Responses now being taken at www.brunswickbeacon.com

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Each week the Beacon’s editorial pages are full of thoughtful, engaging letters from readers who care about what’s going on in Brunswick County. We enjoy these letters and hope the trend will continue. We’re always looking for your opinions on the issues we cover and feedback on the job we’re doing—both good and bad.

While we’re not looking to change the way we handle letters to the editor, we’re now offering readers a new way to respond to stories that appear in the Beacon.

By visiting www.brunswickbeacon.com, readers can get immediate access to Beacon stories.

From features to hard news, from sports to obituaries and commentary, you’ll find a lot of information on our Web site. While you’re there, you’ll notice at the bottom of each story there is now a link to “add a comment.”

The “add a comment” feature has been created to give readers more opportunities to ask questions about stories, express opinions and share additional information with other readers. We hope this new feature will begin to create conversations around some of the more important stories we cover.

To use the feature, simply click on “add a comment” at the bottom of the story you want to respond to. You’ll be taken to a page where, as a first– time user, you’ll be asked to register. Registration and a valid e-mail address are required to use this feature.

Signing up is simple. You’ll be asked to input your e-mail address, create a password and tell us a little bit about yourself. Once you’ve completed the form and clicked on “sign up” you’ll be sent an e-mail to activate your account.

It’s important you keep your eyes open for this registration e-mail. You’ll have to open it and click the link sent to you to activate your account. If it doesn’t appear within several minutes, check your spam mail folder. If you don’t receive a registration confirmation, let us know.

Once you’re registered, you’ll be able to use the “add a comment” feature. Each time you want to respond, you’ll have to sign in with your registered e-mail address and password and then leave your comments.

We have high regard for our work and discussions associated with it. Like our letters to the editor, we will hold comments on our Web site to a high standard. Inappropriate, obscene, rude and profane comments will be removed. Anything deemed libelous will also be deleted. Comments will not be edited, however, any left that do not meet standards set by our letters to the editor policy will be deleted.

Any user who has comments repeatedly removed will be banned from responding to the site.

While we’ll keep an eye on the commentary, readers also have a chance to get involved. If you log on and read a comment you think doesn’t meet our guidelines, you can click the option to “flag” the comment. We’ll review it and ultimately make the decision whether or not it stays or goes.

As a regular Internet user, I’ve seen exchanges online that can be downright nasty and accusatory. We will not, however, tolerate unsubstantiated claims about a person, accusations about their character or behaviors on our site.

We hope you, our readers, will take full advantage of this opportunity. We want you to continue to provide the same quality exchanges online as you do on our editorial pages.

And as always, keep the letters to the editor coming. The best way to get them here is via e-mail at editor@brunswickbeacon.com, via fax at 754-5407, or by mail to P.O. Box 2558, Shallotte, NC 28459.

We look forward to hearing from you.