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New blog look, new comment format for new season (UPDATE Aug. 9)

You have probably noticed that the format for commenting on the blog has changed.

It is part of a massive Web transition we have begun over the last few weeks, and there are still components we are revising and updating. We know things are different than what you've been used to, but all of the changes are an attempt to enhance our Web site and your experience here. There will be more tweaks and improvements coming as we get closer to the high school season, so stay tuned.

For blog commenting, you do have to jump through some hoops by registering with us, then you'll be able to comment on the blogs again as you always have.

It's part of The News' effort to clean up the overall commentary on our Web site -- which had become unruly, unappealing and unproductive when it came to the comments being posted on news stories in the main area of buffalonews.com.

Here's a news story about the new commenting format; here is editor Margaret Sullivan on the change.

I'm proud to say that while we've had hiccups here and there, the majority of commenting by Prep Talk Nation has been productive as we've tried to cultivate a responsible online high school sports community here.

As I wrote when Prep Talk surpassed 3 million hits: "Thanks to everyone out there. We appreciate you -- not only for visiting -- but for your comments, insights, pregame analysis, on-site live reports, postgame wrapups, critiques, rants, praises, debates and all other input regarding Western New York high school sports."

After registering, if you comment outside the blog area on the main Web site, your name and hometown will appear with your comment.

Thanks for you patience with the new formats of what we're doing online. If you have any issues or concerns, as always, feel free to email me (kmcshea@buffnews.com is also linked on my byline at the bottom).

Speaking of patience -- it's only 11 days until the first day of practice for football and most other high school fall sports. 

* * *

Here are some links to popular posts where discussion has already started for the 2010-11 school year: 

Football 2010: Talk about the season.

Boys basketball 2010-11: Help build (and talk about) the schedule.

Best of the decade: You make the call.

Obviously these are not as easy to find as they were with the old format, but we're working on having our new high school home page have all the key links -- again, please be patient and stay tuned. 

* * *

Update (Monday, Aug. 9): We have comments. There are some on this post (click the link at the bottom) and Milt Latimer is fittingly the first commenter in the new format at the football page (linked above).

I've added comments today so I know it works -- and yes, I went through the same verification process anyone has to go through. 

One thing that is a little confusing that hopefully I can clear up, because I had problems with it myself.

When you look immediately under the football post (linked above), you'll see all the previous comments that have been made -- that's previous to our Web switchover. When you click "comment" a new page pops up and you'll see the new ones (just like on this page). This two-page format is something our Web team is looking into. Thanks again for your patience.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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