As you probably gathered from the title, today we are launching our new comment system, doing away with Facebook comments. The move from our old, proprietary comment application to Facebook generated a lot of, er… comments and continued to do so right up through today. We heard you. We hear you. The new system we’re moving to should address many of the concerns expressed about Facebook, starting with the fact that it will be specific to Hot Air rather than some global format.

The new comment system is from Spot.IM and the registration process, along with the interface for entering comments should be fairly self-explanatory. You can see an example of this system in action at Fox News by scrolling down to the bottom of the linked article. I would also direct you to this comprehensive review of four comment systems: Disqus, Facebook, Spot.IM and Postmatic, comparing and contrasting the various features of each.

There are several attractive features that led us to settle on Spot.IM. First of all, as mentioned above, it’s a WordPress plug-in, which means that the comment community is going back to being its own community that remains here at the site. Commenting happens in real-time, unlike Facebook, allowing for spontaneous conversations. There’s a newsfeed function that can tie you into other, potentially related articles on the site and expand the conversation. You can register and use an anonymous name, unlike dealing with Facebook, and there is automatic moderation. And yes, if we attract soo many trolls, the ban hammer will be making a return.

We invite you to register as soon as it goes live and start playing around with it. Be sure to let us know what you think. (I’m sure there will some way for you to do that now.) If you have any issues with it, problems or feedback, please send an email to [email protected] And now that we’re no longer on Facebook comments, you might see me and the rest of the authors popping in there as well.

NOTE: The feedback address in the original article has been changed to: [email protected]