Recently I've learned something about addiction. I've learned how easy it is to become hooked on something and how painful it can be when that is taken from you.
My addiction is the "comments" feature on the Daily Pilot online. Last week, in the middle of the morning, the Daily Pilot changed horses, so to speak. The paper abandoned its old purveyor of online content, Town News, and began using the Tribune Co.'s platform — the same one that the Los Angeles Times uses. Unfortunately, some features were lost during the transition, although we've been told those will soon be up and running again.
Among those things not yet available are the archives — apparently it's a long, labor-intensive process to drag them from one platform to another. I really miss the archives because they have been a source of great historical information.
The most egregious loss, though, was the ability to post comments on each article, column, commentary and letter to the editor.
Now, I readily admit to having become a blog commenting addict. I enjoy the back-and-forth sparring with other readers intent on convincing me of the error of my ways or just using the feature to tell me what a dope I am — sometimes both. Although I use my own name to post comments, I miss the clever pen names conjured up by some of the commentors. I miss some of the frequent commentors displaying their ignorance of a subject and doing so with unabashed flair and gusto. I miss the pace of the rejoinder on the blog — like volleys at the net of a good tennis match — the rapid-fire witticisms being shot back and forth. Some would say that, in my case, those were half-witticisms.
I miss the finely crafted viewpoints that have typically populated the Daily Pilot blog. When the comment threads begins to lengthen on a particularly controversial subject, and as the dialogue begins to veer from the subject into personal attacks, I know there will be a few regulars who will deftly direct the issue back on point without denigrating others who try to divert the issue.
It is that kind of civilized debate that has set the Daily Pilot comment threads apart from, for example, the Orange County Register, where hundreds of comments are posted that are vicious, malicious, cruel and just plain stupid. In most instances they are just too painful to read beyond the first dozen or so. Not so with the Daily Pilot.
For a week now I've been going through the withdrawal symptoms. I keep on clicking on the Daily Pilot online, selecting controversial articles to which I hope to add my two cents, only to find that "comments" are not yet available. I get the shakes and go into deep depression, hoping that my local junkie — the Daily Pilot — will soon be back in business again, providing me with what I need to make it through the day. Do you suppose there's a 12-step plan for this addiction?
Editor's note: I'm working on a quick fix for West and all the other commentors going through withdrawals until we can get a permanent comment system up and running. In the meantime, I invite you all to leave comments on theocnow.com. — Web Editor Jamie Rowe
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