July 19, 2012
Guidelines for user comments on news stories

Reporters, editors and others involved in the news industry know that reader comments can often be a blessing and a curse. News orgs have taken several different approaches to reining in the dregs of online commenters while highlighting the valuable, important reader feedback that appears below stories.

My paper, the Bangor Daily News, has a pretty awesome, casual list of guidelines for user comments. I hadn’t read them in a while, and had forgotten how no-nonsense they are. I just thought I’d share.

The primary rule here is pretty simple: Treat others with the same respect you’d want for yourself. Here are some guidelines:

It should be noted this is not a comprehensive list.

  • Don’t insult one another or the subjects of BDN stories. You may be ticked off at what someone did or said, but you can explain that without resorting to name-calling or obscenity. Remember that young people are on this site too.
  • That nasty line that makes your buddies go “haw, haw”? You’re better than that.
  • Comments should be your own work, not copied and pasted from elsewhere, though brief quoted passages to make your point are fine. And please don’t use all capital letters. There’s no need to shout.
  • Stay focused on the issue in the article. Off-topic posts will be deleted.
  • This isn’t a forum to chat about your personal life.
  • Some ideas — the fate of the earth, abortion, gun control, the nature of God — aren’t going to be resolved in a reader forum, so no need to get frustrated if others don’t see your point of view. State your position once and leave it at that.
  • If you mouse over each comment you will see a “Flag” button. Please use it if you feel comments on the site are out of line. Quite often, we won’t see a comment until it’s reported.
  • Questions about why a comment was — or wasn’t — deleted? E-mail us at web@bangordailynews.com and let us know your username and where you posted or saw the comment.
That’s about it: Stick to writing about the stories; be civil; be kind; enlighten your neighbors. And we’ll keep moderating posts to try to ensure everyone meets those standards.

November 2, 2011


The Life Cycle of a Web Page on StumbleUpon

Via Cool Infographics:

Designed by Column Five Media, the infographic focuses on the half-life of a link and the length of time users view pages and interact with StumbleUpon.  This information shows that the half-life of a StumbleUpon link is much longer than other social media sites that were shared by bit.ly in September.

Select the images to embeggin.

The StumbleUpon blog has the full graphic with additional interesting bits.

(Source: futurejournalismproject)

July 18, 2011
"Social media has no understanding of anything aside from the connections between individuals and the ceaseless flow of time: No beginnings, and no endings. These disparate threads of human existence alternately fascinate and horrify that part of the media world that grew up on topic sentences and strong conclusions. This world of old media is like a giant steampunk machine that organizes time into stories. I call it the Epiphanator, and it has always known the value of a meaningful conclusion. The Epiphanator sits in midtown Manhattan and clunks along, at Condé Nast and at the Times and in Rockefeller Center. Once a day it makes a terrible grinding noise and spits out newspapers and TV shows. Once a week it spits out weeklies and more TV shows. Once a month it produces glossy magazines. All too often it makes movies, and novels."

— Paul Ford, Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?

July 17, 2011
"It turns out it has a lot of different facets, because while there’s many people doing stupid narcissistic things, that gets you to use it on a regular basis and it gets you familiar with it. But then when you see an accident, you’re trained to tweet that you’ve just seen an accident, and suddenly that’s a useful piece of information. Whereas, if we told you that this was a program only for reporting accidents, you’d never think of it."

— Biz Stone, speaking on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” about how narcissism works for Twitter.

December 10, 2010

While I still think it is very important for journalists to use Twitter, the following facts must be emblazoned on the brains of media Twitterati:

* Twitter represents a very small group of people in your area.
* Being popular on Twitter doesn’t necessarily make one popular or important in real life.
* Re-tweets, replies and Twitter referrals do not adequately represent the larger interest in or importance of your work as a journalist.
* Most people that use Twitter don’t use it to get news.


There’s a whole Internet outside of Twitter, so don’t forget it

11:19am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZSzG0y218Obe
Filed under: Twitter Internet 
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