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You might remember the news late last year that Realtidbits, Kelly Abbott’s company that powered our commenting platform, was purchased. This means that our comment system underwent a metamorphosis of sorts, emerging today under new management by Livefyre, which also counts CBS Sports, Condé Nast and TIME among its customers.

Not much changes for you in terms of user experience. The comments you’ve left in the past should still be linked to your profile. And our play-nice guidelines still apply.

But Livefyre’s layout makes it a little bit easier for you to follow tangential conversations, replies to comments and the like. Hit the @ button when replying directly to someone who’s already commented on a story. Get fancy with the formatting — use underline, bold, italics, bullets and numbered lists. Before posting your comment, check off Twitter or Facebook from the Share button to broadcast your input on social media.

The biggest difference you’ll notice is in how much more of a say you have as a part-time moderator.

Now you can flag one another’s comments as offensive, spam, off-topic or just a simple disagree (the dislike button Facebook never gave you). Alternatively, you can like comments to give them a boost. Instead of just viewing the newest comment up top, you’ll be able to switch to see top comments first — those that have the most likes.

Then there are featured comments. On stories with a higher volume of comments, we’ll be scouting for input that’s especially insightful, thought-provoking, well-liked — whatever adds to the conversation in a highlight-worthy way. Those will become featured comments. We’ll pick one or two to hover above the rest of a story’s comment section, the first contributions readers will see when they scroll down to say their piece. Check out what Slate did on their story posts. It’s a bit like that. We’re excited to see what you come up with.

But bear with us for now, and pardon our dust. We’ll likely be working through some bugs in the next few days. If you notice anything off — you aren’t able to see comments at all, for example — give us a shout so we can fix the glitches and keep the VOSD community happy.

Catherine Green

Catherine Green was formerly the deputy editor at Voice of San Diego. She handled daily operations while helping to plan new long-term projects.

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