If you let commenters go after your reporters, it hurts your credibility with other readers


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Newsrooms: When you let your readers attack your reporters in the comments — U R SO BIAS YOU STUPID LIBTARD #FAKENEWS — does it impact your journalists’ credibility in the eyes of other readers? How about your organization’s credibility? Yep and yep. But at least it’s not worse for your female journalists than for your male ones — attacks in the comments hurt everybody’s perceived credibility. That’s the finding of a new paper out this week in Information, Communication & Society by LSU’s Kathleen Searles, Augusta University’s Sophie Spencer, and Louisiana-Monroe’s Adaobi Duru. There is now a broad base of scholarly evidence (and an even broader base of anecdotal evidence) that women publishing online tend to face more abuse than men — whether they’re reporters, bloggers, or social media users. So the researchers were initially interested in seeing if that disproportionate abuse would lead to a disproportionate impact Continue reading "If you let commenters go after your reporters, it hurts your credibility with other readers"

“Did you even READ the piece?” This startup wants to make that question obsolete for commenters


This post is by Christine Schmidt from Nieman Lab


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Let’s be honest: Are you going to read this or skim this? In a land of feeds, tidbits, and bullet points, readers don’t often get to the end of a piece — let alone absorb each sentence along the way. But what if you couldn’t comment until you actually read the whole piece? (We see you moving toward that close-the-tab button — hold on.) What if there was a gauge in your browser bar recording and showing you how much you’d read of a piece? Would you — or your readers — read more thoroughly? That’s the schtick of ReallyRead.It, a startup finishing up Matter’s eighth cohort and developed by Bill Loundy and Jeff Camera. The pair, buddies since preschool with experience in the startup world, were frustrated by the unproductive comments sections they saw attached to news articles. So they decided to create a mechanism for
Continue reading "“Did you even READ the piece?” This startup wants to make that question obsolete for commenters"

The Atlantic is killing its comments in favor of a new Letters section to showcase reader feedback


This post is by Ricardo Bilton from Nieman Lab


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TheAtlantic.com pulled the plug on comments on Friday, but it’s replacing them with something that it hopes will be a major improvement for both its commenters and non-commenting readers. Modeled after how it manages The Conversation section of the print magazine, The Atlantic will regularly publish reader feedback on TheAtlantic.com in its new Letters section. A team of staffers on the print and digital sides will read the letters, choosing the ones with the most interesting and challenging ideas. Many will be published individually and will get the same design and editorial as regular TheAtlantic.com articles, with illustrations and placement on the site’s homepage and social channels. Adrienne LaFrance, editor of TheAtlantic.com, said that the move is designed to elevate the smartest feedback from its readers, both by incentivizing more thought-out responses over knee-jerk reactions and by making it easier for others to read them Continue reading "The Atlantic is killing its comments in favor of a new Letters section to showcase reader feedback"

What Makes a Community?


This post is by Jeff Jarvis from BuzzMachine


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Facebook wants to build community. Ditto media. Me, too.

But I fear we are all defining and measuring community too shallowly and transiently. Community is not conversation — though that is a key metric Facebook will use to measure its success. Neither is community built on content: gathering around it, paying attention to it, linking to it, or talking about it — that is how media brands are measuring engagement. Conversation and content are tools or byproducts of real community.

Community means connecting people intimately and over time to share interests, worldviews, concerns, needs, values, empathy, and action. Facebook now says it wants to “prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people.” I think that should be meaningful, lasting, and trusting interactions among people, plural. Think of community not as a cocktail party (or drunken online brawl) where friends and strangers idly chat. Instead, think of community a club

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Opinary Case Study: How to Ask More Engaging Questions


This post is by Simon Galperin from MediaShift


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Opinary leverages a process as old as time (asking questions) with the theory that people have opinions more often than they have comments. We’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a good question. The definition of good? One that makes the audience (ourselves and you included) want to answer. The platform we use to ask those questions is Opinary’s primary product: a polling widget with an average engagement rate of 18 percent. That’s about one in five people leaving their opinion where one in 100 leave a comment. Here’s an example from PRI: Last year, two extraordinary Opinary interns, Rosemarie Foulger and Matthew Baughman, examined 1.2 million opinions shared on 923 Opinary polls. Using a variety of statistical methods, especially Genetic Matching, Rosemarie and Matthew reported causal links between the features of Opinary polls and rates of engagement. Here’s what they learned.

