Introduce yourself!


Hi Charlie,

We are super interested in your platform as well. I was really interested in you piece on Medium. I would love to see more of your system!


Hi Michael,

Thanks for coming over. Scout looks super interesting . I’m interested in how you’ll integrate scifi. I would love to now what are the questions you’re asking yourself as you make these decisions around technologies?


Welcome Seth! How will The Post’s new website integrate audience engagement/comments?


Hi Sydette,
The dabbles are ongoing :slightly_smiling:
One of the things that can be a challenge for us at CBC, is volume - for example, when the volume of comments coming in outstrips the resources available to review them. Whether the review is for ‘garbage removal’, to find story leads, to answer or ask questions, clarify facts, etc, incoming volume can create challenges.

So, recognizing the time and effort it takes to connect with a community (digital or otherwise), I want to applaud you for how you and the rest of the Coral Project team, are connecting directly with people as they join this space and not only are you welcoming everyone, but you’re putting us to work (I mean that in a positive sense) - you’re actively initiating and modeling how you want the space to work by responding and asking questions to further the discussion. Great job!


We are’t sure yet, things are still being developed. We have looked into Disqus for our commenting platform, but will be looking to compare all the options soon.


Hi Sydette,


I would definitely like our staff members to be more involved, especially our writers. Really, I’d love it if they were running the conversation around their stories, or at the very least replying to the best comments and responding to questions. Some of our writers do jump into the comments section now — usually if someone has a correction or points out a problem — but only if someone tells them about the comment or they specifically go to their story and check.

With our current system, I think it would be tactically difficult to ask writers to take more responsibility for the conversations surrounding their writing, but with better tools I would love to give writers that responsibility (and maybe create an environment when writers didn’t cringe when asked to respond to commenters :grin: ).

What happens when the trolls are gone?

We’d love to see that process happen in the open on here, if that’s something you feel comfortable sharing. And maybe the group can help you choose?

What do you feel are the pros and cons of the different options?


Hello all!

I’m a developer and news reader from Portugal, growing increasingly concerned about the quality of comments on Portuguese online newspapers. Each newspaper seems to have it’s own “under the fold” ecosystem where you can find everything, from pure insult to racist remarks, and the newspapers don’t really seem to care about. I think, maybe they don’t have the right tools.

I’m also a moderator at the ProcessWire CMS forums. This is an amazing community, where discussions seem to go rarely in the wrong direction, and when they do, they are usually solved easily.

Glad to be here, and I hope I can help somehow!



Glad to have you ! What kind of tools do you think people need? Are there any Portuguese papers you think get it right. I really like the lay out of Processwire forums . What do you think contributes to the success of that forum?


Thanks for the welcoming!

Most Portuguese newspapers use the Facebook plugin for the comments and I can’t even comment there because I don’t have a Facebook account… One that I think gets it more or less right is Expresso They use Disqus, and it seems that they do delete offensive comments, but they don’t say anything about it or explain why, I only know because people complain that they deleted their comment and ask why. Could definitely be better.

The forums at ProcessWire are made with the InvisionPower free software, with a custom layout based on the ProcessWire site. It works well, but has it’s own problems. The success of the forum is definitely due to Ryan Cramer, the developer of ProcessWire. He started the forum when ProcessWire was small and answered personally to every question that was made in the forum by experienced developers or by “newbies”. This kind of set the mood in the forums and led other people to have the same atitude. Now the forum has thousands of users, and no question stays unanswered and every new user is welcomed by someone. Action towards problematic users is always discussed by the team of moderators, and usually gracefully solved. But they are surprisingly rare in such a large community.


What do you see as the biggest controversial topics/areas for comments on Portuguese news sites?


