Friday, May 23, 2008

The Union Newspaper vs the Commenting Readers

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The Union newspaper in Grass Valley California has had an active core of commentors over the last couple of months. The software they were using was clunky, but it did offer the abiltiy to see what the most recent comments were. This element was key in getting live wore discussions and debates going. They have now introduced a "new and improve coke" which lacks this feature.

Many of us have asked to have the feature restored, but to no avail. I've finally made a post that make s it clear we are not happy campers. Here it is:

"Powered by Pluck

A bit of research reveals that this is no fly by night company, and that The Union can certainly ask for "most recent comments" and get it, IF The Union wants it. Pluck has even designed a an online debating software for the Economist, as well as full fledged forums, with all the kinds of interactivity I'm sure Union posters would enjoy.

Bottom line here may be "page views." Advertising revenue is determined by the number of page views, and the more we have to search, the more page views we rack up. It's like the mouse click farms in India, which used to drive up revenues for Google and Yahoo. Sometimes competitors would hire them to cost the other side for "page views." Amount of page views from me will soon drop to ZERO if this isn't fixed.

Also, I'd look into setting up forum software that references The Union articles without violating laws, and then allows for full featured discussions. Web 2.0 is Here. Your users ARE interactive and not oblivious to the technologies and marketing strategies involved.

1 comment:

Anna said...

I still can't see the comment pages beyond p.1, on their site. Am I doing something wrong?

And have you seen any sign of RSS feeds over there?

The "3rd-party-site commenting community" idea is a good one, but it would need a moderator. Do you know anyone(s) with good judgement who'd be willing to volunteer?

(me, I fear I'd be a little too delete-happy...)