What type of opinions the audience
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With its new Reader Center, The New York Times wants to forge deeper connections with its readers


This post is by Ricardo Bilton from Nieman Lab


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When it comes to hearing from readers, The New York Times wants to go a lot further than just letting people chime in at the bottom of some articles. Last week, the newspaper announced The New York Times Reader Center, a new initiative focused on finding new ways to connect with Times readers and deepening the connections it already has. The team, whose “exact size is still taking shape,” according to a Times spokesperson, will be staffed by a handful of journalists who will work with various Times departments — including interactive news, social, and even marketing and branding — on various reader-centered projects. “Our agenda is not for our little team to make a splash. Our agenda is for The New York Times to have stronger connections with readers,” said Hanna Ingber, an editor on the international desk and the project’s lead. “In order for us to Continue reading "With its new Reader Center, The New York Times wants to forge deeper connections with its readers"

Must Reads in Media & Technology: June 14


This post is by Bianca Fortis from MediaShift


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Must Reads is MediaShift’s daily curation of the big stories about media and technology from across the web. Sign up here to get these delivered right to your inbox.

The New York Times, with a little help from automation, is aiming to open up most articles to comments


This post is by Shan Wang from Nieman Lab


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The New York Times’ strategy for taming reader comments has for many years been laborious hand curation. Its community desk of moderators examines around 11,000 individual comments each day, across the 10 percent of total published articles that are open to commenting. For the past few months, the Times has been testing a new tool from Jigsaw — Google parent Alphabet’s tech incubator — that can automate a chunk of the arduous moderation process. On Tuesday, the Times will begin to expand the number of articles open for commenting, opening about a quarter of stories on Tuesday and shooting for 80 percent by the end of this year. (Another partner, Instrument, built the CMS for moderation.) “The bottom line on this is that the strategy on our end of moderating just about every comment by hand, and then using that process to show readers what kinds of content Continue reading "The New York Times, with a little help from automation, is aiming to open up most articles to comments"

How The Washington Post plans to use Talk, The Coral Project’s new commenting platform


This post is by Joseph Lichterman from Nieman Lab


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It was late April and the staff of the Coral Project was “on tenterhooks” as The Washington Post was conducting its first public test of Talk, the project’s new commenting platform, Andrew Losowsky recalled recently. The Washington Post — which launched the Coral Project along with The New York Times, Mozilla, and the Knight Foundation to improve communities around journalism — invited about 30 commenters who were active on its Capital Weather Gang blog to try out the platform and offer feedback. The callout attracted more than 130 comments, which included Post staffers probing commenters for more details and specifics, and additional reactions submitted through a form and email. “We were expecting people to be quite negative,” said Losowsky, the project lead. “Initial change isn’t something that people tend to welcome. It looks a bit different, it has a few different features, and the responses we got were actually
Continue reading "How The Washington Post plans to use Talk, The Coral Project’s new commenting platform"

A falta de civismo na Internet não vai melhorar tão cedo


This post is by Joseph Lichterman from Nieman Lab


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A qualidade do discurso público na Internet não vai melhorar e até pode piorar na próxima década, de acordo com um inquérito publicado pelo Pew Research Center, que convidou a oito mil peritos em tecnologia, académicos, empresários e responsáveis políticos a responder. Dos 1537 participantes, 42% disseram que não antecipavam “nenhuma mudança significativa” nos níveis de trolling online e outros comportamentos nocivos que se encontram na Internet. Outros 39% disseram que a próxima década será “mais marcada” por este tipo de comportamentos online. “Os inquiridos expressaram várias opiniões, incluindo preocupação profunda, desilusão, resignação e optimismo, mas a maioria concordou que as pessoas – no seu melhor e no seu pior – ganham poder com as tecnologias de comunicação em rede”, escreveram os autores do estudo. “Alguns dos participantes disseram que as discussões hostis e a manipulação estratégica do zeitgeist podem estar apenas no início, a não ser que se Continue reading "A falta de civismo na Internet não vai melhorar tão cedo"

A New Newsroom Metric: Reading People’s Minds


This post is by Simon Galperin from MediaShift


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This guest post was originally published on Medium. OK, sort of. Newsrooms already try to read people’s minds but don’t have objective metrics for it. From the start of the editorial process (what does “the audience” want/need?) to the analysis of the results (why don’t they scroll to the bottom?), it’s a guessing game as to what users are thinking. But there’s a new way to bridge that gap and measure audience opinion like never before. I’ll get to that below. First, let me tell you about monkeys.

