Cleaning up the comment cesspool: Ventura County Star editor Joe Howry has penned what is either the most eloquent column a newspaper has ever published on the problem of comment threads and trolls — or the most cliché-laden — or possibly, both.
If you can get past that, it’s an interesting approach they’re taking: They know how to keep a comment thread interesting and useful, but they only have the resources to do it on a few stories a day.
(via Jack Lail)
A great explanation of how comments work on Gawker blogs, powered by karma, Facebook Connect, and heavy moderation of new commenters before they’re set free on threads.
Gizmodo’s Comment System: How It Works and Why It’s Better
These are great basic guidelines for comments on news sites: registration + e-mail confirmation on first comment + pool rules.
6 tips for comments on stories and j-blogs – Teaching Online Journalism
Questions I have coming out of the first session:
- For newspapers with community sites, like Bakersfield and Raleigh, who is the go-to person in your newsroom for managing threads, policing comments, and general cheerleading for the site? Do you have a dedicated position leading it or is it rolled into other Web roles?
- Is cloud-seeding on these sites only necessary in the early days of the site, before the crowd starts to manage itself, or is encouragement, seeding, and moderation from the newsroom an ongoing task?
A quick informal poll: Who handles your community site, and is it an every-single-day job or just an occasional role?
“There’s no need for professional reporters to fear user-generated content. Someone needs to lead the Web’s content communities, and journalists make the ideal candidates.”
Why journalists make ideal online community leaders – Online Journalism Review
A complicated problem with a simple solution: No html allowed in comments. Or use a system that has some granularity to it so you can allow tags but not tags.
Photo of lynching posted on TH site – Dubuque Telegraph Herald
Real live lawyers! Talking about libel and defamation issues in online comments! Yay!
Assessing Legal Risks and Guidelines for User Comments – Poynter Online