[IMC-pgh-discuss] proposal for saturday meeting
mtoups at andrew.cmu.edu
mtoups at andrew.cmu.edu
Sat Jan 3 00:35:57 PST 2004
I won't be able to attend today's meeting, but here
are some thoughts to consider:
I think that the implication of this proposal is that
there is a problem with the comment feature of our
website. Specifically, that the wonderful positive
contribution that people make when the post stories
or media can be overshadowed by negative, non-productive
and often intentionally disruptive comments. It
is clear that many of the people participating in
this have no interest or intention to share our
group's goals which Andy articulates well. The
fact that these people do not share our mission
is OK, but if/when it gets to the point where their
actions are actively impeding our mission, it
becomes time to talk about what actions (if any)
we need to take. Then we need to evaluate
if those actions are truly necessary and
evaluate how effective they may be.
andy has proposed one minor change that will not be
difficult to implement nor will it negatively
impact the users who are participating in a
positive way. at the same time it may not
really make a huge difference -- the disruptors
clearly have lots of spare time at their various
jobs and have no problem using that time to find
ways to act obnoxious even if we don't give them
a convenient link for it. (also, i'll point out
that it is always possible to see recent comments
via the search interface)
I do support Andy's proposal and applaud him
for writing it out before the meeting to allow for
consideration by meeting attendees as well as participation
for people unable to attend. However I would also like
to see the larger questions of the "comment problem" addressed,
as I'm not sure that the proposed changes fully address
what's going on.
* Should the editorial collective be more pro-active in controlling
- unlikely -- requires too many judgement calls
editors won't want to make, is far too labor intensive, and only
encourages fake red-herring cries of "censorship" to further disruption.
however other suggestions on how we can make technical changes
to limit problematic comments would be welcome. ideas?
* Should comments be abolished entirely?
- this would be very
effective in bringing the focus of the site back to the open
publishing of media related to our community -- instead of as
a forum for mudslinging, for which the site was never intended.
however this also removs significant functionality from the
site which many will see as a significant loss. still, i
partially think that if we stop expecting the newswire to
serve as a discussion board and instead see it as a place
for publishing media, we won't miss comments.
* Should we ignore this issue and focus on more important
- perhaps the best way to deal with these comments
is to drown them out by producing more quality content to
drown out the noise. also, we give the disruptors what they
want, in a way, by expending energy dealing with them, and
we also risk making the problem worse by drawing attention
to it and inviting controversy.
So in the end I hope this proposal results in some useful
discussion about where we want this organization and website
to go, and how we want to make that happen. We've finally
finished a long project in upgrading many aspects of the
website (server, software, design & layout) so now would be
a good time to start talking about where to go in the future.
Also appropriate given the new year.
ps - minor technical note -- we should probably amend
this proposal to both remove the link from the front
page, as well as eliminate comment_latest.php since
it contains the links to active flamewars and may
be bookmarked or otherwise still be used.
On Thu, 1 Jan 2004, andybot wrote:
> hey all
> a proposal i'll be bringing up at the meeting saturday. read and respond,
> esp if you cant make the meeting! (i anticipate not coming to a final
> decision at the meeting, but discussing and then setting a date for a
> final decision)
> -- I propose that the "latest comments" link on the indypgh.org website be
> The "latest comments" section does not fit with the IMC's dual
> mission of empowering people to produce media and distributing news that
> is poorly covered by the mainstream media. These purposes are, I feel,
> undermined by the argumentation that results from "latest comments" being
> a sorting option. I feel that the main use of the "latest comments"
> page--allowing viewers to see late updates to news stories on the
> newswire--can be made up for fairly easily. If a poster makes a comment to
> a story that is still on the front page newswire, it will be easily
> visible. If not, an important update can simply be made as a new story.
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