Effective on Thursday afternoon on the later range of the noon to 5 p.m., the Times Lakers blog will have a new sign-in procedure for posting comments, requiring readers to use either a Facebook, Hotmail, Yahoo or AOL account.
Jimmy Orr, the managing editor, online, has posted the reasoning for the decision on the Readers Representative journal here. This is part of an overall website effort to bring greater interaction and consistency to the commenting process. This will allow comments to be posted immediately, minimize the offensive comments that are sometimes posted and strengthen our ability to ban users if necessary.
All Things Lakers, the Times' interactive database on the Los Angeles Lakers, and Fabulous Forum, our main sports blog, and the Dodgers blog are already using a new sign-in system. The Lakers blog serves as an exception to this new sign in procedure because it won't require users to strictly have a Facebook account, an issue many in the community have repeatedly expressed disapproval for a variety of reasons.
So hopefully this strikes as a good compromise. For readers who wonder how they can create an account, look no further than this post. Click here to make a Facebook profile, here to create a Hotmail account, here to make a Yahoo account or here to make an AOL account. I for one, just created a Facebook profile for myself.
For Facebook users who don't want to have their comments posted on their personal Facebook wall, simply opt out of this by deselecting the "Post to Facebook" check box before posting a comment. For all users who are skeptical because of privacy concerns, simply make an account with your normal handle and don't reveal any personal information. Other than that, the Times sports and web desk will be anticipating the changes tomorrow and will be readily available in case there are any hiccups with the sign-in procedure.
Of course, any change has positive and negative consequences. So feel free to provide any feedback in the comments section below, e-mailing the Times' assistant sports editor Houston Mitchell by clicking here, or e-mailing Martin Beck, the Times' reader engagement and social media editor, by clicking here.
E-mail the Lakers blog at firstname.lastname@example.org