I’ll admit it: commenting on stories at Heritage.com has been a difficult task to navigate. But we’ve got a new system that we hope will harness more useful conversations among readers and reporters, and will be much more user-friendly.
Today, I’ve spent the afternoon at the Community Media Lab going over our new commenting system, Disqus, a third-party commenting program that will allow you to log in using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo accounts. Using these sites better identifies users, and promotes a healthy discussion among people, not just avatars. For those of you who don’t use these services, no worries: you’ll still be able to comment anonymously, using an email address.
You’ll even be able to edit your comments after they’re posted for better clarity. And the comment page won’t load onto a different page, so you’ll be able to go back and look at the story while you write your comment, a plus if you plan on citing or critiquing.
Comments published will still be moderated, though through a much faster process than before.
And the discussion doesn’t just stop at the posting of the comment. Users will be able to respond to other users easily, and “like” or “dislike” a users comment. You can sort through the most-liked comments and see what the community is talking about the most.
See a comment that doesn’t meet community standards? You can “flag” comments for review, and we’ll go in and take a look. If we agree, we’ll remove the comment from the site.
This system outdoes its predecessor tenfold, and we’re excited to launch it. If you have any questions on it, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or feel free to stop by the lab in downtown Ypsilanti. I’m here Tuesday afternoons until 4 p.m.
Want to give it a try? Leave a comment on the story announcing Rick Santorum’s departure from the presidential race today here.
Let the discussion (and debate) begin!