What about an unhide button to reveal the true identities and email addresses of ACs.
Exciting news from Vulture Towers - we're overhauling your comments system to make it more accessible and satisfying for you to use. After an extensive consultation with our valued board of 'tame' commentards - those of you who responded eagerly to our call for comment consultants last year - and weekly all-staff comments …
Will there be no way to post comments for free? Or is free commenting just restricted?
If not, good luck with charging for comments. I suspect your numbers will plummet. That will be a sad day indeed.
Is this another iPad inspired toe in the water pricing scheme? Seems to be all the rage at the moment.
Except perhaps the taking to task those who are quite inclined to believe everylast word that proceedeth from the keyboard of the Reg Team on 01/04 of every year.
Just saying is all.
Do we also get a button that sends an electric shock to directly to the Hack in questions chair when we really don't like an article?
I would really appreciate such a thing, you can charge extra for it, doubly so if you post a video of said moments to youtube.
Commenter zapping: All commenter's names will come with a 'zap' button - after this is clicked by three other separate commenters, the offending account will be deleted.
So what your saying is that you pay your £5/12 ... 3 people don't like something you write and you loose your subscription ... ... ... ridiculous if that's how its going to work.
I would assume that for those that do pay there won't be any adverts?
Seems like a license to print money is being requested rather than any service benefits!
Try reading before commenting (or are you beta-testing the Instaspeak button?):
"Standard subscription (£5 per year) - Enables you to post comments under moderation with the new 'three strikes' system"
So, the three-strikes rule only applies to the £5 cheapskate subscription. Seems only reasonable to me.
... that this is another April Fools story.
Do you really believe that paying to post comments is actually something that the majority of commentards will actually do? It's just a bit of light relief, and the ability to see whether other people are of like mind.
Next you will be saying that BOFH will be only available to subscription holders.
Hang on. This over 250 words yet is it?
What happens if you get "zapped" by 3 people, getting your account deleted, if you've paid your year's subscription? Especially if this is because you've said something quite reasonable like "I believe that Google is invading privacy and retaining too much data"? How would a comment like that be grounds for account deletion?
I can imagine that the account numbers will plummet after a contentious topic. Look at the histrionics on any article about smoking, for example. I think my account would have been banned 20 times over if left to fellow commentards on the last one alone!
I can see that this could be a good function, but I think it might need some oversight* to prevent abuse and could end up being a race between pro / anti (topic) to try and silence the opposition. It could well lead to any but premium commenters becoming over-cautious in an attempt not to be deleted, or just to cease commenting altogether (in which case, they'd wonder why they're paying their fiver, which I'm pretty sure wouldn't be the intent!)
Or maybe I'm just a bit too cynical?
(*e.g. you can't zap more than x accounts in y period, accounts zapped three times are subject to moderator review rather than simply deleted, accounts that zap too frequently are themselves reviewed by moderators, accounts are monitored to see if they're shills for particular interests)
On the other hand, I value El Reg enough that I would happily shell out £12/year (£1 a month for this sort of goodness? Here's my card...) in order to fully participate, and I'm quite excited (not like that, you filthy beasts!) to see what's coming in the future.
".......if you're not happy, we'll do our best to remedy matters....."
I'm afraid that bit gave it away rather early doors for me. I just couldn't for the life of me figure out why the f*** you'd go straight to that position from "suck it up, arsehats" without at least experimenting with just stuffing your fingers in your ears and going "lalalala" whenever we complained.
I like the very wide comments section though and it should stop those pesky formatting snafus whenever anyone posts a long url or title, keep it up!
I only nibbled at the worm and managed to just fall short of swallowing the hook... I even clicked the link to the call for commentards article...
But in keeping with the above, "I'm outraged, how dare you! I will have no choice to move to the Daily Mail's comment pages instead as they remain free, just like Britain should be - free for Brits, and free of foreigners!"
Some things are still going to be down to my discretion, although I am going to be more hands-off from now on. I'm mulling the idea of instant zappage for anyone who uses the word 'sheeple', makes a prison rape joke or says 'if you can't do the time don't do the crime'. For now, I just moderate them out in the forlorn hope these things will die out if starved of the oxygen of publicity.
We were thinking of a comment editing service too, to clean up any typos - thoughts?
This will disappoint the legion of Commentards who we all know fantasise about having a hands on session with the Moderitrix...
Overall the whole scheme suggests that someones been down the pub for too long chatting to the powers that be at the Times. Of course I reckon people would pay a £1 for El Reg more easily than for the online Times. Sad really given the heady past glories of "the Thunderer".
Please could we have a 3-strikes system for "where's the IT angle?". My thinking is that if 3 commentards ask the question and each comment is upvoted 3 times, then the article is removed from the server forthwith and the author's subsequent 3 articles. I would suggest that any article on the first day of April is wildcard time though and thus escapes such measures.
I would gladly subscribe of course, but your plans lack a random HYS-style comment generator.
