Killing News Comments Only Solidified Google, Facebook Dominance

from the ya-played-yourself dept

We've talked a lot about how the trend du jour in online media circles is to ditch the news comment section, then condescendingly pretend this is because the website just really values user relationships. ReCode, NPR, Reuters, Bloomberg, Popular Science and more have all proclaimed that they just love their on-site communities so much, they'll no longer allow them to speak. Of course what these sites often can't admit is that they were too lazy or cheap to cultivate their communities, can't seem to monetize quality discourse, and don't really like people pointing out story errors in such a conspicuous location.

Many of these same editors and outlets will (justly) complain how Google and Facebook have hoovered up online ad revenue to the point where operating an independent media outlet is a financial minefield. Only occasionally will you see somebody realize that the process of outsourcing all on-site discourse to social media by killing news comments contributed to the overall problem. Sure, outsourcing the hassles of moderation may have saved you a little time and money, but driving the on-site community away from your website to giant social media platforms contributed to the very dominance you're now railing against.

That's something Simon Owens recently did a good job of pointing out in a piece about how killing on-site news comments is a "colossal mistake" that has directly contributed to the social media domination many editors now lament:

Did comments sections invite trollish behavior? Yes. Did moderating that behavior require both editorial and technical resources? Also yes. But deploying these resources was worth the cost, as it would have resulted in publishers maintaining a stronger relationship with their readerships. Instead, much of the news media became commoditized, with news outlets placing more emphasis on drive-by Facebook traffic than serving loyal readers. In pursuing this strategy, publishers placed more distance between themselves and their users, and so they were ill-equipped when digital advertising models collapsed and platforms like Facebook siphoned off their traffic.

While you'd be hard-pressed to find many editors admit it, much of the assault on ye olde news comments was driven by a desire to return to the bygone era of "letters to the editor," when outlets were able to carefully curate reader response and mute particularly pointed criticism. But if these editors cared even an iota as much about "conversation" and "community" as they claimed, they'd realize that deleting your on-site communities sends a very clear message to these users that they really don't actually matter. At least not outside obvious, easily-documented advertising metrics.

While many of these same editors were quick to claim that low comment engagement made the hassles of moderation not worth it, Owens does a good job deconstructing that claim and pointing out the benefits of a small but loyal cadre of on-site fans:

Let’s be clear: even the publishers with the best comment moderation still only see a small percentage of their readers convert into on-site commenters. But let’s say only 5 percent of your readers choose to register and comment; those readers will punch far above their weight in terms of driving traffic and revenue to your site. Those are your chief evangelists, your repeat customers, your paying subscribers.

To understand how a small percentage of a publisher’s most loyal users can drive revenue growth, consider The New York Times. Currently, its digital subscribers only account for 3.6 percent of the newspaper’s monthly online audience, and yet that 3.6 percent drove over $400 million in subscription revenue in 2018. When you’re dealing with the scale of the internet, catering to your most engaged readers is worth the investment.

Unfortunately this was a lesson lost by many outlets as they shoveled their on-site fans into the maws of social media giants, only to turn around shortly thereafter to complain about Google and Facebook's insurmountable domination.

Filed Under: comments, community, competition, dominance, internet, journalism, social media
Companies: facebook, google


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    sehlat (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 12:25pm

    What did they expect?

    After all, neither "Go away" nor "FO" is considered a friendly greeting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 2:28pm

      Re: What did they expect?

      neither "Go away" nor "FO" is considered a friendly greeting.

      This reply is now part of the Oath network. To continue reading...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 12:40pm

    Print journalism was killed because it couldn't compete with free (Craigslist) in the classified-advertising section, particularly for automobiles, that apparently was very lucrative.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Cowherd, 5 Jun 2019 @ 5:03am

      Yesterday's news

      Print journalism was killed because by the time they've printed something, most readers will have already read it online.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Miles (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 12:41pm

    Techdirt Community

    Every time this subject comes up I think that the community here at Techdirt is remarkably civil. There is some trolling and some heated discussions, but all in all, not too bad.

    I think part of the reason is the tools you've given us. We can hide (but not remove) the posts we find offensive, and vote for the ones we particularly like. I always look forward to Sunday afternoon to see who won (I've never made the cut, sigh.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Shufflepants (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 1:28pm

      Re: Techdirt Community

      "the community here at Techdirt is remarkably civil."

      True, but it is also quite small, at least compared to the likes of the New York Times.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Vittorio 'Rocket' Fusolago, 4 Jun 2019 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Techdirt Community

      Every time this subject comes up I think that the community here at Techdirt is remarkably civil.

      Uh huh. But those you deem "trolls" view this as a cesspit. As I note below, I've never seen dissenters make anywhere near so nasty of unprovoked sheer ad hom attacks as is typical for fanboys.

      Fanboys NEVER have their comments hidden. The site is a sneaky partisan claiming it's "the community", not a fair forum, definitely not the brave, open, free speech forum claimed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 1:54pm

        Re: Re: Techdirt Community

        I've never seen dissenters make anywhere near so nasty of unprovoked sheer ad hom attacks

        Then you haven't been paying attention.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 2:40pm

        Re: You just did. Right there. In the same sentence.

        “I've never seen dissenters make anywhere near so nasty of unprovoked sheer ad hom attacks as is typical for fanboys.”

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Jun 2019 @ 2:16am

          Re: Re: You just did. Right there. In the same sentence.

          It's sadly par for the course for Baghdad bob to criticize behavior he implies being a victim of by demonstrating that behavior in the same sentence.

          It's one of those reasons we tend to recognize him straightaway no matter which nick he currently wears - even his complaints about the way he's treated contain a solid validation of said treatment.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 6 Jun 2019 @ 2:41am

            Re: Re: Re: You just did. Right there. In the same sentence.

            Yep. I've had my moments of heated discussion but generally get along with members of the community, even the ones I disagree with.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Gary (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 3:03pm

        Re: Re: Techdirt Community

        definitely not the brave, open, free speech forum claimed

        I never claimed that. Could you please point us to the super unmoderated web blog you run that is chock fulla free speech?

        ...didn't think so.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 6:15pm

        Re: Re: Techdirt Community

        But those you deem "trolls" view this as a cesspit.

        This is different from any "troll" how exactly?

        I've regularly had my comments hidden because other commenters consider responding to you to be animal abuse.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 6 Jun 2019 @ 5:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Techdirt Community

          If the TD comments section is a cesspit, why would anyone keep returning?

          The only thing making it any kind of a bad experience is the trolls who come to whine that their off-topic, negative comments are being hidden by people like me who would rather not see their whining, narcissistic cant while trying to get to the comments that are actually worth reading.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 6 Jun 2019 @ 3:59pm

            'That's a pile of crap... that I will now proceed to wallow in.'

            The funny thing is even if they were right and the comment section was a 'cesspit'(it's not, the only 'cesspit' parts are their comments generally), that would just leave them looking even worse given how often they dive right in.

            It's one thing to point to a pile of literal crap to warn people to avoid it, another thing to point to it and then start rolling around in it all the while complaining about how terrible a pile of literal crap it is.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 7 Jun 2019 @ 2:18am

              Re: 'That's a pile of crap... that I will now proceed to wallow

              Indeed. I really don't understand the troll mentality. All they want to do is spoil a good thing for the rest of us.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 8 Jun 2019 @ 2:56pm

                It's not hard to understand, though understanding doesn't make it any less stupid or childish.

                Part of it's a mild form of sadism, the enjoyment of watching someone else suffer, with the added bonus of knowing that you had power over the other person such that you were able to cause that suffering, and of course there's the attention angle where by their actions they get people to pay attention to them.

                Imagine a toddler throwing a tantrum because things aren't exactly how they want them, mix in the sense of power from doing so, and the knowledge that said tantrum will get people to pay attention to them and you've got the troll mindset(and maturity level) in a nutshell.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Jun 2019 @ 2:13am

        Re: Re: Techdirt Community

        "But those you deem "trolls" view this as a cesspit."

        Ahh...you mean the commenter(s?) who intrudes here using multiple on-the-fly nicknames and occasionally threatens to sexually assault disabled minorities when the forum as a whole feels compelled to question his/her/their generally dishonest discourse?

        Yes. I'm not at all surprised to learn Baghdad bob and his ilk considers this forum a "cesspit". We don't let him get away with lying through his teeth after all.

        "As I note below, I've never seen dissenters make anywhere near so nasty of unprovoked sheer ad hom attacks as is typical for fanboys."

