LW For External Comments?

post by jefftk (jkaufman) · 2019-12-05T18:30:02.217Z · score: 53 (19 votes) · LW · GW · 7 comments

There are several blogs which (a) cross-post to LessWrong and (b) have a relatively quiet comment section on their "canonical" sites: Meteuphoric ( canonical, LW [LW · GW]), Don't Worry About The Vase ( canonical, LW [LW · GW]), Sideways View ( canonical, LW [LW · GW]), etc.

In general, I'm much happier to comment on LW, FB, or somewhere else where I already have an account and trust to have a decent notification system. I'll occasionally comment on someone's independent blog, if there's no other option. When I do, however, I usually don't end up seeing replies or other comments, and managing my subscriptions is a pain. This is why I've never built independent comments for my own blog, and have always asked people to comment on other sites.

I'm wondering whether it might make sense for LW to run shared commenting infrastructure for independent blogs that are cross posted to LW. This could look like:

This has some similarities to Disqus, but instead of "outsource your comments" it's "join your comment section with the LW comment section".

I already have the first half of this on my blog and am basically content, but it's enough of a pain to set up technically that I don't think others would be interested in its current state. [1] I think the main questions are:


[1] If I'm wrong, and you do want to use it, I could potentially pull out the LW-specific code into something stand-alone. Right now it's all glommed together with my code for pulling from FB and Reddit.

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comment by KatjaGrace · 2019-12-08T08:12:57.215Z · score: 15 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This sounds great to me, and I think I would be likely to sign up for it if I could, but I haven't thought about it for more than a few minutes, am particularly unsure about the implications for culture, and am maybe too enthusiastic in general for things being 'well organized'.

comment by agai · 2020-01-12T07:37:07.298Z · score: -1 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

am maybe too enthusiastic in general for things being 'well organized'.

I don't think so. :)

comment by Pattern · 2019-12-05T21:23:29.469Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
When I do, however, I usually don't end up seeing replies or other comments, and managing my subscriptions is a pain.

Yes. A solution to this would be amazing. (It would be amusing if people payed for a tool that handled this for blogs that are free to read.)

I'm wondering whether it might make sense for LW to run shared commenting infrastructure for independent blogs that are cross posted to LW. This could look like:
Comments on LW show up on the external blog.
People can comment on the LW post via the external blog.
This has some similarities to Disqus, but instead of "outsource your comments" it's "join your comment section with the LW comment section".

Potential issues:

0) Are users automatically created for each commenter?

1) If it's deleted on LW, should it still show up on the blog? (Or a notification of LW deletion?)

2) If it's deleted on the blog, should it still show up on LW?

3) On LW comments can be minimized*. This is good because there can be a lot of comments. (A comment's section without minimization seems fine if there's lower traffic.)

4) Trolls on either side (related to 0, 1 and 2). On LW things are minimized by default when they get a score of -4, stop showing up on the front page/recent comments at a score of 0.

*Though not posts or questions. Or shortform posts when viewed anywhere other than in the context of their shortform.

comment by gbear605 · 2019-12-06T01:01:03.502Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Another problem: If I have I post on an outside blog and have an account on LessWrong, is the crosspost posted by my account? If it does, then it creates all sort of security issues. If it doesn't, then it'll get confusing.

comment by jefftk (jkaufman) · 2019-12-06T02:00:18.147Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)
  1. I'm imagining you'd create an LW account if you didn't have one.

1 & 2. Yes, it's just two views into the same comment thread.

3 & 4. These are UI questions, but I would think having them work the same as on LW would make sense.

  1. Yes the comment is posted by your LW account. This would be implemented by having the comment composition box be in a cross-domain iframe hosted on lesswrong.com. The independent blog can't impersonate you.
comment by eigen · 2019-12-08T15:43:35.063Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This is a great idea!

I'm mostly saddened by the comments I miss on Scott Alexander's blog posts given that the Wordpress comment system is pretty simple IMO (contrasted with LW, there are ~300 comments on each post of The Codex on Scott's blog while the same posts here only have a few comments, maybe ~3.)

comment by bendini · 2019-12-06T04:43:35.729Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I strongly support this suggestion.