When bad comments happen to good websites

Publishers who permit disrespectful, spammy comments about their stories are discouraging people looking for intelligent conversations and undermining their brands.

They should implement policies, such as moderated comments, to create a more civil discourse.

Econsultancy events

How to manage and curate social media for live events

Today, live events and social media go hand in hand. Get your social media management right and you can enhance the live event experience not just for attendees, but for those watching via Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Social media can contribute to the success of an event, whether it’s a conference, a sports match, or live chat during a TV show.

But with people posting to different channels from all angles, it’s hard to know where to begin managing and curating all that content in order to improve the experience of attendees and viewers, and not swamp them.

Fret not: here’s how to run a tight ship.


Keeping children safe online

Sometimes, those working in and around social media every day can forget just how much many, if not most, of the population may take the internet for granted.

Especially teens and tweens, who, posting from the safety and security of their own bedrooms, can feel free to say, do and broadcast what they like without worrying too much about the consequences.

natural speech

Closing comments: is it ever a good idea?

Is it ever OK to close comments on a blog, Facebook page or online news article?

It’s a question we often hear, particularly from companies who’ve found, for a variety of reasons, that their online communities have been flooded with posts that they simply weren’t prepared for.

2011 saw some high-profile examples of Facebook page owners taking the decision to block comments.

Is the New York Times getting comments right?

November 30th, 2011 was yet another monumental day in digital media history that will swiftly fade from memory: the New York Times changed its comments section. 

In the past few years, while the development of video content, photo galleries, and other interactive features raced ahead, the comments section continued to resemble something from the pre-iPhone days.

No longer! 

Letters Of Note axes comments as trolls take over

Trolls suckI’ve always been slightly bemused by the fact that Seth Godin doesn’t accept comments on his blog.

How can a marketing guru – and Seth has as good a claim to that title as anybody – say no to ‘PIE’, aka participation, interaction and engagement? Audience feedback is a big draw for many readers, and writers should embrace it too.

Maybe it’s the fact that moderating comments has always been a challenge? And that’s putting it politely. I’d be the first to admit that we haven’t yet figured it out. We use the Akismet spam filter but have found it to be rather imprecise. 

Comments are a time sink, no question about it. Manual intervention is still required and there aren’t many short cuts. For some sites, this is now so out of control that drastic action has been required.

Today I noticed that Shaun Usher, the smart chap behind the excellent Letters Of Note, has decided to switch off user comments completely. Why? Because of the trolls.

Is PHD Worldwide the latest agency to commit a social media faux pas?

It’s looking as if global media agency PHD Worldwide should have taken more notice of the old TV adage: “Never work with animals or children”.  

Earlier this month the firm released a video that literally made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Called “We Are The Future”, it starts with a statement, delivered by a teenager: “If you work in marketing then you’d better start upping your game, because you haven’t seen anything like us yet.”

It subsequently features lots of other teens who earnestly play a game of buzzword bingo by spouting phrases like “social graph” and “social APIs” at the beleaguered viewer, thereby making it immediately non-believable (even if, at its core, the video seems reasonably accurate about where things are heading).