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Daily Kos makes radical leap forward on blog comment technology

Over at DailyKos - the biggest political blog on the planet - they've done some impressive re-coding of how they handle comments.

They've got improved "recommend" and "troll" rating systems for comments -- submitting them live, so readers don't have to refresh; a way to open and close comment threads; and a better comment editor.

But, the most amazing thing is the almost-magical auto-refresh feature. We'll let the developer describe it himself:

And the most whiz-bang high-tech feat of derring-do is the Autorefresh feature. This uses Ajax to turn Daily Kos diaries into threaded online chat rooms. It was designed with both live blogging and Armando in mind...no longer do you have to impulsively click your browser's Reload button to see new comments coming into the thread. Just check the Autorefresh box (it's a system-wide preference) and several times a minute updates will stream in, adding their comments, updating ratings and recommenders, all without disturbing what you're doing.

We've been playing with it a bit - and it's truly astonishing. It makes blog commenting MUCH more like a running conversation, rather than the disjointed post-wait-refresh thing that happens on most blogs.

Of course, it makes sense for Kos - but not for many other blogs - given their huge traffic.

Impressive. We'll report later on lessons learned for the rest of us.

Head on over and read the details at DailyKos.