For the last several months, I’ve been exploring options to improve the commenting experience here and to add a place for you all to start discussions on your own. Ultimately, the best option looked to be adding a message board to the site.

But, for a few reasons, I didn’t want to just throw up a traditional message board and say, “have at it.” It wouldn’t really address the genesis of this process: namely, a better commenting experience, and a place to start your own discussions. Also, most message boards fail. Bleacher Nation, as a site, has been a huge success (as far as these things go), and I’m not particularly interested in strapping a superfluous weight around its neck.

So, I’ve been trying to work on something a little different – something that improves the commenting experience here, and gives you a message board-type-place to start discussions of your own.

Yes, the starting point is a message board. Check it out. Hope you enjoy.

But more than that, you can now register as a member of Bleacher Nation, which will give you full access to the message board AND advanced commenting features here at the blog. If you don’t want to register, nothing changes for you – you can keep commenting on the blog, and you can read the message board.

If you want the ability to post on the message board, and to do things here on the blog like post pictures, style your comments, add links, edit your comments, etc., you’ll need to register and be logged in to do so. I personally find it more convenient to register for a site and log in once, rather than manually entering my name and information every time I want to comment. It also makes me feel even more like part of a “community.”

Although I’ve been futzing with the changes for a few months now, I guarantee there will be hiccups.* The software is good, but imperfect. And some features, for now, remain out of reach. But if you discover issues, just let me know. You don’t need me to tell you that the most important part of a community is the community. This is the first major step toward improving ours, and I hope you continue to participate both here on the blog, and at the message board.

Be forewarned: if you post something really awesome on the message board, I reserve the right to promote it to the front page here (with whatever edits might be necessary, and, of course, with proper attribution).

Be forewarned redux: you all know I’m not a fan of heavy-handed moderating. Please don’t make me regret that. Let’s all be responsible adults and not do things like post illicit or copyrighted material. Let’s not get in stupid fights. Let’s not call each other names (save where absolutely necessary and/or funny). Let’s try to use some semblance of sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation. I suppose now’s a fair time to remind you that your participation here at BN is subject to the site’s Terms of Service, which lays out a lot of this stuff. In short: be good.

So, get started: register here. Explore the message board here.

*Like, for example, the first time I added a message board and improved the comments. It lasted approximately four hours. Hopefully this makes it to five. By the way, for the small handful of you who managed to register the first time around, let me know if you have any issues registering with your name of choice this time around.

  • Dan0mite

    When I try to log in it claims that my password and or username is wrong, but when I try the “forgot password” link it says my e-mail isn’t registered to the site; however, when I try to start a new account it says my username and e-mail are already in use. Suggestions? I’d really like to keep my username.

    • Brett

      Dan – unfortunately, you were one of those quick-draws who registered last time, so I had to work some extra magic for you. I *believe* you should be able to register now with the username and email of your choice.

      • Dan0mite

        Thanks Ace, it works great now.

  • Cubs_Fanatic

    Nice move Brett. Already liking the board. :)

  • Jamesjones

    Message boards? WHAR?!? WHAR?!?!

    • Brett

      Change bad! Hulk smash!

  • Cliffy

    I visit the bleacher nation website numerous times during the day. This has the most cubs topics of any site that I visit.

    • Brett

      Thanks, Cliffy. Glad you enjoy.

  • dreese

    I love the boards, this is awesome! why doesnt my avatar show up here?

    • Brett

      It is supposed to be showing up. I suspect it is a bug. In the interim, you can use for your avatar on the blog (just use the same picture).

  • pfk

    Brett, I want to use my regular username “pfk” and my regular email but it says they are already taken, which is true – by me. So, now what do I do?

    • Brett

      Sorry about that. It was the same thing as with Dan. It *should* allow you to register now with whatever name/email you want.

      • pfk

        Thanks it worked. “Awesome enhancement. Love it. Two thumbs up.” Roger Ebert.

  • MichiganGoat

    Brett, the message board is really running nicely

    • Brett

      Thanks again for helping out.

  • Robbo

    Decided to test out your registration question to see if it works and my answer of “Orphans” was deemed incorrect. Registration all set. Looks like the start of a nice enhancement to the site. Well done

  • Toosh

    Anybody else see the Yankees – Red Sox game tonight? Varitek hit a ball down the left field line that a fan had a chance to try to catch. The fan backed away and the play continued without interference. Were you watching, Steve Bartman?

    • Ol’CharlieBrown

      I saw that. The commentators even mentioned how the Boston fans were smart for not touching the ball because it was a Red Sox player who hit it. If it had been a Yankees player who hit it then a fan probably would have jumped onto the field to grab that ball. Similar incident last night at the Cubs game when that fan leaned onto the field and grabbed the ball Soto hit down the left field line forcing Colvin to go back to 3rd when he should have scored. I believe the perpetrator was subsequently asked to leave.

  • Fishin Phil

    Well, that didn’t take long for me to screw up. I screwed up entering my e-mail address, so the confirmation has gone to an e-mail that is just one digit away from the correct one. Brett can you reset me when you get a chance?

    Note to self, do not attempt registration before coffee consumption.

    • Brett

      Freaking Phil… ok, I think I figured out how to update your email and approve you for the board. So you should be good to go now (just log in).

      • Fishin Phil

        Works like a charm.  You da man!

  • Fishin Phil

    Just finished readiing all the posts in the Message Board area. Very nice!

    The thing that can make or break a message board is the same thing that makes this blog so good. It’s the community. Brett sets the tone, but it is up to each of us to keep it fun. Great job Brett, and I hope we don’t create too much extra work for you.

    • MichiganGoat

      Absolutely, if we can continue and amplify the conversations we’ve had on here it should be a huge success. Hopefully everyone can keep the a level of professionalism and respect on the board- as long as that happens we will have a success.

  • jstraw

    So if I understand correctly, this comment thread is not a thread on the message board? They’re two discrete entities, blog comments and board threads?

    • Brett

      Yes – the combined threads that I attempted with the previous effort was a colossal failure (due to serious bugs in the software and particularities of the way this theme is written). That’s still the vision, but the can has been kicked down the road for a bit.

      • MichiganGoat

        I actually kind of like it, it’s give the community a voice on the message board- we fet to dictate the discussion and have a little ownership, while this continues to be Brett’s voice and the primary source for news and information.

  • Joy

    I keep receiving an error message when trying to edit my profile. I sent you an email via the contact us feature. Posting this here in case that doesn’t work. Love the message board.

    • Brett

      Thanks, Joy. I responded to your email. We’ll get it figured out.

  • Jamal Conant

    Im obliged for the post. Much obliged.