Does Conversation Scale?

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

The BBC’s Nick Robinson on the comments left on his blog:

> “So I’m going to be honest with you and I’ve said this before and I’ve upset some people. I don’t read the comments anything like as much as I used to because there is too much static white noise in them and not enough pure feedback. But if we could find a way of having a more thoughtful, less abusive debate via blogs I think that would be a good thing.”
[Via [Mediating Conflict](]
He’s not alone in this observation – many big, high traffic blogs have abandoned comments, employed moderators, or left their comments as a bear pit, because one to many conversation doesn’t scale very well. Forums have been dying under the weight of moderation problems since before blogs were first published.
This is a challenge for mainstream media companies as social media becomes a more central part of what we do, and not just a fringe activity (in fact, I’m in the process of arranging a meeting with one of our titles that is going through the early stages of this issue).
What’s the solution? Community managers? User voting? Enforced registration?
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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.