Story commenting feature is working again

The story commenting feature is working again.

I'd like to remind folks to please be civil. You don't need to call names, use profanity, scream in red type and all caps to get your point across. Really.

It's OK that someone has a different perspective than you. And it's not the end of the world that someone likes a different sports team than you.

You don't need to make fun of people who are injured in accidents. (I guarantee you don't look as cool as you think you do)

Stop the name calling

I get it. We all have our causes we feel strongly about. But you should be able to get your point across without name calling. When I check flagged comments, I see many comments that have great arguments for or against that day's topics. But I'm deleting the comment because of the name calling.

Before you reply that person x got away with an attack and you didn't, know that we simply can't catch every instance. We don't moderate our comments.

Sample the Treasure Valley arts scene

Are you a fan of the arts in the Treasure Valley and want a way to see a variety of shows?
The "Idaho Statesman Cultural Sampler" lets you experience an array of the valley's performing arts groups and offers the best available seats at a discounted price.

It's a great gift for the arts fan in your family. You can find more information at here.

Darlene Carnopis
Online Initiatives Editor

Looking for news about Michael Jackson?

We know that you have plenty of sources for stories about Michael Jackson. Right now, the top of CNN.com's homepage is taken over by stories and photos, as are the homepages of many other national websites. (in fact, so many people were searching for news yesterday that it affected google search, twitter and for us, our mobile text alert provider. Read CNN's story here)

How can story comments be improved?

Recently, we expanded on our story commenting "rules." You can see them at the bottom of every story by clicking on the button to expand the comment box. I've also included them at the bottom of this blog post.

Hey iPhone users - check it out

iPhone for IdahoStatesman.comHey iPhone users! Now it's easier for you to read Statesman stories on your phone. Just bookmark http://www.idahostatesman.com/mobile.

Who's going to win the Kentucky Derby?

I don't know either but I know who the "experts" are saying is the favorite - at least right now. And thanks to our sister paper, the Lexington Herald-Leader, I know where the celebrities will hang out. We've created a page where you can find everything you need about Saturday's Derby, including stories, a photo gallery and a link to the Lexington website. (You'll also find a link to our Kentucky Derby page under our "quick links" at the top of IdahoStatesman.com.)

Darlene Carnopis
Online Initiatives Editor
Idaho Statesman

Making it easier for you to find stories online

Over the past six months or so, we've been gradually improving our homepage and other pages. We've added headlines under "latest news" to keep you better informed. We've added a features box so that you can get to movies, music and food stories more quickly.

On Friday, we'll launch a few more changes. We'll center the search bar under the navigation. Right below the search bar, we are adding some quick links to help you get to important sections inside the web site. In order to do this, we've moved the member login information to the top left of the page. How you login doesn't change.

Inauguration, changes to the homepage and more

We've got a lot for you to read on the upcoming presidential inauguration.

Did you know that more than 100 officials from 58 federal, state and local agencies will oversee what is likely the largest security operation in inaugural history?

And there are some cool historical stories. From a newspaper story from 1933: "Franklin D. Roosevelt ascended to the Presidency today with the stringent banking situation foremost in his planning, forthwith declared "this nation asks for action and action now," and proceeded to act accordingly."

A change to reader commenting

One of the complaints we heard from readers when we changed to Pluck for our
story comments was that it was hard to respond to previous comments because they sorted from newest to oldest.

Recently, we changed that. Now comments on all stories are read from oldest
to newest. (You can manually switch that if you want to see the newest
comments first.) While this isn't true threading like our old comments were
(that improvement is planned for the future), I still think it will be
easier for you to follow the conversation.

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