What's your opinion on commenting and in-line comments

Hi everyone! I’m Emily and I’m a Product Manager at Wattpad. I’m interested in learning more about getting feedback around comments and inline comments. My biggest question right now is: what is the biggest pain point you have about inline comments or comments right now? What frustrates you or annoys you?

Also when you leave your feedback could you also tell me:

  1. Are you a writer?
  2. How often you read on Wattpad (monthly, weekly, yearly)?

Thanks!!!

Hmmm… I love the comments as a way to interact with readers and be receptive to feedback. Only, when someone comments on a typo (one always escapes no matter how long I spend proofreading,) all the inline comments in that line go away when I make the change. They become lost in space in all the comments, no longer attached to that one line. I understand why this is the way that it is, but it still irks me. As a reader, comments and author interactions are a part of the unique experience Wattpad offers. Sometimes, other readers offer humor to a dry scene or authors clarify something in response to reader confusion.

I’ll still love the comment feature regardless, but since you asked, there’s my little rant for the day.

Yes :grin:

It varies, but I’ve been trying to read more. At the present moment, it’s daily or weekly depending on how much time I have.

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I’m a writer, but I do read several times a week as well!

It’s not so much a source of pain as “something I’d like to see eventually but can easily survive without”, but as a laptop user with no smartphone, I can’t put emojis in comments. That might be nice to help convey tone, but again, no biggie :slight_smile:

One thing that is kind of a source of pain (and I don’t know if this is something you have power over, so I’m so sorry if I’m just throwing a different problem at you!) is how comments show up on the newsfeed. I recently looked through the newsfeed to see someone commenting on a chapter of a book I hadn’t read yet and they spoiled something major. Then it happened again. And again haha.

So I just don’t look at the newsfeed anymore. I’m not furious or anything; it’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. But as a reader, it bums me out to have things spoiled. And as a writer, I’m super anxious about responding to certain comments/questions now and potentially spoiling big twists for my followers.

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Hi, Emily.

As a writer, I use the in-line comments to edit my final drafts of the books as an example:

When the readers ask, who is talking or what is happening, I’m confused? It lets me understand where I need to tighten up the scenes or maybe keep a scene in the final edit because there is a lot of commentary on that particular scene. In-line comments are very helpful to me as a way to really focus on my final edits through reader feedback for publication off Wattpad.

I also love connecting with the readers within the in-line comment section.

The only pain I think is when a reader will give away the ending, I will delete those comments because it ruins it for the new reader but all in all inline comments for me as a writer are really valuable source of beta readers for enhancing the finished product of my manuscript and I couldn’t do it without those amazing readers helping me.

Am I a writer. Yes.

How often do you read on Wattpad, weekly. I am always on the hunt for great reads and cherish the wonderful books I found on this site.

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Yes :slight_smile:

It depends on what I’m working on writing-wise. I’d say weekly (if I’m caught up) or monthly (if I’m behind)

My biggest pain is that fixing a typo or re-structuring a sentence makes me lose all of my comments connected to that paragraph. I wish we had the option to drop them if we’re changing the meaning of the paragraph or keep them if it’s a minor edit.

Also, I don’t know if this is quite the answer you’re looking for, but keeping up with comments can be hard because all of our notifications are jumbled into one feed. There are times where I can’t scroll any further to respond to comments I’ve received because it won’t let me go back that far and other notifications took up spots in my feed.

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I feel like my biggest pain is when a reader responds to me using an inline comment to comment on issues relating to grammatical errors and when it edit it, it magically goes away! :pensive: as a writer, I use those type of comments to make my story better.

Yes! :heart:

I try to read once a week depending on my college classes and the amount of homework I have.

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Hi Emily!

Thanks for taking the time to investigate this! I’m primarily a writer on Wattpad, but I go through reading binges for certain stories I’m excited about. The amount of time I spend reading isn’t particularly consistent, it just depends on how many stories I’m plugged into.

I gotta say, I think the comments feature is one of the best parts about Wattpad. Whenever I’m posting, comments make me the most excited. For me, it has to do with the sense of connection with the reader, and it helps make Wattpad one of the most compelling places my work could be public, because I get to see reader reactions in real time. Nowhere else can really offer that and it’s addictive from a writer’s perspective! It’s been amazing motivation, and also extremely helpful for revisions, because I can look for patterns in reader responses.

