New commenting system on Sentinel articles
Starting this evening, the Sentinel will be using a new commenting service for its online articles.
The service is provided by Disqus, and requires a login, unlike the previous system, provided by Topix. Readers will be able to log in using their Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, or OpenID accounts, or they can sign up through disqus.com
The new system allows readers some further controls about how they view comments, which can be sorted to be viewed by most recent or most popular. Readers are also able to share their comments more easily through their own social profile. The new system will also allow our reporters to message and interact with commenters who may have information that advances the story.
The commenting feature on our articles has been popular since its debut in 2006, and we hope that our readers continue to discuss issues that affect Santa Cruz County on our site. In 2010, we’ve had more than 2.5 million page views on article commenting.
We like the idea that all subjects we cover could be vigorously debated, and we liked the idea that we wouldn’t put many hurdles in the way of discussion. But the old service could be as caustic as it was popular. We took efforts to moderate the forum, killing an average of 100 comments a day, banning users, disabling threads and adding help in the newsroom and from freelancers to moderate the conversation.
We think Disqus will help users take a little more responsibility fortheir comments on our site and improve the tone of the conversation. It also gives us a few more options with regard to moderation. We may expire some threads, we may require comments to be pre-approved on stories of our choice.
Disqus, also used by CNN, MTV, The Atlantic, Fox News and TechCrunch, among others, also pulls in mentions of Sentinel articles from other social media sites.
We welcome your feedback on our new service.
Here’s an image of how it looks:
(We’ll be adding Disqus comments to Sentinel blogs in the New Year. Thanks also to several brighter minds in the community, and the Disqus help team for helping us through some technical issues. – Tom)