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changes next exitI’ve always been a strong proponent of allowing guests – i.e., folks not “registered” for a site – to comment on posts here. Requiring registration is a barrier to entry, however minimal, that some people will simply never cross. And I’d always wanted to encourage as much free, open communication as possible. I also wanted to get as much feedback as possible, and it tends to be the case that some of the most critical feedback will come from folks who feel that slight, additional security blanket of anonymity. I wanted the critical feedback.

Alas, as we’ve all seen over the past couple of years, and increasingly over the past few months, the comments have deteriorated into something short of a net positive experience. It is with tremendous regret that I’m thinking that the only way to get things back on track is to close comments to guests, and require registration for commenting. I imagine that there’s probably a reason that essentially every large site in the world requires registration for comments, and I think what we’ve been experiencing here is a pretty good example of why. So, the current plan is start requiring registration to comment on January 1. It’ll just be a simple name/email kind of thing, but I think we’ll find the overall quality of the comments will increase dramatically. This is your heads up.

  • A profile in the Tribune on new WGN Radio color man Ron Coomer. The man who will sit next to Pat Hughes in the booth next year grew up a Cubs fan, and is also friends with fellow noted Cubs fan, Eddie Vedder. Given that Vedder’s other famous baseball friend – Theo Epstein – also came to Chicago to be part of the Cubs’ organization, I think it’s pretty clear what’s going on here. Someone get Vedder Masahiro Tanaka’s phone number and set up a play date.
  • For those who saw Jorge Soler in the AFL, and/or for the scouts who seemed to suggest he was dogging it, Sahadev Sharma reports that Soler was indeed asked by the Cubs to take it easy on grounders when he was running out of the box. What looked like loafing was actually Soler being extra careful not to re-injure the stress-fractured leg, which cost him more than half of the 2013 season. Hopefully he’ll be 100% in the Spring.
  • Yesterday, CSN Chicago created quite a stir when an article went up, noting that Dan Dakich had claimed, during a college basketball game, that the Cubs signed Jeff Samardzija to a five-year, $55 million extension. The Twitters were on fire (and I was sitting in the pews at a wedding, thinking, “Please don’t let this be true – at least not for another hour or so”). The general consensus, however, was the Dakich was merely saying Samardzija should accept the reported extension offer, not that he had already. My night of dancing was saved. Nothing to see. (Pet peeve: the CSN article now no longer exists, and the original tweet has been deleted. I’ve always thought, in these situations, the better course is to leave the article up, but clearly edit it at the top to note the error – otherwise, the story lives on in the minds of folks who can’t seem to find it, but swear they saw that Samardzija had been extended. I know that no publication wants to have inaccurate information on its portal, so I understand the deletion, I just think that approach might actually make things worse.)
  • Jay gets you Bears fans ready for a huge game day with his morning Bullets.
  • potvin48

    If this prevents even one douchebaggy comment, this it is a good decision :)

  • cubbiekoolaid2015

    (Formerly someday…2015?) Other then having to change my name, I think this change will only better an already amazing site. Good job Brett!

  • will

    Brett why didn’t u want the shark signing to be true i thought u were pro extending him

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      He didn’t want to have to deal with it while he was at a wedding and miss out on all the dancing… btw Brett you’ve gone to a ton of wedding it seems.

      • Internet Random

        He’s that age.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Sort of – we had our “that age” wave about six years ago. This is just an odd, older wave. We’ve had three in the last couple months after having one in the last three years.

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        He is of the age now where all the marriages that failed thenfirst time are coming back around with new ones.

        The 30’s are fun!!!

  • Bwin

    Please let it be noted that Dan Dakich is a great Cub fan.

  • mjhurdle

    Are the comments for the Bears and the Cubs sides different?
    Whenever I try to comment on the Bears pages, it tells me to login. But when I try the same WordPress login that I use on the Cubs side, it tells me that the login is incorrect.

    Will the registration for the Bleacher nation Cubs side cover the Bears side as well?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Unfortunately, for the time being, they will be separate (i.e., you’ll have to register at each page – but you can use the same name, email, password, so once you do it the first time, it’ll all be the same).

      That said, you shouldn’t have to be registered to comment at the Bears page right now.

