November 13, 2007

New Comment System

As part of my ongoing efforts to improve the experience for the Captain's Quarters community, I have decided to try a different system of publishing comments. Instead of using Movable Type's native system, I wanted to try something closer to a forum -- where commenters can reply to specific comments, shown as nested so that people can track specific threads on a topic. Many people have asked for a system that would organize comments better, and I agree that we have gone long enough with the simple linear system that we have used until now.

This morning, I shifted the comments program to Disqus, a system created by a member of our CapQ community. It integrates tightly into Movable Type through a plugin, and it appears very simple to use and manage. Given the level of effort needed at the moment to keep the comment threads free from spam and abuse, easier management appeals to me.

Commenters will notice that the Disqus system includes the ability to register for easier comment posting, as well as self-management of comments. At the moment, we will continue to allow non-registered users to post comments here, but that will change. I do not want to continue excising sock puppets and comments abusers using the blunt tools available to me in Movable Type, and registration will help me solve those problems. I encourage commenters to register at Disqus over the next few weeks before new policies come into effect.

Disqus has other forums and discussions available, too. It also provides an RSS feed for comments at CapQ that allows readers to follow comments in their feedreaders. It's a clever site with lots of potential, and I'd encourage readers to check it out.

Thank you for your patience, and I hope that everyone enjoys all of the new capabilities of the Disqus system.

Note: At the moment, I am unable to import the existing comments into the Disqus system, which has taken all of the comments out of the existing threads. They still exist in my database, and I'm working with Disqus on a solution. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I know that our commenters will shortly have plenty of content and debate in the new system.


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