The biggest pain point is that if I change anything in the text, the comments disappear. I know they’re still listed in the comments section at the end of the chapter, but it’s often hard to make sense of them because they’re no longer attached to a specific paragraph and they get buried quickly. In order to remedy this, I try to do all my revisions in a word doc first, but that’s also a bit annoying, because I’m going through and opening comments one by one to make note of necessary revisions or edits. It’d be cool to have a more handy option for editing, where I could open all the comments on a chapter at once next to the paragraph or line they’re addressing. But that feels less pressing than the disappearing comments issue.

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Hi Emily!

Uh, nothing really? lol I love both getting in-line comments and giving them. It makes me feel like everyone can be more a part of the story to comment on the exact lines from the book that they are connecting to at that time.

I guess my only gripe is that if you’re receiving in-line comments and are accessing them just through your notifications page, you can’t type more than two lines of a reply before the words are hidden and you can’t post the comment. You have to clicked the comment and be brought into the book in order to be able to type a full length reply.

Though, that’s not a huge issue but more so just an annoying factor that I have to deal with as a writer but one I’m more than happy to deal with because I love in-line comments so much. lol

Oh! And recently, I’ve had a lot of in-line comments disappear for no good reason. It makes it hard to go see what the reader commenting is talking about if you cannot see the in-line comment connected to it as well as makes me really sad as a writer to see a spot in my book that once had hundreds of in-line comments disappear for no reason at all.

I’m mainly a writer on the site, only reading a couple books on the site per year.

:slight_smile:

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Oh, wow, I totally didn’t even consider this when I posted but yes!

This is one of the biggest reasons I don’t fix a typo or edit too much on this site and leave up first drafts. I hate losing those in-line comments any time I edit.

I take it back. I do have one big pain about in-line comments and it is this. lol

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I like inline comments, but I’d like to be able to actually quote the text I’m referring to. This works especially if the paragraph is long. Also, I’d like a ‘like :+1:’ possibility for all the times when we (writers) actually don’t have anything else to add but we want to show we read the message.

I’m a writer and I read 16 (completed) books in the last year.

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Yes

Weekly.

That I can’t reply to comments directly from my mentions essentially so I have to open up a new page every time I reply which is really annoying. I can’t see what line people are quoting either from the main board as it doesn’t show the inline quote most often. Basically, there’s a lot of barriers between me and responding to readers that I want removed just due to how long it can take some times to get through comments.

Remove the “this comment is offensive” thing for the swearing filters as well as it’s just a bit annoying.

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Hello Emily!
I am a writer on WP. Currently, I’m on a small writing hiatus, due to school, however, Im maintaining my weekly uploading schedule due to prewriting :slight_smile:

I love inline comments. They give such an insight as to what the readers are thinking. They are also helpful for when they point out a spelling or grammar error or want to reference a certain paragraph to comment on. It’s a really nice interaction, between the writer and read or between readers! One may comment on something and then another agrees and they start up a mini conversation.

What annoys me a bit is a) being unable to edit my own comments b) being unable to add spoiler warning (commenters can do that and it may be nice to make it so an author can force a comment under a spoiler warning) c) my inline comments drop down into the general comment area if I edit a whole line.

Another thing is, maybe it would be an interesting feature to be able to “mark” a comment. Just something that a writer can see and when they “mark” a comment they get put somewhere for easy access. This is for like… Revisions. Somethings Ill get a good suggestion, but I’ll forget about it.

@LittleMinx94 sorry, I don’t know why my reply was set as a reply to you comment

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hey emily i’m happy you’re taking the time to look into this!

yep

pretty much weekly

i LOVE inline comments! it’s one of the reasons why i prefer wattpad over other writing platforms, actually. it’s so much more fun to see the reactions on specific paragraphs instead of the entire chapter and i sometimes even cut my paragraphs because i know i will get reactions :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

most people have already mentioned the fact that comments disappear when you edit the paragraphs so i won’t repeat them, but that is definitely something that can be quite annoying. the thing that bothers me the most is that comments get flagged when there’s a swearword.

i actually talked about it with friends a while ago and this is what i said:

  1. people can just avoid it by typing it like fúck
  2. everyone can still see the comment
  3. it’s not actually stopping anyone from swearing

i think it would probably be best to remove it

other than that i have no complaints whatsoever! i’m very happy wattpad has inline comments!

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  • My biggest question right now is: what is the biggest pain point you have about inline comments or comments right now? What frustrates you or annoys you?

