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Announcement: A new commenting system is coming to Alligator Army

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Coming Wednesday, comments will look different.

Syndication: Gainesville Sun Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Hey everyone. I’m Beth, and I oversee all of our college communities for SB Nation.

This Thursday will be a big day for our community: we’re moving our comments to a new platform, developed especially for SB Nation. Our college communities will be moving to the new platform, and I’m excited about the change.

Some of you may already be familiar with this new platform as we began rolling it out to our NFL sites in 2020, and brought it to some of our college communities last year. This latest launch will mean the entirety of the SB Nation network will be on the same comment platform, which we have worked hard to regularly update in order to provide new features for SB Nation communities specifically. We have also worked hard to implement changes to the user experience based on community member feedback.

Why this change? We’ve been using the same commenting platform for over a decade and it’s time for an upgrade. The old system is brittle, and prone to outages. It’s not built for the modern web, and even just maintaining it gets tougher every year.

Nobody likes change, but this is a necessary one, and it brings real improvements that’ll make our whole commenting experience better.

In the new system, you’ll see features that we’ve wanted to add for years, including:

  • Easier embeds (just paste the Twitter/YouTube link)
  • Easier rich text shortcuts (control-B for Bold, control-I for italics)
  • Email notifications when someone replies to you
  • See who’s Rec’d your comments
  • Better flagging options and strong anti-abuse controls
  • A GIF library for easy image posting
  • Mute commenters you don’t want to see
  • Easily find the most Rec’d comments

Plus a whole host of features that we’ve kept because they make our communities special, such as new comment highlighting, color changes with high Rec counts, Z key scrolling, external image embeds, sarcasm font, and much more.

This platform has been built specifically for SB Nation communities and, for the first time, we now have a team dedicated to constantly evolving and improving our commenting tools.

I know that new things take a bit of time to get used to — I ask only that you give it a chance, try it on a few articles, and then tell us honestly what you think. This is a permanent work in progress — we will continue to evolve the tools over the coming months and years, to give you the tools and platform you deserve. In fact, we have already added dozens of new features based on feedback from our audiences since our initial launch on NFL communities last year. You can help make it better by giving us your feedback in the comments or emailing coralsupport@voxmedia.com

Some important information about the change: your old comments are being saved and will be returned to the pages in the future, but for now, stories won’t contain comments posted prior to the changeover. So please be mindful that any discussions happening at the time the switch is flipped will be interrupted.

Your comment history will now be located under the My Profile tab at the top of the comments (not the top of the page), which is also where your comments archive will be restored when we bring them back.

The new platform will go live on Alligator Army beginning Wednesday, April 27. You can use the same login as always.

Thanks as always for being here. Now let’s talk.