A note to Slate’s commenters.

A Note to Slate’s Commenting Community

A Note to Slate’s Commenting Community

The inner workings of Slate.
Sept. 26 2017 2:27 PM

A Note to Our Commenters

How commenting is changing.

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Photo illustration by Slate. Image by Thinkstock.

A redesign of Slate’s article pages is underway, and starting today—with this article—you’ll be able to comment on articles that are published in the new layout. Please use the comment thread on this page to ask questions about our plans and to share your ideas.

The biggest change: Comments will now be published on a separate page from the articles they discuss. Though this design sends commenters slightly further afield, it has several advantages that should improve the commenting experience:

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  • Smoother commenting: This design allowed Slate’s tech team an opportunity to reimplement Livefyre, the platform we use for comments—and to fix some of the bugs that have bedeviled our community.

  • Flexibility: Should Slate ever choose to move to a different commenting platform, this design will make it easier to implement a new system without disrupting readers or commenters.

  • A more welcoming experience for “lurkers”: In the new layout, we’ve made the “top comments” sorting option more visible. We think that will make it easier for noncommenting readers to quickly locate a clean summary of the discussion, which might make them more likely to join the conversation.

  • It’s good for business: The new layout opens up some real estate for advertising, which helps pay the costs of hosting discussions on Slate.

What’s next? The redesign is being implemented gradually across the site, so it will be a while before you see the new layout on every article page. And we’re continuing to assess our commenting technology to ensure it provides the best possible experience for commenters and readers. We look forward to your spirited feedback!

In the meantime, we will continue our efforts to improve moderation on the site, an initiative being led by Evan Urquhart and a team of volunteer moderators. Through that group’s efforts over the past two years, we’ve noticed a significant improvement in the quality of discussion happening on the site.

In addition to joining the discussion on this page, we welcome you to email us at commenting@slate.com.

Looking for Slate’s commenting policies? Here’s what you should know.

If you depend on this community and Slate’s journalism, please consider joining Slate Plus. We appreciate your support.