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New Feature: Opt-out of Reader Comments Display

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Due to popular demand, I've added the ability to opt-out of seeing the reader comments on stories.

The switch is in the story display settings, next to showing the scrolling/style menu. Or thru the 'My Account' page.

https://storiesonline.net/sol-secure/user/style.php

Uncheck the 'Show Readers Comments' check box and click save.

Replies:   sharkjcw  popi
Crumbly Writer

Just to be clear, is this for Readers or Authors, as Authors already had this feature (and you may just be belatedly announcing it), or you may be adding an entirely new feature.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

is this for Readers or Authors,


I interpreted it as an option for readers.

docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

I would have thought Authors were also considered to be Readers. Most writers do a lot of reading I think.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

Just to be clear, is this for Readers or Authors


This is for readers. Surprisingly, many readers have already asked me to allow them to remove comments. After the first few requests, I moved the comments below everything so that the useful links don't fall below them. But it wasn't enough, I kept getting requests to allow readers to hide all comments altogether.

After more than 20 requests, I felt it's important to allow readers the option.

So, now the commenting system is opt-in for the authors to enable comments on their own stories. And it's opt-out for readers who don't want to see them.

Replies:   doctor_wing_nut
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@docholladay


I would have thought Authors were also considered to be Readers. Most writers do a lot of reading I think.


Yeah, that's assumed, but I was confused since authors were already informed about how to activate and deactivate the comments, so I wanted to be sure we were both discussing the same thing.

Common sense dictates he WAS referring to readers, but I just wanted to double check.

@Lazeez


After the first few requests, I moved the comments below everything so that the useful links don't fall below them. But it wasn't enough, I kept getting requests to allow readers to hide all comments altogether.


In one story (on SOL) I've got 30 comments, so yeah, it can be excessive if you run across that many comments every time you read a new chapter. (You may want to consider a 'only show new comments after they've already been viewed' option instead.) While readers may tire of seeing the old comments repeated endlessly, that doesn't necessarily mean they're uninterested in ALL comments.

By the way, that's not a demand, just a suggestion for you to consider. If it's difficult, simply turning off the comments for the story is a decent alternative. If necessary, readers could always turn it back on once the story is finished and they're reading the final chapter.

Michael Loucks

Another solution to the problem of seeing them at the end of new chapters would be an option 'Only show comments on completed stories'.

doctor_wing_nut

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

This is for readers.


Thank you for that option, it is a welcome addition. The few times I have encountered comments, I have not found them to be helpful.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@doctor_wing_nut

Thank you for that option, it is a welcome addition. The few times I have encountered comments, I have not found them to be helpful.

I've been lucky in that regard (crossing my fingers), but the reason I value posting to SOL, is that, when publishing, you're often throwing your stories into the void, never knowing how they're received or what readers think of them. All you've got to go on are sales, but those don't reveal how readers feel after the sale.

On SOL, I get feedback from readers, and often they'll relate story issues I never imagined. Anything from readers disliking a particular secondary character, to not liking a preview of the prequel. If I didn't have that type of feedback, I'd be stuck writing in the dark, guessing how my readers felt without anyone ever telling me.

Even if you don't agree with their views, at least acknowledging the issues will often buy additional latitude from readers, allowing you to explore the issues (story problems) over the course of the story, rather than simply giving up on it (by the readers).

Replies:   doctor_wing_nut
doctor_wing_nut

@Crumbly Writer

I can see it being valuable for authors, so I think it's a good option, but it does nothing for me.

Like so many things in life, it's good to have the choice. Now, if only I could opt-out of junk mail.

Replies:   zebra69347
zebra69347

@doctor_wing_nut

You forgot to tick the box saying no junk mail.

Not that it does any good!

Crumbly Writer

@zebra69347

You forgot to tick the box saying no junk mail.

Not that it does any good!

The only 'good' that does, is to inform the spammers than there's a living, breathing individual reading their spam. Thus they've got an incentive to sent MORE just mail, rather than less!

doctor_wing_nut

@zebra69347

You forgot to tick the box saying no junk mail.

Not that it does any good!


I don't care much about email spam, that's easily deleted. I do, however, have a bug up my ass over physical junk mail. I would dearly love a way to opt-out of that particular nonsense. When I think about all the time, effort, money and trees wasted in the mission to send me every mattress ad ever devised, it ticks me off, big-time.

Switch Blayde

@doctor_wing_nut

When I think about all the time, effort, money and trees wasted in the mission to send me every mattress ad ever devised


Just wait until you get them for cremation. Those are depressing.

