New commenting system in place

Below is the news story we’re running online and in the paper to announce our new commenting system. I think this new system is pretty spiffy, and I really hope you like it too. It takes some getting used to, and there is a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it it gets much easier.

Also, it has a funny failmonkey page.

The Jamestown Sun’s website is now featuring readers’ comments, using a significantly upgraded comment system with improved features and user options.

The system, based at the website topics.areavoices.com, has been under testing at inforum.com for several weeks and has been expanded to all the newspaper websites throughout Forum Communications Co.

With this system, a story on which commenting is allowed will have an embedded link that takes readers to that individual story’s commenting page. The system provides a single hub for commenting on stories on all these websites, including those at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, the Grand Forks Herald and The Dickinson Press, in addition to The Sun. This will allow commenters to find and discuss stories of interest to them from several newspapers in the region, as long as they also have an account with any Forum Communications newspaper.

Here are a few answers to the questions you may have about the new comments system, which will be accessible from www.jamestownsun.com.

Q. Will I have to reregister to comment at the new site?

A. Yes, but very little information is required — just your name, e-mail address, gender, birth year and zip code.

You will also be able to upload a profile photo to help you identify yourself to other users.

Q. What are the rules for commenting?

A. Commenters must stay civil and stay on topic; avoid profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs and personal attacks.
People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked from the site.

Q. What are the site’s new features?

A. All readers of topics.areavoices.com can “Like or Dislike” any comment, giving them either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. They do not have to have an account to rate comments.

If a comment receives many negative ratings, it is hidden, marked “Hidden due to low comment rating,” and readers must click on a link to see it.

If a comment receives many negative and positive ratings, it is marked “hot debate” and given an orange frame.

If a comment receives many more positive than negative ratings, it is marked “well-loved” and given a green frame.

Over time, the system tracks how many positive and negative votes that users’ comments receive, and displays a graphic illustrating their overall rating with every comment they make.

The new comments system also features threaded or nested comments, which means that commenters can reply to an initial comment and have those replies grouped together under the comment instead of posted at the bottom under other comments. This makes it much easier to follow discussions.

Comments will also post much more rapidly in this new system than they did previously on The Sun’s website.

The new comments page also includes several social-networking tools that help commenters connect with each other, such as a directory of all members, a private messaging system and the abilities to “friend” other commenters and to see all their comments listed on their profiles.

Q. What about obituary guestbooks?

A. Obituary guestbooks will still be located on The Sun’s website at www.jamestownsun.com

Q. How can I register to comment on the new system?

A. Click “create an account” at the top right of the page at http://topics.areavoices.com/.

Q. What are the terms of service for the new system?

A. For a full list of the terms of service, visit http://topics.areavoices.com/tos/.

Any questions not addressed above can be sent by e-mail to Sun Assistant Editor Logan C. Adams at ladams@jamestownsun.com.

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7 Responses to New commenting system in place

  1. sg says:

    There seems to be a problem here. I registered, never received an email back per my registry as the site said I would. I tried to log on and that did not work. So, I re-registered, received the message in red that my username and email was already taken. LOL, this was Friday when I registered. Is there a backup? I thought this system was supposed to be more efficient.

  2. Logan says:

    Check your spam filter. When I first registered, the confirmation email got caught in my spam filter.

  3. chiefsleepyeye says:

    Same problem as the first guy. Nothing caught in spam filter for me, just no email confirmation at all. As far as I can tell, the sight has not been tested very well. Not only this problem but also broken and malformed links as well as very odd, non-intuitive behavior. Clicking on the “Comment on this…” link takes me to a page full of articles none of which were the article I wanted to comment on.

  4. Paula R says:

    Yep, same issues as the other two posters. Nothing in my spam filter and went for a wild ride in “other papers” land.

  5. sg says:

    Logan,
    Nothing is in my spam filter, I checked. I hope you guys figure it out! Paula R – I certainly miss your posts and hope all is well with you. You are still doing fine in Mpls, I trust? I miss all the “regulars”, I hope everyone is doing fine.

  6. Logan says:

    If you’re having troubles logging in, e-mail me at ladams@jamestownsun.com with the e-mail addresses and usernames you registered but cannot access. I’ll see what I can do to solve this.

  7. Paula R says:

    (commandeering your blog Logan)

    Hi sg,

    Yes, all is well in Mpls. Still making plans to grow my business in No. Dak. Jamestown is making it tough tho. Would love to hear from the “regulars” as well. It’s a nice (albeit strongly opinionated) group. Will be interesting to see what the new system brings about. Do you think we’ll be able to tell when Mr. Ruso chimes in?

    Cheers!