        So in your opinion what WOULD be the appropriate response to a poster - one of those "trolls" you refer to - anticipating the sexual assault on a minority? A polite and erudite suggestion to mind his manners?

        "Fanboys NEVER have their comments hidden."

        So essentially anyone who criticizes factual untruths, White supremacy propaganda or outright demonization with a "flag" is a "Fanboy", huh?

        Thanks for playing, Baghdad bob, but I don't think coming in with yet another sock puppet and pretending to defend your previous comments by implying we're all "Fanboys" is going to restore ANY of the credibility you've worked so hard to ruin.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 6 Jun 2019 @ 5:13am

          Re: Re: Re: Techdirt Community

          What credibility? All I see is a whining fool who makes a point of being rude to everybody and wailing that the admins are out to get him when we hide his comments.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 12:59pm

    Disqus

    but driving the on-site community away from your website to giant social media platforms contributed to the very dominance you're now railing against.

    Is Disqus part of any "giant social media platforms" or is it still an independent company? Because many sites have been outsourcing their reader comments into the Disqus system, and it seems that dedicated comment hosting services would deserve a mention in an article such as this.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog_comment_hosting_service

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TFG, 4 Jun 2019 @ 1:05pm

      Re: Disqus

      From a brief overview of what Disqus says about itself on their front-facing page (https://disqus.com/), news sites that use Disqus to power their comment sections would fall in with the New York Times or Techdirt as being among the sites that have not closed down their community comment sections.

      Disqus appears to provide the infrastructure and framework to easily deploy comment sections. In that sense, it seems to me to be more along the lines of wordpress or blogger or google sites - they provide the tools and make it easy to host the content, but you are still responsible for deploying it and moderating it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      And you believe that why?, 5 Jun 2019 @ 1:59pm

      Re: Disqus

      Disqus is a subsidiary of Zeta Global, a company that at least claims to fill their databases with permission based data. Disqus is also the only 'social media' platform I actually intentionally use. I haven't noticed targeted advertising based on my Disqus comments, so I tend to believe Zeta Global's permission based claims.

      Disqus makes their money by charging sites for hosting the comments section. Some figures leaked out when NPR shut down*. I don't remember the figures and I'm too lazy to search for them, but it appears there was sufficient revenue to balance the books. This is another reason I trust Disqus.

      And you believe that why? is my Disqus handle, in case you want to look me up there. Normally I enjoy not having to reveal any information here and post as an Anonymous Coward. My only connection to the service is being a satisfied user.

      • I'm not actually sure if national NPR shut down when they got rid of Disqus because I stopped visiting and donating. The local station still exists though, and has enjoyed the benefits of me having money I wasn't donating to fund NPR hosting a comments section on their website.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Vittorio 'Rocket' Fusolago, 4 Jun 2019 @ 1:36pm

    Show one "troll" worse than "ignorant motherfucker" standard.

    This comment from long ago, unprovoked, standing alone without context of argument, made by Timothy Geigner, aka "Dark Helmet" (also now "Gary"), and who after it was made a paid re-writer for Techdirt, is the actual standard here -- for those who disagree.

    When I raised objection, was laughed off by "the Techdirt community", and subsequently dismissed by Masnick as "a joke".

    "There are white people, and then there are ignorant motherfuckers like you...."

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110621/16071614792/misconceptions-free-abound-why-d o-brains-stop-zero.shtml#c1869

    So much for your "standard", your self-congratulatory post here. You censor even mild dissent and call it "hiding".

    The result of Techdirt's actual practice of NO moderation on the nasty fanboys is the attenuated Techdirt easily visible right here, a shadow of former glory, struggling to re-write half a dozen minor anomalies and to get double digit comments.

    Of course, had you actually moderated, you'd have no fanboys.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Vittorio 'Rocket' Fusolago, 4 Jun 2019 @ 1:38pm

      Re: Show one "troll" worse than "ignorant motherf

      Oh, and your title premise is just stupid. Sort of the usual celebratory HA, HA for Google and Facebook too.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 2:41pm

      Re: you are an "ignorant motherfucker"

      It was true then and it’s true now bro.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 6:16pm

        Re: Re: you are an "ignorant motherfucker"

        Everybody ready? All together now:

        There once was an out of the blue
        Who hated the process of due
        Each comment he'd made
        Was DMCAed
        And shoved up his ass with a screw

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jun 2019 @ 10:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: you are an "ignorant motherfucker"

          There once was an out of the blue
          Who hated the process of due
          Each comment he'd made
          Was DMCAed
          And shoved up his ass with a screw

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 2:43pm

      Re: Show one "troll" worse than "ignorant motherfucker" standard

      If you hate this site so much, why don't you stop visiting it? Self-harm is pretty fucked up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 2:47pm

      Re: Show one "troll" worse than your hundred thousandth post!

      To be fair. You are a massive joke and have been one for a decade.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 3:09pm

      Re: Show one "troll" worse than "ignorant motherf

      Wow, that's quite a long memory you've got there. and you're still sore from that beat-down that was doled out to you on that day eight years ago? What's even the point of being a Techdirt lifer when your sage wisdom is seldom appreciated? Isn't it about time to hang up the gloves and move on?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 3:13pm

      Hey, just so you know, Blue Balls:

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 3:22pm

      Re: Show one "troll" worse than "ignorant motherfucker" standard

      Having read through the 8 year old thread that you are complaining about, it is amazing that you think pointing to that proves anything other than what a complete joke you are. It is quite obvious what Tim is doing in that thread, and it is even explained to you. The fact that the joke "whooshed" by your head about a million miles over it AND the fact that you're still bitching about it EIGHT YEARS later suggests you have significant issues.

      Please: get help.

      Seriously. Anyone who reads through that full thread will not see what you claim is there. They will see someone mocking you by making a point using quotes from Presidents, and you being too stupid to understand what is going on (and then even saying that they can't be quotes because there are no quotation marks).

      I can't believe you'd point people to that as a point on your side. The thread makes you look fucking ridiculous. How clueless do you need to be to point people BACK to a thread that makes you look stupid so many years later. Not only did you not get the joke eight years ago, it appears that you haven't figured it out in the intervening years and are doubling the "harm" on yourself by continuing to point people to you making an utter fool of yourself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 4:22pm

        Just can't make that up...

        They did it again? Pointing to an ancient comment section as 'proof' of how bad things in TD are, when in fact all it did was show how thick they were and how obsessed and deranged they still are?

        Unearthing an ancient thread to not only out themself(not that anyone had any doubt who they were before that given their tells...) but also highlight just how mentally unstable they in obsessing over a joke that was not only explained to them multiple times but that was made years back... gotta love the classics.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 4:48pm

        Re: Re: Show one "troll" worse than "ignorant mot

        I noticed one big difference between 2011 and 2019. Back then only some of out_of_the_blue's comments got flagged off the page, while these days it seems to be essentially anything and everything that can be attributed to that guy, despite him dropping the name for obvious reasons. but then it all could be just a massive Poe Job.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 4:56pm

          If someone does nothing but rant incoherently and sling hypocritical insults around people might point and laugh but otherwise ignore them for a while, but if they continue to do nothing but that for years even the most patient of people will eventually get tired of them and file them under the 'waste of time, don't bother' category.

          If they've found themselves in the 'auto-flag' category for most people it's because they have more than earned it, and have no-one to blame but themselves for that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 5:26pm

          Poe’s Law is no longer applicable to Ol’ Blue Balls.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 5 Jun 2019 @ 2:23am

            Re:

            Sadly it is - more than ever. Run an incoherent rant of any topic and as long as you include the part where one part of his argument takes the rest of his argument out the back and shoots it you will have that unique flavor of "self-destructively stupid" which is Baghdad Bob/bobmail/out_of_the_blue, etc.

            I have at times speculated that the real Baghdad bob died long ago, probably from an aneurysm, and passing trolls now just use his rhetoric style as fishing bait...

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 10:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Show one "troll" worse than "ignorant

          It used to be that these guys would at least attempt to make some salient points, even if peppered with outright lies and some notably childish behaviour. Now, they seem way more interested in name calling and personal attacks, even making up grand conspiracies about other commenters in any given thread, than they are coming up with a plausible counter-point. People now recognise their posting patterns and aren't ready to pretend they're being honestly contrarian any more.

          ootb is usually called out because he was the most notable outright troll at one point, but whether it's one nutjob or a bunch of people with nothing better in their lives, it's hard to tell them apart any more, so nobody's patient with the flag button any more.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 4 Jun 2019 @ 3:38pm

      Re: Show one "troll" worse than "ignorant motherfucker" standard

      It's funny how blind you are to your own words.

