Things that people write about us, which is (mostly) very nice of them.
Andrew ! In the Guardian talking about our tools. The comments are interesting. http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jan/31/online-comments-toxic-interaction-racism-harassment?CMP=edit_2221
That was a nice interview, @gregbarber. I liked this in particular:
Commenters have told us that they comment because they want their voice to be heard. To improve comments, we need to establish a value structure that allows readers to understand what we’re looking for, what will get them highlighted.
I remember when we at Gizmodo Brasil started a “best comments of the week” post on Saturdays, and we initially opted to highlight the funnier / snarkier comments without communicating explicitly that this was our criteria. The reasons for that decision were: A) we wanted something “lighter” for weekend reading, to show the readers that we laugh with them as well; B) we were always being accused of some sort of bias in the coverage, so selecting “serious” comments (like someone making a very good point about Apple or Google) could make people perceive that we were selecting ideas that reinforced our (alleged) view.
So, what happened: people started competing to out-joke each other. The comment section became more, say, “playful”, but also people that were there to talk about technology and gadgets without anything funny to add felt out of place. We corrected the course, selecting also a number of serious comments, and gave the task of collecting them to one of our top commenters. It worked.
Something like “top comments of the week”, like the NYT is doing (regularly, I suppose?) now is just one of many ways to show that we’re listening. But commenters need to know what types of conversations/reactions/feedback are encouraged. I hope we can come up with many different ways to make people more willing to comment in our sites.