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New user comments feature: Tell us what you think!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / October 16, 2007 4:20 AM PDT

Dear CNET members,

I'm happy to announce a complete overhaul of our user comments system, which was previously known as TalkBack. This project has been in the works for several months, and we'd like to hear your feedback on this new system.

With this change, we've simplified the entire process for you to effortlessly submit comments on your favorite CNET articles, blogs, and features areas; but we've also made it easier for you to read comments made by your fellow CNET members.

My coworkers have put a lot of thought and effort into bringing you this new updated feature, so a big shout-out to them. We truly hope you enjoy this value-added experience as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Now that you've had a chance to check out the new user comments feature, collect your thoughts and tell us what you think. Whether you love it or hate it, you can be brutally honest with us. As key members of the CNET Community, it's your feedback that counts. This feature was built for your use, and we want to do our best to make it right for you. So, please speak up--we're all ears! Thank you all in advance for your feedback!


-Lee Koo
CNET Community

(For people who are reaching this message from the CNET forums here are some links to check it out:

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For better or worse...
by John.Wilkinson / October 24, 2007 9:11 AM PDT

1.) New format is nice, looking far better than the outdated Talkback. Threaded indentation is also appreciated. Feels much more forum-esque.

2.) Only BBS URL codes are formatting at all? Some, such as color, would be nice, but lacking bold and underline seems to be overlooking the basics.

3.) Why must a link be clicked to view the submitted message? Like here in the forums, an extra click after every submission is annoying for those who make a lot of contributions. Why not just confirm a successful submission by showing the submission?

4.) I doubt it's possible, but could text wrapping be added? It's currently maxed out at 82 characters. Unlike the forums it's 'chopped off' from view under instead of exceeding the boundaries, but would still be nice to have adjusted. (Darn Safari wraps it automatically, but IE, Firefox, Netscape, and Opera don't.)

5.) Certainly nice to see Javascript used. Can't wait to see further integration.

6.) Out of curiosity, why does the new Comments system ask the user the select a genre of inappropriate content?

7.) Something's wrong with the Email and Report features, though...sometimes the cursor won't appear at all when clicked, although the user can still type. Seems random, but cross-browser.

8.) After sending an e-mail using the system, confirmation is displayed. However, after the user clicks the email icon to send another, or to report an offensive post, the previous confirmation is still displayed. It should be automatically removed after the user clicks to send a new report or email. Likewise for the ROP option.

9.) If the Report or Email option is open, could clicking the respective icon again close it, as the Cancel button does?

10.) In the forums and under Tips & Tricks a message lets the user know about the depth limitation, but not there...perhaps a reminder to reply to the parent post is in order?

11.) Please check the site using Safari...whenever I mouse over any frame all of the text in the frame is underlined.

12.) If you view the comments overview section at the bottom on the article's page, the Report and Email links don't work. They only become 'active' when switching to the separate comments page.

I may be back later with more, but that's enough brutality for the time being. Happy


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E-mail received...
by John.Wilkinson / October 24, 2007 9:18 AM PDT
In reply to: For better or worse...

Seems fine except for two things:
1.) The Subject line for the email is part of the opening sentence in the post. It's a bit unclear/unhelpful in identifying the message; Perhaps some constant such as 'Cnet Comments: Email from member?' Also, it's tacking on the HTML code <br if the first line of the post is shorter than that of the subject line.

2.) The subject line inside the e-mail, just above the URL link, is blank.


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by John.Wilkinson / October 26, 2007 11:00 AM PDT
In reply to: For better or worse...

2.) HTML is now working, though only BBS URLs are functional. Confused

7.) Has become worse somehow under Firefox. Sad

12.) Resolved!

New) Now that HTML has been enabled, unended formatting continues into subsequent posts, just like here in the forums.


Message was edited by: admin to remove open --tags--sorry John I knew you were having fun Happy

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Whats up with the lines
by tomron / October 31, 2007 12:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Update...
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(NT) Just a bug I demonstrated. :)
by John.Wilkinson / October 31, 2007 7:34 AM PDT
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by tomron / October 31, 2007 7:45 AM PDT
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The Eee pc series to lose their advantage?
by lingletek2008ss / June 16, 2008 5:27 PM PDT

Eeepc 1000 has been listed, but from 700 to 1000, eeepc has lost its price advantage, eeepc700 price is the lower and people favorite it, if eeepc series of continuously rising prices, the larger volume, it will lost all the advantages.
How do you think?

I saw a good article on allfreeship website, you can to see it.

