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About The Authors

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson

Suw Charman-Anderson is a social software consultant and writer who specialises in the use of blogs and wikis behind the firewall. With a background in journalism, publishing and web design, Suw is now one of the UK’s best known bloggers, frequently speaking at conferences and seminars.

Her personal blog is Chocolate and Vodka, and yes, she’s married to Kevin.

Email Suw

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson is a freelance journalist and digital strategist with more than a decade of experience with the BBC and the Guardian. He has been a digital journalist since 1996 with experience in radio, television, print and the web. As a journalist, he uses blogs, social networks, Web 2.0 tools and mobile technology to break news, to engage with audiences and tell the story behind the headlines in multiple media and on multiple platforms.

From 2009-2010, he was the digital research editor at The Guardian where he focused on evaluating and adapting digital innovations to support The Guardian’s world-class journalism. He joined The Guardian in September 2006 as their first blogs editor after 8 years with the BBC working across the web, television and radio. He joined the BBC in 1998 to become their first online journalist outside of the UK, working as the Washington correspondent for BBCNews.com.

And, yes, he’s married to Suw.

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Interview series:
at the FASTforward blog. Amongst them: John Hagel, David Weinberger, JP Rangaswami, Don Tapscott, and many more!

Corante Blog

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

The most awesome comment system ever

Posted by Suw Charman-Anderson

Jack Slocum has hacked together the most awesome blog commenting system I have ever seen, using a combination of Wordpress, Yahoo UI and YAHOO.ext. He’s created a system for paragraph- or sentence-level comments with a slick AJAX user interface which could just revolutionise the way we comment. I saw similar functionality on Traction’s Teampage when I got a demo of it last year, and I can imagine that Jack’s approach would be a very powerful way of facilitating quite granular discussions.

At the Open Rights Group we sometimes do public consultations, such as the one we did for the Gowers Review. To gather public input we use a blog and break down the consultation document into sections. This is quite a clumsy way of doing it, and doesn’t really allow for very fine-grained discussions, but Jack’s solution would be far more elegant and would allow us to tease out the nuances of what can be quite complex calls for evidence.

Question is, how do I get one?

(Thanks to Kevin for pointing this out via IM.)

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7 Responses to “The most awesome comment system ever”

  1. Kevin Anderson Says:

    Ben Hammersley sent this along to us at Team Guardian so I’ll give credit where credit is due. But it still is so cool.

  2. Craig Says:

    It’s a nice idea, but maybe more for technical documents or cother collaborative efforts than regular blogging. His commenters sprayed their comments all over the post at random, apparrently… which would confuse me :)

  3. Kevin Anderson Says:

    Craig, I think you’re right to some extent. Online collaboration or document markup lend themselves quite well to this type of comments system. But I think some of the ’spraying of comments’ is down to people just having a play.

    What do you think of this as an alternative to threading? Or possibly as a supplement to threading?

  4. Suw Says:

    I agree with Kevin that the random comments all over the place were probably due to the fact that people were playing with a new system, not *using* it. But I think that as a comment system it would work on any blog where the writer produces works that have multiple points upon which someone might like to specifically comment. Whether that’s a list of links, (with each link having their own set of comments), or long posts addressing a multiplicity of points.

    However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all world, and I certainly think that in some cases, such granularity wouldn’t be needed or desirable. That doesn’t detract from how damn cool this implementation is, though. ;)

  5. Suw Says:

    I agree with Kevin that the random comments all over the place were probably due to the fact that people were playing with a new system, not *using* it. But I think that as a comment system it would work on any blog where the writer produces works that have multiple points upon which someone might like to specifically comment. Whether that’s a list of links, (with each link having their own set of comments), or long posts addressing a multiplicity of points.

    However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all world, and I certainly think that in some cases, such granularity wouldn’t be needed or desirable. That doesn’t detract from how damn cool this implementation is, though. ;)

  6. Craig Says:

    Kevin,

    What do you think of this as an alternative to threading? Or possibly as a supplement to threading?

    I didn’t think of that… it would actually be better than threaded comments, in my opinion. And also I noticed just now that you can view all of the comments in one list, so no harm done either way :)

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