Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Jan 2012 23:53 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The last few weeks there's been a considerable amount of chatter on the web about whether or not a news website, blog, or some hybrid thereof, needs comments. Since we are working on the next version of OSNews, which means I've been thinking about things like this a lot, I figured I'd pen down my thoughts on comments.
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Comment Quality Reflects the Readership
by lfeagan on Wed 11th Jan 2012 00:21 UTC
lfeagan
Member since:
2006-04-01

OS News has a couple of factors that make comments useful rather than nuisanceful.

The readership's generally high level of education and maturity ensures that a majority of comments are accurate, on-topic, and free of derogatory remarks.

The number of readers is small, which keeps the comment volume at a level that all can be reasonably read before responding. The small number of readers also limits the financial benefits of targeting osnews.com for spam comments with advertisement/scams. If I were a spammer, I would target a larger site with a more diverse (n00bish/gullible) readership, such as slashdot.

Most articles have between 20 and 100 comments, which is about the upper limit of reasonable. I enjoy being able to read all of the comments and having most be useful. If articles routinely had 2000 comments, I would imagine a pretty high percentage would be rubbish, for a variety of reasons. I might start to think more about eliminating comments under those conditions.

Thanks to Thom, David, and the other OS Newsers comments are useful. Good work.

Reply Score: 21

kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

I totally agree.
Just because comments work on a site with a fairly "mature", educated and focused audience does not mean it can work for some gadget blog with millions of readers, where posts get thousands of comments and the quality can become really Youtube-esque. A tailor made solution might work there too, but the complexity of the problem is a few orders of magnitude more difficult (maybe even next to impossible, surely the no intervention part is)

Reply Parent Score: 4

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I enjoy being able to read all of the comments"


That is why I think it was such a good idea to just have a: "Read more of this thread... >" when a thread gets really long. So you can easily stop reading it if you don't care about that discussion.

Reply Parent Score: 2