Reynolds Fellow says Facebook comments shouldn't be outsourced

Source Gigaom on August 18, 2011 0 Comments Ideas
Joy Mayer, Engagement, RJI, Reynolds Journalism Institute
"Handing comments over to Facebook is a double-edged sword," Gigaom, August 18, 2011.

When Facebook launched the ability to embed Facebook comments on third-party websites, a lot of publishers saw it as a life-saver: not only would it improve traffic by exposing their content to others on the social network, but Facebook’s “real names” policy would also cut down on trolling and bad behavior. And some newspaper and media sites have seen a big traffic boost from implementing Facebook comments — including several that were profiled in a recent post at the Poynter Institute, such as the Los Angeles Times, which has credited Facebook with improving its web results. But it’s worth remembering that Facebook is not the cure for bad comments, and that handing over comments means relinquishing control over something important.

Mentioned later in the article is 2010-2011 Reynolds Fellow Joy Mayer:

As Reynolds Journalism Fellow Joy Mayer noted in her recent report on newsroom engagement, which I wrote about earlier, interacting with readers is a crucial element of what publishers have to do now, and she encourages newspapers and other media outlets to require that writers “own” the comments on the stories they write. She also notes — as we have in the past — that one of the best ways to improve the quality of your comments is to engage with readers in them, not to outsource them to someone else.

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