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Testing out a new private commenting experience on Satchel

Hello everyone,

Following up on my newsletter from last week, I worked on a new private commenting experience on Satchel this weekend and I’d appreciate any/all feedback.

Here’s how it works:

  • When authors on Satchel create a post, they now have the ability to allow private comments.
  • When that switch is on, people who view the post will see a prompt to sign in and submit a request to comment on that page.
  • When the author approves the request, the user is notified and is allowed to submit comments.
  • For now, only the author can see the real names of everyone in the thread. The commenters can see the avatar and first/last name of the author, of course, but the identity of their fellow commenters is hidden.

This experience is designed to test out an idea I had recently to bring in friends/colleagues into a private discussion - as well as new folks I’d like to invite in - to hopefully create a semi-private environment where people can have informative and nuanced conversation asynchronously.

In classic startup fashion, I’m testing out the experience to see if it resonates. Thanks for your help! If the idea sticks, we’ll work to optimize the visual elements and add more features, etc…

Also, if you’d like to test it out yourself as an author, feel free to use the link below to also sign in and test out our private alpha. We’re still in the development process to iron out the kinks and optimize the UX for authors.

For more background on the private commenting idea, if you haven’t read the bottom part of my newsletter from last week, check it out here.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. :)




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