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Comments are gaining celebrity status

October 2nd, 2007Posted by in Online Journalism

Interesting piece on NYTimes.com looking at the rising fame of people who leave comments on blogs and websites:

There are those who have blogs. Then there are those who leave comments on other people’s blogs, sometimes lots and lots of comments, sometimes nasty, clever, brilliant, monumentally stupid or filthy comments.

While some, the article points out, devote themselves solely to commenting because they prefer to react than write their own blog, others use comments to seed a wider readership for their work.

A competitive trend is being nurtured amongst ‘commenters’ by sites like Gawker, on which editors select the best comments of the week and remove commenting privileges from those users who are judged to be ‘unclever’.

This is certainly one way of sifting comments that could be beneficial: shedding those which are irrelevant or harbour unwarranted vitriol against the writer or topic.

(Talking of how the quest for cleverness can lead to piffle, part of this NYTimes article is a great example:

Like the narrator of the Elton John song “Rocket Man,” frequent commenters can spend a little time every day inhabiting the identity of their wished-for selves…

Hmmm.)

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