Hi Andrew,

At the mooment, definitely the refugees in Europe and the new Portuguese government supported by the “radical” left parties. Also football (soccer) always generates aggressive discussions.


hello coral community,

i’m albert and i work @ sunlight foundation in sunlight labs. i’m an advocate for openness/free culture, and have been watching open news with interest for quite awhile. so i was happy to stumble across the coral project today, and thrilled to be able to join here, so thanks for that!
will be primarily lurking here, but feel free to ping me anytime.



Welcome Albert! I love the work of the Sunlight Foundation.

Can you tell us more about what openness means for your work in Sunlight Labs, and also any work that Sunlight does in the area of community?


Hi Seth - You going to be in Boston? If so, it will be good to see you.


Hi all! Bob Payne here, from Seattle. Really looking forward to this discussion in Boston.

I’m currently in between jobs, but I’m a hard-core engagement geek, having worked for several years as the primary commenting czar at The Seattle Times up until a couple of weeks ago.

It was exhausting being one of the few voices in the newsroom that focused on the positives that commenting brought to the website. Sure there were trolls, but sluicing through the pebbles and sand often revealed true gold.

Which brings me to something that will be my mantra on Saturday: It takes a village. I don’t believe that any kind of community-building-toward-constructive-dialog can happen if it’s only the domain of a couple of diehards within the organization. Whatever system that results from all of this must include ways to require more widespread buy-in and participation. I know everyone is busy, but building stickiness is everyone’s job now.

Cheers until Saturday morning!


Hello all - My name is Cliff Lampe, and I’m an Associate Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. I’ve been researching online communities for about 20 years now, and my dissertation work was on the site Slashdot and how their commenting system worked.

Since then I’ve done quite a bit of research on social media and online communities. I teach our undergraduate and masters level classes in online communities as well. Over the years, I’ve been involved with the practice of creating online communities - and have worked in different ways with groups like Wikimedia, Slashdot, Sourceforce,, Ning and more.

I believe discussion can make the world a better place.


Hi! I’m Jennifer Ruggieri. I am the Director of Community Engagement at Advance Digital. We serve a dozen or so local news organization websites. I’ve done this for about six years, and I’m excited to talk to others who have similar challenges and concerns outside of our organization. Like many others, I’m a big believer in comment sections, democratization of discussion, and the importance of anonymity. Even the importance of unpopular viewpoints. My favorite online communities are the ones I participate in anonymously. As the internet Gods intended.


Hi Bob!,

I agree with the village sentiment! What were the objections you heard most often . How did you respond to them ? Was there anything that tools or technology could build or was it soft skills only?


Hi Sydette. The Seattle Times got somewhere between 2000 and 3000 comments per day when I worked there. Of those, some 100-150 were reported as violations by readers. And of those reported posts, only about 25-30 actually warranted removal. The key problem was that most people in the room only remember the nastiness, and not the feel-good stories, such as when readers in one thread banded together to do research to solve a mystery. Or the group of baseball fans in the Times’ Mariners forum who gather in person once a year because they enjoy the camaraderie that the Times brought about. The typical journalist response is, somewhat understandably, that in these days of limited resources, why spend time with something that could end up a disaster? It’s only those web geeks that dream that commenting has any real value, right? So they attack it and avoid it. I generally responded to them in two ways: 1) This is digital news, and there ain’t no going back – one way communication down to the readers doesn’t fly anymore. The Business depends on journalists creating a good town hall-style forum where readers will congregate and discuss the news. That’s stickiness, and it’s crucial these days; and 2) I tried to really highlight the successes like the ones above – as well as the random cases where journalist-reader dialog in the comments was valuable, such as when readers point out errors. I’m not sure the tools can help something like this. Except possibly for the authors of articles to get emails with every new comment on their story – although I’ve seen this drive some writers crazy. I’ve heard of some other newsrooms requiring story authors to jump into the comments in the first 30 minutes after publication. The tricky part with this is that the timing often doesn’t work.Just brainstorming here: One feature request for commenting software would be a way to break up the queue of incoming comments and reported comments by channel. That way people in Sports, for example, could be tied into what’s happening in the sports threads.