Well, I'm back in Northern Virginia, where the temperature outside is almost double what it was when I left Milwaukee this morning. No threat of flurries here.
Anyway, just wanted to give you all a quick heads-up on our new commenting system - if you scroll to the bottom of this blog post, you'll probably see that things look a little different. We've switched my 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, Twitter or OpenId 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. And I'd guess the percentage of you not using Google, Facebook or Twitter is slim - the world belongs to those three entities these days, right?
There are a few things I like about this commenting system better than our old one, and I think you'll enjoy them, too. 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, though most of the entries say they have zero comments at the moment. And you'll also see me replying to your comments with a new comment, rather than writing below the text of your comment like I used to do.
So try it out, play around and let me know what you think.