Do Newspapers Need Comments?

from the probably-not dept

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.

Filed Under: comments, community, newspapers


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  1. identicon
    FarSide, 26 Jul 2008 @ 9:36am

    Upside of Comments.

    Those "idiot", "foul", "ignorant", and "laughable" comments reflect, exactly, a nation of drop outs who have been told what to think, and barely how to write. People whose opinions are a mile wide and and inch deep.

    Sadly, if you listen to teacher unions, and education think-tanks, the always unbiased left wing of the country, they sadly decry the country's state of education. In there eyes, another 10 trillion thrown their way and everyone can finally be an uneducated and ignorant drop out.

    Well folks, they represent a majority of Americans. I am grateful they are involved to any degree. Barely half of America votes... and those are the ones who probably do not even comment. Sorry state of affairs, isn't it?

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