Monday, June 30, 2008

Complaints and comments

C: The Poll Comment Post started out as a great site, but has been getting out of hand lately.
Free speech aside, something needs to be done about the foul language, the implied foul language & name calling, and some of the other nonsense that is being posted unchecked on that site. -R.H.

A: Many newspaper readers are uncomfortable with changes in content. When they complain about us dropping a comic or adding a new feature they don't like, I argue that change is necessary because our audience is always changing. Every day, subscribers die or quit the paper, and new ones sign up.

It's the same thing with O-R Online. Our audience is changing, and getting bigger. In fact, we now have more than 40,000 individual visitors to our site each week - nearly twice the number visiting the site 18 months ago.

I have to agree with you. That audience 18 months ago was pretty well behaved. It was rare that any readers wrote anything bad enough to be stricken. That's not the case now. Frankly, we are struggling to decide where to draw the line; what language is unacceptable; what comment is too stupid or incendiary to pass along to the rest of our audience.

The Web audience and the newspaper audience are different. We are quite accustomed to dealing with newspaper readers. Online readers are still a bit of a mystery to us. But one thing that helps us is comments like yours.


Anonymous said...

The comments have become boring, harsh, and cruel. In addition, they are bordering on stupid.
Another problem is a few people dominating the entire conversation (elispse anyone). Honestly it makes for boring reading to read the same persons comments all the time.

Ellipses said...

1. This comment box has automatic spell check... so when something is underlined in red, it's spelled incorrectly.

2. Contribute! Dilute my constant stream of brilliance with ideas of your own. Please.

3. I love you all, and want nothing more than to see the unique page views redouble in the next 18 months.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy the freedom on the web. If it is changed I wouldn't find time (20 times a day) to visit your pages. It enjoy reading all comments.

Keep up the good work, O-R.

Anonymous said...

Yes, people abuse the "right of free speech" by posting bad language and making offensive, stupid, racist and homophobic comments online. But they do so in public as well. Online anonymity is the old double-edged sword: It allows those who might otherwise be afraid to speak to join the discussion, but it also affords a voice to bigots and the borderline insane.

Some blogspots refuse to publish comments that are unsigned or posted under a pseudonymn, just as newspapers refuse to publish unsigned letters to the editor. Part of me says that you should have the courage of your convictions and sign a post,but part of me recognizes that a post may prompt someone to Google your name, find your house, and wait for you behind the hydrangea some moonless night.

One service that anonymous posting has provided this political season it to reveal just how much racism and misogyny still exists in America.

Captain said...

its funny to me that no matter your socio-economic status or your education one can choose to curse or not and say foul things or not and to be a good person or not....i for one am not a fan of the cursing etc but i do try to consider the source -- not everybody chooses to do the right thing and because of this the world is slowly chipping away to a not so glorious ending. Maybe one should consider the visionary wonders of Gene Roddenberry creator of Star Trek whose philosophy in general was what makes us different makes us better but i cannot see what constant cursing and immoral and debutant attitudes does for the fabric of our world we live in and the world for our children's tomorrows to come. Can we not see what we are doing is pathetic and not truly positive at all? Educate yourself in the arts of tolerance, decency, humane behavior and be all you can be so the world can follow your footsteps.

And as for one person dominating conversation, who cares? If they have the time, desire and energy let them expend it on their choice of work. You dont have to read their comments nor do you have to agree with them do you? If you wish to spark debate then debate without the negative perspective, I am sure they would love to read more of your perspectives -- so share them whether we agree with them or not -- its just opinion and perspective of which we all have -- just keep it clean and let the differences we share be the common bond for strength and future growth.

Captain said...

As a followup to the blog right before mine -- i completely agree anonymity is a double edged sword -- what can we do to prevent this though? I dont want somebody hiding behind my hedges either but the only thing we can do is consider the source from which their rantings come and who they are directed at. People are taught to hate -- it rarely if ever comes from simply being born. I also agree that the level of racism and hatred in this country is not dropping as many say -- it is rising and I am afraid the level which it will ultimately reach will be staggering.