Beyond Comments



I’m Danielle Lottridge, a UX Researcher at Yahoo. I study how people interact with and comment on articles on Yahoo’s website and apps. I also do research on Tumblr, a blogging platform.

I’m interested in when/where/why people comment and what comments they make, and when/where/how and why people read comments. I’m curious what are the best tools to offer and designs to support people expressing themselves, informing themselves, keeping track of and participating in evolving debates and conversations.

Looking forward to tomorrow!


Hi everyone! I’m very excited to be here as well.

My name is Lydia Laurenson and I run user research for a small, wonderful journalism company called News Deeply. I am also starting to oversee a lot of our work around innovating on community, which is very very exciting!

As part of my personal history, I have done a lot of community organizing (served in the Peace Corps a while back). I also kept a personal blog that got pretty popular a few years ago – I did that full time for a while, and my commenters/community that coalesced around my work were an amazing support to me. I started my career in game design and I am still very inspired by many gaming communities, despite their flaws. All these influences have had a powerful influence on my current work and I’m so excited to meet others from such a wide range of backgrounds.

Some articles I’ve written about digital media development include:
• The Atlantic - A More Pseudonymous Internet:
• The Harvard Business Review - the complications of building a platform/publisher hybrid:

Love to chat about any of this stuff anytime.
Lydia //


Hi! I’m Julia Haslanger. I just graduated in December from CUNY’s new social journalism graduate program, where I focused on serving people in audience engagement-type roles. These days, I’m wrapping up some research for CUNY and the Kettering Foundation about social journalism, and I’m also working as an audience engagement editors at The Wall Street Journal. What I hope to get from this weekend: Meeting lots of Twitter friends IRL, learning the struggles and strategies of some awesome journalists, and generally just absorbing the optimism.


Hi Andrew & friends –

I’m Wade Roush, a science and technology journalist based at MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS). I’m the former acting director of MIT’s Knight Science Journalism fellowship program, and before that I was a staff editor and writer at places like Xconomy, MIT Technology Review, and Science.

At the moment I’m working on an effort at MIT to start a new “Center for Science Engagement,” where we’d be exploring and testing new ways of communicating about science and technology. One big goal is to encourage more frequent, effective, and rewarding engagement between experts and non-experts on the complex & urgent science and technology issues of the day.

I’m excited about attending the Beyond Comments event because online discussion has become such an important, but often dysfunctional, form of public engagement around science, technology, environment, and health issues. If we want to exploit the full power of digital media to get people excited and involved in sci/tech and have civil, fact-based discussions, I think we have to invent a new comment culture, among other things. I’m looking forward to hearing what ideas and projects people have in this area.


Good morning, everyone! Beyond Comments is about to begin. We’ll be keeping notes on the sessions at And this board is open for discussion throughout the conference.

And we’re on Twitter at @coralproject.

A first question for you: What are you hoping to get out of today’s event?


Nick reminds me that it’s important to remember the distinction between a normal comments thread and a sports live game thread - commonly used by a lot of sites. The moderation needs are different.


Thank you everyone for coming! What a remarkable day.

What stood out most to you? Who did you meet who inspired you, and what ideas are you taking home with you in your pocket?


Hi everyone. It was great to meet many of you yesterday, and I’m looking forward to continuing to connect with those of you whom I didn’t get to meet.

On that note, if anyone is still in Boston and wants to continue the conversation over brunch, ping me: @saleemkhan.

Like many of you, I’m a career journalist focused on solving problems in journalism, often through applying technology. I run an investigative news and technology startup in Toronto, whose main project is a collaboration tool for journalists that would ultimately facilitate engagement and co-creation with the public as well.

I’ve been observing and building journalism communities online and off for 15+ years, and I’m always interested in sharing and learning about ways to improve the state of news and public discourse.

Yesterday was a great start, and I’m looking forward to more!


This conference went on concurrently with Hacks & Hackers Connect. Look forward to catching up re Beyond Comments here and elsewhere. This Storify – along w Andrew’s live notes – looks like a solid start.


Here are some articles about the event. If you write something, please let us know!

Live notes by @gregbarber
Civil Comments (@Christa) wrote up the experience on Medium.
Emily McManus (@emilymcmc) also wrote up her notes on Medium.
Adrienne Debigare storified the event’s tweets.
Jessamyn West (@jessamyn) collected the handles and urls of people who presented or who were organizing.

Our own round up will be posted shortly!


Just people who presented or who were organizing! Thanks for this.


Corrected, thanks Jessamyn!


And here’s our write up, courtesy of @sydette.


Hello All!,

I was made aware by a member that people thought this thread was private and shared personal info, however it is discoverable by google so anyone who shared a phone number that we couldn’t find on your own personal website has had that number removed. If you receive a notice your post was edited this is why. Thank you so much for being part of this community , participating in Beyond Comments and helping Coral!


Can we use a phone number if we want too. I am aware of the implications of that.


Hi @andrew_coral. So there is no issue with posting contact information I will assume


Hi David

This thread is related to an event we held two years ago. I’m going to close this thread, but if you want to share any of your own personal information anywhere on the site, that’s fine.