If only I could input a few words (up to 3? maybe 5?) in some boxes, check either + or - next to each word, and finally click on "Create Comment", this would make my life so much easier! If that happened, not only would I get the top subscription, but I would also go and post reviews of El Reg saying how much better than iFlorist it really is.
HYS-style comments would be just a start, I would also love to be offered the option to have my comments either generated or auto-translated into that language(?) amanfrommars uses.
Disgusting behaviour from The Reg. First we have to put up with flashing adverts all over the site, distracting us from the important business of speaking our branes, and now this. A disgraceful two-tier system that punishes the poor while placing yet more power in the hands of the rich.
All this simply to allow overpaid Reg hacks to keep their personal flight machines filled with increasingly expensive fuel.
And on top of all this, where's the Platinum subscription that enables even richer commentards to vent their spleen at Orlowski, eh?
Once more El Rag (sic) has dropped the ball.
If I had a subscription, you could consider it cancelled.
You could add an optimization engine that finds the best fit between comment and story: reader posts comment and it will be moved automatically to the most appropriate thread.
For a few quid more, there could be an option to add some standard lines automatically, depending on the choice of icon (coat, PH, etc.), so readers don't have to invent lame jokes themselves.
This comment processing engine would of course introduce some embarrassing orthographic inaccuracies in each comment, unless you pay even more...
You had me scratching my head for a while there. I almost fell for it. But I must say that it was the response from the Moderatrix to the first post that finally gave it away for me.
>> Noted - I'll pass that straight along to the techies.
Brilliant! Or should I say, Oh Do F*ck On.
It's all well and good being able to vote posts up and down but in the quantum era I think something more multidimensional would better fit the flavour of our time.
When we can also vote things top, bottom, strange and charming then we'll truly have a service that reflects its users.
Could you have not introduced an autocomment feature which takes a mashup of your favourite news sites and generates a 250 character rant in that style.
Sort of :
"Google announce new web widget" (headline)
"So google are encouraging asylum seekers to come to Britain and grow their super skunk cannabis while stealing our jobs and causing house prices to fall won't somebody think of the children ?" (daily mail autocomment)
"All commenter's names will come with a 'zap' button - after this is clicked by three other separate commenters, the offending account will be deleted. This is the first step towards making the boards truly democratic." ..... :-) Or easily despotic and in control of ... well anybody really, ... from foreign governments to headcases and all in between.
Which would as you say, make the boards truly democratic .... but nowhere near fair and free.
But apart from that, it is good to see El Reg on the ball pushing the envelope... and 'avin' a larf :-)
"It's just a bit of light relief, and the ability to see whether other people are of like mind." ...... Peter Gathercole Posted Thursday 1st April 2010 10:23 GMT
Err .... Peter, IT is a National Secret Security Treasure with the Ability to Change Minds, and Right Wicked Social Therapy for those so Engaged. Just ask anybody who knows in the Know. Be careful though, Loose Lips Sink Chips is a valid Intel parameter and really FcUKSup their Analytical Algorithms .... Imperial Phormations ..... New World Order Planning and Crash Campaigns.
And how very heartening, El Reg, that so very few would have objected to paying for the Realities and Absurdities you Share and Host. You must be doing Everything Right.:-)
'You could ask for a "Sarcasm Detector"'
Yea, how useful would that be! *bang*
We need an auto commenter on types of story. Eg, to save time for linux users so they never have to comment on a "Windows has a problem" story, it auto posts "My operating system never suffers from that *smug*"
Or "iPad/iPod/iPhone/iPish censorship" - "You should have bought an Android/Windows/Symbian/other phone, like me"
Stories like that, combined with a '3 clicks and zap' option will have a few wars going.
This might be one of the last comments I make before these charges come in, because I won't be paying. There are too many places I can vent my spleen for free.
It's ironic, really, that The Register wants to charge users so they can contribute to the site... as in "you make our site more interesting, and we charge you for the pleasure. double bonus for us!" Still, I think I can guess how interesting the forums will become after the charges are brought in.
Speaking of accessibility, I'd suggest a charging policy will make your forum less accessible (specifically to those who aren't subscribed and don't want to pay). And it's interesting to see El Reg wheel out some of those sickening spin lines so often seen in government press releases.. "to make it more accessible and satisfying for you to use". Yeah whatever!
Final thought... how many entertaining stories have you published about some random nutter posting utterly bizarre comments? I guess you'll be saying goodbye to those, as well.
Sarah, sweetie, Web2.0 is based upon the premise of people blathering to each other about what they think about stuff. This is why all the most popular sites (including this one!) offer commenting abilities. This crusade of wanton self-promotion is epitomised in Twitter, where you can comment. Not ON something, just, you know, because. Because there may be somebody somewhere out there who actually believes they want to know what flavour crisps you are eating...
Indeed Sarah, a little peace and quiet is a nice thing. For that, I press Fn-F2 and switch the WiFi off. Instant peace.