Ernest Bywater

@doctor_wing_nut

over physical junk mail.

get a big red rubber stamp saying Return to Sender stamp the junk and drop it in the nearest outward mail box at the next opportunity, and encourage all your friends to do the same. Eventually that will cut down on the amount of the crap being delivered by the postal workers when they get fed up with it coming back - to stop the walkers you have to catch them at it and talk to them.

I know a person who had a post office box, and a redirect for the street mail stating to redirect mail only when addressed to specific individuals to the PO Box, and has no mailbox at the address along with a the highest front fence the council allows 4 foot high 2 foot deep brick fence with the top slanted to the street so anything placed on it slides off into the street. Any junk mail in the PO Box is dumped on the PO floor since it's supposed to be personally addressed mail only.

Since every PO Box holder started dumping junk mail on the floor the LPO staff has stopped stuffing mail in the boxes so they don't have to go out and clean it up every hour due to the loose papers being a safety hazard they got a notice about by the OH&S inspector.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Warped as it may seem, the UK's Royal Mail depends on junk mail to keep it viable. Without the money they get from delivering spam, private mail services would be able to undercut them and six days a week delivery to anywhere in the country at a flat rate wouldn't be possible.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Warped as it may seem, the UK's Royal Mail depends on junk mail to keep it viable. Without the money they get from delivering spam, private mail services would be able to undercut them and six days a week delivery to anywhere in the country at a flat rate wouldn't be possible.

And you wonder why the voters refuse to properly fund the unpopular Royal Mail delivery? It's because they've surplanted general purpose deliveries (something everyone uses) with specialty bulk mailing (which everyone despises!). As they as they continue along that route, they'll NEVER get additional funding, and are likely to see additional mail service closures. It's a losing proposition, however you address it.

For a public service to succeed, it's GOT to serve a vital function. Sending junk mail doesn't serve ANY vital service. Instead, the government has to learn how to compete with private companies by delivering what they can't, in a way that is beneficial and desired. Otherwise, I suggest they all wither and die, and they've lost their way decades ago.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Sending junk mail doesn't serve ANY vital service.


It does for the senders. :)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

Sending junk mail doesn't serve ANY vital service.


It means letters sent to remote Scottish islands are charged the same rate as intra-Londonistan.

AJ

Grant
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Sending junk mail doesn't serve ANY vital service.

Yes it does, it gives them income.

Instead, the government has to learn how to compete with private companies by delivering what they can't, in a way that is beneficial and desired.

Not possible.
It's not that private companies can't deliver certain types of mail- they don't want to, it's not economical. Likewsie they don't deliver everywhere & in many cases make use of the postal service to cover for the areas they don't want to touch. And if those private companies were to deliver to more remote areas, the cost would be so great to the sender/receiver that there wouldn't be any demand for such a service.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

It does for the senders. :)


I note who sends me junk mail, and then avoid their shops - so it does serve a purpose. I figure if they can afford to pay to have the crap printed and sent, then they have to be charging more to pay for it, thus I shop not doing that should have lower prices.

awnlee jawking

@Grant

Utility companies whine that it's too expensive to send out paper bills to their customers, but it seems like a couple of times a month each I get spam from BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk urging me to switch to their phone, broadband and television packages.

I have to wonder about the economics of their business models.

AJ

Replies:   Grant
Not_a_ID

Bulk rate, non-customized mail is easy to do, and cheap.

The customization costs. That the individually addressed stuff also tends to also rate paying more than the "bulk rate" also makes it cost even more for them.

Basically, it probably costs them about as much to send a bulk mailing to 100 households as it does for them to send you your monthly statement. Economies of scale get weird some times.

Replies:   REP
Grant

@awnlee jawking

Utility companies whine that it's too expensive to send out paper bills to their customers, but it seems like a couple of times a month each I get spam from BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk urging me to switch to their phone, broadband and television packages.

I have to wonder about the economics of their business models.

As Not_a_ID mentioned, unaddressed mail is a lot cheaper than addressed.
And just like email spam, it doesn't take many responses for the mailout to pay for itself. It results in new business, sending out statements to existing customers doesn't.

Some companies now charge extra for a paper statement, and the amount they charge means they actually make a profit on it.

awnlee jawking

@Grant

I still worry about the economics of their business models. Sending out spam attracts new customers of the type likely to move on when the 'special deal' expires after a year or so. Sending out paper bills should aid retentivity.

We've reached the insane situation where we have to change insurers etc every year or we're being fleeced, and that's surely an enormous waste of resources.

