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File this post under the category of It’s About Damn Time: St. Pete Times’ website to require registration for comments

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by
In a move I have been pleading for months (and predicted here), The St. Petersburg Times website, tampabay.com, will introduce a new reader comment system.

Here’s how it will work:

To post your comments on tampabay.com stories, you will need to register. We’ll need your name, a valid e-mail address and your ZIP code. You need to do this only once.

Your comments will appear immediately when you post. You will be able to report abusive comments, and we will be able to track them. We hope to keep the conversation vigorous, but civil.

If you’re not registered, you still will be able to view comments. But we’d like you to join the discussion and be part of the tampabay.com community. We encourage you to share tips, experiences and your reactions to stories and issues.

Not sure if the new rules will apply to the Times‘ blogs, but there is more information from Times online editor Karen McAlister after the jump.

Why is tampabay.com requiring registration?

Many Web sites require registration. This will allow us to better know our readers and react if readers violate our guidelines.

Will you sell my personal information once I register?

No, tampabay.com will not sell names, e-mail addresses or other personal information to any third parties. And be assured, any information you provide us is stored on secure servers. You can find more detailed information on our policies in our privacy policy.

Do I run the risk of being spammed if I register on tampabay.com?

Because we will not provide your information to others, that is unlikely.
How do I know if a comment violates your policy?

We want to encourage vigorous conversation in our online community, and we think we can best accomplish that with basic guidelines. Essentially, we expect readers to treat each other with respect. Comments that are obscene, libelous, abusive or racist violate our guidelines. You can refer to our comment guidelines for our full policy.


What if readers report my comment as abusive and it doesn’t violate your guidelines? Will it still be removed? Can I get it reinstated?

Three separate abuse reports from registered members of tampabay.com will lead to removal of a comment. If you think your comment has been removed unfairly, feel free to contact us and we’ll review the matter.

What if I still have questions?

You can contact me via e-mail: kmcallister@sptimes.com, call (727) 893-8919 or share your questions/comments here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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