*IF* there is a (small) prize awarded for the comment with the highest number of "thumbs up".
Think of it this way...commenters who contribute consistently good comments (as judged by their fellow commenters) would be able to make back their subscription (and potentially make a profit!).
Perhaps those who consistently come in with the highest number of "thumbs down" should have their subscription rates increased? (I'm looking at you, "amanfrommars"!)
As it is past midday, here's a (semi) serious comment.
There is no way that I would pay even £1 a year to get access to The Times - but I might be persuaded to stump up a couple of squid for El Reg as I think that it would certainly be worth it. It's not perfect (what is?) but it provides a damn good service for those of us in IT. We get a wide range of interesting and useful articles, relevant industry news, some generally thoughful comments - what more could you want?
I wouldn't miss Rupert, but I would certainly miss Ms. Bee, et al. Not sure if that says something about The Times, The Register or me.
So, err, is the Platinum membership still available? The one that lets us read all the missing BOFH stories? I didn't see anything about the BOFH stories in the list of benefits for the new "Premium" membership.
I'm guessing Simon T must be rich off the proceeds of El Reg's Platinum membership, since 90% of his BOFH stories have been "Platinum Only" for over a year now. I'd dearly love to see what's up with the old BOFH's apparent death and the PFY's ascension to the throne, but, alas, I missed the Platinum subscription window when it was last opened. Woe is me. I guess I could be piratical and just try to plunder a current Platinum subscriber's account, but that seems somehow wrong. Even pirates have morals...
These new features will really....
...some of these actually seem useful! I'm torn; is this article an April fools? Or a tease?
Also, despite being bylined by “Team Register,” does this particular article drip “Andrew Orlowski” to anyone but me? There’s something particular about the sarcasm that is just…him.
"Good one. I actually got about 1/3 through the second page before I remembered the date!" ..... WFW Posted Thursday 1st April 2010 16:57 GMT
And tomorrow, WFW, whenever you read "real" news and views, will it have been dreamt up to be spun with IT and media to push/pimp/pump a personal agenda trying to keep a rotten to the core party from being thrown out of office for gross incompetence in micro/macro managing the message and hiding the truth. Where do you think your daily realities come from? Heaven sent?
*BASIC (an acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) ..... for the Simple Programming of Mindless Idiots for Ghost Writing.
Spinning a war is not such a good plan nowadays is it, whenever the fiction comes back to demand its pound of flesh from the gullible sofa cowards and wannabe armchair heroes.
«Premium subscription (£12 per year)[...] (no more wrath of the Moderatrix for you!).»
Let me get this straight: you're charging MORE for that? Who the hell thought that would be a good idea? We commentards would sell our mothers for a taste of Sarah's whip!
In any case this article got me going for, oh, 2 sentences at most. By contrast I stuck with the LHC story until the mention of the blue glowing 2-metres-wide portal (on second page I believe).
Nice try though.
(Who said the Finns don't have a sense of humour?)
1) Bridge in Turku unexpectedley collapsed a couple of months ago.
Fix? Hold it with balloons.
2) Tampere's main newspaper's contract's (Aamulehti) font expired April 1 - it was forced to use pen and paper...
(OK you'll get the drift...It's English)
These are excellent ideas and I look forward to their ground-breaking implementation!
Web 2.0 -and beyond- is truly a classless society.
But £5 a year? Seriously? That's far too cheap and will do nothing to keep the uneducated, clueless facepukers out of the picture.
I recommend a sliding scale system for Mac and PC users, since the former are clearly more affluent.
Linux Users should be a special category with even higher charges, since they don't have to pay for any software.
I also strongly recommend (given the recent iPad commentardary on the web) special charges for commenters wishing to indulge in further OS wars. We all know and love these arguments, and we all want them to be done well. If people are paying for the privilege, they will do their best to be competitive.
Competitive is the key word here.
Commenter zapping is the way to WWW 3.0 !
Too bad this was an April Fools article. Some of those ideas would actually be good to see implemented, and I'm not talking about the subscription system.
>> You can also choose to 'hide' other comments according to a checklist of your dislikes << Sometimes it would be nice to ignore comments from certain posters. As an alternative, have it so anyone that gets minus 10 votes is automatically hidden.
By the way, has anyone seen ManfromMars lately?
>> Instaspeak: Skip the story - simply click on any headline to comment. << I know some people on here would probably love to see this feature implemented.
>> Opinion templates: Based on our successful 'standard comments' trial of 2008 - one click to post 'you owe me a new keyboard', 'all hail the Divine Moderatrix' or 'That's it, I'm moving to Australia because I think I will be happier there given the unimpeachable civil liberties credentials of the current regime'. << This would be good to see implemented.
>> Full Comment Scan: Choose to view all deleted, withdrawn and unpublished comments - the unvarnished, unmoderated truth! << For gelastic self interest, this would be entertaining to see.
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