Reader comments: It’s time to make ’em civil

Have you been watching the Honolulu Civil Beat news experiment? That’s the Hawaii news website edited by John Temple (former editor of the defunct Rocky Mountain News) and financed by Pierre Omidyar (founder of eBay). While I have doubts that its business model (asking $19.99 a month for full access to the news site’s content…

Your comments are starting to stink (moderate ’em!)

When comments come into this blog, I moderate them before they are published. Like most blogs (or any web publishing platform that accepts user comments), this one receives far more comment spam than legitimate comments. Comment anti-spam program Askimet catches, I’d guess, more than 99% of my incoming comment spam. In the last few months,…

A new way to comment: Like it? Don’t? …

(Update: I’m finding this application to be buggy on my WordPress blog, so I’ve turned it off for now. I might try it again if the developers improve it.) I’m fond of trying out new technologies and digital services, and I’m often willing to use this blog as a sandbox. So today I’ve installed a…

Comment threads often contain hidden gems

There’s been plenty of fretting in journalism circles this week about comment threads on news stories. My position: Don’t publish without them, but figure out ways to keep the conversation civil and ban the trolls. The website of my local newspaper, the Boulder Daily Camera, has pretty active comment threads, and, predictably, the more bizarre…

A model for moving beyond reader comments

Here’s my latest Editor & Publisher Online column: “Web Integration on a Grander Scale.” I present a model for moving beyond reader comments, and activating community-member contributions and participation at the article level.

Increase pageviews by making commenters stick around

In an earlier item I mentioned how some corporate web content management systems lag behind open-source platforms in some ways. One thing I often notice with websites of major news organizations using proprietary CMS’s is that they lack “subscribe to comments” features — which is a common feature on many blogs and websites using open-source…