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Navigating the Reef: Comment Thread Tips and Tricks

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Baseball is back! After an offseason of much uncertainty, we have finally made it!

As with the start of any new season, we have seen many new and returning users visiting our little corner of the universe. For some, what they have discovered is the new Coral commenting system. For most of the year, we have been working to adjust to the new. Change is hard, we all know that. The lockout served as a good time to learn the new system and adapt to it. Spring training brought us the return game threads and a bump in traffic. The start of the regular season, like always, takes this to another level. The increase in readership means an increase in the size of comment threads. Much like the previous system, the new system shows some of its issues when the threads get longer.

While looking through the almost 1700(!) comments in the two game threads, it became apparent that a large portion of the comments were regarding the system and not about the game itself. Many of us have experienced larger threads on Coral, but for some, this was likely their first time seeing it with such a heavy load of traffic. With this in mind, after consulting with the other mods and writers, we have put together the following list of tips and tricks that can help make the Coral experience at least a little smoother.

  • Set the thread to show the newest comments first. This does make for a fairly big change from the older system, but having the newest comments near the top can help alleviate some of the issues that come up from needing to continually press the "Load More Comments" button.
  • Deactivate the "Always Open GIFs, Tweets, YouTube, etc." feature. Under the "My Profile" tab at the top of a comment thread, click on "Preferences." You will see a header for "Media Preferences." The box, I believe, is automatically un-checked, but it can be adjusted to help the threads not get bogged down on your end.
  • Do a full refresh of the page every couple innings. While tedious, there are often times where replies to comments don't load. The full refresh will require you to click the "Load More Comments" but it will also show replies that may not have loaded for you through z'ing.
  • Be on the lookout for overflow threads. The mods and writers are right there with you. If the thread starts bogging down for you, it is likely slowing for others as well. Since the user experience seems to vary widely, if you start to feel a new thread is needed, make a note in the thread or message a mod/writer to alert them.
  • Reading longer comment threads through mobile devices can be difficult. This is especially true on Apple products. The coral developers have told us that they are working on a large update to improve readability on iOS devices, but in the meantime, be aware that the issue is known and being worked on.
  • When posting tweets, providing a short description of the information in it can help improve the navigation of the thread. While linking the tweets is easier, simply copy the URL and click "Add Tweet" (no need to use the ‘embed' function of twitter), navigating the comment thread gets more difficult when people need to open tweets.
  • Download the "Coral Loader" Chrome extension. Our very own faulke has developed an extension that allows for a wider comments and deeper nesting. It makes the thread more spatially efficient. faulke has also said there will hopefully be more improvements to come. A huge thank you to faulke for working on this!

The commenting system is still being updated and has come a long way from where it started when the NFL SB Nation sites. While we await future updates, these tips will hopefully help to smooth out some of the issues longer threads can develop. If you have come across any other tricks that work for you, please feel free to add them to the comments below.