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New York Times Finally Gets Threaded Comments; Adds ‘Trusted Commenter’ System

nyt scan New York Times Finally Gets Threaded Comments; Adds Trusted Commenter System


There are 247 comments on The New York Times post this morning announcing an update for a severely outdated comment system. Before today, the NYT‘s comment system had several drawbacks, including, most notably, the lack of comment threads. Yep, until today there was no way to respond to individual comments on a story; your comment just ended up on top of all the other comments in a long, dumb queue.

But today the Gray Lady announced a revolution in reader responses. “Today we are introducing enhancements to our comment system to improve the community experience across,” writes executive editor Jill Abramson.

The changes include a profile picture to go with each comment, a “recommend” button for each comment, Twitter and Facebook share buttons for each comment, a pane to view “reader’s picks.”

NYT also created a special status for its best commenters, a system employed by Reuters:

And finally, we are introducing a program for “trusted” commenters — those who have maintained a history of posting outstanding comments on the site. Submissions from these members of our community will not be moderated in advance. Trusted commenter status is offered by invitation only.

The system still has some shortcomings: most of the comments have no pictures and not all articles enable comments, to name two. Although it’s an improvement over yelling at the paper at the breakfast table, we suppose.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Another issue: NYT limits non-subscribers to 20 article views per month.  In the past, non-subscribers could still view comments without creating an account. Now, you must be logged into an account to even view comments.  There are a lot of problems with that approach–first, it severely limits interaction; it shuts out non-subscribers, since they are limited to 20 views per month; it penalizes actual subscribers who have created a secondary account for commenting. In the latter case, why would anyone do that? I have, because my husband already uses the subscription-linked account for commenting. NYT has never cared to accommodate families who use the Times online.