by Mike Masnick
Fri, Jul 25th 2008 1:58pm
A few weeks back, we wrote about the question of whether or not newspapers should be getting into the community business by noting that you don't build communities, you enable them. But, the question still remains how you enable those communities. Gawker had an interesting post recently along those lines arguing that newspapers shouldn't allow comments on articles. The argument is, basically, that a lot of the comments are really dumb, and don't add very much. That may be true, but in many cases, that's because the newspaper doesn't give anyone incentive to add smart comments. There's no indication that anyone at most newspapers read the comments. The authors of the articles rarely, if ever, respond to people in the comments. There's little to no engagement or discussion. So, instead, the comments just become a way for readers to vent. Just tossing up comments and thinking you've created a community is a mistake -- but that doesn't mean newspapers shouldn't enable comments. It just means they should do so in a more intelligent manner.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- I'll Put My Name On This Piece Declaring It Idiotic To Argue Against Anonymity Online
- Techdirt Podcast Episode 33: Reddit And The Challenges Of Building A Business Out Of A Community
- Governor Tells High School Students He'd Like To Shoot A Student's Dad; Arrest/Investigation Fail To Ensue
- The Verge Shuts Down News Comments To Help 'Build Relationships'
- Evidence Suggests DOJ Got A Gag Order Silencing Reason Over Its Bogus Subpoena