Highlight parts of a post that have been quoted in a reply

(Christoph Päper) #1

Quoted reply is currently not a true two-way relationship. The reply has the quote and a link to the original post, but the original post gets only a link to the reply without any indication which parts have been quoted if any.

Marking portions of a post that have been quoted in replies serves two purposes (at least): readers can assert replies better without/before reading them and important/popular parts of a message get highlighted.

Here is an example paragraph that will be quoted in a subsequent message.

(Christoph Päper) #2

Here, I have quoted the above paragraph from my initial post using the quote reply popup function.

(cpradio) #3

What do you mean by highlight? Can you produce a mockup?

Have you played with the suppress reply Admin > Settings? There is one specific to quoting, reply directly above and reply directly below. All or a few of these may be what you are seeking.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

… and then …

(Christoph Päper) #5

The current style of quotations in replies is a box with light gray background and a slightly darker gray thick left border.

I think a thick border on the right side of quoted parts in the original post would provide sufficient initial highlighting. I’m not sure about the color, though. When hovering the original paragraph(s), the background would change and an arrow-down symbol qould appear in the upper right corner which gives link access to the reply (or replies). The expansion chevron-down present in block-quotations would probably not make sense in the original.

Alternatively or additionally, put the avatar or name of replying users in the right margin next to the first paragraph quoted. That’s kind of like collaboration in word processors, including Google Docs, works.

(Christoph Päper) #6

I know this feature, but it’s only in the reply. There’s no hint in the original that a certain part of it has been quoted.

(Jeff Atwood) #7

Really? I disagree. Notice the reply indicator in your post(s), above.

You should know that the first post in a topic behaves a bit differently than replies do in this regard.

You should also know about the suppression of this indicator that we do for posts directly under or above. Adjust your site settings to taste, but the goal is to keep the metadata noise down, since so many posts are replies to the things directly under or above them.

(Michael Downey) #8

This sounds familiar to the “most highlighted” background color on Medium articles.

I think it’s a great idea.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #9

Yes, this is very medium-esque and could be cool in some types of community.

Of course, implementing is a bit trick, since you can’t just Yolo highlight all the quotes and need to highlight relatively to the amount of quotes and replies.

(Jeff Atwood) #10

Yeah if this is a secret annotations request, I don’t know that I’m in support of it.

Seeing which individual lines were quoted the most in each reply is just TMI. Maybe for a book?

Anyway you do know how many people quoted your post since a posted quote is by definition a reply so when you see

3 replies

at the bottom, you know that’s 3 quotes or direct replies.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #11

I guess they are talking about this:

Look at the paragraph with the green background. It becomes highlighted because was quoted the most.

It’s really not a thing most communities would use, but for political and science discussion that would be a cool feature.

(Jeff Wong) #12

Such as a post that requires a table of contents? :wink:

I agree in general it’s not a feature that would be useful in most forums. Maybe a reply as new topic to discuss specific sections of the text in digest would work for this case.

(Jeff Atwood) #13

We already have reply tracking, just not granular to the word or sentence on one side.

You get a count at the bottom of each reply that shows reply count. That can be expanded. On the other side, you can expand the source quote by tapping/clicking on it to see which sentence or word was highlighted.

It’s a very narrow request, and I haaaate annotation systems. I think they’re :garbage: garbage.

(Sam Saffron) #14

I still “like” the idea of “highlighting” a sentence and liking it, it gives me the ability to “like” part of a reply, but the cost for such a system is too high, cause now you are forced to make a decision when quoting text which can get confusing.

I guess it could be implemented completely unobtrusively by checking currently highlighted text when you click heart. Then when you hover over the avatar on expanded likes it highlight the part that was liked.

Its such a ninja feature I don’t feel its worth the effort of building. Highlight word, fix typo, is 10 times more useful really.

(Geoff Forster) #15

This really a really useful feature for serious discourse.
Highlighting a really verbose post with interesting points is essential for some forums.
I want to run a writer’s forum where we collaborate and discuss our work.
Many of us are writers on Medium and are used to their excellent tool.
Where the widespread use of highlighting is a massive indication of its usefulness.

Highlighting creates a social interaction. Notifications are sent. It’s one of the most common interactions on Medium. It creates contact between new users … possible friendships, collaborations. It’s a very social way of liking but liking in particular.
If clicking the heart is liking without writing, this is more of an unwritten “Hell Yeah” and is far more rewarding and satisfying to receive.
It creates links in profiles, email digests. So highlighting makes people read new posts. Creating a large amount of discourse.
If I arrive at a post someone I follow has previously visited, I see their highlight and name. I pay particular attention to that part. I click the same highlight to agree. You get to spot like minded people to read, see what they are reading etc. It’s impact on encouraging reading and use of Medium is vital.
People just highlight one line in a poem because it’s beautiful.
This equates to any line in any post that is the most salient. It helps reading and comprehension.
Massive for internal business users of Discourse. Teams collaborating using Discourse. Universities, schools … endless just endless usage.

I’m sorry to see you are so against this.
But It can be seen working well in another fairly similar situation. So perhaps not the massive leap in the dark it could have been?

If you are ever going to give something a serious rethink can I suggest this is it.
I’ve used both Discourse and Medium this will work and everyone will use it and love it.


I agree, having something along these lines would add another dimension to an already great discussion tool.

(Geoff Forster) #17

Any thoughts … I posted at Easter guess it got missed?

@codinghorror @eviltrout @sam

(Robin Ward) #18

In general, if you cannot convince us on meta the best approach is to get a plugin together to demonstrate the functionality. If the community starts using it a lot, that will definitely get our attention :slight_smile:

(Jeff Atwood) #19

I am already not loving the way you are interacting with us about this feature, which further dims its prospects in my view. Although, to be fair, its prospects were quite dim to start with.

(TechnoBear) #20

Not everyone, I fear, as I suspect I would hate it (unless I’ve misunderstood how this would work, which is entirely possible.)

Having quoted text marked as such within the post where it was quoted makes sense; it’s necessary to distinguish it from the rest of the reply.

Having text marked within a post because somebody has quoted it further on in the discussion would make no sense to me in most situations. It would add visual clutter and (speaking entirely personally here) would make the post harder to read.

Given the rather random and inaccurate manner in which many of our members use quotes at the moment, I can’t see this adding any value at all in our instance. Yes, it may well work for a literary community - and perhaps others, too - but it doesn’t seem to me that it will improve communication and understanding in the average forum.