Mariamz

Ars Technica highlight responsive author comments

Posted on: February 6, 2012

Online commenters largely appreciate responses from article authors within comment fields. Activity ‘below the line,’ by article originators stop web users feeling they are being talked down to and ignored (PDF).

So here I’d like to briefly showcase how Ars Technica are currently highlighting which of an article’s comments have been submitted by ‘above the line’ writers. It can be seen in this example that author’s comments are automatically identified in orange by the system:

If one wanted to be terribly picky one might say it is a continuation of the power iniquity for authors to have their comments marked out as special in this way. But I’d say on balance it is beneficial to the participation offer for it to be clear to both active and lurking web users (the majority of whom never comment) that responses are being read and taken account of.

Furthermore – there are lots of ars technica contributors that could do with taking a leaf out of Mr Lee’s above – a quick scoot around the site (of 10+ recent articles) to find further examples of neatly highlighted contributor comments turned up zilch.

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