The Chronicle's customer service and information blog

Don't be shy: Speak up

Hello, everybody,

Welcome to my new blog. I’ll use this to address comment-management and customer-service issues and also as a forum for whatever strikes my fancy. I’ll try to solve some common problems and answer readers’ questions in addition to giving you a glimpse into how we do our jobs.

If you have a topic you would like me to consider, click on my avatar or on the “help” link at the top right of any page to see my contact information. If you have a question but don’t want it to appear here, just let me know and I’ll respond privately.

I hope it won’t be entirely utilitarian. I’ll try to come up with some interesting sidebars to keep things lively.

I want this to be a collaborative effort, so don’t be shy: Speak up.

The big thing this week is, of course, the debut of our new Web site and the start of our more aggressive comment moderation. As you all know, we still have some glitches bouncing around: links that take you to error messages, Richmond County Neighbors not up yet, and the most popular stories box nowhere to be found -- just to name a few.

The good news is that Innovation Director Jonathan Dozier and his team are working long hours fixing these problems. Every time you tell me about another bug their list gets longer, so let’s keep it up. I guess that’s job security.

Comment moderation appears to be going well (or maybe not; I’m confident that you will let me know). This is a learning process for our moderation team. We will make mistakes, I promise. Bear with us, and we should have some consistency soon.

The hood’s open and the tuneup continues. Please give us as much feedback as possible so we can get it right.

My next post will try to answer some of your avatar questions. Don’t worry; I will seek out expert advice.

Keep on posting -- and play nice.

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BetanInyoe
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BetanInyoe 02/01/10 - 02:26 pm
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Hey Sean, you are "readers'

Hey Sean, you are "readers' advocate" now among your other titles, right? Hook us up with the "Lunch Money" guy to be "Lunchbuddies". Stick him with all your fuzzy bunnies.

Sean Moores
1061
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Sean Moores 02/01/10 - 02:59 pm
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BetanInyoe, The Lunch Money

BetanInyoe, The Lunch Money guy is Things To Do Editor Tharon Giddens.If you want to buddy up to him he should respond to comments under his blog or you can always email him directly for good foodie tips. I think we'll have enough fuzzy bunnies to go around. They're multiplying like...well bunnies.

BetanInyoe
0
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BetanInyoe 02/01/10 - 03:02 pm
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Sean, I know man, just having

Sean, I know man, just having some fun (if that's still allowed). Mr English hung ya out there braggin' on ya!

corgimom
38384
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corgimom 02/01/10 - 03:09 pm
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"Sean: first of all- are ya

"Sean: first of all- are ya crazy? telling US to speak up and don't be shy? have you read this blog?" Yeah, I laughed at that too. Me, speak up? Miss O. Pinionated? (Sean, I was nominated for Most Talkative in my senior year, nothing has changed)

Sean Moores
1061
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Sean Moores 02/01/10 - 03:16 pm
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Betaninyoe and corgimom, Fun

Betaninyoe and corgimom, Fun will always be allowed. Here at the Chronicle we're kind of like Gutman from the Maltese Falcon: we like to talk to people who like to talk. if you catch my meaning.
Keep on posting and play nice.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 02/01/10 - 03:27 pm
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Hello Sean: Since this blog

Hello Sean: Since this blog (or whatever you call it) is "to address comment-management and customer-service issues and also as a forum for whatever strikes my fancy," I want to take the time to say I do NOT like the current format. It really isn't user friendly and is awkward, to say the least. Why did management have to change the format in the first place? Why not poll the readers who use this communique and see what they feel about it? Anyway, thumbs down to a format that isn't as friendly as it used to be.

KSL
143740
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KSL 02/01/10 - 03:35 pm
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It takes some getting used

It takes some getting used to. I especially like the larger print and the links that you can access without copying and pasting.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 02/01/10 - 04:05 pm
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LOL..Sean..I am loving this

LOL..Sean..I am loving this !!!You know the old saying you can please some of the people..........LOL...many kudos for hanging in there and keeping your control.....hats off my friend......

Sean Moores
1061
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Sean Moores 02/01/10 - 04:14 pm
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mable8, Our new site is much

mable8, Our new site is much easier to change and customize as we see some way to improve our news delivery or get feedback from readers. Someone with very little knowledge of computer code can make changes using a relatively simple interface. If you click on the "Help" link at the upper right of any page you can see some frequently asked questions as well as a "where did it go" section to find where things are on the new site. I hope you will give us a couple of weeks before you make a final decision. we're working on making it better.

Sean Moores
1061
Points
Sean Moores 02/01/10 - 04:15 pm
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Thanks bettyboop.

Thanks bettyboop.

corgimom
38384
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corgimom 02/01/10 - 04:25 pm
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For as much free fun and

For as much free fun and entertainment as I have on here, the AC can have its forum anyway it wants. It all works for me.

disssman
6
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disssman 02/01/10 - 05:33 pm
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Sean if you keep at it you

Sean if you keep at it you just may turn this into a thing that people can use to keep abreast of what is really going on in the area. I like the format and am learning more about it day by day. Thanks for the effort.

