Introduction: Upstart Xstrata makes a multi-billion dollar approach for Anglo-American, the establishment mining company; the turf battle over banking regulation intensifies in the UK; the Iranian authorities tighten a noose around the opposition; and Michael Jackson, the Peter Pan of pop, dies in California, aged 50.
Award watch: Barney Jopson’s articles on the political and economic impact of water aid in Asia and Africa won a distinguished mention in despatches in the Martha Gellhorn prize.
And if you missed the Financial Times or ft.com this past week, you would have missed the following top ten items:
There have been quite a few changes recently to the FT blogging system, so we’d like to let you know about them.
We’ve upgraded our blogging platform, WordPress, to version 2.6.5, which has some benefits behind the scenes, but also gave us a chance to update the look and feel. We have cleaned up the design, and moved from three columns to two. This allows for a neater layout of content on the right of the page, and modules that can be hidden or expanded, so readers can customise the page view as they like. We will use this area for other new modules and widgets in the future, giving you interesting ways of accessing our content as well as content from around the web.
The comments system has been revamped. Now a single user ID works on the main FT.com site, Alphaville and FT blogs, which makes it easier for you to post comments. It also means that we can view comment profiles across all of our products, so we can identify our more dedicated commenters, as well as moderate our blogs more effectively.
Our Lex vs Martin Wolf debate has taken FT blogs into a new area – externalising part of the FT’s in-house debate. We don’t always agree with each other, and when it involves some of our most interesting commentators, we are happy to share it with you. It shows how our arguments help shape our editorial direction, and that we are happy to agree to disagree.
While we like to see new readers discovering our blogs and joining the discussion, a good “flaming” like the one Gideon Rachman’s blog received this week raises again the vexed issue of comment moderation. Some of the less offensive comments on his musings about the possibility of a world government include:
“You’re an IDIOT!“
“are you on drugs?…“
and my personal favourite,
So what is the FT’s approach to comments on articles from readers?
In addition to the home pages and Alphaville/Long Room, we’ve also changed the look of the blogs on FT.com today. The functionality is unchanged but, as with the rest of the site, there’s further development going on that will be rolled out over the coming weeks and months.