I know most of our readers choose to stay anonymous, and that's fine, but I thought I'd put in a little plug for registering on this site.
- Registered users can post comments that show up immediately without moderator approval.
- Registered users can choose to receive email when new posts are added, or if someone responds to one of your comments, or comments on a story you're following. It's a good way to keep the conversation going.
- Registered users get to claim a username or "handle" that allows readers to know the comments came from you.
- Registered users can send each other private messages through this system.
- Registered users can post "diary" entries. These are just like full-fledged blog posts, except that they don't show up on the front page. I read them all, and will move them to the front page if they are good.
If you haven't registered, you can do so here. We don't sell or rent email addresses to anyone, and it's very rare for me to send email through this system. You'll have full control over your email preferences, and whether you care for other users to be able to see your information.
One of our commenters had a really good point about some of the online conversations going on here: That just because a user might register a username, and that username might be a personal name, or the account might have a personal name listed on it, other users have no way of knowing whether the person is who they say they are. Other blogs have had some problems in that regard, especially with people signing up under the names of elected officials.
I want to be clear that we're perfectly fine having people sign up with nothing more than an email address and a handle. But I'm going to be using the user ranking system here to make it more apparent to readers whether a given commenter is verified by The Lewisville Texan Journal or not.
Basically, I'm just marking certain accounts as "verified" when I personally know who the author is. It doesn't necessarily imply that their personal identity is available to the rest of the readers, but just that we know them. In the case of users who register a username that looks like or is a personal name, we're going to be making sure that we can vouch that the person is who they say they are.
Our current user rankings are as follows:
Registered User (Unverified) (no stars)
Not too shy to talk (Verified)
Quite a regular (Verified)
Guest Columnist (Verified)
Editor (That's me and MamaSk8z)
Rank comes with some privilege, and those with higher ranks get additional privileges like posting blogs, uploading images and documents, and so forth. (That and $4.50 will get you latte at Starbucks...)
I'm thinking of adding additional honorary ranks for those who have been kind enough to support this blog financially, and who really add to the conversation. If I did so, I would find a way to remove some of the advertising content they have to see, and maybe give them a way to setup free advertising here on their own. I'm open to suggestions on that.
How To Get Email Updates...