August 6, 2013

The Atlantic empowers readers to post comments next to specific paragraphs.

Instant automatic fisking. It's the new thing.

ADDED: As Rob notes in the comments, the innovation will be in Quartz, one of The Atlantic Media's publications, not in The Atlantic Magazine.

7 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

How many comments will be made in paragraph one, only to be obsolete by paragraph three?

Rob said...

It's Atlantic Media's business publication Quartz, not The Atlantic, that will permit these annotations.

Maryland Geezer said...

Blurring the line between social networking and reader commenting.

Will the comments be moderated?

Seeking a higher order of commenters: "The idea is to encourage more directed and thoughtful commentary than you get when comments are open ended." How will this be accomplished?

elkh1 said...

Unpaid fact checkers and copy editors?

stlcdr said...

This seems to be a 'let's throw this technology out there' moments, and not take the blame.

Seriously, what is the net result going to be? Look at almost any article which has comments, and they are almost always negative in some respect. Now these comments can be made 'fisking' style? The technology assumes a reasonable discourse.

So, the decision is going to be: 'do I post this thought provoking article that is almost completely harmless and subject myself to the wrath of the internets, or do I just drag up the same old narrative, and not be bothered by the standard commentary?'

Is it any wonder that reporting has gone by the wayside. Facts are no longer facts, but points of view, everything is normal - so that we can agonize why it's not. And remember, it's all about meeee! Look at the number of my comments!

[Which, btw, the comment count is reasonably low on articles on Althouse: have the raving masses moved on, or not noticed that there is a lot more of your posts to comment on? Or have they been sitting in the corner so long that they have learned their lesson?]

As noted above, will there be moderation? I think this plays a greater holistic role than people think. Because the ability to 'moderate' comments on a page/article exists, when the moderator chooses (or has the inability to) moderate the commenter is not responsible for the comment, and resultant comments, and any repercussions are the fault of the moderator.

Our lives are revolving (too much) around online social interaction (sic). The ability to say things online with apparent 'zero repercussions' is a powerful drug. I'm sure this is old news, but the way society is shaping because of it is, shall we say, interesting (in the way that throwing a hand grenade - maybe it's live, maybe not - in with a bunch of school children is 'interesting').

Ann Althouse said...

"Which, btw, the comment count is reasonably low on articles on Althouse: have the raving masses moved on, or not noticed that there is a lot more of your posts to comment on? Or have they been sitting in the corner so long that they have learned their lesson?]"

What drives comment counts up is a few commenters going back and forth with each other, getting emotional and personal, and turning the comments section into a chat room (often late at night).

When the comments are moderated, this dynamic is thwarted, and people are responding more to the post and being substantive.

I chose to do that, partly because there was a problem of too many comments that disregarded the subject under discussion (without compensating by being funny/interesting), but mostly because there were a few people who really intended to destroy this blog.

halojones-fan said...

Comment-On-Paragraph is necessary because nobody knows how to quote text anymore. That was one of those things you did in grade school, according to a formula, not understanding it at all, and after your last English class in college you forgot everything you ever knew about it.

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Although there are webpages now with some cute Javascript that blocks text selection or copying, and CoP could also be an attempt to encourage commenting there.