Starting sometime soon in the new year -- probably Friday or Monday - I'm going to switch this site's comments over to the Facebook format that most other sites on ChicagoNow (and other places) are using. Switching over means a lot of good things might happen -- like more comments from parents and students who live on Facebook and use their FB identities all the time -- plus just one obvious downside which is and end to the generic anonymous "District299 Reader" identity that some of you have used (and abused) for years.
That means that, barring some compelling new information or some sort of unimaginable surge of comments from old school folks like yellowdart, anniesullivan, juliewoesteheoff & mike klonsky (yes, it's true!) & cermakRd who used comment here all the time, the site is going to go through a big change, comment-wise.
For the vast majority of you who read the site but don't comment, it won't really make much of a difference. If you really want to, you can create a fake Facebook profile.
Why the change? Just a couple of years ago, the site was known for its lively comments. In all, there have been nearly 25,000 comments on this site, which doesn't include the original version I started as a standalone site or the comments you might have made or read over at Catalyst during the year or so I was cross-posting there.
But comments here aren't what they used to be, in terms of candor or quantity, and so it's hard to justify the old system. Many sites are getting rid of comments entirely, since social media (Facebook, Twitter) has become so popular and many folks prefer to comment using social media.
Changes in commenting here have happened before. Remember back in 2009, when we switched -- then switched back -- because the new system was awful? Moving to Facebook has come up several times in the past, most recently two years ago with this post.
More information to come. Feel free to let us know what you think - in comments or on Twitter (@district299).