The Commercial Appeal has announced that it is finally embarking on its plan to implement a paywall system for its website. The plan will only impact non-subscribers to the paper product, but I'm suspecting that will be a substantial number of folks, including no doubt lots of commercialappeal.com's infamous "commenters." Whether or not those folks decide to pay to continue using the site is the big question. The CA obviously hopes the answer is "yes."
Many of them probably won't, however, and will begin looking for another local news site to air their opinions. With that in mind, I thought this might be a good time to lay down some of the ground-rules here at good ol' memphisflyer.com. First off, let me say, "Welcome." We encourage you to sign up as a commenter, preferably using your own name and a picture, but if not, we understand. Some folks have good reasons for being anonymous online. But being anonymous doesn't exempt you from knowing the playbook.
We pride ourselves on trying to keep things civil around here. If you're a racist or if you like to engage in venomous personal attacks on our writers or on other commenters, you won't last long. We'll block your computer's IP number and you'll have to use another computer to get on. If you do it again, we'll ban that IP number.
We like humor. We like wit. We like reasoned arguments. But we are subjective. I'm the bartender and this is our joint. If you're a bozo and start harassing other customers or the staff, the doorman will see you out, pronto.
A great example of what we'd love to see more of is the discussion on the "Seeds of Discontent" story. There are nearly 100 comments so far, many made by folks using their real name, and the overwhelming majority have been well-considered and within the bounds of civil discourse. (Many of these folks signed on through Facebook, which you can do when you log in or sign up for an account.) We love this sort of dialogue. More please.
I look forward to getting to know more of you. Thanks for coming on board.