Last month, we wrote about a local news website in Illinois that was getting frustrated with the dialog in its comments, and it instituted a "cooling off period"
where it shut down its comments for a while, hoping that it would drive away the less desirable comments. The whole thing made no sense to us. Those types of commenters would eventually come back, and the solution should be offering better incentives and better overall discussion for commenters, not blocking out everyone. And yet... (without giving credit to the site that led the way last month), it looks like super popular gadget blog Engadget has done the same thing
, apparently after comments over the whole iPad thing got too heated. Engadget, of course, is owned by AOL -- and you would think that if there were any company out there that understood group dynamics online by now, it would be AOL. Honestly, I'm still really confused as to what this will actually do, other than make Engadget a lot less interesting for those readers who took part in the community.