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On Coral: An open letter about Pats Pulpit’s new-look comment section

Related: New season, new Pats Pulpit

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Hey friends!

It’s been one week since the launch of Coral as Pats Pulpit’s new commenting platform, and it has been a wild one. I won’t repeat the comments that you have sent in either here or via email, but needless to say that the overwhelming majority of the community is not necessarily in favor of the changes that the switch brought.

So, I thought I’d take the time to address you — the commenters, the readers — directly, not as managing editor of this here website but as a member of the community we have built here.

As some of you may know or maybe even still remember, I started at Pats Pulpit not as a writer or editor, but in the comment section. I know how it feels to operate down there, to interact with other members, to maneuver around different threads and dialogues, to go back-and-forth, and to just express emotions during game threads. I know how comments can evolve, and I know how useful some of the tools were that we had at our disposal before the change.

I can feel your frustration, and I still catch myself looking for the highlighted new comments.

As managing editor I was at least somewhat involved in the pre-launch process that set up Coral and I thought at the time that some of the changes that were planned would ultimately be beneficial to the community as well as the commenting and moderating experience. Some questions were remaining nevertheless, and it now seems as if those caught up to the project and were brought to the forefront over the last week.

Since I am a bit more involved in the process behind the scenes here at Pats Pulpit and the SB Nation network as a whole, I can tell you that the launch and the pushback that it created has not gone unnoticed.

I can therefore confidently say that Joel Thorman’s post last week was no lip service but a reflection of how things are: there is a realization within SB Nation that the Coral rollout created some strong emotions within the different communities, whether they be named Pats Pulpit, Behind The Steel Curtain, Blogging The Boys or Arrowhead Pride.

Obviously, some pushback was to be expected. That is just the nature of change. The specific issues and bugs that appeared were to a certain degree still surprising, however, and have raised alarms.

I understand that this whole ordeal must have been frustrating for a large number of you — it also has been frustrating for me and other staff members here at Pats Pulpit. But the way I look at it is that the feedback and the comments, no matter if they came in response to Joel’s post, right here, or in any other forum, will inevitably lead to change. People are naturally concerned about the future of the communities based on the last week-plus.

Personally, I trust that those changes will be implemented. Although I don’t have a timeline or any definitive knowledge about what they will look like, I do know that I trust the guys and gals involved who I have been close to over the years — like Joel, Jeanna Thomas, or John Ness — that they will get this right. They have invested too much over the last few years in this network and the respective communities that it is made out of and that they have helped build to just roll over and give up without a fight.

As I put my trust in them and the rest of SB Nation to get this right, I hope that you can continue to put your trust in us here at Pats Pulpit: your trust that we will have a comment section sooner rather than later that will function properly and fulfill the needs of the community based on all the feedback. I also sincerely hope that you will remain patient and stick around despite the current growing pains.

This remains an ongoing process, but all of us here will try to continue bringing you the best New England Patriots coverage that we can.

We too are invested in all of this, and we too want Pats Pulpit to remain the best place that Patriots fans can visit to not just increase their knowledge about the team and the sport, but also to spend time with fellow enthusiasts who want to share their opinions — whether they are about a draft day trade, a training camp practice in mid-August, a Super Bowl... or a comment section that has not lived up to our standards yet.

Thank you for reading, and Go Pats!