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    A change to commenting

    To our readers:

    We’re launching new article comments and personal profiles on the site on Wednesday afternoon, and want to explain some changes that you’ll see.

    We’ve always relied on software from other companies to power our user tools. But during the past few months, we’ve built our own – we think this will give us more flexibility and control over these features.

    During the transition to the new user tools, you may see some disruptions in the article comments and profile pages. We’re working diligently to minimize those interruptions.


    There are no changes to article comments, but we have made a few tweaks to your profile pages. They are:

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    Public/private – You can set your Profile Page to be public (viewable by everybody) or private (viewable by only you). Eventually we’ll have a third option: Viewable by only your Friends.

    Private messages – This is another feature you have requested that we’ve built for you. From now on, when somebody leaves a message for you on your Profile Page, it is private – only you can see it, even if you have your Profile Page set to public.

    Friends – Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten your friends. They’re saved, but won’t be displayed on your Profile Page until later.

    Personal blogs – We’ve also saved your blog posts. Although you won’t be able to view them right away, they will return so you can once again blog to your heart’s content.


    Personal photo galleries – Very few of you used this feature, so we probably won’t add it back.

    Profiles – We can’t let you change your avatar right now, but you’ll soon be able to.

    Forum signatures – Your current forum signatures will stay, but the ability to change them or add new signatures is on its way.

    Thanks for your patience as we ramp up our new tools. We believe that bringing all of this in-house will allow us to make more of the changes you request – and faster.

    If you have any questions or suggestions, please drop us a line at



    Teresa M. Hanafin

    Director of Community Publishing