It's the journalism, stupid More from the "on being there" department. Video from inexpensive Flip video cameras rules again in Tennessee church shooting. Previous entry Next entry Comment R. C. Kip July 28, 2008 6:53 PM On-line reader responses (blogs) to a newspaper can be informed and can create a community. Like so many other print journalism’s problems, this one is of its own making. Give up trying to be all things to all people. Do a few things well, skip the rest. Don’t talk down to your readers-use the final consonant, stop talking to “you guys,” cut the size of the paper-you don’t have to be a broadsheet. Hire people who can write a simple declarative sentence. Review all blog comments before posting them, weed out the junk. Apply standards there, too. Want an example. The Wall Street Journal's pre-News Corp Opinion Journal site reviewed and posted wonderful responses to its columns – as many as fifteen or more, as few as two. They were intelligent, informed, constructive, literate, witty, and there was a definite sense of community. Contributor names appeared repeatedly, from all over; Washington state, London, Costa Rica, Jerusalem, Chicago, and upstate NY, you name it. Responses were screened, sometimes you made the cut, sometimes you didn’t. Sadly, the Opinion Journal looks like most other sites today; cluttered with no focus, with a myriad of “reader responses,” few if any of which are worth reading. Try it. It can work.