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thank you
by phiippe lmartin / May 17, 2008 2:17 AM PDT
In reply to: For better or worse...

but all this mess xp,belong to a concept ,,,I discover if you need to track pedophile let them get in,like this no work no waisting time,they in, but me I am deeply IN.but I do not chases no one,just data.phil

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Wrapping would be great
by Dragon / July 23, 2008 2:48 PM PDT
In reply to: For better or worse...

How does Safari do it, then? Maybe the key is there...or maybe the other browsers can learn from it.

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new format sux
by jrbeaman / October 17, 2008 5:32 PM PDT
In reply to: For better or worse...

You go to new page for comment entry with no view of what you are commenting on, and no link back once placed.

You want to know if this is better and there is no add comment, just reply to some message that is already there. What if my comment is not related to any others?

No, bring back the old format. This sux.

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re videos vs transcripts
by mugg325 / November 6, 2007 3:04 PM PST

my post has basically been ignored,,i am unable to watch any of the videos due to the lack of broadban,,i have dial-up,,is there transcripts of ALL videos,,5 worst apps,,5 spooky apps,,etc that i can read,,

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There are none...
by John.Wilkinson / November 8, 2007 9:54 PM PST

There have been requests for downloadable versions or low-bandwidth versions for dial-up users in the past, but that has not come to fruition. Requesting a transcript is a nice alternative to resolve the problem, although at this time such are not available either. Lee may still stop by and indicate if there are changes planned on this front, but at least for the immediate future you're more or less restricted to watching them over broadband connections or not at all.


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Great Suggestions
by cnet_mojo / November 13, 2007 3:05 AM PST
In reply to: There are none...

Hey thanks for the feedback.

Those are great suggestions regarding transcripts.

We do offer downloadable versions for virtually all video on CNET TV. The download link is featured in the playlist or by clicking the options button.

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by mugg325 / November 13, 2007 4:00 AM PST
In reply to: Great Suggestions

if i could download the videos and view them i would have no problem,,transcripts are theanswer to lots of peoples desire to be fully informed,

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Could that be expanded to Reviews?
by John.Wilkinson / November 13, 2007 4:38 AM PST
In reply to: Great Suggestions


On Cnet TV the download option is a nice addition, but only works if you have Flash installed and running; otherwise you can't reach the Options menu at all. Perhaps another addition could be a mobile version, which just lists the titles and hyperlinks to the downloadable video?

On a related note, I've heard more download/transcript requests coming from those wishing to see product videos from the reviews section, where that download option isn't attached. I presume the reason is that those going for Cnet TV are more multimedia-centric with higher-bandwidth connections except perhaps while on the go, while those looking for product reviews are more diverse, and more likely to have dial-up or low-end broadband connections. It's likely outside your control, and certainly has a diminishing need as 56K bytes the dust, but it would be nice to see it extended.


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Great Feedback, Stay tuned
by cnet_mojo / November 13, 2007 4:58 AM PST

Great points. Stay tuned in the next few months and I think you'll see that many of these issues will be addressed.

Also more and more of our videos are being published as podcasts on iTunes so check the iTunes directory.

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by cnet_mojo / November 14, 2007 1:34 AM PST

We are working on rolling a new version of our player based on the CNET TV player (though same size as the current player) across all sites including Reviews, Download, News, etc..

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(NT) Excellent! Thanks for the update. :)
by John.Wilkinson / November 14, 2007 5:16 AM PST
In reply to: Yep
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evden eve ta
by ozgur0606 / June 11, 2008 8:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Yep

tahbk you

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mugg325, I'm forwarding your post to the CNET TV product
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / November 13, 2007 1:58 AM PST

manager... He'll be able to give you feedback on this.


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by mugg325 / November 13, 2007 2:03 PM PST

thank you i hope that something can be done to help.

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no way to have ANY message accepted when commenting articles
by verdyp / January 11, 2008 5:17 PM PST

Your system to post comments ALWAYS rejects all my attempts to say anything.

Apparently it uses some unknown automated filter to reject "profanity or advertizing", even though there was not even such thing in what I wrote. In fact the system rejects EVERYTHING, and we immediately loose everything we tried to post, without any possibility to correct it, where we could eventually suspect that your system will reject it.

What is the kind of language you accept in article comments is a really mystery ! But the fact that you drop everything without even getting a chance to preserve the text is unacceptable.

This system really stinks!

