Post.Blog Update

One more update regarding last week’s Post.Blog brouhaha, and then, we suspect/hope, this will be an old subject (until, of course, it isn’t).

  • The Post’s Ed Holzinger, from Information Technology, says this on his critique of the paper:

      Is it an organized campaign led by the left? Not in the sense of but certainly in the sense of people talking to each other and urging comments. Are there nutjobs writing comments? Of course, the web is full of people with an agenda and time and not a lot of sense. Should we care? Ah, now that’s the real question, isn’t it?

      The answer is yes, we should pay attention just as we would to dozens of phone calls about, say, changing the comics pages. Comments online are about the only way people without blogs can express themselves publicly about the newspaper without having to get past the letters to the editor.

      On the other hand, repeatedly poking the wasp nest with a stick only stirs up the beasties and gets you stung. Best to let the wasps buzz angrily around for a bit, then come back after they’ve settled down.

      And in the end, newspapers no longer are the gatekeepers for information. People are demanding to have their say now, moreso than ever before, and they can easily do it. This sort of thing isn’t going away and the sooner we come to terms with it and develop thoughtful ways to handle it, the better. It’s a new world.

    More stuff after the jump…

    • PBS interviews WashingtonPost.Com Executive Editor Jim Brady: “We’re just asking you to try and stay civil.”

    • Jeff Jarvis weighs in over at BuzzMachine.

        Q: Are media required to play host to the opinions and criticism of others?

        A: No. But they will be judged by their interactivity.

    • Poynter’s Amy Gahran says, “Perhaps a less draconian approach might have been to close comments on the relevant postings only, and to moderate comments to the blog for a time until things settled down. Let the conversation move on.”

    • Poynter’s Steve Outing says “Another option the Post should consider is to screen the first 1-2 messages from a user. If they’re OK, then the user is allowed to post freely in the future; if not, they remain on the watchlist. What this does is helps editors identify the first-time commenters who are up to no good — while keeping known OK commenters out of the moderation queue. Add to that the ability of readers to flag inappropriate posts — which alerts the editors.”


      Charge a registration fee that permits a user to post, but make it a “deposit” that they can get back any time they wish to discontinue using the service, but will lose if they grossly violate the site’s discussion rules and terms of service.”