When we originally launched our new comment/discussion system about a month ago, we set a rule that all comments below a blog must be directed at the author, and not other commenters. The purpose of this unusual rule was to prevent comment boards from becoming “unglued” from the topic at hand, and encourage interaction between the author and the commenters. However, the Discourse system (although a massive improvement on our previous system) does not have the capability to enforce this rule without a lot of cumbersome and time-intensive moderation on my part. I’ve also heard from many of you that this rule seems unintuitive and unnecessary.
(Before I proceed, a quick point of definition: A “comment board” refers to the comments that appear below a blog. )
In light of all this, Jim (@jstump) and I have decided to relax the rules and allow comments directed at other commenters on all comment boards (unless otherwise noted by me). However, we still want to keep author/reader interaction at the forefront of our comment boards, and we still prefer all comments to stay on-topic. If a discussion between two commenters veers away from the topic of the blog, I will move the comments into a new topic on Discourse.
Thanks to all who have joined our community and contributed thoughtfully to the many discussions that have begun in the last month. I look forward to reading (and, in some cases, joining) future discussions as we work together to understand the discoveries of science in light of Christian faith.