By Doug Parry
HeraldNet has switched over to a new comment system powered by Disqus, which is the most widely used commenting platform on the Web. Here’s what’s new and a short Q&A.
- More ways to log in. You can use your old HeraldNet profile, or your log-in from Facebook, Twitter, Google or Disqus.
- If you comment on other sites with Disqus comments, such as Seattle Weekly, you can use the same log-in for both sites.
- Threading of comments. You can reply to another comment in a logical place now.
- You can personalize things now with your own avatar and user profile.
- You can follow people and discussions that interest you and get email updates on them if you like.
- Voting: Your votes determine which comments show more prominently on the site.
A: Simply put, we badly needed an upgrade. We wanted a system that’s smarter for users and lets people share in social media. Our old system wasn’t user-friendly enough, was slowing down our site and had technical problems that made it hard for new people to sign up. Other than that, it was almost adequate.
Q: What happened to all the old comments?
A: We are importing all of them to the new system. As of this hour, most have made it into Disqus, but there are a few stragglers, and it’s possible we won’t be able to import every single comment.
Q: Comments aren’t always sorted in chronological order. What’s up with that?
A: The default setting on each article is for the “best” comments to show on top. The best comments are determined by users’ votes. You can change the sorting by clicking where it says “best” and switching that to “newest” or “oldest.”
Q: What are the rules about having comments removed?
A: Here’s the legalese version. Several Herald editors monitor comments and watch out for a few things, among them: personal attacks against other users; off-color language; racially insensitive comments; and insensitivity to crime victims. Basically it boils down to this: Don’t be a jerk.
Q: How do I flag an inappropriate comment?
A: If you hover over any comment, you can see a little triangle to the right-hand side. Click on the triangle and it lets you flag the comment, which alerts our comment moderators by email. Here are some good guidelines from Disqus for flagging comments.
We’re always looking to improve things. Please try it out by letting me know what you think.