Off topic? Who needs a topic?
You can have your say about most anything at our new open-thread blog, Idle Chatter. This comment thread is specifically intended for conversations about lunch, atomic fusion, Santa Claus, pretty much whatever pops into your head.
We spend a lot of time reading story comments. We receive over 1000 comments on most days here at The Augusta Chronicle. We catch most terms-of-service violations, but the sheer volume guarantees we will miss some objectionable material.
I think we do a good job, but the best comment moderators are our commenters themselves. They read most of the comments and have at least as good an idea of what's going on in the comment threads as we do.
I must admit, I've been waiting for an invitation.
I knew some of our regular commenters got together periodically. I saw the occasional reference to lunch or drinks on the porch. Like a wallflower at a high school dance, I could see the fun being had; I just wasn't included.
Surely, I couldn't invite myself - that wouldn't be right. OK, I might have dropped a subtle hint; something along the lines of "I've been hoping to meet some of you" or "Oh, y'all get together for lunch? That sounds like fun."
Pathetic. I know.
The unveiling of our new Web site has brought many changes to AugustaChronicle.com. Though some are visible , others are behind the scenes and deal more with improving online news delivery.
As we contemplated the move towards a more Web-based delivery system, the greatest problem we faced was the need for a large online department proficient in HTML code to place content onto the Web site.
If our new online focus was to work, we needed to load breaking news quickly and update throughout the day as situations changed.
Hey everybody. I'm writing a weekly column now and they have been a little hard to find online. It's my fault; I'm new to this and didn't know they wouldn't magically appear in my Reader Connection blog area. Live and learn. If it makes you feel any better I couldn't find them either. From now on I'll post them as a blog on Friday.
My new pet peeve, the thing that irritates me the most about moderating comments, is having to delete an excellent post because of one poorly chosen word that often is not even spelled out. Commenters will post a several-hundred word, carefully crafted argument and then in the last sentence throw in a four-letter word that is three-quarters asterisks. After burying my face in my hands for a few seconds, I dutifully click "remove" and as politely as possible ask them to repost an amended version.
No issue trumps race when it comes to firing up the comment boards. At the start it’s usually fairly innocuous, but as comment follows comment the rhetoric ratchets up and before we know it we’ve not only reached that hard-to-pin down gray area, we’ve shot right through and are sitting in the dark. There have been multiple posts unhappy with how we handle comments about race. Some people think we’re too strict. Others think we’re too lenient. I think we’re probably just a little inconsistent.
Welcome to my new blog. I’ll use this to address comment-management and customer-service issues and also as a forum for whatever strikes my fancy. I’ll try to solve some common problems and answer readers’ questions in addition to giving you a glimpse into how we do our jobs.