Thursday, August 23, 2007

youtube gets reddit-style comments, but will discussions be any less inane?

The guys had been quite isolated while building our commenting system, so I didn't see it until shortly before it went online. During development, I just trusted Steve and his assurance that "it'll be cool."

The date was December 12, 2005 (I know this thanks to the above logo) and Steve and I hadn't given much thought to comments when we started reddit. In fact, I remember discussions sometimes ending with a concession that even if we did add them, the submissions were so ephemeral that no one would bother commenting. It's a good thing we added comments -- well, I feel that way most of the time.

Little did we know that this then novel method for voting up and down comments (and ranking entire threads based on things like hotness/newness/top-rated) would take off like it did. The idea of rating comments was nothing new (Slashdot is the first that comes to mind) but I certainly had never seen anything like the now ubiquitous up/down arrows (or thumbs up/down) unveiled that day.

It must have been quite validating for the guys to see this replicated in commenting systems across the web, and now YouTube has followed suit.
It's a good thing too, considering the level of discourse you normally find. But I wonder if it's going to make any difference...

Oh well, at least I can finally vote down those ALL CAPPS!!11 abominations.