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Discourse

People seem to like it, reasoned or not:

The newspaper was investing time and resources generating stories, but these other sites, run mostly as a hobby, were linking to those stories and moving the conversation about the articles elsewhere.

There was a point at which KnoxViews was really taking off, McElroy says, and it concerned me as I thought, Is the nexus of community dialogue going to be shifting away from the News Sentinel to an Internet forum, and what does that mean for our future?

KnoxViews hadand continues to havean openly progressive tilt, so to forfeit the lions share of community dialogue to a site driven by a particular set of political and social values could have marginalized a great many other community voices; or it may have run them into their own respective realms, creating echo chambers of like-minded people rather than a Darwinian common ground where the best ideas survive.

So when the Sentinel relaunched its site in 2007, it linked comments to usernames and allowed them for every article. The effect was palpable. Randy Neal, founder of KnoxViews, says he immediately noticed an exodus from his site to the News Sentinels; with the help of some contentious local issues, before long knoxnews.com was hosting nearly 50,000 comments a month. The crisis of irrelevance had been averted.

Interesting. A forum was a threat to the local news rag. The local news rag opens comments and that impacts the forum’s traffic. Of course, about two years ago, was also when Knoxviews decided that dissent would not be tolerated. I find that funny.

One Response to “Discourse”

  1. Wanda Says:

    In 1998, I posted on the New York Times forums, so guess who doesn’t have a forum anymore?

    Footnote: The NYT was fine with dissent. They would ban for person insults. The big problem was that several people started gettng into HTML and programming tricks and they were able to overwhelm the NYT software. So now, no forums. Boo hoo. 🙁 I really liked their forums.