A new way to comment: Like it? Don’t? …

By Steve Outing

(Update: I’m finding this application to be buggy on my WordPress blog, so I’ve turned it off for now. I might try it again if the developers improve it.)

I’m fond of trying out new technologies and digital services, and I’m often willing to use this blog as a sandbox. So today I’ve installed a new add-on to my blog called Insight App, which allows readers to highlight text and then easily rate it or comment on it, for everyone to see. With photos, like the sample one I’ve included with this blog item, you can click on the little blue icon added to the photo and then you’ll get the various options for rating or leaving a comment.

You probably recognize this photo. Use your
mouse to hover over the photo, then click the
little blue icon and rate or comment on the
famous image.

For now, I’ve only installed Insight App on my article or “single-post” pages, so to try it out please click on the headline for this item (if you’re on my main blog page); if you came directly to the article opage, then the functionality should be visible to you now.

So, what you can do is highlight some text, then you’ll see a small icon in the lower left of the screen, which when clicked gives you various options for leaving your mark or thoughts attached to this blog item. I have the ability to customize what gets asked, but for now it’s just the default options.

I’ve turned off comments on this post so that you can comment using Insight App instead, and tell me what you think of it.

At first glance, I found it a bit confusing, but then grasped the interface. What do you think?

I do think that it’s about time that we got beyond the standard user comments at the end of an article and tried something more sophisticated. It looks like Insight Apps is trying to do that, so give it a workout during its beta testing period.

(Note: After publishing this item and playing with the feature some more, I found the interface for adding my comments and ratings a bit clunky and not intuitive enough. And the default ads are kind of annoying; if I took the trouble to sign up with Insight Apps and got better matched ads and some money-share from the deal, I might not mind so much. The concept looks promising, but I think it needs some tweaking.)

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

7 Responses to "A new way to comment: Like it? Don’t? …"

  1. Steve Outing
    Steve Outing 7 years ago .Reply

    Well, it’s always an adventure installing alpha and beta software on your WordPress blog. I’m having trouble getting this to work properly (can’t see others’ comments and ratings). I’ll check in with the developer for help.

    It is an intriguing concept, though. I’d love a user-comments feature that allows discussion of specific parts of a blog post or article (sentences, photos, etc.).

  2. @AdNys
    @AdNys 7 years ago .Reply

    Doesn’t appear to work in iPod touch – does it work on any mobile interface?

  3. Christopher Ryan
    Christopher Ryan 7 years ago .Reply

    This adds more clutter to the site. And anything that forces me to read more instructions isn’t good…

    The problem with user comments isn’t the interface (and there’s nothing wrong with a ‘standard’ interface). The problem is the anonymous, unmoderated structure of most comments implementations. The predictable result is crackpots saying all sorts of wildly inaccurate, off-topic, racist/ugly stuff. I think it turns off huge numbers of people. In fact, one of the reasons I’ve kept my print newspaper subscription is that there aren’t these comments — and I can count on a variety of reasonably intelligent views on the letters-to-the-editor page.

  4. Dan Pacheco
    Dan Pacheco 7 years ago .Reply

    I like this idea in theory due to its contextual nature. But after using it once to comment on one of your other posts, I’m really confused. I can’t tell if my comment went anywhere, and if it did where it’s going to eventually show up.

    And how do I tell you this? Through a traditional comment of course!

    Cool idea if it works. I guess I’ll see when the comment is posted (unless it got lost in the ether).

  5. Dave Barnes
    Dave Barnes 7 years ago .Reply

    What ads?

    I prefer Disqus.

  6. Andrew Gordon
    Andrew Gordon 7 years ago .Reply

    Is it a bug or an intended feature that readers can’t see comments made through Insight by other readers? On sites where the comments are good, I find myself paying almost as much attention to them as to the content itself.

    I think it’s an interesting idea but the implementation isn’t very user-friendly or particularly useful/interesting to readers.

  7. Porter
    Porter 7 years ago .Reply

    Steve, thanks for trying Insight out.

    We noticed a bug with Insight when deployed here that we’ve not seen at other sites. It is now fixed, so the inline questions and comments should now be available for everyone.

    Thanks! Please do keep the feedback coming. Making Insight clear, useful, and fun is what’s most important to us.


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