SiteComments, A Constant Focus on Improvement.
You have asked for improvements, we have responded.
There has been much controversy surrounding SiteComments and the underlying comment quality in recent weeks, and over the past month or so. Since introduction of "certified commenters" where there was a monetary incentive added for those that are top commenters within the platform and retaining a certain level of quality, there have been many requests for “better” comments.
The problem? Anytime you add a financial element to a platform there are going to be those that try to game, abuse, or “trick” the system into thinking you are authentically using it. When in reality there is actually financial motivation as the driving factor.
Because of this, and because of everyone’s useful, insightful, and thorough feedback on the issues with the platform, we are making some much-needed changes to the SiteComments platform which will curb this sort of “low quality” activity.
Disabled MANY Users From Platform
Our first step to analyzing and assessing low quality, was to inspect those accounts of commentors whom were getting disapprovals, yet were still above the acceptable rate. We found there was a consistent habit of very low quality commenters. In fact, there was a large trend of “system gaming” that we found that is not easily detectable through the many algorithms that we have in place.
In other words you can build all the technology in the world to try to anticipate and prevent different types of fraud, but it is not always going to be perfect. In the same way Google develops algorithms to prevent low quality content from ranking well in their search, they are not always perfect.
As a result, we have determined that there were many “bad actors” within the SiteComments platform and have subsequently disabled their accounts. They are no longer going to be able to use SiteComments as we take this sort of activity and what we deem as borderline fraudulent behaviour seriously.
Those that are offering quality comments, are now going to rise to the surface and without these high volume, yet low quality users, you are going to see some major improvements to the SiteComments platform.
Manual Review on All Certified Commenters
A Certified Commenter is one that meets the appropriate criteria to allow them to earn “cash” credits through the SiteComments platform. In other words, if you are certified you can earn an income through the platform as many people are.
Another update we are making is a manual review process for those that get accepted into the Certification platform. We are going to be reviewing the type of comments being offered, and will be assessing the overall quality, before they can earn cash credits.
If you are reading people’s posts, then offering quality comments you have NOTHING to worry about. You are going to be accepted into the Certification program (upon achieving that status) without issue.
Those that are trying to game the system into thinking you are a quality users, or trying to trick others into approving “mediocre” (at best) comments that are relevant but done through pretty broad and ambiguous comments, they are not going to slip through the cracks any longer.
Again, people that are reading others posts and then offering quality, relevant, and engaging comments will not be impacted by this. Those that are trying to game the system will have their accounts reviewed and disabled.
A Suggestion: Disapprove Comments That Are LOW Quality
One thing that I think has led to this slight breakdown of SiteComments is acceptance of comments that shouldn’t have been accepted. If someone offers you a comment that doesn’t speak to the exact article, is generic, has poor English, or that is being copied from elsewhere in your content, DISAPPROVE IT.
That will help weed out the low quality comments from the platform, and allow those that are truly offering the most authentic and highest quality comments to rise to the surface.
Low quality comments should led to a disapproved comments. Medium to high quality, should led to approval.
Just remember one thing. Lots of people are learning when they first join in on the SiteComments platform, so when you disapprove a comment make sure you leave a note as to WHY it was disapproved and what they could potentially do to improve their comment next time. In many cases it could just be someone making a rookie mistake that you can help improve their comments moving forward.
We Continue to Improve As We March Forward.
Your feedback has and will always dictate the future of WA, what we developed in the past, the improvements and changes we make, and the platforms that we work on for the future.
On any given week we are rolling out MANY new changes, some more obvious than others. But our release schedule is almost daily and these are changes that continue to improve the platform, community, and industry leading level of service that you have come to expect here at WA.
This is just one of those and we appreciate everyone’s feedback (and in some cases complaints) about what was happening in the SiteComments platform. We are going to continue to work towards mitigating the low quality comments in the platform from gamers/fraudsters, helping those that legitimately make mistakes improve their quality, and reward those that are truly offering authentic and high quality comments. We appreciate you!
If you have any comments about our changes and decisions here, questions or further feedback/insights, we would love to hear it. :)