Live Blog Chaos Mitigation Post Comment Count

Brian September 13th, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Take everything that follows under that context and realize these are solely our observations from moderating the live chat during the game and our goal is to make the chats better for everyone going forward.


1. This isn't as easy as it seems. We are putting lots of effort into making this an enjoyable experience for everyone, and sacrificing a bit of our own enjoyment of the game to do so. All we ask in return is the benefit of the doubt in that our actions are well-intentioned.

2. The number one complaint so far is "why aren't my posts being published?" There are 3 possible reasons for this.

First, we just didn't see it. This is highly likely if your comment is right after a big play.

Second, your comment is the same thing 5 other people said at the same time. In this case, we prefer to choose the clearest version of the comment.

Third, your post was neither witty, insightful, relevant, nor original (see next topic). Brandon Minor RAGES, we get it, everyone gets it.

Submitting "MINOR RAGE" clutters our view and limits what we can post. If someone makes a tackle or a pick, typing their name, "Graham!" is the same thing.

A list of common one-liners that destroy continuity:
Minor Rage
Death Roh
<name of person involved in play>!

Those kill us. It kills the live blog. Please refrain.

Also, please please PLEASE do not submit a "why aren't my comments showing up?" comment. There is a well-intentioned reason, it's not a technical glitch, and all you're doing with this type of comment is adding to the clog that the moderators have to deal with and making it more likely somebody else's comment will get missed. Don't do this, or Big Gay Heart will come to your house and murder your puppies.

We aren't looking to accept paragraphs of technical analysis. One word posts aren't acceptable.

3. Technical problems crop up from time to time. Moderator computer crashes, stream violations, cil software freezing, all of these happen. Please be patient.

4. How to make your post better? The best thing you can do to make it easier on us and to increase the chances your post stands out is to make it look like you expended a small amount of effort. "stveie brown suckS1!!" will never be chosen over "Stevie Brown sucks." We realize it's a chat, but when 50 people are submitting comments and only 1 person is approving them, little things like that are used in order to reduce the need to read each comment in its entirety. We only see the first 10 words or so of the comment in the queue LiveBlog provides, and in order to keep the chat moving we can't really click and open each comment. LiveBlog software doesn't automatically scroll to the most recent comment. So when we click "accept", we're stuck there and have to catch up to more current action. That means we scroll all the way (sometimes quickly) to the here and now. Which means we skip over things. It's the way things are.

If your comments are "cleaner" it helps keep things orderly and on topic. During commercial breaks and halftime, this is definitely relaxed as there aren't as many comments to filter. Typical exclamations like "woo!" and "yes!" and "nice job!" are almost automatically glanced over, and approved only if the moderator is bored. Start your comment as if you're starting a sentence, and the moderator will assume your comment is worth reading.

5. Are we censoring comments? Definitely not. There were several viewpoints we disagreed with that we allowed through, and that will continue. Period.


1. Please keep the doom and gloom comments to a minimum, especially when we are winning the game. We're just as big a bunch of fans as you are, but piling on and bitching when we all know this is going to be a rough season really makes it less enjoyable for everyone. There were hundreds of comments ignored for this reason. Sarcastic, self-deprecating, and/or just plain funny doom and gloom, on the other hand, is encouraged (e.g. "my life is a rudderless, meaningless mess unless Stevie Brown screws up multiple times every Saturday")

2. Playcalling. The coaching staff only knows how the players performed in practice, and now in 2 live games. This is the information they have to make play calls. We guarantee you they aren't saying "Hey, this never worked in practice might as well try it now!" As a result, let's try to keep the bitching about playcalling to a minimum until we know a bit more about the team. Our biggest pet peeve is second-guessing play calls, but only after they go wrong. Second-guessing ahead of time, conversely, is somewhat allowed- as moderators it's a little annoying to click through everyone's "suggestions" for RichRod, but on the other hand it might spark good discussion and it's probably not negative, so we'll try our best to put it through. Bottom line: if you're in the mood to offer suggestions, then by all means give it a try but only before the play begins.

3. If you want to comment on the QBs, you had better make it insightful and/or positive. The moderators will be in no mood to approve "dammit Threet/Sheridan why couldn't you hit that?" comments.

4. Streams. We try to find the most reliable streams and put them into the static box. Understand that once it's game time, we may not have be researching active streams. In the event of a stream outage, we will ask the audience for help. We thank you guys for replying with streams you are using. Also be aware that stream technical problems might be addressed, but after the first few explanations (ie's streaming software isn't compatible with Mac), we will ignore peoples' requests for tech support.


