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Thursday’s FTB: Traverse City and New Comments

New, comments

You have a few hours to hat the nu formak in advance.

The Toronto Maple Leafs hold a Blue versus White scrimmage during their prospect development camp
This photo is for Hardev.
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Well, good morning, PPP, today is Nu Formak Day, and I hope you’ve got your pitchforks and torches ready to celebrate in the traditional way.

Before we get to that, just a reminder that the Traverse City Tournament starts today, with the Leafs playing at 3 pm. Which is round about when Nu Formak rises over the pumpkin patch, but no matter, we can do two things at once.

STREAMING: All games of the 2021 NHL Prospect Tournament will be carried live on DetroitRedWings.com. Additional channel streaming updates will be provided on Red Wings social media platforms. Every Red Wings game will feature game coverage commentary provided by Ken Kal, Art Regner, Daniella Bruce and Carley Johnston.

In other news:


Okay, now to the celebrations.

I’m putting this right up top and making it bold, so there’s no misunderstanding. All comments made prior to the rollout will disappear. They have not been deleted. There is a promise on the table to restore them, but I have not one tiny little clue about when that might happen.

There is no change to your account name, login credentials or two-factor authentication, if you set that up.

Yesterday, the NBA sites celebrated Nu Formak Day because in the NBA, they always do things first and better. I looked around after it was announced and before the system (called Coral) was rolled out to see what people were whini um, which celebratory hymns they were singing. Coral has a bad brand reputation, to use the biz buzzword, because it was introduced quickly and the NFL sites were used at the Beta+ testers. It was very bad then, but it’s not recognizably the same to me now. It’s also not a finished product, which is good, as that means more features will be added, unlike the old system which was rotting in place. The most common complaint on NBA sites was that the new system destroyed threaded conversations. So, I went and looked around on some NFL sites, and... no, that’s not really true.

There were further complaints that it made people post just hot takes, and I wasn’t aware there was a way to actually discourage that, so I’m unconvinced the commenting system changed that, but maybe it will affect how people interact.

My take is this: the design is very similar to what we have now, but it is more flexible, and is using a different visual cue to show you top level comments.

Random thread about football.

Your unreads are yellow, your rec’d comments blue up, and the rest are white. The indentation is less than we have now, and there is a limit to how deep that indentation goes, which is a deliberate choice to make the “I know you are, but what am I” threads dry up faster. I think they overdid this, and could indent more on wider screens, but it is what it is.

There is no subject line — I expressed condolences to HEOTP, but they didn’t find that funny — but the border line down the side that give you an instant idea of how deep the comment is are gone. Frankly, I think that’s bad UX, but the replacement visual cue is the lack of left border on the top level comment, which is harder to notice if it’s blue. In time, we’ll likely get used to this, but when you start out using geographical location with indents to convey meaning, you should provide a landmark with a border to measure the indent against.

At the very top of the comments is a sort option which is defaulted to newest first, and you can flip that to oldest and see the format I’ve capped above. You can also sort by most replies or most rec’d, which I don’t think is evil, and if you just want the funniest joke, go for the latter. In my experimentation yesterday, the sort order persists on a post if you leave it and come back, and that order will be your new default on that site. I’m not sure if that’s for one session or for good, but we’ll figure that out in time.

There is another pane which shows you the most active discussions if you want to find someone to argue with right now. Also not evil. And yes, this might lead to different flows of discussion, but I don’t think it’ll stop anyone from arguing about cargo shorts.

The fun features like the ignore feature, the easier embeds, and the setting to have embeds hidden by default are all excellent 21st century things that this site needed 10 years ago.

There are new ways that comments get moderated, not on your end, the flagging system is largely unchanged, but on my end, and I don’t want to talk at length about that until I’ve actually used them. I just want to say that we aren’t looking to change the culture at PPP, to ban the seven words you can’t say on TV or anything like that. This site doesn’t really require a lot of moderation most of the time.

We might have hiccups, but look, we’re all in this together with our pitchforks and torches, and we can all go find some strawmen to attack together as we figure this out. Don’t assume bad faith, do assume we might just not be used to the system yet.

I am really not happy that this dropped just as the T25 was winding up, wiping the comments, however temporary, on all those posts. I picked those fights for a reason, dammit! But it is what it is, and the T25 group is right here, if you want to go back and start new fights in the posts:

And, now, one more time, the laborious instructions on verifying your email, which you might as well do as we wait for puck to drop in Traverse City and the Nu Formak to descend upon us all.

While we wait for the comments to go into the west, hopefully to return someday, let’s have one last subject line mock fight while we still can.

Happy Nu Formak Day, everyone!