• Reply changes to Newsvine comments sections

    A new feature is rolling out to Newsvine.com comments sections. This feature prevents a comment reply from changing the user name and removal of the link to the original comment. It also turns a selected quote reply into a read-only blockquote preventing an edit that could change the context of the original material.

    Below is a screen shot of the old comment reply technology;

     

    Here is how that will look under the new system;

    After you hit reply it will include the replied-to user's avatar in the new comment. This should reduce some confusion in large, varied reply chains.

     

    This will keep a consistent format to replies, will ensure that the hyperlink to the original comment remains a hyperlink and prevents name changing and misquoting. This change will remove the ability to reply to multiple commenters at one time. The benefits outweigh that minor inconvenience. The impact of this means more comments overall, but those comments will accurately quote the originator while maintaining a correct comment link.

    Please comment on the Newsvine article if you find bugs and/or like this change.

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  • You Can Now Block Nations On Newsvine

    One of the features that we've heard repeated requests for in Support was the ability to block Nations. Now, we get feature requests all the time that aren't great or feasible ideas. This one, however, kept coming up -- and looking better and better as authors' frustration with certain Nations spilled over into bad discussions.

    Newsviners who seed and especially those who write articles are crucial to Newsvine. Seeders and authors provide the fertile ground for our discussions to grow. To continue the gardening simile, we figured we'd give people who post content to their column a new tool. This feature will allow for more control of Viners' columns - and we hope it serves to build more confidence for seeders and authors.

    A quick overview: you'll be able to block any Nation that's begun a discussion on a piece of content in your column. We only suggest you do this if the Nation's violating the Code of Honor, but hey: your column, your control. If a Newsviner tries to begin a discussion in a Blocked Nation on a seed, they'll be given the option to re-seed it.

    Here are three Support articles further explaining how Nation blocking works:

    Can I block a Nation that I don't want commenting on my content?

    I tried to begin a discussion in one of my Nations and it's not available. Why?

    How do I unblock a Nation?

    A huge thanks to Todd and Luke for building and designing this feature, respectively.

    If you have feedback or questions, please read this article and leave them there. We'll probably make more Support articles from there!

  • Announcing a Staff-Moderated Nation

    From the introductory article and Nation bylaws:

    The Spirit And The Purpose is a Gated Nation, but all first-time applicants will be approved quickly. The only admins are Newsvine moderators: Dave, Sally, and Tyler. These moderators pledge to review discussions within the nation and will remove Code of Honor violations. If you want to have a discussion in guaranteed full view of the moderation staff, this is the place. Repeat or egregious violators will be blocked (and likely suspended!).

    See a full explanation here, join the Nation here.

  • from:Newsvine

    We've amended the Code Of Honor! - Newsvine Blog

    Today, we published an update to the Code of Honor. It's the first one in a long time, and the revision loses some outdated language and adds some specific provisions about Nation administration that were lacking.

    We've also added headings for each section of the Code, and useful hyperlinks to each section and sub-section (the moderators are pretty psyched about this development).

    There are a few changes. Read the seed to see why the changes were made. The short version is that some links were added, bolding to make things a touch more clear, and clarification about how Nations exist within the Code was made.

    Read the revised Code to see the actual changes.

  • We've amended the Code Of Honor!

    Today, we published an update to the Code of Honor. It's the first one in a long time, and the revision loses some outdated language and adds some specific provisions about Nation administration that were lacking.

    We've also added headings for each section of the Code, and useful hyperlinks to each section and sub-section (the moderators are pretty psyched about this development).

    Here's what the direct links look like when you mouse over them! CoH 1a is unchanged.

     

    Here are some answers to questions you might have about the changes:

    Why change the CoH?

    Mostly because it needed some more specific, clear Nation-related language. You'll notice new provisions regarding advertising Nations (2d), upholding the Code of Honor within Nations (4b), and violating the CoH within Nations (5b).

    Does this mean staff is going to use the new CoH to retire/moderate/oversee a bunch of Nations?

    No. We don't think there's a lot of Nations that have been violating any of the new revisions. We're not going to back and retroactively moderate Nations - but if you're a Nation Admin, you'll want to closely read the new Code.

    Where can I find this new CoH?

    It's right in the navigation bar at the top of all Newsvine pages, under 'Help'. Formerly, it was just in the website footer. It's still there, but now it's at the top of every page, like so:

     

    Convenient, right? We're excited to have these changes published. Let us know what you think in the comments!

