Looking at the long list of comments, I know that Comment Rating has hit something that some of us are passionate about. I’m really glad this little plugin can be useful, in the Web 2.0 user generated content arena.
As always, the design principle of the plugin is to be simple, efficient and widely applicable. A little flexibility doesn’t hurt.
Many of you, Jean-Paul, Jim and Tricky in particular, had made excellent suggestions. However, many issues are rather complex and we need to think them through to design right. Here’s a list of features that I’m convinced to be necessary.
- Flexibility of showing, 2, or 1 Like/Dislike counters. Done
- Styling highly-rated comments. Done
- Styling poorly-rated comments. Done
- Styling controversial comments. Done
- Option to turn off built-in styling. Done
- Wording changes based on rating. Done
- Tracking cookie to prevent voting fraud
- Add functions to retrieve rating number for theme customization.
- Choice of icon/images. Done
- Option to turn off styling the whole comment box. To avoid messy styling of nested comments . Done
- Option to change mouseover effect. Done
- Localization. Done.
- Widget to display comments with ratings. Done (v. 2.9.0).
- Sort the best comments to the top, so that the typical viewer will certainly not read all 150 comments on a popular blog, and everyone will benefit from the community ranking if they can simply view the “cream of the crop” right away. Done in the Pro version
- Allow vote types of: positive only, negative only votes or both. Done.
- Voting by registered member/comment contributor only. Done in the Pro version
- Add voting images to comments of a certain post only, posts are identified by PostID or category. Done in the Pro version
- Add option to customize the ‘thumb up’ – ‘thumb down’ ALT and TITLE text. Done (v. 2.9.7)
- Allow customizing the CSS tags around the voting image/ratings. Done in the Pro version
- Display the best voted comment in post or except in front page. Done in the Comment Rating Widget Pro
- Shows percentages instead of numbers. Or the ability to exclude the numbers all together
- WP short code to display selected comments in anywhere in a page.
- For voting only by logged-in member, make a small popup window to show people that they have to register once they click on the rating button. Done in the Pro version
- Rating correction in the admin panel: so in case someone messes up with the ratings, an admin can go into the plugin page, enter the comment ID and get its negative posts reseted to 0. (I’ve been doing this through the DB directly since the guy is messing with my site’s ratings).
- The ability to let anonymous users only up-vote comments, while logged-in users can both up-vote and down-vote comments. Users who are not logged in will see a a custom message (after the score) saying that they can down-vote if they log in.
- Limit the comment rating to post only or page only or both. Done in the Pro version
- Need a way to track what users are voting what. There is one user who is voting every comment down, which is frustrating all of our other users.
Discussion Sept. 9, 2009.
Hiding the entire comment box of poorly-rated comment wouldn’t be wise. This is a freedom of speech issue, rather philosophical. If some comments are really out of line, the admin can always remove it. Allowing a majority of readers doing so means suppressing the minority. It’s not good building online communities.
Now regarding “Styling highly-rated comments”, I’m now convinced that (Likes – Dislikes) is a better indicator. Many suggested multi-level of styling. More flexibility, Great idea. So here’s my plan:
- Good: (Likes – Dislikes) >= A
- Great: (Likes – Dislikes) >= B
- Superb: (Likes – Dislikes) >= C
Styling and wording can be changed at different levels.
Now, I’m also thinking about the hotly-debated issues. Often time, the most controversial issue is the most interesting and draws the most attention. Here’s another grading system.
- Hot: (Likes + Dislikes) >= A
- Heated: (Likes + Dislikes) >= B
- Outrageous: (Likes + Dislikes) >= C
What do you think? Are 3 levels too much? Shall we use 2 instead? Please comment.
Update Sept. 25. 2009: I think 3 level of different styling on all 3 type of comments will make your blog comment section a colorful rainbow. This will no longer serve the purpose of highlighting the important or interesting comments. So I’ll leave it to one-level of style per type only.