Ben Smith on His Love-Hate Relationship with Commenters

0913greece Ben Smith on His Love Hate Relationship with CommentersBrian Ries talked to Brooklyn-based political writer Ben Smith, the founder of The Observer’s Politicker blog, about recent trends in the comment section of his blog on Politico. Mr. Smith has thought about getting rid of comments all together. From The Daily Beast:

“Comment sections work best if you have a real community—say a neighborhood or hobbyists or ideological fellow travelers—where people share common interests and care about one another,” says Smith. On a political blog, he says, you have to have “very intense involvement and moderation—and ruthless banning—by the moderator.”

In another email he adds that, to him, the commenters are already gone.

“In truth, I gave up on the comments section,” he says. “It’s not an interesting conversation.”

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President