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Dan Gillmor's new site--comment registration


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May 14, 2005

Dan Gillmor's new site--comment registration

Stephen Baker

Just took a first tour of Dan Gillmor's new citizen's media site, Bayosphere. For all of us interested in the point I raised yesterday--whether citizens can provide the reporting society needs--this site is well worth watching.

I registered there to leave comments, and I wondered if that might be the solution to our screened comments policy--which, believe me, is as vexing to us as it is to you. Perhaps if people registered with working e-mail addresses, their comments could go onto our site unfiltered.

I'm not at all sure that my superiors at BW will agree to this. But if you think it's worth pursuing, if the inconvenience of registering once is preferable to the delays that come with screening, leave comments here (which, yes, I'll screen). And if it sounds like a good idea, I'll take it up with the appropriate party on Monday. (Unless she too wants to leave a comment. K? You there?)

08:07 AM

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I think anyone that is really interested will register (once). To me, it's far better then the interruption to the "conversation" that moderation imparts.

Of course, I prefer no registration and no moderation but realize that's probably not in the cards for BW.

Posted by: PXLated at May 14, 2005 10:37 AM

I personally subscribe to 263 web feeds, but comment only on those that either don't require any reqistration, use Blogger (as I do), or use TypeKey authentication. For those requiring site-specific registration, they're spared my comments. If you wish to recieve no more blog comments from me, a BW site-specific password is a great way of shutting me out/off.

I've commented on Dan Gillmor's blog numerous times, but am now unlikely to comment again due to his new registration policy.

Filtering doesn't bother me at all. Registration does.

I'm sure BW's blogs will thrive nicely without any further comments from me, and I certainly recognize your right to reduce your own workload, just as I need to reduce my own workload.

-- Jack Krupansky

Posted by: Jack Krupansky at May 14, 2005 01:22 PM

An alternative is to allow people to register, validate their email address, screen the first comment, and once they have been accepted, then the comments go on the site automatically.

Non registered users should still be able to leave comments, that you would then review before posting.

Posted by: Jeff Clavier at May 14, 2005 01:24 PM

I thing Jeff's idea sounds great. I think it's the best compromise, and no one's the worse for it. (I still can't promise that it'll get the OK)

I just sent Jack K. an e-mail saying that I didn't want to institute a policy that would discourage him (and others) from commenting.

Posted by: steve baker at May 14, 2005 01:45 PM

I usually don't comment at sites that require individual registration. But that's a reasonable thing to do given the problems inherent in comment systems.

Posted by: Clyde Smith at May 14, 2005 02:06 PM

I don't think you should see Registration as a solution. Anyone who really wants to troll your blog is going to troll your blog. They will provide every disposable email address they have to get around your system--however it is set up. On the other hand, you may have people like Mr. Krupansky on your blog who will avoid interacting with the blog due to the registration process. I don't mind registering so you can tie me down to a particular username, but if you ask for personal contact information, I won't register/will provide bogus contact information. "What do you makes you think I'm not an 8 year old girl living in Guam?"

Moderation--whether done by you or by the community like Slashdot, etc--is going to be the best bet you have to provide a filtered forum, but depending on your goals for the blog--you are an extension of your company with its own requirements/demands--it may not be a problem either way.

Posted by: Gaijin at May 14, 2005 02:17 PM

By and large, I think registration is the better solution. If you really want to comment, you won't mind that much, and from a management point of view, it is much simpler than reviewing all comments.

Posted by: Susan Getgood at May 14, 2005 07:48 PM

There's a bigger issue here - comment spam. As long as we provide a sustaining benefit to the spam community, they will continue to use blogs as marketing devices.

I don't like the once-registered process and I don't think it's reasonable to allow anyone to post annonymously on *any* web site. But I think we must also recognize there's not a single solution (or approach) that works for every use-case. The more important issue is recognizing your readership commenting requirements within a specific context.

Indeed, blogs are used for *many* purposes, so there's bound to be different requirements surrounding the issue of comment-openness. The key is understanding the requirements, which is a reflection of customer needs and your business objectives.

Ironically, Jack's comment is good feedback; he's a customer. What Jack may not understand are the deeper business objectives of gathering feedback. Some blogging businesses may view a little friction in the commenting process as valuable (e.g., a way to qualify people that really care enough about what they say to be heard).

BF --

Posted by: Bill French at May 14, 2005 09:45 PM

I like the idea, especially if you could use typekey registration

Posted by: Don Singleton at May 14, 2005 10:02 PM

This is my first blog comment ever - do I get a t-shirt or something? I have heard of blogs but never read much until your article - still trying to get my arms around the idea. I will learn it and very soon - I see some interesting effects or outcomes 1) in the world of "no feedback, no ROI" branded advertising that the big boys sell, well here's the tool to get your feedback and add some accountability to the industry 2) if Microsoft doesn't soon figure out a way to shut off the malware, blogging could overtake the conventional Internet advertising - if you haven't been slammed by hundreds of ads taking over your machine, you haven't been online!!! More later.

Posted by: Hall Brodie at May 14, 2005 11:41 PM

The most effective method I've seen is that Jeff mentioned, moderating comments from brand new people without previously approved comments, keying on name/email. This is built into several tools including WordPress. You would also want common "bad words" in your moderation keys just to catch obviously inappropiate comments.

Posted by: Matt at May 15, 2005 02:42 AM

I'll vote for Jeff's solution, as well. Registering doesn't bother me, but blogspam does.

Posted by: Greg Burton at May 15, 2005 03:27 PM

A registration process only asks

for an email address and password

(and that may force me to decode an image)

is a reasonable way to prevent most

blog spam.

Posted by: Ro K Jeffries at May 18, 2005 11:06 PM

It's your time, so if you'd rather not spend it moderating comments, that's your call.

Here are some other spam-fighting options to consider:

http://www.elise.com/mt/archives/000246concerning_spam.php

Posted by: Harvey at May 18, 2005 11:47 PM

So, the word is that we're going to stick with the status quo. The concern at the magazine is not so much spam as libel. They worry that if we hosted a comment, even briefly, that made a libelous charge, we could suffer the consequences. I don't know the law in this area and wasn't in a position to argue.

Posted by: steve baker at May 19, 2005 07:55 AM

I think it’s a necessary evil. It certainly keeps the junk out.

Posted by: ThePeoplePages.com at June 28, 2006 02:21 PM

best site

Posted by: balaji at July 9, 2006 09:18 AM

Hello,

Freedom of speech means you need to not register, this at the expense of getting spam postings I guess.

Best Wishes

Paul Slinger

(Bristol England)

Posted by: Paul Slinger at December 1, 2006 04:59 AM

I thank you for your comment.

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