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 were logged into the old High Gear Media comment system using Facebook, when you go to an article using Disqus, you will no longer be logged in. You have the option of logging into Disqus using any of its sign-on options, including Facebook. 
  • You can remain logged into both the old HGM Comments and the new Disqus comments at the same time.
  • If you login to Disqus via Facebook, it will create a new Disqus profile/account for you.
  • The users who had been logged into HGM comments via Facebook and then used Disqus now have a new Disqus profile using the name fb_xxxxxx. These users should create a new Disqus profile (using any of the login methods).
  • If users would like to merge their new profile with that old " fb_xxxxxx" profile (assuming they commented using Disqus already), they should click on the little wrench drop-down in Disqus and then click on "Edit Settings". This will take them to the Disqus website where they can update their username and other info. It will also give them the option of merging their old profile with their new profile.

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.

Green Car Reports comments using new Disqus system

Green Car Reports comments using new Disqus system

More flexibility

(3) The Disqus commenting system has a whole host of new features; there’s a great guide here.

One is that Instead of the old thumbs-up/thumbs-down rating system, Disqus sorts all comments by quality--so the best comments will show up first.

If you want to show the newest or oldest comments first, you can sort them that way.

(4) Finally, although it's not visible to Green Car Reports readers, the moderation tools give us much more flexibility in sorting out and discouraging inappropriate or rude content.

This is also an advantage in dealing with the major spam attacks we get from time to time.

Comments visible in search

Finally, a couple of things you should be aware of.

First, note that the comments you make on Disqus may be visible through public search engines like Google.

This makes your remarkable collective knowledge more available to those seeking information. (We also think it's an incentive for polite behavior.)

Second, if you comment on new Green Car Reports stories as of today, an account is created for you on Disqus.com.

As a result, both your user profile (however much you choose to complete) and your comments are available through the Disqus platform.

Issues? Comment or e-mail us

Inevitably, there may be questions or implementation glitches with the new system. We've already found a few since we pulled the switch, and we're working on them now.

We're monitoring both of our commenting platforms carefully, and we'll do our best to respond quickly if you have troubles.

Leave us a comment below if you have troubles.

If you can't comment, send a note directly to feedback (at) highgearmedia (dot) com--and, please, use the subject line "GCR Disqus commenting."

Again, we thank everyone who's commented on our stories. You all contribute to a broader, more informed discussion on the largest possible range of green-car topics.


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