Things will get better. We ask for patience, we want to improve the liveblogging experience. Constructive criticism is fine. Second-guessing and bitching is reserved for Notre Dame and Penn State fans (and Mike Debord). Thank you and Go Blue!



September 14th, 2008 at 3:43 AM ^

When I come to mgoblog to chat about the game I don't come to solely read ninjafootball or cfaller's comments on the game. I come to partcipate in the discussion and the approval of one comment in ten if I am lucky takes away from the experience. This occurs during the game despite the fact that I don't make comments such as, "Stevie Brown sucks." Also, why should I put great thought in a comment if only one in ten will be approved? I recommend going back to the old halo format as you may have 10-15 comments saying, "TD" or "Taco pants just caught another," but everyone gets heard.


September 14th, 2008 at 8:56 AM ^

Despite what the schools and your parents teach you, not everyone is a special little snowflake.

Letting everyone be heard is pointless. There were over a 1000 of you. Nobody would have been able to follow the discussion or participate meaningfully, it would just be a lot of noise.


But then again, it's not that you want to talk, is it? It's that you want people to see what you have to say. You don't have any interest in a real discussion.  

Blue Durham

September 14th, 2008 at 9:18 AM ^

I recommend going back to the old halo format as you may have 10-15 comments saying, "TD" or "Taco pants just caught another," but everyone gets heard

That is interesting for about 10 seconds.  That is why I for one think this format (both live chat and MGoBlog's new format) is far superior. 


September 15th, 2008 at 2:15 AM ^

The moderators had a lot to deal with during the game.  do the math, with over 1,000 people online, if each one makes only one comment every five minutes, that generates 200 comments per minute to go through.  I wouldn't want to completely sacrifice my ability to watch the game in order to moderate the discussion.  Many thanks to the moderators for their service.

Even with the moderated chat, it was challenging reading all of the posts and watching the game closely enough.  

Is the format pefect?  No.  But I'm not sure that there is a better method.

A question to the moderators:   How many of the posts are bulk blasts of "Taco Pants" or "Stevie Brown this or that?" or "that call sucks!!"?  If these bulk posts represent a large portion of the comments, would there be a way to put some buttons on the page that allowed the audience to push a button for "Tacopants" and have everyone see how many people are "voting" tacopants during the last 60 seconds?  This may offload a large burden and give the audience some idea of the number of people with a certain take on a given play.

Just an idea.  Take it for what its worth -- not much.


September 15th, 2008 at 12:15 PM ^

very reasons why in the end everyone will angered by the format. If there were a 1,000 people online and they made comments how could you or 100 moderators for that matter happen to select my nice comment out of lets say 100 posts made? You have also stated that you are unwilling to give up watching the game yourself which further cripples your ability to find the good posts to select. Not to mention the moderators making comments themselves. In fact, you will notice that the moderators make just as many comments as those who are not. All this means is if you have a limited amount of moderators making as many comments as those 1,000 chatters then you have many ticked off people.

The format is just not perfect; its not even a good method when I or others make several comments and only having one (if we are lucky) approved. I, finally, and I am sure I am not alone, gave up posting.

My questions: Do you want to make this an enjoyable experience for everyone or only a select few? What reasons were used from going away from the halo format last year to this new format that must be moderated? Someone mentioned a chat room; what is wrong with having a chat room for partcipated discussion during the game?


September 15th, 2008 at 12:29 PM ^

There are 1000 people trying to post. Of those, only about 10-20 are actually trying to have a conversation with each other, responding to previous statements, etc. The rest are just trying to post their own stream of consciousness. The Scout and Rivals boards are much better places to put those comments.

If you were actually trying to put in something useful, I think they've mentioned how many messages are coming in every minute. Things will get lost when you have to go through that many. It happens. If they just auto-approved everything, nobody would be able to read a message before the next one popped up. It would be chaos.

Seriously, why do people get so upset over this? What grievous harm have they inflicted on you by not approving your message? The fact that people spend so much time saying "Post my message!" astounds me.


September 15th, 2008 at 1:41 PM ^

Because most people want to be a special snowflake, so they think the moderators aren't recognizing their special snowflakeness by not approving their posts.  A moderated chat with 1000 posters brings the hard reality that your snowflake isn't that special, and some people don't want to accept that and blame others.

HOWEVA, if you go in hoping for some good jokes, gsimms giving insight to what is really going on, some fellow fans sharing the joy and pain, and the realization that only 1/3 of your posts are getting approved because the other 2/3 are either repetitive or crap, it's pretty nice.




