate way to do with haters.

Comment ratings make blocking and deleting comments superfluous. If you've worked to develop a community then the community will vote down idiots. You have an adjustable filter that lets you set a threshold for what you see - when a comment gets sufficient downvotes it becomes "invisible" although you always have the option to see the comment if you really want to.

I like it because it takes the power away from random idiots and gives it to the community. Of course cliques can develop and people have a tendency to downvote comments simply because they disagree with them. People are people and people are imperfect. But haters are fuck-heads and I'll take any weapon I can use against them.

It turns out that surprisingly few people on YouTube were familiar with the concept of comment ratings, so I did this instructional video to help out:

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