Collegian Allows Comments… Sort of

The Daily Collegian has begun allowing readers to comment on its blogs. This interaction between writer and reader is standard on most other blogs, OS included.

Reader commenting makes the blog responsible for its content because readers who think a post is questionable can share their opinion and post links to information that substantiates their claim.

Of the blogger, Andrew Sullivan says, in a great piece for The Atlantic titled ‘Why I Blog,‘ that,

He is—more than any writer of the past—a node among other nodes, connected but unfinished without the links and the comments and the track-backs that make the blogosphere, at its best, a conversation, rather than a production.

Collegian Editor-in-Chief Terry Casey agreed with that sentiment in today’s post announcing the Collegian’s new commenting system:

Blogs should be conversational; that’s how we look at it. We look forward to hearing the other side of the conversation.

Very true. Congratulations to the Collegian for realizing this and taking a big step towards greater community involvement, but there is still lots of room for improvement.

In the Collegian’s commenting system, commenters must have a Facebook account. This is interesting because though Facebook is ubiquitous with college students, my guess is that the Collegian also receives web traffic from older alumni who aren’t as likely to have a Facebook.

All blogs have certain measures in place intended to protect the site from malicious or spam commenting, but this Facebook-only approach disenfranchises viewers that aren’t members of that particular social networking website.

And where’s the commenting on news stories? Except for Purdue, every other Big Ten newspaper has commenting on its articles. We checked.

It will be interesting to see how the Collegian adapts to the Internet in the coming years. Will it reduce its print editions? Or maybe it will launch a flagship blog?

We’ll leave you with this observation from The Economist,

Technology hasn’t just changed the demand for newspapers, it’s also changed the supply of information. News used to be an oligopolistic business, now it’s just about perfectly competitive. Barriers to entry are minimal, and plenty of suppliers are happy to provide content at next to nothing. That’s a recipe for a big drop in price, and any organisation built on market power and rents is sure to fail in such an environment.

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Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.


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