The End of Comments on FrontBurner

We launched FrontBurner in March 2003, with the intent of holding a public conversation about Dallas among the editors of D Magazine. Many fads have come and gone during that time.  Some have been wildly successful (hello, YouTube) and some have gotten mired in a morass of their own making (hi there, MySpace). One technological development that we embraced when it became available was comments from readers. No longer.

Many of our commenters have been thoughtful and intelligent, but as months turned into years, Gresham’s Law took hold. Comments became increasingly intemperate, irrelevant, and illiterate. Some good people hung on, but many good people left. The concept of user-generated content is fine — for other Internet sites. But for ours, it has not been a successful experiment.

The key to FrontBurner’s success is that it has always primarily been a conversation among the editors. Our readers don’t buy our magazines to find out what other people think; they buy them to find out what we think. Similarly, people come to FrontBurner to read our take on the news and opinions of the day about our city. If that’s not why you come, then enjoy your several billion other options on the Internet.

Disagreement, dissent, and amplification are still welcomed and even encouraged. So we will return to status quo ante. If you have a comment to make, please address it in an email to the editor who posted. Give your real name (it will not be used). If your point is valid and well-made, the editor will post it.

In time, we may be technologically capable of posting comments directly from invited participants who add to our conversation with the quality of their intelligence and the perspicacity of their writing. We hope to have that up and running in a few months (our web developers have a few hundred other agenda items ahead of it). Until then, we hope you enjoy FrontBurner the way it used to be.

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