Introducing Slate's new, spruced-up message boards.

Help rebuild Slate's aging message boards.
June 4 2007 11:08 AM

Fray's Anatomy

Introducing our new, spruced-up message boards.

Today we celebrate our biggest project launch since last summer's site redesign. For the first time in at least five years, we've completed a major upgrade of our online forum for reader comments and discussion. Welcome to the new Fray! Please click here try it out.

For too long we let our community of talented reader-commentators fester on bug-ridden and outmoded message boards. They were cluttered, slow, and nearly impossible to navigate. As we pointed out two months ago, the fact that you could find any lively debate at all in that Web-0.5 application said more about the quality of our Fraysters than it did about the resources we gave them.

Daniel Engber Daniel Engber

Daniel Engber is a columnist for Slate

Now, with the support of Cisco, we've finally given the Fray the wholesale renovation it deserved. We've updated the software, remodeled the interface, and fixed the long-standing bugs that kept new users from joining the conversation. And we've made the new system more flexible and much easier to navigate.

We started the project to fix the Fray back in April, with an open call for suggestions. We wanted to hear from the veterans, who'd spent so much time on the site despite its problems. And we wanted to hear from the folks who had thought of the Fray only with fear or indifference. You were happy to oblige: In just a few weeks, we received almost 900 e-mails suggesting ways to improve the site; 2,451 readers responded to our online polls; more than a thousand comments were posted to the "Fix the Fray" message board.

It wouldn't be the Fray if everyone agreed on the right course of action. There were those who wanted a complete overhaul: Some asked for a social networking site, with personal profiles, pictures, and a system for private messages. Others wanted to ditch the chit-chat and gear the boards exclusively toward comments on Slate articles. And then there were the Fray die-hards who wanted to preserve—at all costs—the old-school "charm" of the original.

We've tried to address as many of your suggestions as we could with the new Fray. First and foremost, we've made it much easier to respond to specific Slate articles. In the old days, we lumped together comments on all articles that happened to be in the same department. If you wanted to read the reactions to the latest "Culturebox," for example, you'd be stuck reading posts about every "Culturebox" piece we've ever published, not to mention off-topic personal asides from other Fraysters.

As of today, casual readers can click from an article page to see only those posts directly related to that article. But you don't have to browse the Fray that way. If you come into the message boards directly (and not through an article page), you'll see every post, whether or not it's a comment on an article. And if you'd rather focus on your own discussions, you can set a filter to shut the article comments out of your personal view.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

Subprime Loans Are Back

And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 22 2014 6:30 PM What Does It Mean to Be an American? Ted Cruz and Scott Brown think it’s about ideology. It’s really about culture.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 5:38 PM Apple Won't Shut Down Beats Music After All (But Will Probably Rename It)
  Life
Outward
Sept. 22 2014 4:45 PM Why Can’t the Census Count Gay Couples Accurately?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 7:43 PM Emma Watson Threatened With Nude Photo Leak for Speaking Out About Women's Equality
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 22 2014 9:17 PM Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl Soundtrack Sounds Like an Eerie, Innovative Success
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 6:27 PM Should We All Be Learning How to Type in Virtual Reality?
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 22 2014 4:34 PM Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.