Posted April 2, 2010 12:07 pm

Idle Chatter

Off topic? Who needs a topic? You can have your say about most anything at our new open-thread blog, Idle Chatter. This comment thread is specifically intended for conversations about lunch, atomic fusion, Santa Claus, pretty much whatever pops into your head. We hope this will help solve a long-standing problem: the dreaded off-topic comment. People are chatting away under a story about, say unemployment numbers, and someone matter-of-factly mentions where they are going for lunch. Someone else replies, and before you know it, everyone is talking about lunch and no one is talking about unemployment. In moderation lingo this is called “hijacking a thread.” We want our story comments to be topical. The threads read more easily, and pertinent comments enhance a story. But we also want our online customers to enjoy themselves. We are building an online community, and let’s face it, when any group gets together, not all conversation will be on topic . We’ve been gently nudging folks to the Rants & Raves for chatting, but this isn’t really a good fit either. One of our most prolific online posters suggested this “blog about nothing” as a possible solution. This is an experiment. We aren’t entirely sure how it will work, so let us know how you like it. Feedback works here at the Chronicle. A link to Idle Chatter can be found near the top of the Discussion page. http://chronicle.augusta.com/discussion The same posting rules apply, so behave yourselves. As they used to say at the roller rink, it's an all-skate; have fun. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A commenter recently asked why Chronicle employees post comments under anonymous accounts. The short answer is we do not. It is against company policy for employees to post comments anonymously. Any time you see a comment from one of us, you will see our real name and our photo. If you have any reason to believe this is not the case, let me know and I will investigate. Reach Sean Moores at (706) 823-3448 or sean.moores@augustachronicle.com talk to us Join the Reader Connection conversation at blogs.augusta.com.