About Me

  • I'm CEO of Newspeg.com, a social news-sharing platform. I've spent 20 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies. You can read more about me here.

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April 08, 2008

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Comments

Michele McLellan

Mark: I think we had some weird consciousness blip yesterday. I wrote: "It's the engagement, stupid" as the headline for my take on the new online credibility survey @ www.knightdigitalmediacenter.org/leadership_blog/

It's the public's party now and the journalists are still invited. Let's hope more and more will join!

Chris Tolles

Mark:

Yes -- Topix is driving tens of thousands of comments a day on the Tribune network... And if you required registration, there would be, well, a lot less engagement on their sites.

Really, to get massive engagement, you can't burden people with a double authenticated registration process -- it just doesn't work.

The opinions on anonymous commentary go hand in had with not wanting to dirty the hands of journalists with engaging with the hoi polloi.

Journalists that don't engage and news sites that limit commentary to registered users will both be pretty rare in 10 years, would be my bet.

(I'll also point out that Topix is active with 110,000 comments a day across 20k cities and towns every month. Seems like lots of average people like anonymous commentary. Mind you, we have the most sophisticated system around for dealing with people via IP address, so it's hardly the free for all you're purporting here.)

Chris Tolles
CEO Topix

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