Boing Boing's new community features!

Whenever I look back at how Boing Boing has grown since its early days as a photocopied 'zine, I'm always most amazed by the sheer number of people who now visit the site every single day. It's mind-blowing to consider how many people in the world seem to share our tastes in Internet esoterica, anomalies, and curiosities. The only thing that we regret about relaunching the discussion feature back in August is that we didn't do it sooner. We're so thankful to all of you who take the time to comment on our posts and share links to even more relevant information. Today marks another leap in the evolution of Boing Boing with the introduction of a slew of new community features, including profile pages and the ability to tag your favorite posts and share those with your friends.

We have quite a few folks to thank for their help building out Boing Boing's community system. Federated Media's Jonathan Schreiber, Ivan Kanevski, Ken Snider, and Chris Stankaitis, in collaboration with the folks at Apperceptive, had the technical fortitude to make this project happen. We're very grateful to our sponsor, Hewlett Packard, for supporting the development of all our new community features. Thanks again to Federated Media's Josh Matison for connecting us with HP. We tip our propeller beanies to FM's Jason Weisberger who tirelessly guides us as we grow. Finally, a big thank you to Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Boing Boing's community manager, who always keeps the conversation lively and flowing.

A journalist once asked Timothy Leary what people should do after they "turn on." Tim said, "Find the others." We hope we can help. Here's Teresa with more on the new features:

Here's the big change: all registered users at Boing Boing, Boing Boing Gadgets, and Boing Boing TV now have a profile page, which they can customize if they want by adding a bio and the avatar or image of their choice. On that page is a list of the comments they've posted. Other users can read it when they want to get a sense of that person and their participation here, or use it as a quick way to keep track of their BB friends' most recent comments.

Another change is that anyone can now mark particular Boing Boing posts as favorites. We'll be tallying which ones get marked. A list of the posts a user has marked will appear on that person's profile page. It's another way to get to know people.

The sign-in page is now part of Boing Boing proper, so if you bookmarked the old sign-in page, you'll need to update your bookmark.

You know the header line at the top of Boing Boing comments? At the far right-hand side of that line there's now a small, unobtrusive button. Clicking on it prompts me to look at that comment, putting it on a list for me to review. It's not just a mechanism for noting problems, though it'll be useful for that. Feel free to use it on comments that surprise or delight you. I expect I'll be able to tell the difference.

Just so you know, the system will also tell me who clicked on the button, so if you're just playing with them, I'll know about it.

Some guiding principles:

• Don't be evil. (Yes, it's Google's rule, but it's a good rule. More people should use it.)

• What's right and wrong on Boing Boing is our call. What we do with that power is try to keep your brain stuffed with interesting new things, and create a good place for Boing Boing's readers to have conversations about it.

• Say something interesting. Do something useful. Have fun.