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If there is a "new ideas" or "let me run this concept by you" category, I'm unable to find it. Maybe no one with a good idea wants to spread it around for free. Anyway, here goes:

Let's address the annoyance of "comments disabled" on You Tube and various full of crap political sites, where you would really like to give them a piece of your mind, but are not allowed to.
In my idea, no matter what page you are on, you click a little button and a comment box opens. You put in your two cents. At the same time, this massive database is operating
that logs the page, files your comment, and with another click, churns out all the other comments that have been made about that page.
Just wire me my million.
Now, if I get tired of reading the opinion of all those people who disagree with me, I also have a "community" function, where only my buddies' remarks are displayed. This could be most fun --- kind of like an expanded Facebook. There would also be a little button that would light up if any of my friends had happened to comment on the page I was watching.
In the cosmic sense, shutting down "comments disabled" is striking a blow for the free flow of ideas and the deportation of all radical Islam. What say ye?

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Last Post by VernonDozier
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So this is an idea for Daniweb? YouTube? Everywhere?

Seems like an easy enough thing to implement. It's one more filter on a database query ("only show records from these users"). I like the idea.

Or you can do it like everyone does it now. Link it to your Facebook page or forum or whatever and start a thread where only the people you invite can participate. Sort of like Area 51 on Daniweb.

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That's encouraging, Vernon. I can understand in principle that it is do-able. After that, I don't have the savvy...well..
I mention YouTube because it allows "comments disabled." The comments are often better than the video, for user amusement; but, yeah, it's everywhere. On the web, that might seem like an outrageous undertaking, at first, with so many pages, but, think of it this way: a certain total number of people, or "universe," are going to Fox, for example. Now Fox, serious as it is about it's point of view, is not nuts about integrating a comment feature because, let's face it, no authority likes to be "talked back" to, or worse, corrected.
So, there is this free standing program, operating independently. In fact, it operates so independently that it might be called "private correspondence," at least as far as liable or slander issues are concerned. That looms larger as I elaborate on the idea.
There is a little light that reads "comments available" and another little button that reads "show comments." When the user clicks it, a panel opens up, just like a regular "comment" feature. Now, the interesting thing is that users can "invite" friends, and the program will display only comments made by invited guests. That way, we of the illuminati are not inconvenienced by the thoughts of the Fred Flintstones out there, and, perhaps more important, vice versa.
Did I explain that all right? Sure, there is a hot button censorship issue, but just as important, there is this "community bull session" aspect in which readers can say whatever they want to say about content without having to worry about whether "management" likes it or not.
In my town, the popular paper runs a "chat" forum. It's very nice, but after a while you'd like to see something a little more freewheeling.
Whaddaythink, Vernon? Does it have the makings of a proposal for the software entrepreneurs? Hah!
(BTW, Facebook ...by all means.)

Edited by ed_shaw: n/a

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>> So, there is this free standing program, operating independently. In fact, it operates so independently that it might be called "private correspondence," at least as far as liable or slander issues are concerned.


You would need YouTube's/Fox's agreement for this. They own and control the database. They control the code responsible for inserting and querying comments. You might be able to hack in and insert/query comments on your own, but that would be illegal without their permission. Similarly, it would be illegal for me to try to access Area 51 on Daniweb without Daniweb's permission. So it could not act "independently" to the point you are suggesting, if I am understanding you correctly. If YouTube decides to offer a "no comments allowed" option and the video poster chooses that option, nothing can be done.

However, someone could write such a thing as a plug-in and YouTube and other sites could choose to incorporate it. Certain groups could have posting privileges, certain groups could have writing privileges, etc. I have a cousin who joined an online group of mothers. You had to sign up for the group. They and only they could post and read comments, but some posts/pictures were public. Basically they wanted to discuss mothers' issues, but the thought of random pedophiles hijacking and posting and reading creeped them out, so they made sure that only "the group" had access. Then they had groups within groups, etc. From a technology point of view, the sky is the limit. All of this had to be done through the site itself and there were moderators, just like there are here.


>> readers can say whatever they want to say about content without having to worry about whether "management" likes it or not.


That's looking a bit more difficult. Again, the "management" controls the site and the database. It's hard for me to imagine that they would give up complete control. You are going to have trolls / people who post "dangerous" and/or illegal and they'll want some way to get rid of them. "Management" may have a policy of not censoring and abiding by it, but technologically, they almost always CAN censor. They choose not to either from a matter of principle or because they think it'll get too many people angry at them.

You could set it up so that the database was maintained by some third party and there were some criteria against "draconian" censorship by management (i.e. they have to give a reason to the third-party in order to delete / change things). YouTube or Fox or whoever might potentially agree to that if there was some trend towards that. Who knows?


>> Now, the interesting thing is that users can "invite" friends, and the program will display only comments made by invited guests. That way, we of the illuminati are not inconvenienced by the thoughts of the Fred Flintstones out there, and, perhaps more important, vice versa.


That seems much more doable. But the management is going to want an option to step in and censor if things cross the line into racist comments or illegal activity or whatever. You're never going to get carte-blanche permission to say whatever you want. There are always going to be rules, if only for YouTube's / Fox's / Daniweb's / Facebook's liability.

From a technology / code writer's point of view, the whole thing is completely plausible and is done all over the place, though possibly not on the large scale plug-in that you are talking about. On Daniweb, there are all sorts of posts / threads that only the moderators can see. It's simply a matter of setting permissions in the database and/or actual webpages.

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Thank you for that extensive analysis, Vernon.
As I picture it working, it would run entirely independently from any web site. The only interaction is when the URl is captured and filed, period.
There is no possibility of harm to a site. It is really no different from two or three people opening a live chat window and discussing a web page that each is viewing at the same time.
Kidding around about how wicked it could be is mere "sizzle" to create interest. There is no inherent intent to harm; quite the contrary, actually.

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You're welcome. The devil is in the details. It's an interesting concept. You just have to work out precisely how someone becomes a member of "the group" and there would have to be some remote server out there, I would presume, since if YouTube isn't keeping track of the comments, something has to. A group of friends setting things up and starting a comment war based on a YouTube movie seems easy enough. The harder part is for someone out there who no one knows about who might have something interesting to say. He might be interesting enough to invite into the group, but without YouTube's cooperation, he'll never know about you and you'll never know about him.

Anyway, again, it sounds interesting, so if you really want to make it happen, there's no reason you couldn't make it happen. I'd start with doing it with just you and your friends, get that to work, then tackle the harder issues. That's assuming, of course, that someone in your group has the time and the programming know-how. Good luck.

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