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In this week's issue, in addition to the fine content, we're introducing a new comments system, replacing the forums. Thanks to the tireless work of our webmasters, we now have shiny in-line comments on articles, columns, poetry and fiction. So, you can go and add your thoughts on Banks Miller's essay about "Ecology and the Post-Apocalypse", on Vandana Singh's latest column -- the start of a three-part series -- on "Science, Emotions, and Culture", or on Mike Allen's poem, "La Donna del Lago". Each page also generates an RSS feed, so that if an interesting discussion develops you can keep track of it; and we've added Twitter/Facebook/Google+/Tumblr/etc. buttons for those of you who like to use those services to share the things you read online.

Your first comment will need to be approved, and although HTML is enabled, as an anti-spam measure more than two links will get any comment flagged for moderation. (In some cases it may only take one link to do the job.) We'll keep an eye on spam levels and see whether that's too strict, or not strict enough. But we hope that on balance this will be a more convenient and immediate system than we have currently.

Everything we publish from this point on will use the new comments system -- at least, until our website redesign is finished (any more volunteers to help with the content checking out there?), at which point we'll have a new-new comments system across the whole site. So think of this as a test run, in part. We know there are some other features we'll want to implement in the new site (a recent comments sidebar as we have on the blog and in the reviews department, for one thing, and the ability to subscribe to comments across the site, or in a particular department, for another), but at the moment this is the basic model we're planning to use. But all feedback is welcome, so let us know how the system works out for you, and what else you'd like to see.



Niall Harrison is a reader and fan.
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