How to microblog in high heels

A geek girl's guide to social media and online engagement

Posts Tagged ‘commenting

The bottom half of the internet: The counter-attack to the war on online comments

Disclaimer: This post was first drafted on 6 September 2012 in response to the Telegraph article mentioned. It was then put to one side and redrafted on 22 October 2012 in response to Ben Whitelaw’s great piece on the value of comments, then put aside again for a few months. I now feel it’s finally time to hit ‘publish’ after hearing Rob Manuel’s talk at The Story conference 2013.

Rounding up a great day of speakers who highlighted the importance of narrative, emotion, feeling, playfulness and passion in storytelling – Manuel ended with a face slap of an argument against the columnists and online haters who are currently staging a ‘war on comments’ on newspaper sites, and a ‘war on trolls’. Manuel’s brilliantly executed argument – which he has written out in full on his blog – left me feeling now was the time to publish this piece and rewrite my call to action at the end. Some of the examples are contextually relevant to the various times of writing.

There is currently a war on comments. The ‘bottom half of the internet’ – the place where the regular general public go to spew hate and bile into cyberspace (or so certain people are led to believe) below the untouchable ‘above the line’ prose of columnists and real-life paid journalists is being attacked from all sides. New headlines emerge staging a ‘war on trolls‘ and tweets urge you not to read the bottom half of the internet.

This war has been building up over the last two years. Engadget announced in 2010 they were switching off comments forever, Nick Denton announced plans to reinvigorate comments on Gawker by hiding the filth and floating quality to the top, and then Helen Lewis attacked online commenters on the New Statesman, which was followed by this great post ‘in defence of online comments‘ from James Ball. Only in the last month, Tech Crunch switched back from Facebook comments after realising real names really don’t make much of a difference, only to be swamped by more ‘trolls’ and baddies.

Respected journalist Paul Carr was tweeting about the horrendous comments on a news story about a journalist who died, followed by another attack on comments from the Telegraph’s Mic Wright entitled ‘Comments are the radioactive waste of the Web,’ which Mic actually said he could write a book about. Wright’s piece is a more considered and genuinely interesting unpicking of the value of comments which, for the first time in a while, led me to feel I would like to contribute my meagre two pence to the discussion. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

February 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Autumn update: #cmLDN changes and Community Clinics

After a rather long summer break, and with the lovey Elana Zak off to dazzle the world of social media in the States, the cmLDN steering group met this Autumn to discuss going forward with our regular meetup group.

One of the things which we found difficult in our first year was organisation – as busy communities people it wasn’t always easy to find time to arrange venues, speakers and plan meetups around a theme. So with our new steering group recruit Rich Moynihan, we took time to think about what we wanted from a meetup group for community managers in London.

This took me back to days organising the Cardiff bloggers meetups with Ed Walker – which usually attracted about 40 bloggers each month from Cardiff and beyond to chat, drink, share notes and experiences and enrich the blogging community online with face to face gatherings. Part of the reason this worked, I think, was because most of the ‘talks’ were from the bloggers themselves – sharing experiences on a topic in an informal and friendly way. There were many other reasons this group was popular but I think this was one of them.

CmLDN meetup. Photo: Marika Kochiashvili via Twitter

Much like the bloggers in Cardiff, community managers and editors in London tend to work pretty remotely and detached from others parts of the company – often dealing alone with various problems and issues which arise in their communities. So coming together to share ideas, problems and tactics is really important and will develop and increase the quality community management in London and beyond.

So the meetups are being reconfigured to be for community managers about community management – with informal meetings in homes and pubs and the focus on sharing experiences and ideas in an informal, off the record format. Some of the most interesting discussions we had at the meetups in the last year where when a number from the group started to pitch in and a debate began.

We’re moving our organising platform to Facebook (the group is here) and off meetup.com – so hopefully we can have more conversation, link sharing and interaction between meetups – we’ll announce dates and venues on the events page of this group. If you’re a community manager in London, or work with online communities in some way please do request to join the group and get involved! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by hrwaldram

October 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm