Articles about "Online communities"

Why we’ll never stop struggling over comment sections

Digiday | CNN | Digital Test Kitchen | Winnipeg Free Press
If ever there were a slam-dunk case against allowing Internet comments, it would be in the launch plan for The Daily Beast's new Zion Square blog, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which went up without them. Can you imagine the Backpage-like effort it would take to keep those readable? Josh Sternberg surveys some of the current thinking on comments:
There have been two main ways to deal with this problem. The absolutists view Internet commenting as messy but essential. The registrars believe real identities will do away with the willingness to spill bile. Neither solution is perfect, of course, because both are blunt approaches.
Sternberg leaves out people who do not value comments at all and those who believe anonymous commenting can be valuable (though perhaps he would include them in the "messy but essential" camp).

One of those people is Gawker boss Nick Denton, who recently told an audience at SXSW that while he thought anonymity is "at the heart of the Internet," he's lost faith in, or maybe just patience with, comments sections: "The idea of capturing the intelligence of the readership -- that's a joke," he said. Denton's next move is comments sections with a guest list: "What I want is, I want the sources -- I want the experts to be able to comment in these discussions."

Comments sections might not attract experts, but they're visited by a select group nonetheless. Digital News Test Kitchen is analyzing about three months' worth of comments from the Greeley Tribune, which doinked its comments section last May. So far it's found that 45 percent of the comments at the Tribune were written by 20 people, and it's promising "a textual analysis of the most-commented stories" from the final week Greeley allowed comments.

In Winnipeg, Free Press reporter Greg Di Cresce interviewed some of the paper's anonymous commenters. One, who goes by the handle Intangible, is so emboldened by the freedom of her new name that she's become a reliable advocate for mental health issues. Di Cresce also quotes Red River College journalism professor Duncan McMonagle, who told him, "That kind of freedom means a lack of personal responsibility." (more...)
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Rockville Central drops website for Facebook, offers eight lessons on Facebook news publishing

A little over 100 days ago, a community news blog in Rockville, Md., took a big leap. Founder and Publisher Brad Rourke and Editor Cindy Cotte Griffiths moved the entire operation of Rockville Central to a Facebook page.… Read more


Holovaty: EveryBlock’s new community focus will ‘help you make your block a better place’

Monday afternoon, EveryBlock announced a major shift in focus, from a geographically-based, hyperlocal news site to a “platform for discussion around neighborhood news.”

In describing the changes, founder Adrian Holovaty wrote on the EveryBlock Blog that the site is … Read more


What 12 journalists learned about community engagement and human interaction at SXSW

I spent time on both sides of the digital divide during my five days in Austin for South by Southwest Interactive, the annual apotheosis of all things technological.

Most of the time I was hyper-connected, checking the schedule with the … Read more


In move toward online civility, Bakersfield, Yuma, Lewiston shift commenting strategies

In the days since President Obama called for “a more civil and honest public discourse,” leaders across the country have vowed to make America kinder and more tolerant. Members of Congress — many of whom chose bipartisan seatmates for the … Read more


5 Ways to Get People to Contribute Good Content for Your Site

As news organizations experiment with user-generated content, they’re learning that users are capable of creating quality content that can be turned into powerful projects. What’s not as clear: How can news organizations motivate people to submit the kind of … Read more

0 Comments creates “reader engagement index” to track site performance

Nieman Journalism Lab

For the past two months, has been using a seven-part formula to create what its staff calls a reader “engagement index.” Lois Beckett writes that the formula is designed to gauge reader interest and participation in … Read more


Do community managers serve the community or the business?

Social Media Explorer

As media companies create new titles like “community manager,” “social media editor” and “director of engagement,” Jordan Cooper asks whether the people in those positions report to the community or the business.

He says they are … Read more


Kommons Founder Sees Q&A Site as Way to Hold the Powerful Accountable

Social networking services have no doubt opened the lines of communication between citizens and public figures, but Cody Brown thinks they fall short in fostering two-way conversations. Politicians can easily ignore a voter’s question on Twitter. And there’s no easy … Read more


Comments return to the Portland Press Herald

Less than 48 hours after comments were removed from the Portland (Maine) Press Herald’s website, they are back, using newly installed moderation tools.

Comments were pulled Tuesday after what Publisher Richard Connor described as “vile, crude, insensitive, and vicious … Read more