A lot can change in a decade. Back in May 2012, Lucasfilm was an independent company and had released only six live-action Star Wars films; there was just one video game named Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2; and the debuts of the “next-gen” PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were still 18 months away.
Oh, and Polygon didn’t exist (or at least, this website didn’t).
When we launched Polygon, one of our goals was to create and sustain a vibrant community of gaming aficionados — people who could bring their passion to our comments sections and forums, but in a way that was friendly and inclusive rather than unwelcoming and off-putting. It’s a work in progress, and as part of our ongoing efforts on this front, we’re thrilled to announce that Polygon is moving to a new commenting system Wednesday afternoon!
The new commenting platform is called Coral, and you’ll be familiar with it if you read our sister site SB Nation or any of its hundreds of team blogs, which have all been upgraded with this system over the past couple of years. The primary mission for the team behind Coral is to produce better conversations by encouraging productive dialogue and discouraging abuse. In other words, it’s a perfect fit for our mission at Polygon.
We know that change is scary, but we hope that once this transition is complete, you’ll appreciate the new system as much as we do. We ask for your patience as we work to iron out any issues that may come up. And if you have any ideas for how we can make the new commenting platform better, we’re all ears — please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find an FAQ about the Coral changeover below; please let us know if you have any other questions. In addition, we’ve just published an update to Polygon’s community guidelines — please check it out to learn more about the kind of place we want Polygon to be. And as always, thanks for reading Polygon.
Why are the comments changing?
We launched Polygon almost 10 years ago, and that’s an eternity in internet time. While our existing comment system has served us well, it has become tougher over time for our product team to maintain it. Polygon readers and staffers have also asked for new features over the years, and it’s a challenge to add functionality to a platform that wasn’t designed for it.
In addition to introducing a number of features that you’ll notice as commenters, Coral offers some major back-end upgrades for Polygon’s hardworking moderation team. That will pay dividends in improving our moderators’ lives as well as your commenting experience.
What’s new in the new comment system?
Coral will bring with it a number of long-requested features:
- a WYSIWYG editor that comes with a new “sarcasm” font, and makes it easy as pie to embed tweets and YouTube videos — just paste in a link!
- the ability to sort the comments in multiple ways
- the option to receive email notifications when someone replies to your comment
- access to a GIF library directly from within the comment editor
- new features around recommended comments — now referred to as “liked” comments — such as seeing the ones with the most likes and checking who has liked your comment
- the ability to mute users whose comments you don’t want to see
- better, more specific tools for reporting comments that violate Polygon’s community guidelines
- the ability for Polygon staffers to pick “featured comments,” which will be highlighted in their own tab of the comments section
- the ability to build new and better experiences in the future — we’ve got some exciting plans for community engagement coming soon, and if there’s something you’d like to see, let us know!
Are any commenting features going away?
We’ve kept all the main features that you love, like keyboard shortcuts to jump between comments; yellow highlights for comments with at least five likes; spoiler tags and strikethrough text; and the ability to embed externally hosted images.
Unlike our existing system, Coral doesn’t allow for previewing comments (because it’s now WYSIWYG — what you see is what you get — instead of requiring code to display formatting). In order to compensate, we’ve lengthened the window during which you can edit your comment: It’s now five minutes instead of 90 seconds.
The user profile page — which currently shows up when you click on a commenter’s username — will still exist on Polygon, but it will no longer be accessible that way. (Clicking on a username in Coral will generate a pop-up that contains some information about that user. Coral allows you to add a 100-character bio that shows up in that box — just head to the “My Profile” tab of the comments section.) Instead, if you want to visit a profile page, you’ll need to manually navigate to it using this URL format: https://www.polygon.com/users/[username]
One important thing to know is that you’ll still log in to Polygon the same way you’ve always logged in; your username won’t change.
Will my comment history still exist?
Yes — but not immediately. Transitioning Polygon to a new commenting platform is a massive undertaking, and trying to migrate 10 years’ worth of comments at the same time would’ve been a bad idea. Don’t worry! All the existing comments have been archived, and they’ll be brought over to Coral soon.
It’s worth noting that until that migration happens, the comment counts on stories published before the transition will be inaccurate. And because any existing comments will disappear (for the time being) when the Coral changeover takes effect on Wednesday, those in-progress discussions will be interrupted.
Any new comments you publish via Coral will be collected under the My Profile tab of the comments section — that’s where you’ll access your comment history now, not from your Polygon user profile. Once the old comments are moved over to Coral, they’ll also be available under My Profile.