  • Ivy Walls

    I came here after a long relationship which was taken over by some who akin to sitting next to a patron at a night game be it Wrigley or Miller who says he is a Cub fan and think that anything can be critical including the more intelligent or informed thoughts of a regular observer over decades, many in the original group date back to newsgroups rarely post or comment so they too have gravitated to smaller more insightful fans, agree or disagree for the most part inciting flames and anger is not the culture, UNTIL RECENTLY an infection has come about….lack of patience or knowledge or both or some other motivation….who knows

    but I like when there is a registration and a way to email a posser

  • Mayhem

    Brett regarding comment policy. If posters are now required to sign up and verify email address, can you please post your privacy policy in clear lawyer-ly terms? Millions of verified addresses of Cub fans can be valuable and sold to ticket brokers, sports merchandisers, etc.. If it is your intention to have the option to do so in the future, that’s ok by me, but I would think most people would like to know in clear specific terms, if our email addresses will be 100% private and not sold to marketers or used for any other unusual purpose. Thanks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There is a privacy policy in place already (and it does not permit me, at present, to sell your information): http://www.bleachernation.com/privacy-policy-and-terms-of-use/

      • Mayhem

        This seems to be a loophole that can be used to sell our information;

        “Business Transfers: In some cases, we may choose to buy or sell assets. In these types of transactions, user information is typically one of the business assets that is transferred. Moreover, if Bleacher Nation, or substantially all of its assets, were acquired, user information would be one of the assets that is transferred.”

        Email addresses and user information gained from cookies placed on our computers can be packaged and sold as an asset? I’m sure not a big deal, but lately I’m just starting to get aggravated and slightly paranoid at the amount of information that is being gleaned and used for notorious purposes.

        I like to keep my email private and used primarily for business, monetary, and personal relationships only. I guess I can just add BN to my junk mail email address. However, one of the reasons your site has gained popularity is because of the ability to easily and quickly add comments without all the sign-in BS.

        There has been a notable increase in your efforts lately to monitor and sterilize the type of comments that are allowed. Understandably, comments such as Cubs suck, etc.. add no value and should be frowned upon, but open criticism of the FO and Ricketts should always be fair game. Gradually, the comments on this site has been filtered to only allow comments that approve of the Ricketts regime and “the all day sucker” plan of the FO.

        Because, I enjoy reading the comments on this site, I fear with your efforts lately to neuter competing thoughts, there will be only the same old commenters left on this site, repeating their consistent and lavish approval of the current Cubs process. But then again, maybe that’s what you want,

        Contrary to what many people think, I personally enjoy the back and forth approval and criticism of the FO and Ricketts and think it is one of the most important reasons why this site has gained popularity and makes it interesting to read.

        Reading about minor league signings are dull and boring, reading the comments afterwards backing them and hating them are humorous. Reading about the rooftops and Cubs moving gets monotonous, reading about fans wanting the Cubs to move and others getting nostalgic about Wrigley is engrossing. Reading about payroll and renovation is dull, reading about the evil Ricketts empire and the end the world is engaging and amusing.

        Even the quick occasional attacks/quips meant in humor added to the conversation. However, your attempts at moderating and editing unfavorable opinions towards the Cubs organizations moves have been a bit overboard as of late. Understandably, swearing, racial slurs, attacks on other posters should be contained, but your efforts has also evolved into trying to contain and censor any negative comments towards this ownership. Sadly, I fear the comments on this site will eventually be of the type you are currently herding your readers into and will eventually be sterile and tedious to read.

        • josh ruiter

          3 things…
          1. making you register takes 30 seconds, and is not censoring who can register
          2. if you are concerned about your info getting out there, i hope you never use gmail, google, facebook, twitter, or any other social media or search engine…and strangely i doubt that to be the case, for anyone who frequents an online blog.
          3. This isn’t meant to keep opposing posters from posting, but keeping the guy who slides by the website and drops asininity on an otherwise intelligent or semi-intelligent conversation. As any site grows, and Brett is quickly learning, the more random passers by you will encounter and more rubbish as well.
          4. Brett has yet to blacklist anyone for opinions, though some may warrant it, however he should look at blacklisting racism, vulgarity, etc. when it becomes a repeat and reoccurring offense.
          5. Your dissertation on why you are pissed about registration was/is dull, monotonous, and dull and boring…notice I used dull twice as well, not by mistake, if you are gonna rip something for being dull and monotonous you may well try to not repeat your descriptors as it becomes that which you are describing (dull & monotonous).

