We love our commenters: You all are an informed, passionate, and very active group, and we thank you.
So, here's some news. As of this morning, we've switched our commenting system from the old homegrown one to the Disqus system you've likely seen on an increasing number of websites.
There are two important things to know right up front.
Existing logins work
First, you can continue to sign into the commenting system with your existing High Gear Media login name and password (or your Facebook account) as before.
In fact, this should be entirely seamless for most of you. Aside from a different layout for the comment area, not a lot will have changed.
Second, the new system applies only to new stories published as of today.
The 9,000-plus articles published through yesterday will keep their existing comments intact, and continue to use the previous comment system.
UPDATE, Sunday, August 18: Thus far, the reaction to our new Disqus commenting system has been remarkably favorable.
Nonetheless, after we published this article on Thursday, August 15, readers pointed out a few bugs that we've now fixed.
(1) At first, two separate comment threads existed for articles and for the versions of those same articles that were reached via our Facebook page. (Thanks to our reader Neil Blanchard for flagging that one.)
We've fixed that so that an article has only a single comment thread, regardless of how it's reached.
Unfortunately, about a dozen comments were overwritten in the transition. Our apologies.
(2) A more complicated problem involved users who were signed into the old High Gear Media commenting system with their Facebook user log-ins.
Their user names displayed as fb_xxxxxx, but they then weren't able to log out. (Our thanks to reader John C. Briggs for alerting us.)
We've fixed that too, but it's slightly changed the rules for logging in.
Here's an explanation of how things now work:
If you see any further problems, please let us know. Thanks again for your patience during this transition.
You can edit your comments
We made the change because the new system gives us several advantages.
(1) Most important, and as many of you have frequently requested, you will now be able to edit and delete your own comments.
You can also use basic HTML formatting in your posts--but please be aware that any comment with a live link in it will be held until a moderator can look at it.
(2) In addition to logging in via High Gear Media or Facebook accounts, you can now also use Twitter, Google, and new or existing accounts with Disqus itself.