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Is this in the forums or elsewhere?
by John.Wilkinson / January 12, 2008 2:15 AM PST

If something in a forum post is found to be objectionable by the filters the word(s) is/are replaced by a series of asterisks, leaving the remainder of the submission intact. After the fact a post may be edited or deleted by moderators/administrators for violations, but I see no alerts for previous posts by you. Note, though, that I speak only with regard to these forums, not other systems on Cnet, such as Talkback sections of and elsewhere. Those are separate entities, managed individually. Thus, my initial question is where did this happen, or elsewhere? If it was not in the forums themselves you'll have to ask through the designated channels of the location where it happened. You'll also want to include information such as the post to which you were replying and any error messages encountered.


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Not in the forums
by verdyp / January 12, 2008 4:39 AM PST

I was clear, I thouhgt, about the fact it was not about the forums themselves.
I was speaking about the comment box that appears below CNET articles. You can write anything with extreme care to avoid anything that could offuscate, and whatever you write, the message is rejected COMPLETELY and we are sent to a page trying to convince us with completely unapplicable reasons that our message would either:
- advertize something: wrong
- give commercial offers: wrong
- contain trademarks, product names or service names: wrong
- contain people names: wrong
- contain slang words: wrong
- violate any other service usage rule: wrong (i think, or this is not explained)
The robot is just complaining for absolutely no reason. The only reason I see is that in fact its filters are there to reject all messages, instead of just not offering the commenting box in those articles.
I had to comment this problem in this generic forum, instead of in the thread started by the article itself; this forum was given as a link saying it was appropriate to speak about the "new system" that appears now at the bottom of most CNET articles.

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by verdyp / January 12, 2008 4:50 AM PST
In reply to: Not in the forums

See for example this page on "". Every post we try there will return invariably:


New message creation FAILED.

Click here to add another comment.The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use."

Personnaly I find this reply message really offensive for me or any poster that would attempt to contribute!

Additionally, does not even remember me: I have to log in with my CNET coount each time I return there.

Try for example this page:

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How right you are...
by John.Wilkinson / January 12, 2008 5:59 AM PST
In reply to: Where?

I didn't realize they were still linking to this thread for comments. Sorry about that!

My first thought is to check your cookie settings to ensure isn't being blocked and, if it isn't, try deleting the current cookie and trying again. If the cookie is blocked or corrupt it will let you sign in without error and present you with the comment submission option, but then deny your comment when it checks the cookie again upon submission and finds it to be missing or corrupt. (I was able to submit three test comments successfully, but experienced the same error as you did when I blocked the cookie.)


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Corrupt cookie?
by verdyp / January 12, 2008 6:35 AM PST
In reply to: How right you are...

Even though I don't block any cookies (I purge them regularly with a separate tool, but not when I'm browsing), it does not work;
I tried to delete the cookie, and the site sent me another fresh new cookie, that is also apparently correctly refreshed.
Anyway I still get the same error (can't post anything).
So's cooky generation system is corrupted itself; that's not my PC. I have no problems with other C|NET websites (including itself).

Could it happen that Webware is still confused with the old split from ZDNet where I have a similar old account, and the migration of databases failed or created some duplicate entries in CNET systems? I wonder now what is the cookie used for at CNET if it's not to associate user profiles and preferences (and optionally "target" some profiled ads from your announcers)...

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Corrupt cookies...
by John.Wilkinson / January 12, 2008 9:19 AM PST
In reply to: Corrupt cookie?

That's odd. The Webware blog was added in late 2006 and linked to the Cnet registration system from the start, so ZDNet shouldn't have anything to do with it. Then again, I've encountered username corruption in the past going from one to another so it's not completely unheard of either.

If you can, I'd still suggest attempting to access your account and post using another computer not on your network. I've had success logging in and commenting under a couple other usernames today as tests so I'm still leaning towards something being amiss on your end, just not making itself apparent.

As to cookies, the ones in Cnet's name don't directly relate to advertising. Instead, they contain your registration ID number, logged-in status, time of last login, number of pages visited, etc. The ads are targeted based on article keyword and you're tracked by cookies from the likes of


P.S. Although it's all one registration system the "universal login" is not yet universal, so multiple cookies must be set.

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by PACSferret / February 9, 2008 10:04 PM PST

Folks.. just thought I'd let you know - stuck an emoticon in a comment & the resulting page tried to translate to here:
But that link times out after a while - fails back to original text emoticon but only after a minute or so - looks like the page takes forever to load.

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by trekker75 / March 10, 2008 7:19 PM PDT

When I came to this forum the page that loads has 14 inches of white space at the top. this happens in other C|net areas as well.

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