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philip 40 months ago


So a few days ago the counter ticked over and we passed 1,000,000 comments on PCPartPicker. I find that to be pretty nuts. Feels like yesterday that PCPartPicker didn't even have commenting at all. I honestly fought it for a long time - whether or not to even allow commenting on the site. I was the sole person working on the site at the time, so I didn't really have the bandwidth to moderate while also doing dev and the business side. But I kept seeing discussions pop up that I thought would be well suited here.

A good friend of mine, Amar Rama, has given me tons of great feedback and advice about PCPartPicker and live in general. He's been an encouragement the whole way, through the fun parts and the struggles. He's a great guy, and I'm deeply indebted to him for everything he's done for me. Anyhow, Amar is seemingly connected to everyone. Along the way we were talking about community and he referred me to Josh Duncan. A few emails later and we met for lunch at Chipotle and had a good conversation about how and where to get started.

Adding community functionality to a site with no community is kind of a chicken-and-egg problem. I could drop in a bunch of empty forums, and well, you'd see a bunch of empty forums. Many people would see there's no real activity and leave. So how do you bootstrap things? Talking with Josh it made sense that completed builds drove feedback, so we initially built in commenting for just those. There were no forums.

In true not-invented-here fashion, I didn't reuse existing forums. I wanted to create my own. I liked markdown and reddit style commenting, and I also liked the interaction at Hacker News a lot too. So I wanted to kind of merge the two concepts where I felt it made sense. Also in true software-engineering fashion, I wanted to push it live as fast as possible. That meant comments with no comment reply notifications, no moderation tools, etc. I thought I'd figure out moderation tools when I needed them. That turned out to be quite a bit sooner than I expected.

Spam was almost immediate. "How???" I wondered... I mean, it was a custom implementation. It's not like some automated phpbb spam script could just hop in and go to town. But we were getting tons of spam for Ugg boots and other miscellaneous items. So shortly after, we added the ability to report comments, then some other internal tools for automatically flagging problematic posts. We've slowly built out what we need to keep it under control. We still have functionality we're adding in to help manage things, but for the most part we're doing ok.

Bans are very infrequent, but they do happen. Generally people who just don't want to be nice and can't handle the six forum rules we post. But we're pretty amazed by how civil the community here is - and how seldom we need to step in. It's a testament to the character of the people here that we only have one person managing all the moderation (manirelli) and he isn't going crazy, yet.

To all our users who participate in commenting on this site: Thank You. Thank you for helping make PCPartPicker a place where there's good dialogue and where people feel welcome. We feel truly blessed. Here's to reaching 10,000,000 comments...

Edit: Just to add a bit more - we know there are plenty of good communities out there where 1M comments is a drop in the bucket. We're ok with that. We feel blessed with where we are.

Comments Sorted by:

manirellis_fridge 9 points 40 months ago

As your coworker's fridge, I congratulate you!

Growliff1234 1 point 40 months ago

Why not his CPU or something.. His fridge ?

manirellis_fridge 2 points 40 months ago

I am more loyal than his CPU.

piemancoder 11 points 40 months ago

You are much cooler.

manirellis_fridge 2 points 40 months ago

Very punny

JakeMeinrath 3 points 40 months ago

:O Congrats

Growliff1234 1 point 40 months ago

Where did you get that logo ? Looks awesome !

JakeMeinrath 1 point 40 months ago

Copied The Websites One, To Then Photoshop It, And Thanks. :)

Growliff1234 1 point 40 months ago

That's awesome, it really does look nice. Once I get a few upgrades to my computer I am looking at doing custom MTG cards, which I guess will be similar :P

Growliff1234 1 point 40 months ago

Any ideas on what you are going to build ? I am not here much now, but, I would love to help.

JakeMeinrath 1 point 40 months ago

1,000,000 or 10,000,000 *cough

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Edited. Meant to say, "here's to reaching 10M comments."

JakeMeinrath 1 point 40 months ago

Awesome, Keep up the amazing work! :D

GreenBeanPie 1 point 40 months ago


TheNoob 1 point 40 months ago

Number of Comments:

IT'S OVER 9000!!!

jacobs4525 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

I bet the top 100 most frequent users probably account for about 50% of them lol. It's crazy to see how this forum has grown in the two years or so since I came here.

rhali8 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

I actually make up 0.02199% of the site's comments ;-;

190n 2 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Will there be a prize for the user who breaks the next big milestone (maybe 5M)?

rhali8 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

A comment war will begin.

Thefan630 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Congrats, I guess.

Only one moderator, manirelli? Better start thinking in getting someone new and give him vacations, the fact he works in a fort out of periphials worries me.

Apex1 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

I can't imagine having a site like this without comments!

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philip staff submitter 10 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

LOL staff can see deleted comments... So yes, you are correct. :0 (And we're glad you're part of the community here. :) )

vagabond139 5 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

I figured you could. I deleted it because I was confused as to whether you meet 1M or 10M. If its 1M I am in amazed that I count for 1% and at the same time scared that I am on this site that much.

philip staff submitter 10 Builds 2 points 40 months ago

Maybe I need to create a histogram of comments per user.

JAShadic 2 points 40 months ago

Or maybe also a comment rank/comment karma rank!

vagabond139 5 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

That would be interesting to see.

FH100 1 point 40 months ago

Could you also do a temporal analysis? See if there are more comments on weekends, after school, near sales...

Ooo... And locations. Just general stuff, like nations or states.


Anyway... interesting story.

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rosswalker 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

waits for answer

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rosswalker 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago


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Thefan630 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

inb4 it was spam

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optimusgaming 1 point 37 months ago


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