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On to year two!

Hey everyone,

This weekend is Oort Cloud's first anniversary! One year ago Howard Rheingold blogged about us on his site, Smart Mobs, and the next day, Cory Doctorow did the same on BoingBoing. The site had been up for a few days by then, but Paul and I have always considered those two events to be the real birth of Oort Cloud.

First of all, we can't think all of you enough for joining and participating in the Oort Cloud community. Paul and I do what we can to make this a supportive place, but the real life of Oort Cloud is all of you, the stories you tell, and the opinions and comments you share.

We've been working behind-the-scenes on some new features for the site in honor of the anniversary. You should be able to see the first of these now: a new rating system. Instead of stars, you can now give a "plus one" to posts—and to comments. Yup, we finally managed to figure out how to do something we wanted to do from day one: make comments something you can rate just like posts.

Still to come: new artwork and a new look, just as soon as we find a designer to make the new drupal theme. (Don't worry, the changes won't be too radical. Just a few tweaks we have planned for some time.)

As always, we would love to hear from all of you what you think of the changes we are making and what others you might like to see.

I don't see the point.

You and Paul have created the best literary blog in the world; but I do not like the new yellow backed points system at all. I'm afraid I think it intrusive. Personally, I would like to see no rating system at all. Why not just leave it to constructive comment, which is a glory of your wonderful creation?

Well, the hope was that it

Well, the hope was that it would give people who were new to the site a way of finding the stories the community as a whole really liked. A way of putting our collective best foot forward, so to speak.

There are a lot of stories on Oort Cloud now, and the result might be a bit overwhelming for newcomers, or for people who are coming back after being away for a while.

That's the intent, at least. As always, it's open to discussion.