Here are some of the emails and comments we’ve received in response to my post on Wednesday about possibly opening The Source to comments. Also, if you haven’t voted and have an opinion, please take the above poll.
I voted yes. IMHO, one of the most valuable parts of a Blog is the comments section and many of us have no interest in Facebook or Twitter. As long as you’re willing to moderate to weed out the weirdos, go for it.
I enjoyed the comment part of the Bottleneck Blog, but it sometimes became….counterproductive. I have three suggestions: 1) I have seen on other sites that one must opt in to even see the comment section. In other words, the comments are only visible if one presses a button after each article. It would be wonderful if your webmaster/designer could incorporate this feature. 2) Perhaps there could be a per-reply character limit. This would encourage people to hone their arguments instead of ramble. I do realize that this could be circumvented with multiple replies, so….3) Is there any way that the reader could selectively exclude certain commenters – a “hide” feature, like on Facebook?
The original reasoning for not allowing comments on the blog holds true. Even moderated forums get their share of trolls and misanthropes who use skewed logic and half-truths to make their point. When I read The Source, I am looking for information from those ‘in the know’, not from spectators.
I think people who write things about people being long-winded should get on a bus, before he insults the customers. I’m very tired of this sarcasm from your PR department Metro. Who calls their customers long-winded. Metro has no respect for the people who use the it’s product. Your PR department couldn’t have come up with a more euphemistic way to say that? Out of courtesy for the people who express their frustration for the lack of service that Metro provides that could have been stated better. Most of the people who comment on transit blogs have facts, they have facts and personal experience on the Metro. We’re long-winded and liars, whatever Metro.
I just wanted to voice my support for allowing comments. I think you should look to Vancouver Translink’s Buzzer Blog as a great example of how a transit agency can run a moderated discussion that is almost always insightful, interesting, and civil while fostering a greater sense of community amongst the users of the service.
Treat it as an experiment for a period of time–a month, two months. See if people stay civil, don’t try to dominate.
I am an avid reader of The Source blog and find it very useful for learning timely transit information about Los Angeles. I for one am glad that it is NOT polluted by vitriolic, misinformed user comments in much the same way other blogs such as those in latimes, sfgate, curbed and streetsblog often are. Childish comments on the Facebook Page by the BRU in response to this article are demonstrate precisely why comments should not be allowed on the official blog itself as they distract from the point of the blog itself: to provide information and perspective on a variety of Los Angeles transportation projects happening at Metro. The point of the blog is not to provide every special interest group a mouthpiece to forward their radical ideologies and poison the experience for everyone.
I think it should stay just as it is: very narrow in view, dedicated to spin and ignoring all the many Metro problems as if one is driving to work alongside the Gold Line rather than on it.