      When you have to preface a post with "First, disclaimer: this isn't in my view ad hominem" and then actually proceeds to do an ad-hominem you have lost any credibility to call out anyone else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jun 2019 @ 5:08am

        Re: Re: Show one "troll" worse than "ignorant motherfucker" stan

        When you have to preface a post with "First, disclaimer: this isn't in my view ad hominem" and then actually proceeds to do an ad-hominem you have lost any credibility to call out anyone else.

        Thanks for the idea. I'm now going to use that to preface all my correspondence with trolls.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 11:33pm

      Re: “Conan, what is best in life?

      Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their blue balls!”

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Canuck, 5 Jun 2019 @ 12:18pm

      Re: Show one "troll" worse than "ignorant motherfucker" standard

      LOL. The helmeted one lives in your mind rent-free and no matter how hard you try, you can't evict him. Sucks to be you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    madasahatter (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 1:55pm

    Traffic and Comments

    Personally it is rare that I go directly to a news site that does not allow comments. If there is an interesting story many times I will peruse the comments. Otherwise, on many stories, glancing at the headlines with some careful interpretation of the local Pravda will give me what I need to know. Also, in reality, most news sites just regurgitate the wire service feed so if you have seen the story anywhere you probably will not learn anything new.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 1:59pm

    Feeding The Beast

    Every major media outlet helped feed the beasts that would one day bury them with "news aggregation." "Check out our TWITTER page!"

    I'm still waiting for a consortium of large internet companies to simply put the NFL out of business by starting their own league. I think they haven't done that because they might piss off too many people, but it's coming.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 3:31pm

      Re: Feeding The Beast

      put the NFL out of business by starting their own league

      Since the AFL/NFL merger in the 1960s, there have been at least three attempts to create a rival football league, with the WFL, USFL, and XFL. All failed to pull fans from NFL teams and folded quickly, and the NFL allegedly pressured TV stations to end broadcasting their games. The newly reincarnated XFL is virtually guaranteed to suffer a similar fate, and for the second time, when it starts up next year.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Jun 2019 @ 7:49am

        Re: Re: Feeding The Beast

        the NFL allegedly pressured TV stations to end broadcasting [XFL] games

        That's not such a big threat today, with viable alternatives to the big TV networks (i.e., internet streaming).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 10:29pm

      Re: Feeding The Beast

      "Every major media outlet helped feed the beasts that would one day bury them with "news aggregation." "Check out our TWITTER page!""

      They had no choice in that sense. Social media was going to drive people around to different sites whether they were involved or not, and it's clear that any organisation that doesn't use the platforms its potential reader do are going to lose traffic.

      Their mistake was using dumbing down and sensationalising everything they promoted, and then offering nothing of value to retain readers after they click the link. If everybody's using clickbait and hyperbole and you know that nothing more useful is waiting for you after a click, why would you waste time getting news anywhere but your feed?

      I don't blame them for playing the game, but I do blame them for throwing the match.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 2:02pm

    Could the newspapers not figure out that the sites where people hang out are the sites that get the advertising revenue, especially as most people read the story once, but if it interests them they will come back several times to catch up with comments, and can be served more adverts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 2:57pm

    Has anyone studied comment -> ad conversion?

    This article made me draw a connection that for some reason I've never drawn before:

    Media sites live by their ad revenue. Media sites outsourced their comment sections to FB/Google to cut costs... but that means that all those eyeballs have now moved from their site to FB/Google's sites. Sure, FB and Google might drive eyeballs to their articles for a brief time, but once they've hit the end of the article, THE SITE THEN DRIVES THOSE EYEBALLS AWAY TO ANOTHER PLATFORM.

    So purely from a profit perspective, not counting engaged commenters, but just readers, NOT having a comments section is severely curtailing their ability to make money. As TD figured out: people don't just come for the articles anymore; they come for the comments. And if they feel passionate enough about the topic, they may even stay to take part in the discussion.

    What the media companies have done is essentially set a meta refresh on their site that redirects to FB and Google. And now they're complaining about the outcome.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 3:24pm

    Adds dance across the screen, they jump up and down, they flash and arrive completely unwanted so one installs add blocker.

    After that try to connect to main stream media.

    New York Times, Washington Post, and numerous others become no go zones, so it is RT, Japan Today, and blogs.

    Then these same screwball have the audacity to bitch that their site viewership is down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 3:43pm

      Re:

      I'm willing to bet that what you described has had a far more dramatic impact on readership than the lack of a comments section.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rocky, 4 Jun 2019 @ 3:56pm

        Re: Re:

        You mean that pop-up plastered all over a site complaining about ad-blockers?

        I'll disable my ad-blocker when a site guarantees no to track me in any way and that they will pay for any incurred costs of malware distributed through their ads.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 3:35pm

    Part of the other reasons they closed comment sections is really simple, they lacked the time/effort/will to deal with the growing demands from all sides to remove the comments that offended them. There are people who seem to have an inability to offer a counterpoint & engage in debate, instead they appoint themselves a crusader to protect everyone else from being offended & scream about their pet injustices.

    Look at the minefields Twitter and FB have become, is it bad is it good is it evil is it offensive... followed by 100's of people demanding the entire world be changed so they never are offended. For media sites it was much better to believe they should pivot to video b/c some tech company told them to... which just sort of confirmed that the media sites have leadership who have never been online.

    You demanded my email to allow me to comment, then marketed to me.
    You added 40 popups, 10 autoplaying videos, 5 take over screens, & OMG I am the 1,000,000 visitor I got an iPad and you have detected 47 viruses and I shoudl click here to fix it.... then got mad I blocked that shit.
    You tripled down on forcing ads, while ignoring you offer up the shittiest ads.
    You took away my ability to comment, are shocked I stopped visiting.

    Perhaps it is time to look at your leadership & wonder how they are still in power. They keep making stupid decisions that harm your business, then punish the workers while still getting paid top dollar to keep the course right into the iceberg.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 4:07pm

      Re:

      Part of the other reasons they closed comment sections is really simple, they lacked the time/effort/will to deal with the growing demands from all sides to remove the comments that offended them. There are people who seem to have an inability to offer a counterpoint & engage in debate, instead they appoint themselves a crusader to protect everyone else from being offended & scream about their pet injustices.

      Counterpoint: a comment section above a certain size where nobody prunes out the shitposts is not a comment section where you can have a worthwhile conversation.

      Not all comments deserve counterpoint and debate. Some just shouldn't be there. Even the most ardent supporter of a free-for-all comments section usually agrees that spam and multiple repetitions of the same post should be culled.

      And even Techdirt has the flag button.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 11:30pm

        Re: Re:

        But rather than invest in asking their users to flag items they just tossed out the idea that people could comment.

        Someone can call me a faggot in a reply around here, I will make a witty retort but I don't demand Mike remove it from view forever.
        The problem is we reached a point where if you feel it offends you, you have the right to demand it be removed, rather than reply or gasp ignore it.

        Comment sections are wonderful things, especially if the author dips in and expands or comments on comments. Thats how Kashmir Hill made the mistake of crossing my path on Forbes, on a story discussing 6 strikes. I knew a bit more than the average person & shared more things about it. Kash moved to other places but occasionally still interacts with me on Twitter.

        But I am an outlier, my followers and people I follow run the gauntlet. Righties, Lefties, Sex Workers, Furries, InfoSec, Techdirt Staff, & more.
        I don't melt down when I see a forbidden word, I don't feel the need to lecture them about why its a bad word because that just is a waste today, instead I point out they are smarter than that and I expect much better insults from them. I don't demand they adopt my view of things, they don't demand I change. We debate & discuss and sometimes we find out we agree on some parts of things but not others... but then I've always enjoyed the lets see where we align & work from there mindset.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 5 Jun 2019 @ 8:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          But rather than invest in asking their users to flag items they just tossed out the idea that people could comment.

          TBF, I don't think a flagging system like Techdirt's would work on a site on the scale of a major newspaper. (It might work for a smaller local newspaper.) On a site with a significant number of trolls and shitposters (as opposed to the 3 or so regular ones we've got here), it would be trivial to abuse the flagging system and render it useless.

          The problem is we reached a point where if you feel it offends you, you have the right to demand it be removed, rather than reply or gasp ignore it.