          Brett, I approve your message.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          1. That clause is designed to protect me in the even that Bleacher Nation is sold – the registered user list necessarily transfers over as well. As for selling personal information, by itself, as I said, there’s a clause that directly prohibits it. I’m not really going to go into it more than that, since I control those kinds of sales decisions, and I would never sell personal information. If you need more than that, I don’t know what to tell you. The easiest solution is to not register, or to use a free email address that you don’t use for your own personal stuff. Not terribly difficult.

          2. We agree to disagree on the rest. The site is popular for a lot of reasons, and open commenting helped (though, remember: less than 10% of readers actually comment, and fewer and fewer of the rest are even reading the comments anymore because they’re full of crap). For the reasons clearly explained, that has to end.

          These comments:

          “Gradually, the comments on this site has been filtered to only allow comments that approve of the Ricketts regime and “the all day sucker” plan of the FO.”

          “I fear with your efforts lately to neuter competing thoughts, there will be only the same old commenters left on this site, repeating their consistent and lavish approval of the current Cubs process.”

          “your efforts has also evolved into trying to contain and censor any negative comments towards this ownership.”

          … are flatly wrong, insulting, and suggest you’ve got an agenda with which I’m not interested in engaging. I’ve never once – literally ever – censored a comment for any of the reasons you describe.

          Best of luck to you in the future, whatever you decide to do.

          • regimezefelerski

            Brett, I have been a fan of this site for a little while and only just recently started commenting. I am sorry that you have to take this route. I, in my puny little mind, Don’t see how it’s going to change anything, I hope it does, but I personally am opposed to registering. I understand your side of it but I believe I’ll not register. I also am sorry to hear that you allow yourself to sell our e-mail info, (even if it is easier for other parties to do so). I suppose that will be my biggest reason not to register my comments anymore.
            I’m sure I’ll continue to read the insightful reports and I thank you for your excellent writing.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              You may have misread: I explicitly wrote into the privacy policy – by my own choice – that I cannot sell your email addresses. Whether you register or not, I have folks’ email addresses when they comment.

              And here’s what I do with them: nothing.

              • regimezefelerski

                You’re right, I missed that. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Guess I will register and comment away!

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Excellent. Glad to hear it and to get things straightened out.

              • Brian Peters

                Brett’s a class act.

                • regimezefelerski

                  I agree. His writing is fair and I have never been able to get all the information I get anywhere. This has been my first stop for all Cubs news since I discovered this site.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      “clear” and “lawyer-ly”… I think we have some unreasonable expectations here….

  • jh03

    Yeah, I just registered but it’s not letting me log-in. Is that just because it’s not officially in use yet?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Did you get the confirmation email and follow the steps?

      • jh03

        Yep. The password came in the email. I tried entering it in and it kept telling me it was invalid.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Not to be obvious, but are you sure you’re entering everything – the name/password – precisely correct? There’s no reason for it not to work. If you’ve triple checked and it’s still not working, I can figure out a way to send you a new password.

          • jh03

            I tried a third and forth time, and it took on the fourth. I dunno what I did different. I copied the password from the email and didn’t touch my username. Huh. All is well now. Thanks.

  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    I’m confused which is nothing unusual for me. Everytime I comment email and website address comes up. What else do we have to do the register after January 1st?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There will be a specific link that requires you to register to post – it’ll all be clear when the appointed hour arrives.

  • rich

    How is it we get stuck with Brennaman again doing the Bear game . He is so bias against the Bears so some reason i’m not totally sure of !

    • Rebuilding

      Much like his Dad he hates everything about Chicago. It was strange having him as the Cubs play by play guy when you could tell he was actively rooting for the Reds

  • Patrick W.

    Does this mean I have to kill Bluffer McBluffington Jr. ?

    • Pat

      You’re bluffing, you would never kill him.

  • Funn Dave

    Sad day. I heartily approved of everything in the first paragraph, but I def get where you’re coming from with the change. However, given the fact that many of the malicious or overly critical comments (myself included in the latter) come from regular posters with usernames, I wonder how much difference it will really make.

