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2020 keeps bringing the bad news as changes are coming to Field Gulls

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San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

For the Seattle Seahawks, the hits started coming before the calendar even turned to 2020, as it was a failed attempt to score in the red zone on December 29, 2019 that brought the Hawks quest for the NFC West title to a close. That close loss was followed less than two weeks later with a defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

Since then 2020 has simply been delivering one piece of bad news after another, from the coronavirus pandemic to stock market uncertainty to the Saharan dust storm, and in the coming days SB Nation and Field Gulls is set to unveil another piece of devastation: the deployment of a new comments system.

Yes, the system for commenting that users have come to abhor since it was rolled out in 2016 or 2017 is going away and will be scrapped in its entirety. It is to be replaced by an all new system that will require users to relearn how to do most of what they do regularly in the comments currently. The rollout of the new system is set to take place long before most commenters are ready, and an adjustment period will be required of both commenters and contributors alike.

Some things long time users have come to take for granted will be going away in the new system. This includes individual avatars, signatures and the ability to upload pictures and gifs. The new system will have various benefits such as making it easier to embed tweets and other pieces of outside media, while also being designed to work better on mobile.

Certain changes will be extremely minor, such as live updating of comments on screen, while there will be several features that will completely alter the commenting experience. Some of these features include:

  • The ability to sort my newest/oldest/most replied to/most recced comments,
  • Email notifications for those urgent online debates with people you’ve never met,
  • Feature that allows the muting of specific commenters and
  • Several other features users will probably hate initially and grow to live with because the alternative is living without interacting with the Field Gulls community, so get over it.

In short, you’ll know the new system has arrived when you see it as it will represent a complete overhaul from the current system. There will be a learning curve for both commenters and contributors, so questions that come up initially may not be able to be addressed immediately to user satisfaction.

At this point, the bigger question is likely to be whether or not there is actually football for readers to discuss in the fall, or if the new comment system will have an extended preseason as the pandemic knocks the 2020 NFL season off the rails. That likely won’t be known for several weeks, so as players begin to report to facility over the weekend, we’ll all be here working towards learning the new system and how to best mock and belittle the opinions of our fellow commenters using all the new tools the system presents.