Sunday, 29 June 2008

troll magnets

Why is it some people attract so much hate online? We have one reader who comments regularly, usually with fairly innocuous remarks. I'll admit, I sometimes find her point of view baffling, and occasionally exasperating, but it's nothing compared to some of the stuff we get. But for some reason, whenever she comments on a story, it's like a red rag to a bull.

One theory I have is as to why she gets so much stick because she stands up for authority - and at the moment, our message boards have something of the feeling of the Wild West about them. It's not as bad as it was - we knew the point had come to tighten up our moderation methods when the a certain right-wing party (who shall remain nameless for fear of their Google searches picking up this post and persecuting me . . .) started commending us on how much freedom of speech we allowed people. But it's still far from perfect - not least because the IP banning function seems a little haphazard.

So something I'm looking forward to experimenting with is trying to be a bit more proactive on the messageboards, taking some tips from this blog by Howard Owens: - and I'm especially looking forward to the picnic

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Er, hello there . . .

So, this is my first blog. A brief taste of microblogging on Twitter has made me realise I'm far too much of a bigmouth to restrict myself to 140 characters, so here I am.

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to be using this space for yet, hence the tentative start. But I think it's going to be based on my experiences working for a weekly UK newspaper, the Croydon Advertiser, and its website, which I hope is about to really spread its wings and fly.

Thrillingly, I've been given the challenge of helping relaunch the site and I'm getting really excited about what online has to offer. It's come a looong way since I first worked on websites, back when I first graduated and the noughties had scarcely begun. And although the changes it's making to my trade, journalism, are bewildering and often scary, they're also thrilling.

Anyway, that's enough waffling for now. I promise I'll be a bit more prepared for my second post. At least I've got the first one out of the way . . .