Ipswich Star changes its comments facility

Discussion in 'Local Politics' started by martinc, Jun 29, 2017.

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  1. martinc

    martincFounder Member

    I see the good old Star is now using disqus for its comments. Good or bad? Not sure myself, may put a few people off..

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  3. dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    I find it frustrating! I was working on a browser plugin that would inject a third party commenting system into where the comments were. Only due to the site going down was I distracted away from doing it.

    It is good from a site point of view. Their infrastructure sits behind varnish (or was still is) which was badly configured and kept bringing their site to its knees every time it had reasonable amounts of traffic. They have no more than 20 new articles a day (guesstimate) and no more than a few article updates per a day. The content is mostly static. There is no reason why you couldn't get away with hosting that on a shared hosting platform or cheap cloud VPS for a few quid a year or per month respectively. Comments keep expiring the static content - although much of this is delayed and approved at once.  I don't think it is a bad idea for a javascript/jquery comment script which sits on a CDN so the main site is lightening fast (not likely with all the adverts on there unless you use an advert blocker, which most do).

    It is a bad idea, solely as installing this feature site-wide has removed all the existing comments. Even current articles from a couple of days ago which had close to a hundred comments have gone (sure its not deleted)... including the upper orwell crossing one. I doubt I will bother registering to get my point across. They can still over-moderate. They could in theory import the old comments (which they might as they changed the way the old system displayed comments, away from divs to li list items, possibly to scrape into CSV to import) but without the ability to migrate membership across they will suffer. The comments are right at the bottom now. Disqus allows displaying comments from other topics to engage web users. They will lose half their traffic now. People will still come to read the news. People just won't come back to old and current topics to see replies to their comments or to read what others have said. When you have advertisements all over your page, it will be a drop in income most certainly.

    What they required was changing the software they used. Even Wordpress would have been better. I don't know their current CMS system much other than the name DM PoloPoly (Java) but I assume it loads directly from database without any object caching or similar. If they used an approach like that, you can simply load your dynamic content directly from memory (quicker) and only query the bit which changes (i.e. the comments, new articles in the sidebar/navigation).


    So, I don't approve of the change but I rarely use their site. Most of the news is relaying national news which other (and "better") news sources reveal.
  4. dan5

    dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

    This is the reason I have been pasting comments on here from Ipswich Star. To prevent them disappearing.
  5. OP

    martincFounder Member

    the "most commented" links on right hand side have gone now. That's a backward step..
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • dan5

      dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

      I think it is an improvement. To give it the proper title "most comments in the last week Sunday onwards by different people"... so you got news articles which had 1 comment at number 3 and an article with 40+ falling off despite a couple of comments in the same time as those above it. Of course, perhaps it shows how many were moderated.

      I stopped using Ipswich Star. I kept looking for the comment widget like you stated, but it is gone. Total rubbish... we need a new local press outlet, even if solely online. Ipswich Vision creates problems with the Norwich Archant exclusivity. You will end up with Ipswich Society like facebook posts, some are insider information which Ipswich Star hasn't got and others just speculation not having a clue. Ipswich Star takes far too long to report "news". One recent example is axing the free shuttle bus, I announced it ages before they picked up on it. Looking into it, someone bet me by a day to revealing that information, which I only found through chance.
    • dan5

      dan5Founder MemberStaff Member

      Unfortunately it appears they are beginning to over-moderate comments again... even with the new system.

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