Comment management draws lots of comments

Howard FinbergI had a great time doing a Webinar at the Poynter Institute on Thursday with Howard Finberg and a big assist from Elaine Kramer, who manages the Associated Press Managing Editors' Online Credibility Roundtables. Our topic was management of online comments and Michele McLellan has some thoughts about it.

Coincidentially, online comments on the knoxnews.com Web site and the APME Roundtable on Comments are the focus of a long piece by Frank Carlson in Wednesday's edition of Metro Pulse, an alternative and entertainment weekly in Knoxville. Knoxville area blogger Say Uncle has some thoughts about that.

Meanwhile, one of the things we didn't touch on in the seminar, subpoenas for commenter information continues to be part of the continuing story about the murder case and trials that were the focus of the APME Roundtable. News Sentinel Editor Jack McElroy deals with the issues in "Journalism subpoenas can be abusive," "FBI criticizes News Sentinel for disclosing subpoena," and "KNS turns commenter info over to FBI." A topic for a future Poynter Webinar, I'm sure.

(The photo is a somewhat fuzzy picture of Howard Finberg, director of Poynter's News University and who moderated/ran the Webinar. He is shown in Poynter's Studio H.)

Here is a sampling from Twitter of the react to the Webinar:

  • Managing comments on your news site? 1) consider your audience when deciding what to allow/disallow 2) Be as lenient as possible. #nuwebinar -- mattcrist (mattcrist)
  • @amysimons thanks for that hastag info :) #nuwebinar #bp09 -- tvamy (Amy Wood WSPA TV CW)
  • @cfaust it was a great webinar, lots of great advice and tips. You can read all related tweets by following this hashtag #nuwebinar -- CjCastillo (CJ Castillo)
  • RT @mfriesen: Comment sections don't -- kmcdade (Kathleen McDade)
  • I though today's #nuwebinar was one of the more useful webinars I've attended. -- briannepruitt (Brianne Pruitt)
  • RT @amysimons: More bad: Commenters may contact each other, -- slicksean (Sean Kennedy)
  • @richpria: I find commenters often -- tvamy (Amy Wood WSPA TV CW)
  • Hard truth, sometimes: re 2 streams - editorial and comments - editorial must realize how much traffic commenters generate #nuwebinar -- Mudrock (Andy Murdoch)
  • @jacklail: Some of our commenters say stupid stuff. Part of it is entertainment, if that's what they want, it's what it is #bp09 ##nuwebinar -- amysimons (Amy Simons)
  • Pitch reporters on the benefits of engaging with commenters -- finding more info and tips, keeping story on track, having impact #nuwebinar -- jeffsonderman (Jeff Sonderman)
  • Watching NewsU webinar about online comments. Interesting to hear other newspapers are dealing with the same issues we are. #nuwebinar -- CjCastillo (CJ Castillo)
  • @jeffsonderman I like the idea of responding to comments as a more realistic presentation of story. It's an evolving narrative #nuwebinar -- Mudrock (Andy Murdoch)
  • Interactive poll result: Only 32% of outlets have reporters responding to comments. 56% say no time, 14% say they don't want to. #nuwebinar -- jeffsonderman (Jeff Sonderman)
  • Me: A story should be an ongoing discussion center where the reporter stays engaged with commenters, don't just publish and run #nuwebinar -- jeffsonderman (Jeff Sonderman)
  • Scripps reporters have accounts flagged -- cosleia (Heather Meadows)