          ...you do have a right to demand something be removed if it offends you, though. Nobody has to listen to you, but you've certainly got a right to say that.

          I don't melt down when I see a forbidden word, I don't feel the need to lecture them about why its a bad word because that just is a waste today, instead I point out they are smarter than that and I expect much better insults from them.

          Yeah, I tried that last week. The nudnik responded with the usual horseshit about how telling him not to be an asshole impinged on his free speech, so I added him to my blocklist because I've been around the block enough times to know that continuing to engage somebody like that is a waste of my time and energy.

          Blocklists are great. I support them. I think it would be great if Techdirt supported them for-realsies, but it doesn't so I rolled my own.

          There is, of course, a difference between blocking somebody and saying they should be banned. I don't think the poster in my example did anything to warrant the latter. But there are posters who have. There are a handful of dipshits here who severely degrade the discourse and have turned literally hundreds of conversations into the same damn circular arguments over and over again, and I believe both the site and the community would be better off if those posters were given the boot.

          But ultimately, it's Mike's site, not mine. He's got a right to set his own terms for his own comments section, and I've got a right to express my opinion that we'd all be better off without the paint chip brigade.

          Regardless, Techdirt's not really the best example. There are some dumbasses here, but it's really a pretty good comments section. Bigger sites with bigger comments sections are vulnerable to more serious abuse. I remember a few years back (maybe '14?) trolls started spamming Jezebel with animated GIFs of women being raped. Eventually it spread to all the Kinja sites. Kinja management took too long to respond, but eventually they addressed the problem by, among other things, setting it so that unapproved users' posts are hidden by default. That's, at least hypothetically, a good response to the problem, but it still requires active moderation (somebody has to approve all those new users so that their posts show up).

          It fixed that specific method of attack, but ultimately Kinja's comments are still an ill-designed mess that encourage the absolute worst posts to rise to the top. I used to love the comments section at AV Club, but (like most of the community there) I quit after the Kinja switch; those comments have turned into a cesspit of racists and misogynists. And those are just the approved posters.

          I'm not going to engage those shits in debate or try to find common ground with them. I've got better shit to do with my time, and better communities to spend it in.

          In summary: I do not accept the premise that an unmoderated free-for-all produces a worthwhile community; I think that, at a certain scale, shit rises to the top and chokes out all the worthwhile conversations. I think we can probably agree that, for example, when chanbots are spamming a site with rape GIFs, that's a circumstance where it's reasonable to delete posts and accounts (and if we don't agree on that, wow, okay, are you opposed to banning bots selling Viagra, too?). There are extreme cases where most everybody agrees "yeah, that should be deleted." From there, well, different people have different ideas about where the line is.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Jun 2019 @ 2:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The problem is we reached a point where if you feel it offends you, you have the right to demand it be removed, rather than reply or gasp ignore it.

            ...you do have a right to demand something be removed if it offends you, though. Nobody has to listen to you, but you've certainly got a right to say that.

            The problem is when we reward them demanding it be removed we encourage them to report more things & start down the slippery slope.

            Twitter has a feature where you can block idiots & even make sure you never seen a word that offends you... but few people are using it b/c they feel they are winning by reporting other people & getting them a timeout. I use the mute feature but in a way they never intended, I've muted the code that reshuffles my timeline & adds more stupid shit they think I want to see (ProTip: Your analytics don't work on me).

            This is a large problem that has only been made worse by trying to not make anyone angry. The system is openly gamed but just in case this one is a real report we have to treat all reports as real.

            I think moderation needs to be there, but there are tools and steps along the way that could make it easier. Never show me x word, allow me to ignore people I think are trolls, let me flag something & if enough people agree hide it. Instead they invested more time & effort into their shitty advertising plans & made little effort to connect with their readers.

            The problem lies in humanity has assholes & rather than adopting a hardline (no attached images for anyone) they are sure they can stop all the rape gifs, then fail at it, then throw their hands up about how we can't have nice things rather than look at the 'flaws' in their plans that can be exploited.

            I would love to see more comment sections where I could talk with authors and others to learn more (oh hey look I actually have an account here) & while it might not work at huge scales, a few simple things make the payoff to the trolls ego negligible. We have our own ZOMG MY SPEECH RIGHTS idiot, and his pay off seems to be getting his posts reported & hidden... he has his own little feedback loop that keeps him erect. He really isn't as important as he imagines & he doesn't get get the impact he imagines. If you stop giving the troll a goatcookie he gets bored.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 6 Jun 2019 @ 5:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            here are some dumbasses here, but it's really a pretty good comments section.

            I concur. It can take me days to read through a few posts because I venture into the comments every time to see if there's a worthwhile, genuinely insightful post in there. I usually find several.

            While I'm as guilty as hell of pulling discourse off-topic in response to a statement made in someone's comment from time to time, I do try to be respectful enough to avoid completely derailing the discussion. I'm sorry if I don't always succeed.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 4:13pm

    Reddit

    The only thing this stupid strategy has done is to enable Reddit to pick up the comments that all of these sites used to enjoy. Reddit is now more powerful and well off directly due to their comment sections being removed. Reddit should thank them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 4:15pm

    "Many of these same editors and outlets will (justly) complain how Google and Facebook have hoovered up online ad revenue to the point where operating an independent media outlet is a financial minefield."????

    ":but driving the on-site community away from your website to giant social media platforms contributed to the very dominance you're now railing against. "

    "those readers will punch far above their weight in terms of driving traffic and revenue to your site. Those are your chief evangelists, your repeat customers, your paying subscribers. "

    Out of all this is 1 little thing said..
    " your paying subscribers. "

    Old days and NOW...The world of adverts RULES.. and Why Newspapers were over 1/2 advert.. It was the bread and butter of most newspapers, the $0.25 was generally going to the paper delivery person..
    Then the NP, got abit greedy..

    Even on the net, CREATE your own adverts, Use them, Get Google to do the job, and pay you back, and not worry about it.
    Adblockers Work, but NOT if you use them First party, and then alomst everyone see's them, they have become part of your site, not...a 3rd party trying to insert things from OFF SITE..

    Back to comments on sites..

    1. not anon.
    2. goto signup and sign in..Been to sites you had to Signup just to see the site.(SUCK) you dont see the comments then.
    3. PAY??? really, you want to use our comments to get others to PAY and join also, because they want to DEBATe with us??
    4. how about tech talk that gets kicked, because a person knows more then the columnist.. Or comments are BAd because someone thought it was a good device and IT ISNT...(Wireless cameras(think about it) Cameras that WONT give you a copy but will send the data to a 3rd party, that will then send you an email/txt...(why cant your computer do that?)
    5. debates and comments that GO Zoom into other things and ???? not on subject..
    6. 1 site I was on, NEVER closed the comments even after years, and was getting Spammed in the old comments section.. Fun to keep clean.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    News Criar, 4 Jun 2019 @ 4:45pm

    Breaking News, Read all about it (if you can)

    Trolls drive news sites to ditch comments, in response news sites die from lack of comments...

    News at 11 (or at www.eleven.com - who watches news anymore?)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2019 @ 4:46pm

    At least they didn't call their commenters "cowards".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      bob, 4 Jun 2019 @ 9:21pm

      Re:

      You can still change the poster name without logging in, signing up, etc.

      The anonymous coward thing is more of a tongue in cheek joke about using your rights to speak while not standing behind your statement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dreddsnik, 4 Jun 2019 @ 5:04pm

    Another wonderful real world example of 'Be careful what you wish for .. you just may get it'.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DebbyS (profile), 4 Jun 2019 @ 7:35pm

    When the comments went away...

    ...from several sites I enjoyed visiting, I went away, too. Often, on Business Insider, for example, the comments are far more interesting and informative than the stories. But one day on that and other similar sites, the comments disappeared and the sites showed me how boring they actually are. I found that Twitter has the commentary I enjoy reading by thoughtful, creative (and often cat-owning) people who interest me. I wish I could spend more time there. Also comments under YouTube videos can be interesting though I can't preselect who I wish to read from or mute/block idiots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jun 2019 @ 5:43am

      Re: When the comments went away...

      To every discerning American EYe, the ONlY comments worth READINg are the “hidden” ONEs.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 5 Jun 2019 @ 5:51am

    We've talked a lot about how the trend du jour in online media circles is to ditch the news comment section, then condescendingly pretend this is because the website just really values user relationships.

