DJournal.com and other Journal Inc. media websites are moving to a new commenting system this week with partner Disqus to help elevate the online discussions and build community.
New commenting tools offer users the chance to comment with the social network of their choice such as Facebook and Twitter - and all without having to create a new login or password. A threaded layout to help users follow comments and the ability to rank other users are among some of the features users have asked for that Disqus brings.
"We value feedback from our community and wanted to have real discussions and real debates, not just name-calling and shock posting," said Online Editor Todd Vinyard. "A number of our best ideas came from users and we're looking forward to working with Disqus and building a good online community."
Users will need to register, and anonymous posting will be discouraged. Readers and users of the Journal can still email and call with anonymous tips that will be checked out by the Journal news staff.
"We believe there is real value in an online community that people want to participate in, but just like no one would want to live in a community with neighbors that had bags on their heads, we think knowing who is commenting and learning that we all might not be as different as we think we are is a good thing," Vinyard said.
"We're very hopeful that this change will elevate our online discussions and debates and, as with letters to the editor in the print edition, add to the credibility of the participants with less anonymity," said Lloyd Gray, Daily Journal excecutive editor.
The Journal has a commenting policy guideline that offers a guide for debate at Conversation Guidelines.
Disqus is a well-known commenting partner used by large media like NPR, CNN, MLB.com and local media like The Columbus Commercial Dispatch. It should make commenting easier and spur more comments. Reporters and editors will at times join the discussions.
Users can still report abuse on comments that are reviewed, and the Journal always welcomes feedback on how to improve the debate or changes that can be made at email@example.com or by calling (662) 678-1586.