  • Meet your new Community Moderator

    I'm the newest of the Newsvine hires. Basically I'm the other half of Sally, joining as a part-time community moderator here. I come from outside of the Vine with about a dozen years of community building experience. Like everyone here I'm addicted to news, and probably like you I enjoy meeting new people. One of the things I love the most about online communities is that the only thing that matters are the words people say. It's as if the world of Locke/Demosthenes is now real.

    That's the first hint of what makes me, me. I love science fiction (OSC, Gibson and Stephenson being my favorites). I'm a Puget Sound native of an age where grunge is still my music of choice (I'm actually wearing flannel today). My approach to my hobbies is as a modern geek. When I brew beer it isn't casual. When I write about sports the metaphors include RPGs & speculative fiction and the stats are things I try my best to understand. I have a dog named Aslan. My wife and I live in the suburbs because we actually like the suburbs.

    My previous careers are almost like three different lives. I've worked in retail coffee and as a coffee taster. For four years I was an Arabic linguist in the US Army. For a few years I was a producer at a sports radio station and that's influenced my approach to my professional writing and community building in the sports field.

    I look forward to a warm welcome and learning about the millions here (I probably won't meet that goal, but you'll see me around as a participant in discussions). While I've used different words than this in the past I find this to be the key to making the interwebs and comments sections amazing - above all else, respect others.

  • Comments on Comments: An Update!

    It’s been over a year since the new Newsvine launched and we’ve received a fair bit of helpful feedback about what our community would like from the site. Thank you for that. We’ve been putting much of it into the software and kicking the tires. So let’s dive in.

    We’ve spent some time revising the way our core comment system works. The design was trimmed up and changed quite a bit, and we’d like to share the changes with you below. This has taken a not un-tiny amount of effort and we hope you’ll be as excited about using it as we were about making it.

    Here are some of the things that we’ve changed in hopes of making it easier on our members to read, digest, respond, and so on, in a satisfying manner.

    Discussions:

     

    • New Discussion thread “Summary Mode” gives a quick snapshot as to a Nation’s thoughts and its member’s reactions to the article.   
    • Discussion Header Bars are leaner and more useful as we’ve moved their meta information into a scrolling region underneath itself. This should be extremely helpful when on mobile devices.   
    • The old "+" and "-" expanding buttons were added on Discussions across the sites we use but their meaning was vague in this context (like joining and Nation actions in general) so they were removed. We also felt the collapse button was in most circumstances not needed. As a result the "Expand" text button is now used instead.   
    • The activity tracker/ conversation tracker was aging and needed updating. It had too many buttons. Now it has one button, just like the original, to do just that: head to the next new comment (see “Activity Menu” below). We will continue to improve on this tool.
    • Large Discussions, like those with hundreds of comments (and beyond), have received a few performance boosts. Initial page loading and Discussion thread expanding has noticeably improved, especially on older computers.
    • We’ve also altered the design on mobile devices to take advantage the format and improve the reading experience as well as "commenting on the go". Although there are improvements for mobile devices visible throughout, there’s still much to do. You may have noticed that we don’t try to find out what device you’re using, only the size of screen that it uses, so if you’re 'internetting' on your desk’s personal computer with a tiny window, you’ll also benefit from these additional changes. There's more to come but we're being careful not to alter the site for mobile at the expense of the desktop experience, both of these being very important to us.

    Mini Title Bar:

    • On any page with discussions, as soon as the Discussions pane scrolls into view, you'll get a Mini Title Bar reminding you what article you’re discussing, an Activity menu pointing you to the rest of your discussions, as well as a Next Thread button that bumps you to the next Discussion.
    • The bar becomes smaller and moves to the bottom on mobile, which is hopefully out of the way and yet still useful.

    Activity Menu:

    The Activity Menu that was formerly only located only the top of the site is now also in the Mini Title Bar, which follows you down the page, quickly sending you off in another direction if you so choose - or if you’re just in need of browsing your different discussions.

    If you’re on your handy mobile device, clicking the activity button will forward you on to the Activity page, a fuller representation of all of the activity in three areas, currently on “Your Column”, within “Your Discussions”, and within “Your Nations”.

    Also, if you’re active on other NBC properties, like TODAY.com, NBCNews, or MSNBC.com, you’ll notice those items will be marked as such.

    More changes are coming, some of them small, some medium sized, so watch for more to come. We’re updating the documents in the Knowledge Base to reflect these changes.

    We’re proud of the changes we’re making and hope you will be, too.

    Support & Feedback:

    We appreciate any feedback you’re willing to give, and the discussion below is a good place to do that. If you've found a bug, though, please head to this discussion on support.newsvine.com, where you can see if anyone else is encountering the same issue, upload your own  screenshots if needed, and receive updates on bug fixes from staff.

