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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Scranton Times Changes Their Version of Citizen's Participation

Very recently, the Scranton Times decided to change the way readers could comment stories posted on-line. As someone who enjoyed the comments about as much as I enjoyed the stories, I actually think this is a good idea. Why? Well while some commentators tended to make valid points, many just basically spewed nonsense. Even worse, there was a tendency on the part of some to hi-jack commentator names. This created bizarre circumstances where you would have...

...someone posting as "Doomers" making a comment
...someone else posting as "Doomers" saying the exact opposite of what the first "Doomers" said
...resulting in the first "Doomers" posting as "New and Improved Doomers"

...or nonsense to that effect. Before you knew it you don't know who was saying what.

Yes, some of it was pretty entertaining, but it got old and juvenile real quick. Some of the comments were horribly redundant as well; for example every time I would read a comment by "Margaret" I would say to myself "I get it, you don't like Mayor Doherty and it's all his fault. Can we move on now?". I was secretly hoping maybe she would just once comment in French or Latin, just to mix things up a bit.

"Chris Doherty est un maire horrible."

Anyway, maybe the actual act of having to register with the Disqus service will deter the mentally lazy from even making comments in the first place, which is a good thing.

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