AJ

Replies:   REP  Grant  sejintenej
Capt. Zapp

@Grant

And just like email spam, it doesn't take many responses for the mailout to pay for itself.


I bet if they started receiving most of it back 'Return To Sender' and had to pay for that it would get less profitable.

REP

@Not_a_ID

as it does for them to send you your monthly statement


Bulk mail rates applies to mailings that are pre-packaged by zip code. So they probably package the monthly bills as bulk mail and get the lower price. :)

REP

@awnlee jawking

to change insurers etc every year or we're being fleeced,


Normally, the companies making the offer are doing an apples-oranges comparison to prove their prices are lower. If you buy into it and sign up, you might suddenly realize it was an introductory offer that expires 3 months into your 24 month contract. :) Buyer beware!

Grant

@awnlee jawking

I still worry about the economics of their business models. Sending out spam attracts new customers of the type likely to move on when the 'special deal' expires after a year or so. Sending out paper bills should aid retentivity.

I suspect much of the business models were done by those responsible for the accounting at Enron. Very, very, very creatively.

Allen Wilson

@docholladay

Reading way to much, as it is. I really don't need another excuse.
AFW

sejintenej

@awnlee jawking

We've reached the insane situation where we have to change insurers etc every year or we're being fleeced, and that's surely an enormous waste of resources.

That is a gross understatement!!!!
I have somewhere like 25 years no claims but the bonus is only for five years. Last summer I changed my car (165000 miles) for a newer version of the identical model with the stipulation than my mileage per year would go down from 20K to 10K.
My insurance company hiked my premium from £350 to £800+ !!!!!! I went elsewhere and paid under £300.

R I P O F F - that is Britain today (oh, and my loaf of bread has gone from £1.25 to £2.50 in two weeks!)

sharkjcw

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I have looked thru all of the "my account settings" and have not found "show readers comments"

Capt. Zapp

@sharkjcw

I have looked thru all of the "my account settings" and have not found "show readers comments"


Only authors have the option to turn on readers comments. As a reader, you have the option to turn them off, but only if the author has them turned on.

Ernest Bywater

@sharkjcw

I have looked thru all of the "my account settings" and have not found "show readers comments"


There are two settings:

1 - Authors to activate for the comments to be visible is at:

Home - Authors / Editors - Manage Stories - Select a story - third line of the options at the top is a button to either Hide Public Comments or Show Public Comments.

2. - Is for the reader to have the comments visible if activated is at:

Home - My Account - in the Preferences section in the middle is an option - Story Display Settings and you click on the link word Change to the right of that line - when the Story Display Preferences opens you click on the Edit button - that opens the Story Display Preferences option where you can change the colors etc. and in the middle of the settings are 2 checkmark boxes, the second one is Show Reader Comments, if a checkmark tick is beside this it will show the comments at the end of the story if the author has activated the capability, if there is no checkmark tick then they will not display at all.

Replies:   sharkjcw  docholladay
sharkjcw

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks Ernest

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Thanks Ernest, I have looked for that but was looking in the wrong place. Luckily it seems to be turned off already through the default settings. That might be the default setting for everyone as well, although I don't know for sure.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Thanks Ernest, I have looked for that but was looking in the wrong place. Luckily it seems to be turned off already through the default settings. That might be the default setting for everyone as well, although I don't know for sure.

My default setting (never changed) was on, but maybe that was triggered by turning comments on for my stories.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Crumbly Writer

Maybe it defaults to the last action relating to the comments. But its no problem now at least I know where to go and change the setting if I need to. Its easy to change and even without that, I can always just exit that story page by hitting the backspace key on my keyboard. I use that at the end of a chapter or story regularly anyway.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@docholladay

Maybe it defaults to the last action relating to the comments.


The default setting for all readers is with the comments ON. It's only off when you set it to OFF.

popi
Updated:

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I located the checkbox for 'Show Readers Comments' and turned it off. What I had in mind was a toggle at the end of the chapter down with the home, library, blog and etc. to toggle Show/Hide comments like you do with the 'Show Story Details' on the story index page.

SnakeEater

I posted this on another announcements thread & then found this one, I realized that it should be here.

One thing that could cut back on some of the complaints I've run across regarding the new comment system found at the end of some of the stories. If you limited just how many would display immediately at the bottom of the most recent chapter before rolling over to another page it could eliminate some of those complaints. In some of the stories the length/amounts of comments are larger & longer than the new chapter is leading to some disappointment to the reader who expected more of the new chapter & finds that the notes take up most of the page. "Winds of Change" by 'The Scot' would be a good example.

Jake

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