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  • Sep 17th, 2009 @ 9:25am

    (untitled comment)

    Okay, so from the viewpoint of the newspaper, what's the difference if 95% of its commenters are morons?

    If the point is to create a "community," isn't the fact of the community more important than its content?

    I suspect that newspapers tend to downplay the importance of community for the same reason some of the commenters here are complaining about the nature of communities: lack of control.

    It's scary, I guess. If you can't control it, you feel like it has no value for you.

    But your feelings may be leading you astray. Look at YouTube comments. Everyone hates them. They're unpleasant, extreme, and often unreadable. But people continue to use the comments. Maybe it makes people feel like they're part of YouTube. Maybe it just gives them a chance to vent. But YouTube is much healthier for the input.

  • Sep 16th, 2009 @ 8:58am

    Re: Types of news also

    Interesting examples.

    This makes me think that people wouldn't so much pay for "news" as they would for specific data.

    Indeed, people will pay for sports scores or financial information. I myself even have a subscription to the New York Times crossword puzzle. Perhaps what these things have in common is that we know exactly what we are getting before we pay for it.

    "News," on the other hand, is a vague and unreliable concept. On some days, the news is exciting and interesting, but on most days it's dull or practically nonexistent. I don't particularly want to pay for the days where there isn't anything interesting. You could try offering teaser headlines of stories for sale, but I suspect most people just read the headlines anyway.

    When we pay for data in newspapers, we're buying the scarce quantity of convenience for something that's clearly necessary or clearly desirable. Everything else is a pig in a poke.

  • Sep 4th, 2009 @ 8:27am

    (untitled comment)

    I found the "idiots" comment from the apparent ES&S employee to be deeply troubling. (I hadn't noticed it

    "Confidence tricksters" got that name because their schemes asked people to trust them. To me, this ES&S employee was insisting that we had to trust ES&S, but he was being very defensive about it. While it's dangerous to try to guess emotion from a forum post, I wonder if that wording was a sign of fear.

    "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, you idiots!"

  • Aug 28th, 2009 @ 10:21am

    (untitled comment)

    I think a hunger strike to protest file-sharing is a very good idea. In fact, I'd like to see everyone angry about file-sharing start a hunger strike. And if file-sharing doesn't stop, I'd like to see these people follow their hunger strikes to the logical conclusion.