September 15th, 2008 at 2:39 PM ^

I am sure most posters just care about talking about the game and couldn't give a crap about being a, "special snowflake." Apparently those who decide to post, "Fumble, DRINK," represents a special snowflake as those comments were numerous.

I, personally, would rather read ten posts that say TD so that the informative comments will be posted then none of them making it or an extremely rare informative comment make it. Actually, lets face it, 90-95% percent of the comments made including that of the moderators are uninformative but made for interactive purposes.


September 15th, 2008 at 3:14 PM ^

Apparently quite a few people do care about being a special snowflake, given the number of "My posts aren't being approved, mods suck, I quit!" posts that are in every live chat.  Yes, some of the posts that do get approved aren't particularly special, but an unmoderated chat would be overloaded with unspecial comments.

The people complaining about lack of approval aren't trying to make the chat better for everyone.  They just want to make the chat better for themselves by having everyone else see how insightful or funny they are.  The problem is that they aren't that insightful or funny, otherwise they would be getting approved.  But it's easier to blame the moderators for stifling their incredible wit than to make better posts.


September 15th, 2008 at 3:17 PM ^

get a number of posts that state, "My posts aren't being approved, mods suck, I quit!" Then that should tell you that hey, "maybe, this new format isn't the best." The resolution should not be, "well, those people who's post are getting approved just think they are something special." Once again, people don't come here because they think they are something special (At least, I don't), they come because: 1) They enjoy Michigan Football and 2) They want to interact with other fans during the game. I am sure people who complain about lack of approval don't immediately come on here and start complaining. They could be like me posting numerous comments (not Stevie Brown sucks, etc) and only seeing one or none.

Having moderators who are limited in their ability (and numbers) against the sheer volume of non-mods will eventually tick everyone off including the "special snokflakes."  I am not even sure if I saw your name during the game as a mod wile_e8.


September 15th, 2008 at 3:23 PM ^

wile_08 isn't a mod. that's my point. a lot of people do enjoy the new format.


for the record, we posted pretty much every single "why aren't I approved" comment, simply to use the opportunity to explain in case anyone else was wondering. if you want to go through and check how many that was you can - but i'll tell you it was less than 15. out of 7000 comments and 2000 unique views. So, apparently 1,985 people didn't care enough to complain - it was you and a couple others that kept doing it. 


September 15th, 2008 at 3:42 PM ^

there is little value in complaining during the game as you realize that most posts are not going to be registered anyway. I am sure you had far more complaints the first game. I personally only complained once each time during every game and realized it was pointless.

A poll on the website would actually provide a more accurate showing as to those who approve/disapprove of the new format.

Other Chris

September 15th, 2008 at 3:50 PM ^

I see you just registered on this site on Sunday, so it's not like you have had much to say about Michigan football in the past that you couldn't wait to sign up for MGoBoard (unlike some of us with an Internet addiction).

Few of my comments got through Saturday, IIRC.  Maybe one did.  Am I bitching?  No.  My heart wasn't in it, for one thing, and I got almost all of my comments through the previous week (more verve in my posting, I suspect) so it all evens out.  Make Plays! and your comments will make it through.


September 15th, 2008 at 4:16 PM ^

No, it won't tick off everyone, only the people who incorrectly believe their crap would be a worthwhile contribution to the chat.  Appeasing these people in order cut down on the approval complaints would just lead to too many posts to read while following the game and a poorer experience for everyone else.  You may be a sad panda because only one or none of your numerous posts make it through, but everyone else is happy that there aren't too many posts to read in between plays.

And no, I'm not a mod.  Just an occasional poster who gets approved about 1/3 of the time (which is where I came up with that in my original post).

chitownblue (not verified)

September 15th, 2008 at 10:23 AM ^


IMO, having moderated Utah, and moderating in fits and starts on Saturday, "Stevie Brown sux" are extremely frequent. However, the thing that makes it the hardest are posts that have no joke/opinion/observation, but are just "woo hoo!" or "nice run!" or "fuck!". These posts almost never, ever, get through, but they flood the comment queue - which makes it hard to see everyone else's.

chitownblue (not verified)

September 15th, 2008 at 12:36 PM ^

I'm not sure, sdogg1m, if you were in the live chat this weekend or not. The scroll window was going extremely fast - to the point that each comment was in view for roughly 45 to 50 seconds. That was with moderators approcing around 40% to 50% of them. Approving EVERYTHING would have things move fast that no one, literally, could read it.