    Oh, don't forget the excuse that mean comments drive away users in droves, because apparently, just not reading them isn't an option. At least that was the main excuse used by the assholes at the IMDb to kill their thriving user community.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Jun 2019 @ 6:00am

      Re:

      Are you Chinese? You damn Chinese have been trying to reshape America for too long, and I’m just tired of it. We don’t need to listen to the Chinese Communist Party, we don’t need to emulate the Chinese model of enforced social rules in return for participation in social networks. China can’t “actually share” any important information, no 10ks, no bond sale data, nothing of what goes into our capital markets. They need resources to actually manufacture their infrastructure with US dollars, that’s the settlement currency that those goods require, everybody knows that. How do they get dollars, eh? Well, that’s slowly coming to a halt as corporations move outside china because of tariffs. So, what do you Chinese turn to? Recently, two companies in China, that all of a sudden lost $6B, set the example for the rest, and then they found their books. Then they did a restatement and said “we don’t know where that cash went”. Imagine an American company doing that. You get me, yo shanty eyed Chinese Community Party Chairman? It’s the entire nature of the way business is done in China, currently. Everybody knows that.

      By the way, what is an IMDb, you slanty eyed gook?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        TFG, 5 Jun 2019 @ 6:16am

        Re: Re:

        _[Ignorant racist nonsense scattershot across the bow of an unidentified ship that probably flies colors closer to those of the one manning the cannon.]

        By the way, what is an IMDb, [more of the same]?_

        IMDb is a website: https://www.imdb.com/

        The letters stand for Internet Movie Database. It has lots of information on just about any movie ever made, including dates, cast lists, trivia, etc. It also has information on actors and producers in terms of their movie involvement. It's a nice resource for those cases where you're like "I recognize that actor! What's their name and what I have seen them in?"

        Of course, if you'd been bothered, you could have simply searched it on the internet, using your preferred search engine, and found all this out in seconds, but since you lack the apparent capacity to do so, I have done so for you.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jun 2019 @ 6:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          This is a key question, and goes right to the heart of the issue. Searching the Internet. If you are so hyper-connected to a country that doesn’t understand the sovereignty or the integrity or the superiority of the American people, and you use 5G on the Chinese Internet, then yeah, ok, you get what they want you to believe when you search for anything. The Chinese Communist Party, they’re the ones driving the bus. But what I want to have happen is to have the American people protected in.a way that preserves their freedoms.

          By the way, have you ever watched one of those Chinese movies with American actors? What an embarrassment. The Chinese know nothing about Art or Freedom or Creativity because they’re ignorant slanty eyed assholes.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 5 Jun 2019 @ 6:18am

        Re: Re:

        I really don't want to know which mental disease made you think that was a reasonable response to somebody saying "I wish that site I like still had that feature I liked". But, have a free flag.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Jun 2019 @ 6:15am

      Re:

      "At least that was the main excuse used by the assholes at the IMDb to kill their thriving user community."

      Well, an excuse. The boards were actually thrown together with very basic functionality as an afterthought originally, and would require a complete rewrite to get them working with modern systems on the back end. They just decided the traffic wasn't worth the cost of either rewrite or legacy support.

      Which, for the purposes of a site like IMDB is fine, as it's not so much a news site (although they have that function) as it is a general resource. But, honestly, the comments were a laughable cesspool a lot of the time, especially on new and/or controversial movies, and there's little that's done there that isn't replicated in other communities.

      I personally abandoned them for sites like Letterboxd and Flickchart along with their related social media discussion groups a long time before. I can understand the nostalgia element, but I much prefer my current experience of participating in intelligent discussion and challenges with smaller groups of cinephiles rather then hunting through 20 pages of "best/worst movie ever!" and flame wars to find stuff that interested me. YMMV, of course, but I think it's a different issue to the one of general news reporting.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        TFG, 5 Jun 2019 @ 6:19am

        Re: Re:

        I never did go to IMDb for the community. Just for the information they have on who is in a movie and what films and shows someone has been involved with.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 5 Jun 2019 @ 6:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yep, that's one of their primary purposes, and they're far more interested in IMDBPro and other ancillary features anyway. Sometimes, you even get more accurate info from sites like Letterboxd anyway.

          I can understand why someone would be annoyed that the feature was removed. I've also read several good articles on how it was cobbled together in the first place using tech that's now horrifically obsolete and difficult to either support or maintain. So, I understand perfectly why they'd choose to let it go and let competing services, that don't have a strong foothold in their primary business focus, take up the slack.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 5 Jun 2019 @ 8:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Which is often wrong, hard to correct, and even harder to correct now that there are no forums.

          (I battled with the admins for about two years to get them to fix their wrong original airdates for Thundercats.

          ...I probably shouldn't use that example minutes after writing a post where I use the phrase "I've got better shit to do with my time.")

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 5 Jun 2019 @ 9:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "even harder to correct now that there are no forums"

            Did anyone actually look at the forums for corrections? I'll submit to your experience if you've seen that, but I highly doubt it, especially in the latter days.

            Also, they do seem to still be taking active questions through here - maybe try that if you haven't already? https://getsatisfaction.com/imdb

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 10 Jun 2019 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, an excuse. The boards were actually thrown together with very basic functionality as an afterthought originally, and would require a complete rewrite to get them working with modern systems on the back end. They just decided the traffic wasn't worth the cost of either rewrite or legacy support.

        There are plenty of existing forum programs that they could have adapted.

        Which, for the purposes of a site like IMDB is fine, as it's not so much a news site (although they have that function) as it is a general resource. But, honestly, the comments were a laughable cesspool a lot of the time, especially on new and/or controversial movies, and there's little that's done there that isn't replicated in other communities.

        Except that it makes sense that the number one archive of movie and TV show information on the net should also be the place you go to for news as well. The forums, while having a bunch of crap, also had a ton of useful information. They were usually the first to post news of a show's cancellation or renewal, release dates for new movies and shows, news of a movie/show being released on disc. Guest cast lists for TV episodes often take several days to get updated, but if you asked in the forum, someone would usually identify a guest star in a few minutes. Sometimes there are extras in a scene that you know you've seen before, but they're not important enough to be listed in the guest cast. Where do you go to ask if anyone recognizes them? If you didn't understand something in a movie, you could post there and others would try to explain it.

        It was the most visible information site for movies and TV shows and it made sense that the largest number of viewers would be found on the forums there.

        Not to mention that their "I Need to Know" board was ideal for finding out the title of something you remembered seeing, but couldn't remember what it was. That alone is a huge loss.

        Yes, most of this information can be found elsewhere if you go looking for it, but how does it make sense to search a dozen different web sites for information that you used to be able to obtain right in the IMDb's forums? All the other sites on the net and the ones that sprang up in the wake of them nuking the forums have fractured the community to the point where you need to join a bunch of different sites and trying to find someone who knows the answer to your question is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 11 Jun 2019 @ 12:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "There are plenty of existing forum programs that they could have adapted."

          Maybe, maybe not. But that was the best part of 20 years ago. Amazon have completely rebuilt every platform they operate from the ground up in the mean time. There's no way in hell they wouldn't have needed a complete forum rewrite as well, even if they'd used an existing off-the-shelf solution and modified it rather than a bespoke Perl script. The fundamentals of how these things are designed and maintained has changed massively in the intervening years. This is a very good explanation of the background issues from one of the original developers:

          https://www.beatworm.co.uk/blog/internet/imdb-boards-no-more

          I can understand your frustration, but there's very very good reasons behind their decision. Like it or not, they looked at their business and decided the part that you liked was no longer worth the cost and effort.

          "Yes, most of this information can be found elsewhere if you go looking for it, but how does it make sense to search a dozen different web sites for information that you used to be able to obtain right in the IMDb's forums?"

          Things change, sometimes in ways you don't want. There's sites I used to visit all the time that are no longer in existence. There's newsgroups where I used to talk to people all the time that are now ghost towns. Nothing on the web is forever, especially communities.

          "you need to join a bunch of different sites and trying to find someone who knows the answer to your question"

          If you found that people on IMDB forums regularly had sensible answers to questions, you were far luckier than I ever was. If you haven't since found a place with very knowledgeable people who will not only answer questions but be a real community, you're far unluckier.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2019 @ 1:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Anyone remember Cybertown?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Rekrul, 13 Jun 2019 @ 1:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Maybe, maybe not. But that was the best part of 20 years ago. Amazon have completely rebuilt every platform they operate from the ground up in the mean time.