Your Audience is Human

Believe it or not, I know a thing or two about monkeys.

I spent August of 2013 studying primatology in Kenya. One of the key debates in primatology is around anthropomorphization, or ascribing human attributes to the animal you’re studying. One side of the debate goes so far as to say that a primate in the wild
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By Measuring Millions of Opinions, Opinary Wants to Reinvent Comments, Engagement


This post is by Tim Cigelske from MediaShift


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“Don’t read the comments.” That warning has become a familiar refrain for news sites, leading some publishers to bury the section or eliminate commenting entirely. But ignoring public reader feedback misses a key opportunity for engagement. That problem represents an opportunity for Opinary, an audience engagement and insights platform that aims to reinvent the comments section. Opinary has its own newsroom that creates editorial polls, which can then be integrated into a news site in place of comments. Behind the scenes, a data science team tracks the opinions of more than 25 million monthly users and reflects their results to publishers and readers. Currently, Opinary has partnerships in Europe with The Times, The Independent, Huffington Post and others. In January, Simon Galperin joined Opinary as their U.S. head of growth. His goal: to identify how to maximize social impact in coordination with publishers and journalism networks like the Institute for Nonprofit News, Solutions Journalism
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This site is “taking the edge off rant mode” by making readers pass a quiz before commenting


This post is by Joseph Lichterman from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Two weeks ago, NRKbeta, the tech vertical of the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, published an explainer about a proposed new digital surveillance law in the country.

Digital security is a controversial topic, and the conversation around security issues can become heated. But the conversation in the comments of the article was respectful and productive: Commenters shared links to books and other research, asked clarifying questions, and offered constructive feedback.

The team at NRKbeta attributes the civil tenor of its comments to a feature it introduced last month. On some stories, potential commenters are now required to answer three basic multiple-choice questions about the article before they’re allowed to post a comment. (For instance, in the digital surveillance story: “What does DGF stand for?”)

The goal is to ensure that the commenters have actually read the story before they discuss it.

“We thought we should do our part to Continue reading "This site is “taking the edge off rant mode” by making readers pass a quiz before commenting"

This tool from Google parent Alphabet tries to tackle “toxic” comments through machine learning


This post is by Joseph Lichterman from Nieman Lab


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Jigsaw, the technology incubator within Google’s parent company Alphabet, released a new tool Thursday that uses aims to improve publishers’ comment sections by using machine learning to identify “toxic” comments — defined as “a rude, disrespectful, or unreasonable comment that is likely to make you leave a discussion.” The tool is called Perspective, and Jigsaw is testing it with The New York Times, The Guardian, The Economist, and Wikipedia. Other outlets can request access to Perspective’s API. In a Medium post, Jigsaw president Jared Cohen explained how Perspective works:
Perspective reviews comments and scores them based on how similar they are to comments people said were “toxic” or likely to make someone leave a conversation. To learn how to spot potentially toxic language, Perspective examined hundreds of thousands of comments that had been labeled by human reviewers. Each time Perspective finds new examples of potentially
Continue reading "This tool from Google parent Alphabet tries to tackle “toxic” comments through machine learning"

Must Reads in Media & Technology: Jan. 13


This post is by Kelly O'Mara from MediaShift


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Must Reads is MediaShift’s daily curation of the big stories about media and technology from across the web. Sign up here to get these delivered right to your inbox.

1. As Trump Berates News Media, a New Strategy Is Needed to Cover Him (Jim Rutenberg / New York Times)

  1. C-Span Online Broadcast Interrupted by Russian Network (Jonah Engel Bromwich / New York Times)
  2. Trolls Decided I Was Taking Pictures of Rex Tillerson’s Notes. I Wasn’t Even There. (Doris Truong / Washington Post)

  3. Google Quietly Removes “Fake News” Language From Its Advertising Policy (Brennan Suen and Tyler Cherry / Media Matters)

  4. Commenters Say They Want Journalists and Experts to Join Them in the Comments (Shan Wang / Nieman Lab)

6. Report: Video Isn’t as Popular With Viewers As It Is With Advertisers (Ben Mullin / Poynter)  

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Commenters say they want journalists and experts to join them in the comments


This post is by Shan Wang from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