    • The Cleanup Poster

      I thought the same thing.

    • DarthHater

      I think the idea is to make life more difficult for guys like the one the other day who kept posting with multiple screen names like “Eaton Beavur,” etc.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That is the primary reason, yes. That has the ancillary effect of reducing the crap that ensues (which comes from everyone, including me – responding to idiots, trolls, and drive-bys).

        Of course there will still be people you don’t like making comments. But this will improve things dramatically without seriously inhibiting the ability of a serious commenter to engage in thoughtful and/or fun discussion. That’s the whole point of a community, right? We’re not here to protect the rights of people who drop in to offer some poorly-spelled, worthless barb, and then never return again.

        • Funn Dave

          Yeah it’ll definitely help. If you don’t like people using imposter or multiple usernames, you as the webmaster or whatever should be able to see users’ IP addresses, which would let you see which user was making new usernames. I’ve found that publicly revealing that person’s identity discourages such shenanigans quite quickly.

          I personally thought it was enough that you delete overly offensive comments (which I thoroughly appreciate), but that’s not a knock against changing it up.

          However, if you ever go facebook or twitter comments only, I’m outta here like a bat outta hell.

          • Funn Dave

            Also, I thought it went without saying that nobody I like is allowed to make comments. Is that not in the T & C?

  • DarthHater

    Okay, Bert. Registered, but have not gotten a confirmation email. What’s up?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Check your overly aggressive spam filter.

      • DarthHater

        :-)

    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

      You’re not welcome in the New BN world. (Pushes darth off the ship with his boot)

      • DarthHater

        I’m in, baby! Del Boca Vista here I come!

  • Jono

    Darth Vedder?

  • Jono

    Good news for BN commenters: I may use this as a chance to save time throughout the day and better concentrate on work by not registering and quit BN comments. Don’t worry, brett, you’ll still get my eyeballs on your articles.

    • DarthHater

      Why is that good news?

      • Jono

        So people will be free to use “we” as much as their hearts desire ;)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      For whatever it’s worth, the hurdle that this poses to folks who comment daily is essentially zero. One-time registration, and just keep yourself logged in. Boom, done. And you don’t have to type your name/email address in every time, either. So, for the regular folks, commenting actually becomes incrementally easier.

      • Jono

        you’ve just reduced my work productivity, again. I hope you’re proud of yourself ;

        • Jono

          )

  • http://bleachernation ferris

    Im fine w keepn shark but not turning down 5-55…..he signs that or we trade him,hes done little we offered 55m on potential

  • DarthHater

    Brett:

    For the BN Bears site, do we login separately but using the same account?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Unfortunately they are totally separate – you can use the same name to register on each, but you have to register/log-in separately. Necessary evil for now.

      • DarthHater

        Got it. Thanks.

  • DougyD

    GO BROWNS!

  • Dale Jr

    Go packers

    • Jono

      Brett, can we get this censored?

    • The Cleanup Poster

      +1go Packers!!! My dad(god rest his soul) corrupted me at an early age, and poisoned my mind with pro Packer propaganda.

      • DarthHater

        Take it to the BN Bears board, where you can be more roundly hated. :-P

  • Manntastic

    Just a suggestion. If you’re going to revamp the comments…is there a way to set it up to get an email when someone replys to you comment? It would make it easier to follow the conversation.
    Love the site, I’ve checked it ~15 times a day for several years

    • Jono

      that is a great idea

  • Spoda17

    Brett, for what it’s worth, I totally support making people register to comment. Thanks for the site.

    • Cyranojoe

      Ditto. Painless procedure, and will allow you to add more features to commenting in the long run, I bet.

    • TOOT

      Dude, this site is already earmarked as “unsafe” by Norton. If you want to pass out e-mail address go ahead. Give your SSN# while you are at it. Good luck.

      • ClevelandCubsFan

        In my humble opinion, if you’re trusting Norton to decide what’s safe or not on the Internet, that’s your bigger problem.