            And much of that change seems to be driven by a desire to satisfy some industry checklist of how a website should look, rather than responding to what the users actually want.

            The search used to present results in chronological order. They redesigned it to present them in order of popularity. When people complained they said they were still working on and that when finished, the new system would allow users to sort the results in a variety of ways (chronological, alphabetical, etc). None of that ever got implemented. The last time they redesigned the look of the site, they clumped everything together to make it fit on a cell phone screen. There's less information and you have to go hunting for links that were easy to find before. Hundreds of people complained in the forums. They claimed that they were still working on it. A month later they hadn't visibly changed anything, then they deleted the thread and claimed that everyone loved the new design.

            I can understand your frustration, but there's very very good reasons behind their decision. Like it or not, they looked at their business and decided the part that you liked was no longer worth the cost and effort.

            Maybe not at the start, but for the last decade or so, the IMDb seemed like it regarded users as a necessary evil that they wished they could do without. I don't know if it's still that way, but users used to contribute the bulk of the information, meaning it was the users who increased the site's value. However, when those same users had a problem or complaint, the staff didn't want to be bothered. They refused to answer any questions as why a post was deleted, why a review was rejected or why they took any action. Everything was done in secret and the users weren't allowed to know any of it. Now you can say that they had too many users to provide such support, but they should have had some kind of system in place that would automate the process of telling a user what they did wrong. A post gets deleted, the user gets an email with a copy of the post saying "This post was deleted because [reason checked from a list]." Or a review is rejected, someone checks a box and it notifies the user why. Now you might say that they didn't have such a system and I'd reply; Exactly! They don't care enough about the users to be bothered implementing it. YouTube is the same way. A few months ago, my account was suspended, supposedly for violating community guidelines. A week later, it was un-suspended and my posts restored. No explanation offered.

            The users are regarded as cogs in a machine. They're expected to do their job of increasing the site's value, but if they squeak too much, they get tossed in the trash and replaced.

            Nothing on the web is forever, especially communities.

            Another of the reasons the IMDb gave for shutting down the forums was that they had become redundant in a world with Twitter and Facebook. Anyone who thinks that a Facebook page or Twitter feed is a good replacement for a web forum, clearly has never used any of them.

            Of course the only reason that truly mattered is that they couldn't figure out a way to directly profit from the boards. That they fostered good will with the users and increased site attendance wasn't enough. They weren't directly making money off the boards, so management looked at it as "Why are we wasting time and money to provide something to the peasants when it doesn't put money in our pockets?"

            If you found that people on IMDB forums regularly had sensible answers to questions, you were far luckier than I ever was. If you haven't since found a place with very knowledgeable people who will not only answer questions but be a real community, you're far unluckier.

            There was a lot of spam and trolls, but I had my questions answered probably about 70-80% of the time. The I Need to Know board was well curated and had a lot of knowledgeable people in it. I even answered a few myself. In one case, I was able to correctly identify a movie for someone only because I'd asked about the same movie a couple months earlier and someone IDed it for me.

            For some months now, I've been trying to ID a horror movie that I saw on one of the pay channels a few years ago. Despite multiple postings, nobody has any idea what it is. I can't help but think that if the IMDb board was still up, I'd probably have an answer within a day or two.

            In the end, while the boards had their problems, they provided extra value to the site. I probably shouldn't admit this, but I used to spend at least a couple hours on them pretty much every day. Reading messages, replying to others, etc. Now I visit the site for a few minutes every couple of days to look something up. Once I've got the information I'm after, there's no incentive for me to stick around. If their goal was to get people to use the site less, mission accomplished. :(

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 14 Jun 2019 @ 12:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "how a website should look"

              Wow... if you think this has anything to do with that, you really haven't been listening to a word either I or Amazon have been saying to you.

              The issue is and always has been how the site operates on the back end. This is nicely explained in the link above, but just in case you didn't read it, or didn't understand it - the forums were originally thrown together using the handiest tools available at the time. Because of this, they were having to support and maintain an increasingly ancient and unwieldy codebase that most likely everybody who had to manage it will have hated. Coders will have resented having to keep patching it to operate with the rest of their services. Admins will have hated not being able to use modern support and release tools. Support will have hated the many inevitable known issues, lack of modern moderation features and the large amount of different places they needed to look for queries. Hell, even many users hated them as finding useful conversations could often be buried. Your experience was obviously different, but there is goes.

              Amazon over the last 20 years have completely rewritten every aspect of how their sites operate. Not just new code - the entire fundamental design concepts have changed beyond recognition. To the point where Amazon's biggest moneymaker at the moment is AWS, the versions of that tech they have made publicly available. It would have been quite expensive to just to keep it working with the rest of their tech.

              So, when it came time to start looking at it seriously - do they rewrite from the ground up, keep it as an annoying time and money sink, or just ditch it? They made a commercial decision to just ditch it, and judging by the number of people who would rather sit around bitching rather than actually use a competing service that offers the features they want, they were right.

              I do understand it's annoying to lose the things you like using. I can understand it's frustrating not to have features you'd prefer. But, they're not personally catering to you. Hell, you're arguable not IMDB's real main customer (that would be IMDBPro subscribers)

              " Anyone who thinks that a Facebook page or Twitter feed is a good replacement for a web forum, clearly has never used any of them."

              I'm in several vibrant film communities on Facebook, which are far more useful than IMDB forums ever were. Those are also not the only options out there - there are entire websites set up as film communities that don't depend on what Amazon decide to do with the rest of their sites, and there are other reference sites such as themoviedb.org, which even allows you to update entires directly if you see errors.

              "For some months now, I've been trying to ID a horror movie that I saw on one of the pay channels a few years ago."

              Hit me up with a description - as a massive horror fan who often attends festivals, I may be able to help. Otherwise, have you tried Reddit (r/horror and r/tipofmytongue are the subreddits that come to mind)? On Facebook, I also find that groups specifically devoted to particular subgenres, festivals or podcasts are helpful. For example, The Gentlemen's Guide To Midnite cinema for general cult movies or The Hysteria Continues for a slasher movie focus

              Honestly, if IMDB forums were your best tool for such things you may have been right that at one time they were more useful than not for such things, but they really have been superseded.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Rekrul, 14 Jun 2019 @ 4:07pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Wow... if you think this has anything to do with that, you really haven't been listening to a word either I or Amazon have been saying to you.

                I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I wasn't referring to just the elimination of the boards but to website redesigns in general. I know that there are often valid behind the scenes reasons for changing a site, but often the general reasoning seems to be "Our site has been the same for the last 3-4 years, we need to change it." Said redesign usually eliminates features that users liked and saddles it with a UI that the users hate.

                The Mobygames redesign a few years prompted such an outcry from users that they eventually changed it back. I was shocked when that happened. Most of the time, companies don't care what the users think. They've changed it somewhat since then, but nothing as drastic.

                I do understand it's annoying to lose the things you like using. I can understand it's frustrating not to have features you'd prefer. But, they're not personally catering to you.

                I understand that very well. Confession time: I have an old system. By computing standards, it's ancient. It still mostly suffices for what I need with one glaring exception; Websites. More and more web sites are changing their code in ways that break all older browsers. The pages don't display correctly, features don't work, etc. I'm not talking about security related stuff, but mostly trivial stuff that no longer works. For example, on this site, clicking to expand the stories on the main page no longer works. If I want to read the entire article, I have to open it in a new tab. I can't click on hidden comments to show them any more. Techdirt has changed some bit of code, that despite performing the same function for the user that it did before, now only works on recent browser versions. You can say "of course they target the latest browsers", but why? I mean, how does making those bits of code incompatible with older browsers while performing the exact same function, benefit anyone? Do new browsers have a dedicated expand/collapse function that is more efficient? Does the website save in bandwidth costs by sending marginally smaller code? Was the old expand/collapse function a security risk?

                Some sites now come up as completely blank unless I use the last version of Opera that I can run (which I hate). Displaying text and graphics now requires the latest browsers? Haven't web browsers been doing that for the last 15-20 years or so?

                I can't help wondering what would happen if a bunch of the big manufacturers of electrical devices suddenly started putting out products with a completely new plug design and telling people that they just need to retrofit all the electrical outlets in their home.

                I know I can come off as whiny sometimes, but it's just annoying to see sites break on my older browsers simply because whatever editing software they used, turns out code that assumes everyone has the latest browsers.

