As of 1 p.m. today, there is a new system for commenting on my blog and Roch Kubatko's blog. The Nats' reporters have been using the system for a while.
We will switch the blog over to Disqus, the popular online commenting system used by CNN, Wired magazine, Fox News, MLB.com, MLB Trade Rumors and others. Chances are, you've probably interacted with it somewhere on the Web, but if not, here's a quick tutorial.
You'll comment much in the same way you did before, typing your thoughts in the comment box below my blog entries. When you put your cursor in that commenting window, you'll see a box pop down that has an option to add an image on the left-hand side, and a silver button that says "Post As" on the right-hand side. When you're ready to post, click on that button. It'll bring up a pop-up menu that allows you to comment as a guest (enter a handle and email, just like you've always done), or sync Disqus with your Google, Facebook, Yahoo or Twitter accounts. You can also sign up for a Disqus account, and use it across the Web.
If you sign in with a third-party account, your comments will post automatically to the site. You're able to comment with a username and email, like you did before, if you prefer to make up an email address. However, I'll still have to approve those comments. That's the way most major news sites are doing things these days; it cuts down on spam and, quite frankly, allows for a better discussion, since we're able to keep things from veering to the irrelevant or the obscene.
There are some things worth noting about this system.
First, it's got some new bells and whistles - you can "like" a comment, or add a picture to what you're posting. Second, it will keep discussions a little more organized; when you reply to a comment, you'll see your response under the comment you replied to, rather than having to go back and find it in a chronological order. And third, the platform allows you to do a number of different things across the Web; if you sign up for a Disqus account, you can post your comments here (or on other Disqus-supported blogs) to your Facebook profile or your Twitter account. It will also allow you to track the comments you've left on blogs all over the Web, so you can keep track of your online conversations in one spot. All of your old comments are still in my blog posts.
Hope you find this system to your satisfaction and bear with me as I get used to it as well. Keep in mind I am learning the new system too and may not be able to answer questions you have about using it and I'll probably have a few of my own. But please keep the comments coming, I really enjoy them!