Change in Commenting Platform

As many of you have noticed, over the past several months we’ve been dealing with server load problems, comment posting glitches, and comment functionality problems (such as the lost ability to edit comments). These have been related, since optimizing comment functionality seems to have lead to untenable server loads, and optimizing server load has led to comment problems.

On the advice of our technical people, we’re therefore moving comments off-server, to the Facebook commenting system used by sites such as the L.A. Times, TechCrunch, Power Line, and others. This should let us provide more usable comments without service brownouts or long page load delays.

Note that you will still be able to post anonymously (or pseudonymously), simply by using an AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail account, or indeed from your Facebook account, if your Facebook account is pseudonymous. You should also be able to easily delete your own comments; and comments will also be nested into threads, you’ll see the comments of people you’re friends with at the top, and you will be able to notify friends via your Facebook wall if you’ve commented on a VC post. And we’ll be better able to do housekeeping, such as deleting duplicate comments, and deleting the rare comments that violate our posting guidelines.

To use the commenting feature, just go to the comment page, as you have before. You will then see either (1) a box for your comment text, in case you are already logged in to your Facebook, AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail account, or (2) a login prompt, if you aren’t yet logged in. And if you are logged on to your Facebook account, but don’t want to post using that account, you can easily just click on “Not you” (in the “Posting as YourName (Not you?)” line).

Old comments to old posts will still be visible, as before. Posts that were open for comments before the changeover will have the legacy comment threads still readable.

We think this should be the optimal solution for everyone -– for those who just read the posts, and thus need to avoid brownouts; for those who want to comment under their own names; for those who want to comment pseudonymously; and for us, since we’ll be able to more easily manage comments. Please bear with us for the next few hours, as the conversion takes place, and for the next few days, as any glitches are ironed out.

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