For all the easy talk of garbage fires and troll-infested swamps, most commenters who read and weigh in on news stories online appear to want company — from reporters and experts who can offer answers to factual questions. This is according to a large survey of readers across 20 U.S. news organizations, from print to broadcast to digital-only, produced jointly by the Engaging News Project at the University of Texas and The Coral Project and published on Thursday.1 (The survey received more than 12,000 responses.) On average, 81 of commenters at the news sites included in the report said they’d like it if reporters clarified factual questions in the comment section; that percentage varied between 71 percent and 87 percent across the sites surveyed. In addition, an average of 73 percent of respondents said they wanted “experts” on topics covered in a news article to weigh in
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Must Reads in Media & Technology: Jan. 12


This post is by Kelly O'Mara from MediaShift


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Must Reads is MediaShift’s daily curation of the big stories about media and technology from across the web. Sign up here to get these delivered right to your inbox.

1. Trump Pits His Staff Against the Media (Annie Karni / Politico)

  1. Room for Debate: Was BuzzFeed Right to Publish Accusations Against Donald Trump? (Tom Scocca and Kelly McBride / New York Times)

  2. Introducing: The Facebook Journalism Project (Fidji Simo / Facebook)

  3. Facebook is Censoring Posts in Thailand That the Government Has Deemed Unsuitable (TechCrunch)

  4. Read These Comments: We’re Launching a Newsletter Dedicated to the Best Reader Comments (Teddy Amenabar / Washington Post)

6. Techdirt’s First Amendment Fight For Its Life (Mike Masnick / Techdirt)  

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The post Must Reads in Media & Technology: Jan. 12 appeared first on MediaShift.

Please Read: Mediaite’s Commenting Guidelines


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mediaite-larger-2
Note: Our email address for sending complaints is moderator@mediaite.comPlease do not send to tips@mediaite.com or anonymously. This is the only email address we will accept comment complaints. One of the worst jobs here at Mediaite is the constant combing of comments for personal attacks, trolling, and unsavory missives. It’s a waste of time that can be alternately disheartening and disgusting. If you’re reading this site, we’re going to assume you’re smart enough to know what types of comments cross the line. But here’s a refresher: Personal attacks towards our editors/writers, other commenters, and racist or otherwise discriminatory rants against media and political figures that are childish, unseemly, and wholly in bad taste. Such posts will not be tolerated. Want to prove your argument is the best? Don’t suggest that a commenter has any parts of Donald Trump‘s anatomy in his mouth; don’t suggest our writer Continue reading "Please Read: Mediaite’s Commenting Guidelines"

Please Read: Mediaite’s Commenting Guidelines


This post is by from Mediaite


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Note: Our email address for sending complaints is moderator@mediaite.comPlease do not send to tips@mediaite.com or anonymously. This is the only email address we will accept comment complaints. One of the worst jobs here at Mediaite is the constant combing of comments for personal attacks, trolling, and unsavory missives. It’s a waste of time that can be alternately disheartening and disgusting. If you’re reading this site, we’re going to assume you’re smart enough to know what types of comments cross the line. But here’s a refresher: Personal attacks towards our editors/writers, other commenters, and racist or otherwise discriminatory rants against media and political figures that are childish, unseemly, and wholly in bad taste. Such posts will not be tolerated. Want to prove your argument is the best? Don’t suggest that a commenter has any parts of Donald Trump‘s anatomy in his mouth; don’t suggest our writer Continue reading "Please Read: Mediaite’s Commenting Guidelines"

When are comments sections of news sites worth keeping alive? What are some options for taming them?


This post is by Shan Wang from Nieman Lab


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Comments sections aren’t always doomed to be garbage, but many need constant care to avoid that fate. One news site after another has given up on commenting altogether in the past year. (Meanwhile, comments are still coming in on our year-old roundup of what happened after seven news organizations got rid of comments.) But at least among the organizations surveyed by WAN-IFRA for its latest Global Report on Online Commenting, comments sections have been kept intact. Eighty-two percent of those sites still allow commenting, and 53 percent of organizations surveyed believe that comments sections contribute “to the debate” and “provide ideas and input for future stories.” WAN-IFRA worked with a total of 78 organizations across 46 countries for the report. wanifra-comments-chart1 First, the bad news. Unsurprisingly, most organizations (65 percent) reported that their journalists were subject to online trolling, with opinion pieces often generating the most comments. Sensitive
wanifra-comments-mosttopic
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