Nick Denton on the ‘Tragedy of the Comments’

Gawker to revamp site's comment strategy, hopefully elevate the conversation

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Once upon a time, in the early days of blogging, Gawker founder Nick Denton said, publishers hoped that the Web would help them “capture the intelligence of the readership.”

But now? “That’s a joke,” he said.

“That didn’t happen,” Denton said at South by Southwest, in a conversation with blogger and entrepreneur Anil Dash. “It’s a promise that has so not happened that people don’t even have that ambition any more.”

The hope was that the Internet would boost the quality of public conversation and let writers and readers collaborate on stories, but instead, he said, there’s been a “tragedy of the commons…or tragedy of the comments.”

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