In spite of talk about communication, none has been apparent thus far. Even the perfunctory "To our readers" button is now gone from my browser (If you can still see it, let me know, please). As too little, too late as it was, it was at least some attempt to make it look like Salon wanted to do the right thing.
In spite of talk of improvements, focus seems to remain on bug-fixing. I am still receiving and reading elsewhere significant volumes of complaints about simple login troubles, access to archives, and intrusive banner ads.
As a general principle, I would hold it a cardinal rule that you never take functionality away from your customers, and especially so you never take away control over their own reading experience. So, for example, restoring access to our own archives counts as a good thing; losing the simple ability to re-order them for convenience is a minor detail, but in the circumstances strikes me as symptomatic; there's just no reason to take such a function away, and many good reasons to maintain it.
I still read the UT comment threads... I still find much of value in them.
But each time I do so I find myself caring less and less about making any comment, or attempting to construct any kind of conversation therein.
The system as it is currently structured lends itself well to the drive-by shooting type of snark and bait, but the addition of threaded replies has actually made the process of holding a conversation more difficult than it was.
I thought early on that perhaps the good people at Salon had never heard of the work of Jakob Nielsen on web usability, or studied any of the theory or history of the art. Now I begin to suspect they studied and deliberately chose to do the exact opposite ... well, not really, but at this point I'd more likely forgive the Salon reader who thought so than I would Salon themselves.
UT comment numbers are slowly recovering, as people adjust to the present system. Then again, the people of the Soviet Union took over 75 years to rise up against their oppressors; in the meantime, they adjusted. The people of the USA, as Glenn writes about regularly, have adjusted to unreasonable search and seizure, to due process-free presidential murders, to grand larceny on an unimaginable scale, and to torture as official policy. Sure, people will adjust to the deficiencies of Salon's techo-gaffery.
But that doesnt validate the idiocy of those gaffes.
Nor answer the more pertinent question: but why should they?