        Also, you’re wrong or something:

        https://safeweb.norton.com/report/show?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bleachernation.com%2F

        [img]http://awesomescreenshot.com/00c23i67dd[/img]

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          [img]http://awesomescreenshot.com/00c23i67dd[/img]

          • ClevelandCubsFan

            Realized what I did wrong. Better late than never…

            [img]http://s3.amazonaws.com/awesome_screenshot/3522751?AWSAccessKeyId=0R7FMW7AXRVCYMAPTPR2&Expires=1387201018&Signature=uBFvny2jAUtk74Tf7F5XiqrAaMQ%3D[/img]

        • TOOT

          There has been issues with the site in the past. That’s undeniable. I personally will NOT open an email from the site.(viruses) But it is America, do as you please.

        • TOOT

          Do you work for Macaffee?

        • TOOT

          Nothing against Brett, but he is NOT head of a “corporation” and can’t ask for a email for a simple comment. We have people looking into this and the legal implications.

          • DarthHater

            Hey, Brett! Any chance you could accelerate the start date for making registration a requirement?

            • TOOT

              Yes. Any? (LOL)

          • ClevelandCubsFan

            People looking into this. So funny. Nothing against TOOTS (the more you do them better you feel) but I’d bet this is a corporation. .. Though maybe not a “corporation”. Not sure the precise legal distinction produced by the quotes.

            Anyone got the line on whether Brett had it set up as sn LLC….?

            Also pretty sure it doesn’t matter.

            • TOOT

              It’s TOOT.

            • TOOT

              Def—To sound LOUDLY

          • fromthemitten

            lol look at the bottom “Get My Bat Media LLC” I’m pretty sure a former lawyer knows what he’s doing…

            • fromthemitten

              also I’m not a lawyer but I sure did play one on public access cable a couple times but some of your statements about the site being unsafe and a hazard to your computer could be construed as libel since it is patently untrue and potentially damaging to Brett’s business… just sayin’ people in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks

    • TOOT

      Oh, and DON’T open a email requesting an authorization of your email address from anyone, especially a questionable web sites. Just good advice. Not insinuating anything.

    • TOOT

      This is a legal can of worms.

      • MichiganGoat

        Well TOOT I guess we won’t be seeing you after the new year.

        • TOOT

          Probably not.

        • TOOT

          Anyway, have a good Christmas and New Year! It’s been fun, but I do get political, and stand my ground. So be it. I’ll still read andagree/disagree.

          • DarthHater

            Merry Christmas, Toot. Don’t drink the kool-aid. :-P

            • TOOT

              Alright, I’ll take it easy. You do the same.

  • LWeb23

    I’m glad BN is moving towards registration. Unless it’s major news (which there hasn’t been a whole lot of), I’ve stopped looking at/being involved in comments for the most part since about August. That has led me to visit BN less frequently. While I love the site and the content Brett, I’m really looking forward to the change and getting back into it.

  • Boogens

    I support your position completely, Brett. Hopefully it will make a difference.

  • Die hard

    Groucho Marx’s letter of resignation to the Friars’ Club: “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Consider this my official notice: I hope Die hard registers and continues commenting. Yup. I said it.

      • DarthHater

        Die hard is to BN what the madwoman in the attic is to a gothic novel.

      • Cheese Chad

        I agree wholeheartedly.

      • Cyranojoe

        Yeahhhh… okay. I guess so.

        It’s all the die hard imitators that can plzgoawaythxkbai.

    • DarthHater

      Well, Brett, looks like the only way to keep Die hard is to ban him.

  • Die hard

    Thought us old fart timers would be grandfathered?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You still have to actually register. It’s a system thing.

      • TWC

        So for those of us who have been registered for a couple of years — since BN 2.0, really — there’s no change, right?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          In theory, that’s correct – no impact whatsoever.

  • DarthHater

    Seems like this new comment policy is about as earth-shaking as a Cubs off-season transaction. :-P

    • Professional High A

      +1

  • cub4life

    Awesome comment…..wish I knew them both so I can set up that play date……..Tanaka come hang out at your friends place for a few years….or the rest of your career. ….its a fun place to hang

  • Evolution

    By requiring registration, you’ll soon find out that 88% of all site members have some variation of “turd” in their

  • Evolution

    email address…

  • Evolution

    Complete silence…

    OH…COME ON! Like I’m the only one…

    • DarthHater

      I started to respond, but it just seemed too juvenile… :-P

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