North Coast Journal Does Comments
The North Coast Journal looks this week at comments sections to news and other media sites. They seem to hit all the concerns and point out most of us think comments have some sort of purpose.
Even here we get bits of wisdom from commentators, but I find comments generally more useful as entertainment. Hey, it gives me more to read. Some online publications I'd consider to have half the value if they didn't offer space for reader comments. The Lost Coast Outpost comments, for example, being one I take advantage of and find amusement in. I'd still visit the Outpost regularly but would consider it just half of what it is now without comments.
As the Journal points out, sometimes there is much to be learned from comments, although I find that to be infrequent. We've certainly learned a few things from comments posted here over the years, but I find the entertainment value of comments most important.
Some papers have screwed up their comments sections, the first one that comes to mind being the Sacramento Bee. They used to have a comment section that was quite lively. But some- and I think it was more the left leaning folks- complained about who knows what. I don't recall ever seeing anything all that much out of line there and got the impression they just didn't like people questioning global warming or other left wing ideas. Now the Bee's comments are pretty much inactive.
The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat has taken up much of my comment reading time since the Bee's demise. It's usually the same people each day going back and forth with sometimes mild insults, but we all show up there the next day.
The Press- Democrat, though, as with pretty much everything, keeps control of expression on their comments pages. They've done at least a couple hit pieces on e- cigarettes I felt needed rebuttal but they didn't activate comments for those stories. Pretty obvious and shameless behavior in my mind.
So go read the Journal article and make your comments at the bottom. I already left mine. I simply wrote that, due to the subject, someone had to make a comment so I'd be the first. Hey, I'm here to help!