Welcome to our new commenting platform

We're happy to announce that we have launched a new commenting system on bakersfieldnow.com.

While IntenseDebate debate served us well for a number of years, the new platform provides a much more user-friendly commenting system, allowing for better interaction and higher-quality discussion.

There may be a few bumps along the way, but we hope that you will all be as excited about the changes as we are. We have a fantastic group of commenters here on bakersfieldnow.com and hope you’ll continue to be an important part of the site going forward.

What happened to my old account?

Your IntenseDebate account will remain as it always has with intensedebate.com and you will be able to continue to use that login on other sites that make use of the IntenseDebate commenting platform.

Do I have to sign up for a new account?

Yes, as part of this move we are starting fresh and you will need to sign up for a new commenting account with bakersfieldnow.com, or sign in with your Facebook, Twitter or OpenID account. We understand that having to create a new account may not be ideal for all users, but we hope that once you see all the great features of the new commenting platform you’ll be happy with the change.

How can I change my profile icon (avatar)?

Hover over your username and select "edit profile" from the drop-down menu.

How can I change my display name (username) that appears next to my avatar?

You can't. When you first sign up, you get one chance to select your display name. Please choose your display name wisely. It will be the identity that you use for commenting.

Do I have to use my real name?

No. We intend to continue to foster an active commenting community and will not require your name, although you are welcome to use your name if you'd like. You can pick whatever available username you want when signing up for a new account. Using Facebook or Twitter to sign in is only an option and not required.

How can I sign out?

You do not have to sign out when you leave, but if you would like to, simply hover over your username, then select "Sign out."

How can I keep up to date with discussions?

Hover over your username, select "edit profile," then choose the "notification settings" tab. Also be sure your email address is correct on the "account information" tab.

How do I make a comment?

Just type your comment into the commenting text area. When you are done, click the "Post comment as" button. You'll be asked to register for an account. Or you can click the "Sign in" button and register for an account first.

How can I praise or "thumbs up" a post?

Click the "Like" button in the lower-right corner of a post. Or if you have something specific to say, click the "Reply" button and post your comment (or do both). "Likes" are shown as points next to a user's name.

How can I dislike or "thumbs down" a post?

If you "like" a post, you can remove your "like". At this time there is no dislike or thumbs-down feature. If you have something constructive to say, you can reply to the post.

How can I edit my comments?

At this time you cannot edit comments, but we hope to have this functionality restored soon.

What are the points (pts) shown next to a user's name?

The points are the total number of "Likes" that a user's comments have received.

What are the avatars (icons) shown in the lower-right corner of a post?

The avatars shown next to the Like button are the other users who have "liked" that comment.

Why aren't the comments in order?

The comments are shown in reverse-chronological order. Replies to comments are shown indented in chronological order. This is a change from the way our commenting used to work. If you would like to see the comments sorted in chronological order, you can click "Sort: Oldest" at the top of the comment list.

What other features does the new system have?

One of the major features of the new commenting system is significant performance improvements. This should translate to faster page load times and quicker access to comments. The new system also works better on mobile devices, and allows for instant display of new comments without having to reload the page, so popular commenting threads can turn into near real-time conversations. You’ll also see easy interaction with other social networks, and we will be leveraging advanced anti-spam capabilities to help keep the bots at bay.

What about the trolls?

As with any public commenting system, there are those whose goal is to harass or annoy other users. This is an unfortunate part of engaging with any large community on the web, but our new tools help drastically reduce the level of abusive comments.

As always, we invite a vibrant and thoughtful dialog and we do not moderate comments based on popularity or the opinions expressed. We rely in part on our readers and commenters to flag obscene, offensive, off-topic or spam posts. We can’t stop problematic posts from being made, but the new system will make it easier to keep those who choose to be abusive from being disruptive to others.

We want to continue to foster an active and engaged commenting community and hope that reducing the number of bad apples helps drive an even greater number of thoughtful, informative comments.