I’ve received quite a bit of “hate mail” over the past week because of the new format.
It seems that the majority of readers (not commenters) prefer the old-style of commenting. The two most common complaints received were: the forum format is confusing and leaving a comment simply takes too long. While readership has continued to grow throughout the transition, user comments have taken a dramatic tumble. I feel the drop in comments is negatively impacting the sense of community here. I had hoped that the forums would allow for that community to develop on it’s own, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. We’ve gone from hundreds of comments a day to, at best, tens.
With that, I’m considering pulling the plug on using the forums for comments. The forums will remain active for off-topic or non-blog discussions, however, they will not be the primary method for blog comments.
I’m going to leave this up to the readers/commenters, and here is how we are going to decide:
1) Find the link at the top of this topic that says “[#] Comments”, click it.
2) Follow the directions and leave a comment.
I would like everyone to comment, even if you like the old format better. I really need to know whether or not the new forums are a barrier or not. If we get a good sense of community developing in the comments, I’d prefer to pull the plug on using the forums for comments. I’m not very happy about seeing the number of comments fall and the sense of community decline because of this switch-over.