Facebook comments coming to L.A. Times Technology blog


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Later today, the Los Angeles Times’ Technology blog is switching to the Facebook comments system.

Once we flip the switch, you’ll only be able to comment on posts on this blog -- new or old -- using your Facebook account.


Comments in the old system will disappear from this blog, and the only comments that will appear going forward will be those left using the Facebook comments system.

All commenters will have the option to post their comments here on their Facebook walls as well, but that’s not required.

As a reader of the Technology blog -- and thanks for being one, by the way -- you might be wondering why we’re making this move.

Jimmy Orr, the Times’ managing editor of online operations, explains the move over on the Readers Representative Journal:

Having our site built on different content management systems provides some hurdles. One is our commenting system -- there’s not much uniformity. Some of our stories require registration; some do not. Some of our comments appear right away, while others languish for a moderator to approve or deny. Still others disappear after one day, never to be seen again. It’s not a good practice to make you wait to see your comments. It’s also not a good practice to have your comments vanish from an article. All issues we’re dealing with. We need uniformity. And reader engagement is a high priority. Can we get some uniformity? What’s the best way to get there? Facebook has a new commenting system that we’re interested in. It allows for ‘right away’ commenting while providing an authentication system no one else can match. Both are important. By allowing comments to go up in real time, it provides instant interaction among readers. By requiring a Facebook registration, it will cut down on the mean-spirited, profane and sometimes useless responses because one’s friends will also see the comments in their newsfeeds.

As Orr points out in his note on the Readers Representative Journal, some websites that have taken on the Facebook commenting system been criticized for being Facebook-centric. Others have said the system leads to boring comments, because anonymity is largely removed in this system.


Well, we want to hear what you think of the new system, and if you want to tell us, comment on this post using your Facebook account, or shoot me an e-mail by clicking here, or e-mail Martin Beck, the Times’ reader engagement and social media editor, by clicking here.

The Technology blog will be the first blog to try out the new Facebook comments system, and next up will be the Sports Desk’s Fabulous Forum blog.

All Things Lakers, the Times’ interactive database on the Los Angeles Lakers, is also already using the system.

As Orr said, ‘these are two of our more active blogs, and the editors are willing to be guinea pigs.’

It’s true, and we’re excited to not only try out the new system but receive your feedback as well.

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles