Google says having a community and healthy comment section can help with search ranking

Though quite a few news organizations are cutting the comment section, Google’s Gary Illyes says that having a healthy comment section can actually help your search ranking. But this doesn’t mean that comments are the easy way to higher Google rankings: Illyes emphasizes that quality content and good links are ultimately more important to Google […]

‘The dark side of Guardian comments’: Out of its 10 most abused writers, 8 are women and 2 are black men

The Guardian is revamping its comment section, and taking a look at the global phenomenon of online harassment. The Guardian commissioned research into the 70 million comments left on its website since 2006, finding that out of the 10 writers who experience the highest levels of abuse, eight were women and two were black men. […]

The Guardian is changing how it handles comments and asking its readers for feedback

Recognizing that the internet has a problem with harassment and abuse in comment sections, The Guardian is changing how it handles comments. Executive editor Mary Hamilton says the Guardian will implement new procedures to protect staff from abuse, changing the process for new commenters to make them better aware of community guidelines, reviewing its community […]

News organizations should think of comments as a way to uncover new stories

At the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, The Coral Project’s Greg Barber said news organizations should foster online communities. At a time when many news organizations are cutting the comment section, Barber says there’s a strong reason why they should encourage these communities: “Online communities are important to not only augment what has already been […]

A startup called Civil is trying to improve comments for news organizations by crowdsourcing moderation

Civil Comments, a commenting platform based in Portland, is trying to make the comment section on news stories a better place by crowdsourcing moderation. When posting a new comment, commenters are shown two random comments from elsewhere, which they must rate in terms of quality and civility and determine whether they include harassment or personal […]

27 ways to think differently about comments

After outlining dozens of new ways to think of a homepage last year, Melody Kramer is now tackling new ways to think about the comment section. Among the ideas for a more successful comment section: A self-regulated comment section (such as Reddit), allowing users to upvote or downvote individual comments, emoji-based comments (such as Periscopes’ […]

Catch up on what happened at this weekend’s Beyond Comments conference in Boston

At this weekend’s Beyond Comments conference hosted by The Coral Project in Boston, more than 100 journalists gathered to talk about how to create better online communities. Adrienne Debigare rounds up the best tweets and ideas from the event for those who couldn’t attend. Some notable ideas: Commenters are a news organization’s most engaged readers, […]

Digg’s takeaway from launching a new kind of comment section: Comments can be useful, if you put effort into them

Three months after Digg launched Dialog, director of community Veronica de Souza says the comment section does have a future. In its new Dialog feature, journalists or experts on a topic are invited to engage in a conversation with Digg users at a scheduled time. Users can submit questions beforehand, and the conversation with the […]

Toronto Star turns off its comments, and will promote readers’ social media posts instead

The Toronto Star announced Wednesday that it had turned off comments on, but editor Michael Cooke insists that 2016 will be “the year of the reader.” Instead, the Toronto Star wants to get more people talking on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn because it may lead to more meaningful and insightful conversations. […]

The New York Times placed reader comments on the San Bernardino shootings on the top of its homepage

As part of its coverage of the San Bernardino shootings on Thursday, The New York Times prominently highlighted comments from readers by placing them on the top of its homepage. To bring readers into its coverage, NYT asked readers to answer the question: “How often, if ever, do you think about the possibility of a […]