    Thank you very much. Your staff is working hard on these feature upgrades and I'm very honored to be working with them!

    Let's give them a hand!

  • How to Report Abuse on Newsvine

    Now that we are moderating Nations, I just want to remind everyone how to report violations.

    The easiest way is through our help site: support.newsvine.com

    Not familiar? Check out this blog post, which goes into more detail.

    Click on 'Start a Discussion', write your message and choose 'report a malicious user' from the drop down menu. Then, fire away!

    We will be checking these reports daily.

  • Nation Moderaton Begins November 11th!

    As Tyler promised in his last blog post, we are going to be spending a lot more time on the green side since the launch of msnbc.com is behind us. We are extremely excited at the opportunity to get back in touch with our Newsvine community.

    And after much deliberation, we have decided to start moderating Nations. That’s right, folks. We are going to start suspending and banning users who are violating the Code of Honor in Nations. We will also be taking action against Nation Admins who are allowing violations to occur in their Nations.

    We didn’t come to this decision lightly, but since launching Newsvine 3.0 in February; we have received numerous complaints from you, Newsviners, about Code of Honor violations in Nations. Many of you feel ganged up on, harassed, personally attacked and otherwise abused. And as you all know, that is not the environment we are trying to promote on the Vine.

    Our hope is that with a little guidance from us, we can start working towards making Newsvine and Nations an enriching place to be: where we are getting smarter, having intelligent discussions and leaving the personal attacks and other violations out.

    Since this is a new policy, it doesn’t go into effect until Monday, November 11. I know it’s been a while so here is a link to the Code of Honor so you can all brush up on the rules!

  • The new msnbc.com launches today, and it's powered by...Newsvine!

    Today, October 15th, the new MSNBC.com launches. You may have read about it. It's got a lot of folks talking. Here's Alex Weprin at TVNewser:

    User interaction will be a big part of the site, with comments displayed to the right of stories instead of underneath them. The hope is to spur debate among commenters… civil debate. [Executive Editor Richard] Wolffe said that the commenting technology automatically converts all upper-case comments to lower case, and reminds the commenter to calm down.

    If you've ever tried to leave an ALLCAPS comment on Newsvine, you might recognize that feature. There's a good reason for that; the new MSNBC.com's commenting system is based on Newsvine. So is the registration; if you have a Newsvine account, you don't have to register to use MSNBC.com.

    Here's msnbc.com's Executive Editor Richard Wolffe on how Newsvine powers the new site:

    We are really excited to be launching the new MSNBC.com with the compelling, engaging community platform that is Newsvine. The vine has been the home for our blogs - including the phenomenal MaddowBlog - for many years and has given us a great start to what will be a thriving home for the new msnbc family.

    Newsvine Nations will serve as the foundation for an infant community in the form of MSNBC.com groups. If you're a Nation admin, you will probably experience an uptick in applications and membership for your Nations, and we encourage you (and your Nations) to participate.  MSNBC.com groups can also be accessed from Newsvine. Suspension or banning from one is suspension or banning from the other. If you're familiar with Newsvine's Code of Honor, MSNBC.com's Community Rules are very similar. Address issues and arguments.

    Newsvine's development team and staff have done a lot to prepare for this launch and still have plenty of work to do, but we won't be solely supporting MSNBC.com. We're really excited to launch this cool new product attached to a TV channel, but equally excited about the prospect of returning with renewed purpose to Newsvine. We'd love for you to check the new site out - there's a lot of opportunity for community-building there - but personally, we're excited to see more green on our screens. You'll be seeing more of us.

  • New Video and Photo Posts

    Well folks, our launch date has come and gone and we hope you’ve all had a chance to get used to the new look and how it all works. One thing we are all very proud of around here is how amazing our video and photo posts look now. Have you guys had a chance to see them? 

    notsojingo

    A live photo post from notsojingo published on Newsvine 3.0

     

    The photo posts are so gorgeous now; they are easy to see, and easy to read. They are pretty easy to post too. If you need help doing so, you can find it here.

    Video posts got a face lift too. They look great!

    A video post from notsojingo posted on Newsvine 3.0

     

    For help with video posts check here.

    We’ve also created a filter bar, which is a nifty tool to help you well…filter for what you want to find. For example, if you wish to only see photo posts, or only video posts, you can do so using the bar. Here’s how it looks:

    What the filter bar looks like.

    You can also filter for seeds, articles and polls. Just click on the image you wish to filter by. This works for filtering for more than one type of post at a time, so it truly is customizable and you get see exactly what you want. All of these new features are pretty exciting, so make sure you try them out.