Changes coming Wednesday to commenting

November 30, 2009 

To better serve our readers, will be switching to a new article commenting service called Disqus on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Disqus offers many new options to watch, follow and share comments — and promotes greater accountability among contributors to boost the quality of comments. As with any major change, we anticipate a little anxiety. To that end, we have put together a quick list of questions you might have about the upcoming change. We hope you'll find the change relatively painless.

Will I need to register again?
No. If you are already registered with your existing login information will continue to work. If you have forgotten your username and password, you can have the information resent to you by visiting the following link (

Will I need to log into the site again?
If you were logged into during your last visit, you will remain logged into the site following the launch of Disqus commenting.

Will I be able to sign in using my Facebook or Twitter login?
Yes. You will now be able to log in and comment using your existing username and password, or use your login and password for Disqus, Facebook and Twitter.

Can I keep my old avatar?
Avatars will not be migrated to the new commenting system. We have created a default Avatar for readers that log in using their username and password. If you want to display a unique Avatar, you will need to upload one to Disqus, Facebook or Twitter, and then post on using that account instead.

Will I be able to keep the screen name I post my article comments under?
Yes. Your screen name will remain unchanged. If you decide to log in and post comments using your Disqus, Facebook or Twitter account, your screen name will match that service instead.

Will I still be able to indicate my approval of comments using the "recommend" button?
Yes, but this button has been renamed to "Like."

Will I still be able to "reply" to comments?
Yes. The ability to reply to specific comment posts will remain a core of

Will I be able to report abuse on comments I deem inappropriate?
Yes. This method of community moderation for comments will remain consistent as we transition to Disqus.

So what are some of the new features we will get with Disqus?
- You will be able to select how comment threads are organized. Some people prefer to read the newest comments first, while others prefer to read the oldest comments first. Others prefer to sort on comments that have the best rating (highest number of "likes") or are the most popular (highest number of "likes" and replies). The choice will be yours. You can lock in your personal preference by selecting from among the options presented in the "Sort by" drop down menu that appears above the comments you are reading. This setting follows you across the site as you read articles and can be changed at your convenience.

- You will have the option of subscribing via email to a comment thread by clicking the "Subscribe by email" button at the bottom of the comment box. New comments will be sent directly to your email inbox, where you may read and respond by email.

- You will be able to subscribe via RSS to a comment thread by clicking the "Subscribe by RSS" button at the bottom of the comment box. This link will include step-by-step instructions on how to set up the RSS subscription.

- If you are logged in using your Facebook account, you will be able to share your comments on specific articles to your Facebook profile page, just by clicking the "Share on Facebook" link directly beneath the comment box. This is a per-post selection, so each time you comment on an article or reply to another comment, you will need to indicate your interest in sharing the post to Facebook.

What will happen to my old comment posts?

We are taking this opportunity to start fresh. Past comments will remain visible on old articles for a short period of time as we migrate fully to the new commenting service.

What about my profile and personal blog page?
After much consideration, has decided to discontinue these services. Several factors contributed to this decision. Fewer than one percent of users have set up a profile or personal blog, and there wasn't an easy way to find friends' profiles. Most users rely on Facebook as their primary profile site. Our hope is that the additional Facebook login option will provide our readers with the best of both worlds: the ability to comment on with their Facebook account information and the ability to share selected posts to their Facebook profile page.

If I run into problems or want to share feedback, whom should I contact?
For problems with article commenting, or to offer feedback on the changes, please email us.