Sean is a life-long resident of Augusta with over 30 years experience at the The Augusta Chronicle.
Posted February 25, 2010 03:51 pm

Some questions answered

Hey everybody. I'm writing a weekly column now and they have been a little hard to find online. It's my fault; I'm new to this and didn't know they wouldn't magically appear in my Reader Connection blog area. Live and learn. If it makes you feel any better I couldn't find them either. From now on I'll post them as a blog on Friday.

Here are links to the first two. Both contain information our online commenters should read. If you want to comment on them it will make my life easier if you post under this blog posting. I will check them regardless, but the more spread out the comments the more apt I am to miss something.

Features invite debate on new "Chronicle" site

Comments policy will be enforced on web site

Now on to answers to some of the questions I've been getting the past couple of weeks.

There have been many complaints about our Forums section. The forums were not included when we moved to our new web site. While they're a very popular feature, as we set priorities to meet our start date, they did not make the cut. The old Forums are still active, but there are issues with that section that only a complete rebuild will fix. We will do it, but we have other priorities right now. Since we closed down the old site, there has been an authentication error when the Forums tried to communicate with our new site. This caused the Forums to either not recognize users as logged in or not recognize their account at all. We have fixed this problem so the Forums should work as they always have.

To reach the Circulation area on follow the "Home delivery and E-edition" link near the top right of our home page. Online subscription payment options are limited to new accounts for the time being. You can set up an EZ Pay option that will automatically bill your credit card when your subscription ends or renew your existing subscription by calling 706-722-5620 or toll free at 866-571-3161. You will also find links to request a vacation hold and other common Circulation questions. We are working with the Circulation Department to get an online subscription renewal option added; I will let you know when and if we are successful.

The deleted comment notification that appeared when we removed a comment on the old site is not a feature on the new site. Many commenters have requested its return, and we like it as well. This feature was not part of the original Drupal web platform and will need to be built by our web team. We are preparing a package of upgrades that we will unveil later this year. This should be included.

The Discussion page is a useful tool to follow the most recent online comments as well as the most active discussions on our web site. There is also an "older comments" link at the bottom of the page. There have been some issues with the latest comments disappearing lately. This is due to the fact that we have over 600,000 comments dating back to November 2006, that's right 600,000. When the page updates it automatically queries all old comments before displaying the 25 most recent. Depending on the speed of the site at any given time this causes the page to load before acquiring all comments. We changed the query. This should help to a certain degree, but we are still working on streamlining this area to solve the problem.

There is also an "older comments" link on all profile pages. I have been reminded repeatedly that this is not working. The truth is this link was added accidentally. The only fix we can implement right now is to remove the link which we will do in the next couple of weeks. That functionality will be part of our upgrade package.

The Obituaries link is found in the tan bar near the top of our home page. You can see today's list or browse the full text as well as sign online guest books. The default view includes all obituaries from the past 24 hours. There is also a pull-down menu that allows you to extend your search up to the past 30 days. To search older obituaries, use our site search at the top of our home page or use the "Find stories by date" link under "Topics" near the top of our home page which will allow you to see each day's obituaries. Comments are not allowed on obituaries.

Let me know if you have any ideas for a blog or column. I have already received a couple. As things calm down I will have time to blog more often. Have a good day. Keep on commenting.