Rolling Eyes
247
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Rolling Eyes 02/01/10 - 07:58 pm
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Never mind. I was having a

Never mind. I was having a 'blond moment'.

Rolling Eyes
247
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Rolling Eyes 02/01/10 - 05:52 pm
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Oh cool! I just spotted

Oh cool! I just spotted another new thing that I like. When you edit your post it doesn't send you back to the first page of the comments section.

KSL
143740
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KSL 02/01/10 - 07:26 pm
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Right, Eyes, there are so

Right, Eyes, there are so many improvements.

KSL
143740
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KSL 02/01/10 - 07:28 pm
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When you post, everything you

When you post, everything you post does not run together.

Rolling Eyes
247
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Rolling Eyes 02/01/10 - 07:33 pm
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True KSL, and I like the gray

True KSL, and I like the gray fields in which the posts appear. It's much easier on the eyes.

KSL
143740
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KSL 02/01/10 - 07:38 pm
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I had not thought about that,

I had not thought about that, but you are right.

Rolling Eyes
247
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Rolling Eyes 02/01/10 - 08:27 pm
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Posting the times that a

Posting the times that a comment was edited will cause some interesting confusion......

Fiat_Lux
16422
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Fiat_Lux 02/01/10 - 08:42 pm
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I think I also like the new

I think I also like the new format, especially the more open spacing. It's easier on the eyes although there's a lot more scrolling to be done. I think being able to respond directly under someone's comment would be a useful way of keeping the general thread of the conversation going. Tangent threads could be contained and collapsed under the "eliciting" comment.

There are three old features that I think would good to have back, to make it easier to keep track of what's going on. Perhaps some of this already is in the works.

1. Have available that nice long list of the articles getting comments, as a sidebar on each article page as before, instead of just listing five of them on the home page. Same for most emailed, most popular, etc, for 24 hours and 7 days.

2. Return to the old way of archiving user comments grouped by article instead of the new way of allowing only the previous five comments to be seen, listed according to the time posted.

3. On the homepage, list more/all articles, as before. It also would be nice if you could include the number of comments for each, especially if there isn't some other place where articles getting comments are listed.

I've found it cumbersome and time consuming to go to an article to check for new comments, then back to the homepage if the sidebar list doesn't have a link I want, and then to another article to check for new comments... I'd like to be able to check for comment increases on all the articles in one spot.

KSL
143740
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KSL 02/01/10 - 09:11 pm
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You summed it up well,

You summed it up well, Fiat_Lux.

BetanInyoe
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BetanInyoe 02/02/10 - 04:21 am
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I'm holding off on the "minor

I'm holding off on the "minor tweaks and convenience" suggestions until somebody can explain to me why the "Hungry Vultures" story has been featured in the Sports section for 3 days. Maybe somebody thought "Vultures" was a team mascot?

seenitB4
97405
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seenitB4 02/02/10 - 05:42 am
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SM... I think you are

SM... I think you are finding out this posting can be a full time job..I would like a choice of background colors,,such as pink, lavender, soothing green, black with white letters,,sparkles in the letters,,flashing letters at times, now is THAT asking for toooo much?? haha

bettyboop
7
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bettyboop 02/02/10 - 06:02 am
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Ohhhh sparkles!!!...(lol)

Ohhhh sparkles!!!...(lol)

BigJohn767
33
Points
BigJohn767 02/02/10 - 09:24 am
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I cannot access the forums to

I cannot access the forums to post. I see where other users are posting but every time I request Post Reply, it takes me to my profile page. What do I need to do to be able to post???? I have been a member for many, many years!!!

fishman960
1504
Points
fishman960 02/02/10 - 11:10 am
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I find that the discussion

I find that the discussion tab is a great way to keep up with who's posting what. Sean, any time line on that 'comments removed' notification yet? And do you get any time off? Riverman had the idea of the staff notifying a poster that has been naughty about their post. Is that in the works as well?

Sean Moores
1061
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Sean Moores 02/02/10 - 11:54 am
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You guys are keeping me

You guys are keeping me running. Thanks for the feedback everybody. We are looking into all of this.
seenitB4, we'll try to add fireworks as well..and a banner with your name on it.
BigJohn767, I sent you an email on this. Let me know how it worked.
Fishman960, they are being tight lipped about the time frame, probably for good reason. It is coming. I think more notification on deleted posts is a good idea. We meet tomorrow and that is on my agenda.
thanks everybody

Boogaloo
1
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Boogaloo 02/02/10 - 01:22 pm
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Sean, any news about how the

Sean, any news about how the Archives (really old ones, not 2000 or newer) can be accessed?

Chillen
17
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Chillen 02/02/10 - 01:44 pm
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An option to reverse the

An option to reverse the order of the comments would be super! That way if you wanted to look at them with the most recent listed first you could.

seenitB4
97405
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seenitB4 02/02/10 - 02:08 pm
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Just saying sean, if U want

Just saying sean, if U want followers , U would have them coming out of the woodworks to join online with this paper..a little flash & color would liven everything..if aol can give me a choice with color in background & extra stuff at times..thought your computer whiz could do it too. of course I would have to get the smart ones on here to tell me how to use some of the bells & whistles..& we do have "smarties" on here..

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