Old Site "Comment Wall" - RIP

I’m the tech guy who’s managing the transition of the Mineral Rights Forum to its new software platform. (Discourse is the name of the software - so if you see Kenny or I using that term, it simply is the name of the software that all this runs on)

One thing that people will likely find jarring is that the previous concept of “wall posts” (within Groups) are gone. Though I’m sure they make sense to people who have been participating that way for a long while, having hundreds of messages in reverse chronological order is simply not a good approach. Now you’ll be forced to either start a new “topic” (in Discourse parlance) or to reply to one that already exists.

The list of topics for a category is sorted by most-recent activity, and Discourse remembers which posts you have seen already, so if you jump back into a topic that you’ve read before, the posts at the top of the screen will be the ones you have not yet seen. For each topic you can also decide whether you want to be notified of what’s going on there. You’ll see this at the bottom of a topic:

Screenshot from 2017-11-16 16-01-27

The people who are building this software, who previously built the stack exchange site, have turned their attention to building software that encourages “Civilized Discussion.” Having discrete topics (or “threads”) for having a discussion on a particular point helps people know where and how to participate. Entering a huge discussion of hundreds of posts is daunting and simply not a good approach. That’s why we’ve ditched the old “wall comments”.


Good riddance on the wall! It sure made things hard to follow.


We surely agree Rick.

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I found the comment wall extremely useful. People would post things there that they may not have thought warranted it’s own thread. It may have been a bit chaotic but raw information is chaotic by it’s very nature. The comment wall will be sorely missed and I believe that traffic to the site will suffer.

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@r_w_kennedy, we’re hearing that as well. We’re giving this about a week so as to hear everyone’s comments. We’ll find a way that will suit most I’d say.

We’re here and listening.

There was no reason to eliminate the county discussions on the comment wall in order to change the order in which they are read, so I don’t buy that explanation. Why the big focus on “civilized discussion” I’ve seen little problem, and seems to be a solution looking for a problem. There is a lot of value in reading posts without a category as it enables one to encounter information and questions you won’t come across in one topic categories. We need individual county comment walls. Thanks for listening.

Kenny – I agree w/r_w_kennedy… and for the same reasons… but that might mean that I’m still out in left field feeling like a lost ball in high weeds… and actually have been for several months now… maybe it’s an ‘AOL’ problem? I do appreciate the effort though… Later – Buzz