• 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!