You've asked, and we've (finally) responded: In about a month's time, NPR.org will be migrating to a new commenting platform.
NPR is excited to offer our users additional tools to participate in online story commenting and discussion. The new commenting tool, provided by Disqus, will address many of your requests for upgrades to our system, including threaded discussions, permalinked comments, and accessibility from mobile devices.
Many of you indicated that you've never heard of Disqus, so we want to give you the opportunity to become more familiar with its tools and how commenting will work. We also hope that you let us know if you have any suggestions for the new system.
Earlier in August we sent out a survey to more than 200,000 NPR users to get feedback on the commenting and community features currently in use on NPR.org. At last count, 6,040 of you had responded! 84.3 percent of the respondents told us they don't want to have to create a new login and password, and 26.4 percent told us they want access to past comments they've made on NPR.org. We're happy to report that we'll be able to do both of those things. In addition, if you've created a username and password with Disqus, you'll be able to use that to comment on NPR.org.
The vast majority of respondents indicated that they use other communities (Facebook!) to share and comment on NPR stories. We think that's great — the new commenting platform will offer the ability to easily share on your social networks of choice. And because 37.4 percent of participants thought organization of comments in a threaded layout would make it easier to follow conversations, that will also be a key feature of the new Disqus platform.
Stay tuned for future innovation. We see a growing interest in comment quality, including a request for comments curated by NPR, and an interest in stories that incorporate user comments, so even more reasons for you to participate in discussions on NPR.org!
If you'd like to participate in future surveys about comments or other website or digital product designs, please sign up. We would love to hear from you.