September 15th, 2008 at 2:29 PM ^

is absolutely a format that will not work. I am not blaming anyone and I appreciate the moderators doing the best they can when they are clearly outnumbered. My point is that if only a tiny number of posts from each poster gets approved then that will breed frustration. At some point people will migrate to other places where they are able to partcipate. I don't want to see that happen. I like having the Wolverine faithful coming to one spot on the web and chatting up the game.

A couple of ideas: A chat format for the game! I really don't mind forum posting knowing that even though my posts are buried swiftly that at least I get to make a comment.

I will continue to provide ideas as I think of them or stumble across them on the internet.


September 15th, 2008 at 3:22 PM ^

If they are silent then how can you automatically assume they enjoy the format?

I am giving the site recommendations to improve the format. If I wanted to start a chat room myself then I would have started one already.

My purpose is not to invoke hostility but to 1) Bring up issues with the new format. 2) Make suggestions on improving it.

Obviously, I am not the only one who has problems or Brian wouldn't have felt the need to make this post so apparently your massive, much larger, than me conclusion could be wrong.


September 15th, 2008 at 3:56 PM ^

You may not recognize me, but I am a silent partner in the WLA. I've moderated on all 3 games so far and have seen and heard everything. People will complain (as with anything), but there is a large amount of people who have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Haloscan or a chat would be a nightmare. Brian has decided to go with the Cover It Live software for everyone's benefit. He can put a few trusting individuals in charge of his site and not have to worry about massive chaos. I don't think he's too concerned with a few people not liking the "new" format. It's a learning experience for everyone, you, me, everyone that stops by on game day.

I can say that during the ND game, I noticed a few commenters that were contributing to the community. They were instantly auto-approved by me. I don't think you're getting the main issues the WLA deals with:

1) We are new at this, give us a break
2) We honestly appriove any good/useful/funny comment
3) Contribute to the community or just watch
4) There will be bumps along the way
5) We are all Michigan fans and enjoy watching the game, plus interacting on MGoBlog
6) There will be dick jokes
7) Brian's sticking to this format
8) There is no #8
9) We're fully capable of keeping up with the comments
10) Stop arguing


September 15th, 2008 at 12:40 PM ^

Is a Mad Money style array of buttons that would include "F---", "woo hoo", "Tacopants", etc that would allow people to express the emotion of the moment and have a tally displayed be possible?  It sounds like that would likely cut back on the absolute number of comments and free up the forum for more conversation.  As well as free up the moderators' band width.

Again, my comment is more of a brainstorm than well hashed out idea.  take it for what its worth.


September 16th, 2008 at 2:41 PM ^

I think Steve Szabo was right when he said "Anyone who needs a keyboard to watch a football game is a communist." I hope you all die in a fire.


October 10th, 2009 at 3:30 PM ^

I am in Shanghai, China on a business trip, and reallly want to see this game, especially since we may be wearing white pants!

Can someone please reply to this thread with a way to stream live video of the game? I would greatly appreciate it! Let's go blue!!!

kevin holt

November 13th, 2010 at 5:14 PM ^

I'm usually not part of the liveblog, as I am either at the game or watching on tv, but today I was in the library watching on a stream, so I was on here.

I knew that comments were being approved by mods, but I had a long period where nothing was showing up. I was submitting seemingly relevant comments and even posted a stream that I found when others were asking about ones that weren't skipping. I thought maybe it was a glitch, I had no idea not to make a huge deal about it and to maybe make more acceptable and clear cut comments. And I especially feel bad for submitting "Why are my comments not being approved? I thought everything I've said has been relevant, unless it's technical problems" or something along those lines. I should've just shut up.


August 31st, 2013 at 5:22 PM ^

It is clear the defense is ahead of the offense. The Oline looks good in protection. The run game is meh. And the defense is not dominant, but clearly effective and keeping everything in front of it. That is what you need to do. So, the offense is efficient if not explosive. 

Who can't live with the fact that even if Devn throws a pick, he makes up for it with his feet. And he can throw that pass to Dileo in escape mode that makes everyone remember how much they enjoyed playing touch football. Yeah, I can do that. 


September 6th, 2014 at 11:10 PM ^

I'm a little shocked to see the coaches give up a the end of the game.  Yes, the team was playing very poorly, yes they had no chance to win, but the coaching staff sat on 3 timeouts and let ND run out the clock.  How do you come back from that and ask players to give it their all after that?