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Spring is here and we're tidying up the comments section

Consider it a bit of spring cleaning. We’re bringing our comments section out of the dark ages today and introducing a new platform called Disqus, which we hope will make your conversations better and our lives a little easier.

You’ve probably used Disqus before on other sites (it’s free; it’s pleasant-looking; it’s popular), but here’s how it’s going to change things at GothamSchools.

  • Conversations: Instead of replying to someone else’s comment by adding your thoughts way down at the bottom of the thread, you’ll be able to respond directly below the comment. Your response will be indented, setting itself apart as an exchange that other readers can join, or can skim over before checking out others’ comments further down. The idea is to eliminate some of the confusion caused by people trying to talk to each other while other readers are jumping in and writing about different topics.
  • Your identity: If you want to post anonymously, you still can. We have never and will never share your email or IP address with anyone else. But if you’d like to create an account with Disqus or use your Facebook or Twitter accounts, you can now do that.
  • Liking and flagging: If you think another reader’s comment is spot-on, or is a nice addition to the discussion, you can now “like” it. We’re also moving to a system where we’re counting on our readers to help us moderate the comments. If you read a comment that you believe should be removed, click the flag icon and one of the site’s editors will be notified. Here are three questions we’d like you to think about before you flag a comment: Is it spam? Is it libelous? Is it off topic? If it falls into any of those categories, you should feel empowered to flag it! If not, please leave it be.
  • Sorting: GothamSchools’ comment threads have always shown the oldest comments first. But now, you can choose to organize them so that the newest ones, or the most “liked” ones, are the first ones you see.
  • The shrinking sidebar: While we’re getting used to Disqus, we’ve removed a few elements that have long been housed in the sidebar. “Chalk it up” is gone, as is the list of recent comments. They could return one day, once we’re sure how to make that happen.

We’re new to Disqus, and Disqus is new to us, so there are bound to be a few glitches as we settle in. If your comments aren’t appearing immediately, or you’re getting caught in our spam filters, hold tight and we’ll fix it as fast as we can.

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