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Wanted: Your feedback about comments on BikePortland

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Results from our recent reader survey: 49% say comments
are their “least favorite” part of the site.

I want to share a few things regarding comments here on BikePortland.

Regular readers know that my efforts to foster quality, productive, and respectful comments has been (and will continue to be) a work in progress. I place an extremely high value on comments, giving them equal weight and consideration as the words I publish in stories. What this means is that I willingly spend a lot of time reading them, responding to them and editing and/or deleting them when necessary.

I hope some of you have noticed that the quality and tone of comments have improved considerably in recent months (they were a big enough concern in August 2008, that I had to address the issue head-on). The reason for this is simple: I’m spending more time monitoring them. Part of my motivation to do this has been very clear feedback on this issue from readers.

In our recent reader survey, 49% of respondents said comments were their “least favorite” part of BikePortland.

I’m tackling this issue not just with increased moderation, but also by looking at new designs. You have probably noticed the change in how they are formatted. The new comment section allows you to upload a profile image (go here to get one) and makes it easy to reply directly below other commenters.

Please give us some feedback on how you like this new comment system compared to what we had before.

On the design note, we are putting some things in place right now that will result in a complete design makeover of BikePortland by this coming spring. How we design the comments section will be a major part of the re-design (and please note that because of an impending re-design, I’m not looking to implement a major new commenting system).

I’d love to hear your thoughts about comments on BikePortland (especially whether or not I should keep these new-fangled ones, or go back to the old way). As always, I take your feedback seriously and will use it to guide the future of this site. Thank you… and thanks for commenting!