We’re planning on making some improvements to the community aspect of OMAAT, including the comments section and Ask Lucky section. Yes, there will be some sort of status system and gamification element to this, because why wouldn’t there be? 😉
This is the chance for some of our more engaged readers to “reserve” their username for our new commenting system. So to commenters like “The Original Donna,” this is your chance to just become “Donna” again and have no one else be able to use it, should you so choose…
Why I value the comments section
Let me start by saying that we’re looking at making actual improvements here. This isn’t an “enhancement” whereby we’re eliminating the comments section, or anything. Not that any other site would do that. Since this blog is about miles & points, let me draw a comparison. Eliminating the comments section would be like eliminating award charts — it reduces transparency, and it makes lots of people less engaged.
We’re also not looking to build out dozens of separate communities on various platforms so we can sell your data. Instead we’re just trying to make the whole community and commenting portion of the blog a bit more cohesive and easy to use.
There are a variety of reasons I greatly value the comments section on OMAAT, including:
- It keeps us honest
- You guys have consistently insightful and interesting things to share
- Understandably readers have questions, and it’s great to have a community of people willing to answer, without redirecting you to one of 62 different Facebook groups depending on your astrological sign
- A lot of blog content comes from ideas you guys suggest in the comments section, or discussions on Ask Lucky
How we plan to improve the comments section
While we love the comments section, the truth is that the structure as such leaves a lot to be desired. That’s feedback we’ve been hearing from readers for years. We’ve been using the same system for commenting for the nearly 15 years that this blog has been published, and we know it’s time for a refresh.
This just so happens to coincide with a major blog overhaul in the coming months (purely aesthetic — nothing about the content is changing, for better or worse).
We’re trying to accomplish a few things with our new commenting system:
- We’re trying to make the commenting system easier to use, and make conversations easier to follow (yes, at long last we’re introducing threaded comments)
- We want to do what we can to encourage commenters to be polite, helpful, and engaged, and recognize those people who are adding value to the discussion
- We all love status and gamification, so we’ll have a bit of fun with this, and reward participation — who is going to be the first to achieve World of OMAAT Concierge Services Diamond Ambassador 1K status?! (okay, we’re still working on the name) 😉
“Reserve” your username now
This is where we need your help. The new commenting system should be live within a couple of months. To get things synced up and ready to go, we’re asking readers to fill out the below form.
- This allows you to reserve your username for the new commenting system
- It allows us to already link any past comments from you to your username
- Comment history will be part of the future status/gamification system, and we want the folks who have been contributing for years to be recognized as such
Note that submitting this form doesn’t create a user account yet, but rather it reserves your spot. In a few weeks we’ll be emailing those who filled out the form, asking them to confirm their commenting history and giving them the opportunity to register at that time.
To answer a few questions that may come up:
- We aren’t using this information for anything else, we’re not creating a Facebook group that we’re trying to direct everyone to, and there will be no cost for this
- You’ll still be able to comment anonymously and without registering, but many of the commenting features, and other community-driven functionality, will necessarily be restricted to community members
- This new system will replace both blog comments and the Ask Lucky section
- People who have (in good faith) used different email addresses with the same handle should submit the form once for each email address
We’re really excited for the redesigned OMAAT that’s coming soon, and in particular for the improved commenting system. We’re hoping not just to make the comments section easier to use, but also to encourage people to be helpful and kind, all with a bit of gamification as well.
We’d appreciate if you could fill out the above form so that we can reserve you a spot with your chosen username, and start linking your comments.