Friday, March 9, 2007 Readers’ corner |

Friday, March 9, 2007 Readers’ corner

There are some big changes to The Union’s Web site today ( and while a lot is different, I want to explain the changes in the reader comments section.

When you go to the site, it should recognize you if this is not the first time you’ve visited. If it doesn’t, click “log in” and enter your e-mail address and password. If you have forgotten your password, there will be a link to remind you, or you can re-set your password.

If you are new to the site, you will need to register and select a user name and password. You cannot comment on stories without providing a user name.

Comment on stories by going to the bottom of the article, using the “post your comment” tab. After you post, it should show up in the “discussion” box. The comment will show up with your user name attached it it.

Once you are on the site and ready to comment, you will also notice a button that says “Report This” next to each comment. That’s because our comments are now unmoderated, meaning you are posting in real time and no one is reading and approving your comment before it goes live.

If you see a comment that is offensive, hitting the “Report This” button will bring you to a form that, once filled out, will alert key editors, who will review the comment and decide whether to delete it.

It is critical to the success of the unmoderated comments that everyone be civil. We are providing this feature because it promotes community dialogue, but it is important to remember The Golden Rule. It is self-policing and we trust readers will honor that.

We hope that posting user names next to comments will make posters more accountable.

No profanities, no personal attacks, no slurs and no copyright violations. Also, you have to stay on topic. We reserve the right to block any comment and block any user name.

Think of this experience as being invited into somebody else’s living room to participate in a discussion. “Look at what you wrote before you release the message – another human being is reading it on the other end,” said Editor Jeff Pelline. “You can respect one another even if you disagree. We are hoping for more constructive dialog than previously. Self-policing is crucial.”

Jeff has an article on Page 1 today that explains many of the other features on our re-launched site. In addition, Publisher Jeff Ackerman has a video on the front page of our site that will give you a tour.

Our new Web site has many new features and may not work perfectly the first time you try it. Eric Dickerson, our project manager, will be on hand to help if you need it. Report any problems with the new site to

Like anything new and complex, problems may occur, so please be patient as we work out any bugs. We have many new and exciting reader-friendly features that will make our Internet presence even more vital to the community.

Let us know how you like the new site. After the initial trial period I think you will find it easy to navigate and full of functions that will help in may ways.

And you can always subscribe to our print product. Having the print newspaper and the online community will give you the best of both worlds.

Dixie Redfearn can be reached at 477-4238 or by e-mail at, or by fax at 477-4292.

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