    I think the biggest pain right now is when comments are flagged because they curse, and all the instances that happen in my comment section is because a plot twist happens and my readers are shocked by what’s going on. I understand the need for flagging abusive comments, but curse words don’t automatically mean abusive comments.

  1. Are you a writer? Yes, I am!

  2. How often dow you read on Wattpad? Monthly. I prefer physical books.

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I’m only a writer on Wattpad so my comments will come from that. I both love and hate the inline comments. There are times when I do wish I could turn them off.

First I’ll start with the why I sometimes hate them: I don’t have a high level of confidence in my writing so sometimes those comments do make that confidence worse because I’ll get people who leave just one word because they’re correcting a typo. Not even a “hey I like this story but I found a typo” it’ll be literally something like *bear because I used bare instead.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m dyslexic so I damn well know I need help catching my word swaps since unfortunately there is no program (that I’ve found) that will help me with words spelled right but used wrong, however in the drafts I post to Wattpad I’m far more concerned with knowing if there’s plot holes, character flaws, and other developmental issues more-so than my dyslexic mistakes. Those I will wait for the final draft. So for me to get a constant reminder of my dyslexic mistakes when I didn’t ask for that help it unfortunately becomes more of burden to me. This past year when I’ve been struggling big time with confidence those comments have done major damage and is part of the reason I’ll be taking a break from Wattpad until I get myself a bit stronger mentally to be able to handle them again.

It just gets hard because I struggle to find the balance between knowing they’re just trying to help with something I’ll need help with eventually, and knowing that I’m not at that stage yet so the help isn’t quite needed.

Now on to why I love in line comments: Just recently I had someone reading through my book Power Uppers, it’s a book that I admit when I finished writing it I knew I wanted to re-write it from the view of a stronger MC. I didn’t like the MC at all but I adored the world of super power giving drugs. But this reader was using in line comments and reacting to things as they happened in the book. So while dealing with crap at work, I’d get a comment like “OMG Tayla! Figure it out already!” or “And this ship is now sailing, toot toot” in reference to things happening in the book and it brought such a huge smile to my face. Little things like that will do the opposite of the typo comments, it’ll actually boost my self esteem.

Realistically, it’s not the readers job to do that. This I know. It’s my job to find strength and confidence in my own work by myself, but comments can either pick an author up or let them down.

Here is my dream world: I wouldn’t mind being able to turn them off from time to time. If I know I’m in a mood where any type of criticism will hurt me, I can turn them off until I can sort my crap out. But most importantly, I would love to be able to tell the reader what kind of feedback I’m looking for. Then when they go to make a comment there’s some way of letting them know that. I mean I have no idea what way would be effective, but maybe like a text that says “this writer is open to…”

So say I want all help, including typo help, I can put that down. If I want just help with plot issues, inconsistencies, or other developmental help, I can put that down. If I want no feedback at all, because maybe I know I’ll never go back to edit that book (I do have several books I just wrote because I wanted to write it, but have no intention of ever doing more than one draft of) I can say that. That helps save the reader time (hopefully) from pointing out things things the writer might not want to hear for a varying amount of reasons.

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For the most part, I love inline comments/ comments. Although having an editing feature would be quite nice. I can see the issues with editing features in the case of harassment and such, but perhaps an option to edit within a couple of minutes of posting a comment could work?

Yes, although I’ve only recently started writing again.

Probably fortnightly-monthly at the moment. I used have time to read a lot more, but now I mainly stick to the stories which really catch my interest :joy:

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Was but yes.

I use to read everyday but since modding my reading time has been short.

I don’t have a problem or pain but the only thing I’m annoyed is users who make chat books leave about 1K+ comments and it’s a bit hard to look at previous replies. Maybe a number limit would be nice.

Another thing is maybe implement pinned comment like what Youtube does for creators. That way if Author post some info or something, they could pin it and not let other comments swarm over the author’s note or link or whatever.

And I wish web users also have gif/pic image showing but I assume that’s hard to put for web? I’m not a techie so I don’t know

And another one. Have a :+1: or :heart: only so that author can ‘like’ the comment because I know sometimes there are some comments we don’t want to reply but give love :smiley:

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When I’m on my laptop writing comments, I can add emojis by pressing the Windows key and the full stop key at the same time; that makes a little emoji menu pop up.

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To counter that they could have like here on the forums where amabassadors can see the edit history. So if someone says “this person was bullying me and called me such and such in this comment” then whatever ambassador or HQ they reported it to can see the history to be able to verify it.

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