                Hit me up with a description - as a massive horror fan who often attends festivals, I may be able to help. Otherwise, have you tried Reddit (r/horror and r/tipofmytongue are the subreddits that come to mind)? On Facebook, I also find that groups specifically devoted to particular subgenres, festivals or podcasts are helpful. For example, The Gentlemen's Guide To Midnite cinema for general cult movies or The Hysteria Continues for a slasher movie focus

                I've never used Reddit, other than following links to posts on there. I actually find it confusing to try and navigate. I'm not real fond of Facebook either.

                Anyway, my movie;

                First off, it's not The Cabin in the Woods, or any of the Evil Dead films.

                It was low-budget and I don't think there was anyone too famous in the cast. A bunch of young people are meeting at a cabin in the woods, possibly by a lake. I think maybe one friend didn't show up, but they couldn't reach them, or anyone, by phone. I think the calls wouldn't go through and it may have been implied by the end of the movie that the world was coming to an end.

                Some strange stuff happens and I think at least one person gets possessed. I think that person is then "killed" or incapacitated.

                The one part that sticks in my mind and the only part I'm sure of is that they drag the body of the possessed person a short distance away from the cabin and burn them, figuring that will get rid of them. When they go back to check (I think it was the next morning), they're still alive. Burned to a crisp, but still moving. I don't think the body could get up or do much, but I think it started talking to them, telling them that they were doomed, etc.

                So that's all I remember for sure; Friends at a cabin in the woods, they burn a body and the next day, it's still alive. Everything else is suspect.

                Any ideas?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 15 Jun 2019 @ 1:06am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Yeah, I get you with general redesigns but any change is always going to piss off some users. But, don't ever change and you start to look very dated to new users even if you don't realise as a regular visitor. If you go to a site that's never significantly redesigned for 20 years, new users will have a hard time because it doesn't do the things you expect. Having said that, I suspect that changes to IMDB were more to do with cohering to Amazon's standards after they bought it and backend requirements than anything random.

                  Again, I definitely agree that random UI changes are annoying, especially when they remove functionality that you use, but it's usually not "just because". Go the the Wayback Engine and check out how some sites you use looked 20 years ago if they existed, you will definitely see the difference in most cases.

                  "but why?"

                  There's always reasons. Maybe there's new functionality they get on the back end with a new library that's not compatible with older browsers. Maybe their web logs show that less than 1% of users use the old version of the browser, but they can clean up their code by using tricks that don't play well with the older ones. Maybe there's a random bug that always causes problems with that specific browser and they decide to block it for that section of their code.

                  The real question is - why are you using significantly older browsers? They're free programs, most update automatically and at the very least you risk being compromised by known bugs in anything that's not been updated recently. If you have a reason, fair enough, but most people don't really have an excuse.

                  "turns out code that assumes everyone has the latest browsers."

                  Yes, it does. The reason for that is twofold. One is that anyone who's worked in web development for any amount of time knows the nightmare that was IE6 - a dated, buggy, non-standard compliant piece of crap that most people used because it came with Windows. It took many years, Windows Vista stalling development and Firefox becoming a real competitor to break that hold and let people write code the way they wanted rather than having to support dated crap.

                  Now, as I say there's typically no excuse for running older browsers. Devs now only have to test their code on a couple of engines, and since Chrome and Firefox (along with Safari on iOS) update automatically most people are running the latest versions. There's always going to be edge cases, but if a site's web logs show that 95% of visitors are using the latest updates, then that's who they're going to write their code for.

                  "Any ideas?"

                  Not immediately, although for some reason Wither rings a bell. It's a while since I saw that so can't say as to any specifics.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Rekrul, 15 Jun 2019 @ 1:55pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Again, I definitely agree that random UI changes are annoying, especially when they remove functionality that you use...

                    Especially when they replace simple HTML with Javascript. I don't know if you've noticed, but website designers today are incapable of writing pretty much anything that doesn't rely on Javascript. Want to display a picture? Use Javascript. Want to offer a file for download? Use Javascript. Display a login prompt? Javscript. Some pages won't even display at all if you don't have Javascript enabled.

                    What really annoys me are sites that feel they need to re-invent the wheel. Browsers have been capable of downloading files for about two decade now, but sites still feel they have to come up with their own custom download routine. Mega.nz seems to tell the browser to buffer the entire file and then save it, which typically fails on really large files. On another site I use, if I click the "normal" download option, it somehow downloads the file without there being any indication that it's doing so, the file goes straight into the cache with a random filename and you have to go hunting for it. Luckily they offer the option to copy the link for external download managers. Then there are the sites that use fancy Javascript to provide a login prompt. Most browsers don't recognize it as such and don't offer to save the information for you.

                    Go the the Wayback Engine and check out how some sites you use looked 20 years ago if they existed, you will definitely see the difference in most cases.

                    I never seem to have much luck with the Wayback Machine. It will show me calendars with dates marked, but when I click on most of them, it tells me that it has no pages archived. If there is something there, half the time, it's a blank page telling you to enter the site through the front page. The other half, the text of the page comes up, but all the graphics are missing and none of the links work.

                    The real question is - why are you using significantly older browsers?

                    Because I have an old system, which has XP on it. Yes, I've heard all the horror stories, but my antivirus is up to date, I have a third party firewall installed and I'm very careful about what I download.

                    My system could run Windows 7 at least, but I've only ever installed Windows from scratch once and I didn't enjoy the experience. I really don't want to nuke a working system, install Windows 7, then have to re-install all my programs, re-configure them all again, get everything set up the way I like it, etc. It would be one thing if I could just copy over a bunch of INI files and have all my programs come up the same, but Windows software typically likes to barf its settings throughout the registry. Even if you back up the most obvious keys, there's always one more lurking somewhere that the program won't work without.

                    At some point, I'd like to get a newer, faster system capable of running the latest emulators, but I can't really spare the money at the moment. So for the time being, this is what I have.

                    I have an old version of Firefox because I didn't like a lot of the changes they started implementing in later versions and I had actual problems trying to upgrade. I have the last ever version of Pale Moon that supports XP. I'd use it exclusively if it didn't have a tendency to cause a BSOD if I use it too heavily. Note that later versions of Firefox do the same thing, as I installed a much newer version on a junk system I have. I also have the last version of Opera that works on XP installed. It's a piece of crap. The more tabs you open, the slower it gets until all the pages "crash". Of course the biggest problem is that it simply refuses to connect to many sites, claiming that the site can't provide a secure connection. It should be noted that typically both my version of Firefox and Pale Moon can connect to these same sites, even if they don't function correctly. Opera just flat out refuses to even connect.

                    Maybe it's possible to compile the latest Pale Moon versions to work on XP, but if so, I don't know how to do it. I've only ever successfully compiled two programs in my life and both times, the docs included step by step instructions written for beginners. Most source code just assumes that you're already fully knowledgeable about how to compile it. It's like telling someone who's never seen a car before to just turn the key, put it in drive and step on the gas.

                    Actually I installed Opera because neither my Pale Moon or Firefox work with Google's reCAPTCHA anymore, which is now the only captcha that 99.9999999999% of the sites on the net use, despite there being a ton of complaints about problems about it. I guess poor old Pale Moon just isn't up to the Herculean task of clicking a checkbox. [eyeroll]

                    There was another browser that claimed to still support XP, but that one caused a BSOD the instant I ran it.

                    Yes, it does. The reason for that is twofold.

                    Just like most compilers now automatically create code that's incompatible with XP, even if there's nothing in the program that isn't XP compatible. I just went looking for the latest version of ffmpeg. On the official(?) download page, all the Windows binaries need WIn7 or better. After a little Googling, I found a forum which linked to an XP version. The author said that he stripped out all the stuff that wasn't XP compatible, which was basically a bunch of support libraries that weren't even needed, but which were included by default.

                    Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that all authors should go out of their way to support older systems, but if there's nothing in the program that actually needs a newer system, why include unnecessary extra stuff that makes it incompatible?

                    It reminds me of the games Thief: Deadly Shadows and Doom 3. Both were written to be Win98 compatible, but at the last minute, the companies implemented a check that specifically prevented them from running on anything less than XP. Hackers produced patches for both games that removed the check allowing both to run perfectly on Win98 systems.

                    Microsoft is even doing the same thing with WIn7. From what I've read, Win7 systems with certain CPUs are prevented from downloading updates. As I understand it, there's no technical reason for this other than MS wanting to freeze out Win7 owners in an effort to try and force them to switch to Win10. I know there's a patch to get around this. At least there was, I assume it still works.

