Everybody’s Talkin’

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As the Slope of Hope approaches its 13th birthday, it’s important to note that one of the most important aspects of the site – – indeed, probably THE most important aspect – – has been the comments section. Whereas the comments is an afterthought on most sites, or perhaps garners a handful of remarks for every post, Slope has gathered up literally MILLIONS of comments during the course of its lifetime (only about 10% of which are BDI telling us to blow him).

One of the oddities of Slope, which has almost become a meme, is how folks will have discussions and comments that have absolutely nothing to do with whatever post I’ve created. I was reminded of this when I did the prior post, which is a reflective, mildly-humorous post that should garner a lot of feedback, memories, and banter. Instead, people just kept talking about whatever they were talking about. That’s fine by me, but it leads me to a question that’s been on my mind………..

Well, it’s actually two questions, and they’re related:

(1) What kind of improvements would you like to see in the comments section?

(2) Would you like to be able to participate in comments are just “raw” comments, not attached to any particular post? In other words, it would be the same comment stream, and comments would still be under posts, but you could alternately jump into the discussion directly, and not even think about it in terms of being comments about a post.

As some of you may remember, Slope is undergoing a big transition behind the scenes, and it’s going to stop being a blog and start being a web site. SlopeCharts is under constant development, and I’m about to start improving comments as well. For one thing, I’m cleaning it up of stuff I’ve decided is a distraction (virtual trading, for instance) and doing some general housekeeping on it as well.

I’d like to make some of the features way more obvious. For instance, savvy Slopers know that preceding a screen name with the “@” sign will email that person whatever comment is being typed, but it should be way more obvious than that.

Anyway, if you have any requests for the comments section, I’m eager to hear them. The millions of comments garnered show that there is a need for this sort of forum, but I’d like to make it as enjoyable, accessible, and helpful as I possibly can. The new Slope is coming!