Nieman has a little post about the New York Times’ new approach to comments, which incorporates some structured discussion questions/prompts. I think it’s a great idea, and it’s one that we built—albeit in more one-size-fits-all, rudimentary ways—into the original features for GigaOM Pro. Our motivation, like theirs, was to provide a comments section that was an additional feature, rather than a discussion thread. It was my perspective then, as now, that general discussion belongs in an open social forum, not behind a paywall, because you invite voices from outside the community, drawing in new readers and adding more grist to the mill. Providing a structured “comments” thread gives you, as a publisher, to do something different that drives “reader engagement” in new ways. I hope to see the New York Times show us some new examples of what that looks like.
Published by Celeste LeCompte
Freelance writer based in San Francisco and Guangzhou, China. Writing about innovation and the environment. View all posts by Celeste LeCompte