                    Not immediately, although for some reason Wither rings a bell. It's a while since I saw that so can't say as to any specifics.

                    I don't think that's the one. The movie I saw was in English and it didn't seem to be dubbed. Also, I don't think it was a straight Evil Dead clone where the infection/possession is passed from person to person. I could be wrong about that, but I don't remember at the time thinking that it was a blatant ED clone.

                    I also have a vague idea that the area they were in was somehow isolated from the rest of the world, which is why they couldn't reach anyone else. I'm not sure if they tried to leave or not. I have a vague image in my head of a ground-level highway stretching off into the distance with I think bare land on the right side and maybe a coastline on the left, a short distance from the road. The highway is deserted. For some reason, I associate this image with the movie in question. Maybe it was shown at the end, like a character might have said "I think we're the only ones left in the world." and then it might have panned down the dirt entrance road to show the highway deserted. I could be way off base with this though. I just mentioned it in case it is part of the film and jogs your memory. Please don't take it as an absolute fact though.

                    Yes, I know some of the details sound a lot like The Cabin in the Woods, but I know that movie backwards and forwards and there's no body burning scene.

                    Oh and the time frame I saw it would be probably be some time between 2005-2012 or so. I don't think it was much older than that, maybe 2000 at most, and probably much newer. It definitely seemed like a late 2000s straight to video movie. Although I do have the contradictory sense that it might have been fairly well know at the time it was released. Not super-mainstream, but known to horror fans at the time. Maybe not something that flew completely under the radar, but didn't make a big splash either.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 16 Jun 2019 @ 4:21am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      OK so you’re using a computer with an OS that’s not supported by Microsoft any longer, even after they extended support past its original contract, and you’re annoyed that-people developing software no longer support you? There may be a good reason you’re doing that but you are a severe edge case, there’s probably more people using Linux as a desktop OS than XP at this point. You might not understand the reasons why people don’t keep things running on there but it’s a generational gap at this point. As in literally - people born in the year XP was released are adults now.

                      As for the movie I’ll keep it in mind and comment if anything comes to mind!

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Rekrul, 17 Jun 2019 @ 3:40pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        OK so you’re using a computer with an OS that’s not supported by Microsoft any longer, even after they extended support past its original contract...

                        I've never understood why people view MS support as some sort of gold standard for whether an OS can still be used or not. While it's true that they're no longer patching flaws, it's not like newer versions of Windows are much safer. Every version of Windows ships with a boatload of bugs and security flaws. There are probably hundreds of unpatched vulnerabilities in Win10 that hackers are actively searching for right this moment. Not to mention that my friend has Win10 on all his systems and he's always having problems with the updates. Drivers stop working, various programs stop working, programs go off into limbo for no apparent reason, etc. He regrets his decision to "upgrade" from Win7, and he did it in part because of MS's obnoxiously aggressively campaign to push Win10 on everyone, where they kept downloading it to users whether they wanted it or not. He finally figured "Why not let it upgrade?" Now his systems that used to run well are always giving him some sort of problem, even though they should be well capable of running Win10 properly.

                        MS drops support for an OS, everyone says "Uh oh, better upgrade to a supported version!" and MS says "Ca-Ching!" If they thought they could get away with it, they'd send out an uninstallable update that would brick the previous version of Windows on the date the new version came out. Eventually the forced update in Windows 10 will be used to turn it into a subscription service and then people will have to pay a yearly, or maybe even monthly fee to be able to use their computer.

                        ...and you’re annoyed that-people developing software no longer support you?

                        I'm annoyed when the only reason a piece of software no longer supports me is that the compiler they used no longer produces code that can run on older systems.

                        What does ffmpeg do? It's a command line program that reads input files, performs some actions on them and then writes output files. Isn't ffmpeg open source, cross platform? If it needs Win7 specific code to operate, does that mean that Linux has Win7 code in it? If not, how are people able to compile it for Linux? Maybe because it doesn't need any OS specific code to operate?

                        So why are they producing Win7 specific code for a program that doesn't use any Win7 specific features?

                        there’s probably more people using Linux as a desktop OS than XP at this point.

                        Maybe, but they're all technerds or people who were coached by a technerd in the family. The average person isn't going to buy a system from Walmart or Costco and then install Linux on it. Most people today couldn't even tell you what version of Windows they have. Email them a copy of a PD game in a Rar file and tell them to extract the contents and click the EXE file to run it and you might as well be describing how to preform brain surgery. An hour later they'll still be trying to figure out where the file was saved to.

                        As for the movie I’ll keep it in mind and comment if anything comes to mind!

                        Thanks, I appreciate it.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 18 Jun 2019 @ 12:04am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          "While it's true that they're no longer patching flaws"

                          This is one of the main reasons. Entire classes of bugs will no longer be fixed. Basic design problems that cause problems not experienced with new versions still put you at risk. Businesses increasing won't even be paying for extended support, so the rare patch that fix critical issues are no longer made.

                          While it's true that newer versions of Windows also have bugs, they are very different types of issue. Also, if you read up on what the problems actually are - the problems are often introduced of extended because Microsoft need to retain compatibility with older versions of Windows,. Getting rid of XP support means they can ditch old codebases, making support easier, quicker and cheaper. You might find this annoying, but if you had a business and someone who paid you 18 years ago for a product kept expecting the same support as someone who bought a product this year, would you really keep giving it to them?

                          "So why are they producing Win7 specific code for a program that doesn't use any Win7 specific features?"

                          Because it needs to run on Windows 7. If you're also compiling it to run on XP, that means you have to include older libraries, which might mean that there's features that cannot be implemented to retain compatibility. You also run into other problems - for example XP usually means 32 bit libraries (there was a 64 bit version of XP, but it was notoriously buggy), which means that basic software paradigms need to stay stuck 20 years in the past. All for the sake of less than 1% of users.

                          Face it - you're doing the equivalent of whining that you can't go into Walmart and buy an 8 track any longer. At some point, it's your problem for not upgrading, not others' fault for not going through the steps needed to make 8 track versions of new albums.

                          But, if you're talking about open source - that's part of the joy of it. If the people running the ffmpeg project don't compile an XP version, there's nothing stopping others from doing so. There's no reason you can't continue to use the older versions. There's no reason other coders can't fork the project and keep it compatible with XP if they so wish. If nobody's willingly volunteering to do that, the reason it not that there's some Microsoft conspiracy, but rather that nobody wants to do the work, especially for free.

                          " The average person isn't going to buy a system from Walmart or Costco and then install Linux on it."

                          Exactly... so XP users at this point are not only in a minority compared to Linux users, they don't know what they're really doing with their computer.

                          "Email them a copy of a PD game in a Rar file and tell them to extract the contents and click the EXE file to run it and you might as well be describing how to preform brain surgery"

                          Yes, which is why it's a problem when they're not using systems designed using modern design concepts. Every Windows version after XP has built-in protections to ensure you're not running everything as an administrator, for example, and to flash up warnings by default whenever something tries bypassing that. With XP, you have no idea what permissions the program is using. A lot of issues with XP back in the day is because it was not designed with the same level of security in mind as OSX and Linux were from the ground up.

                          This is the problem with our little discussion here - you think you're countering what I'm saying, but you're just proving the points I'm making. Continued XP support is expensive, annoying, related to a vanishingly small number of people and actually holds back development in every other area.

                          "Thanks, I appreciate it."

                          Not a problem!

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Professor Ronny, 5 Jun 2019 @ 7:03am

    OK, I'll ask. How much time/effort/money does Techdirt put into its comment section. Is it a burden on the organization or is it a reasonable undertaking?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 6 Jun 2019 @ 5:30am

      Re:

      Not much; most of it is automated (to block obvious spambots selling knock-off sunglasses, etc.) and there's a flag button (the red one) so people like you and I can hide comments we don't like.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Karl, 10 Jun 2019 @ 12:53pm

    A very nice and fruitful article. To work from home and make money is easy but you have to learn it. Learn from the best. See link https://bit.ly/31p88ij

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jun 2019 @ 1:46am

    Mike, I hope you have your forum and moderation protected as a method that you can patent and sell or license to all these news outlets when or if they decide to invite public commenting back into their realm. Because you are sitting on a goldmine here at Techdirt. Being able to ac about stuff that matters the most is essential in a free society. Sometime stuff needs to be said and who is saying it isn't important. IMO. ; )

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.