Here’s my talk to Jeff Pulver’s 140Conf today on comments and interactivity, in which I argue that comments are an insult because they come only after media think they’re done creating a product, which they then allow the public to react to.
I defended comments on news sites for many years. But I think we have to move past them to true collaboration, which is more respectful and productive. There is no easy solution for civility, not identity or rating systems.
By coincidence, this appears at the same time that the New York Times publishes a story about the problems with comments, in which I suggest to the author — whose interview with me inspired my post — is often a matter of expectations: When we look at the internet as a medium, we expect it to look like media: packaged and clean. But when we realize that the internet is a place, like New York, then it’s less shocking to hear some bozo on a corner muttering “shit.”