You might notice that Pando’s comment count is a little light at the moment. That’s because we’re in the middle of moving to a new comment system, “powered” (to use marketing speak) by Livefyre. Old comments are in the process of being brought back online and new ones should appear immediately.
Why the switch? Well, anyone who has read me or Sarah for, oh, five minutes will know that we hate commenters.
“I don’t hate commenters. I just hate anonymous trolls!”
The noise you hear in the background is Sarah yelling (from a plane somewhere over Orlando) that she doesn’t hate all commenters. But she does. We both do.
Still, comments are — apparently — an important part of any successful blog. Providing a platform for readers to explain precisely why we’re wrong about any given issue is what — I’m told — makes the Web go around.
But if we’re forced to provide catapults, the better for people to hurl shit at us, then at least the shit-hurlers should be identifiable. Hence the switch to Livefyre which uses a combination of (somewhat) verifiable identities, a running reputation score and a host of smart moderation tools to maintain at least a veneer of decorum. (Actually, we were hoping to have this live weeks ago, but being on WordPress VIP meant we had to jump through more hoops than Norville Barnes.)
The downside, of course, is that forcing people to login before commenting will likely reduce our overall comment count. On certain other blogs that would be a deal-breaker. For us it’s a huge plus.
I grudging accept that occasionally — just occasionally — the comment section of a post will play host to a lively, but constructive, debate on a controversial topic. Likewise, once in a blue comet, a commenter’s tip will lead to an interesting follow-up story. And, on one lonely occasion since the Egyptians first began to measure time, someone posted a funny joke. A moderated, non-anonymous comment system is the oyster in which the sands of intelligent thought might possibly combine over time into a single pearl of Holy Shit, This Guy Actually Makes A Good Point.
On a practical level, you can comment with a Livefyre account or by logging in through Twitter, Facebook and all that stuff. Usual comment rules apply: We’ll delete anything that’s abusive or spammy, while smart, funny or otherwise odds-defying comments will be rewarded with t-shirts.
But what do you think about our new comment system? Tell us in the… Seriously, how do people write that at the end of every post without shooting themselves in the face?