— by Lin McNulty, Managing Editor —
A few years back, Orcas Issues made the decision to incorporate reader comments on our stories posted. Since then, a number of remarkable things have occurred. For the most part, we embraced it and even built your comments into our brand: Orcas Issues: Voice of the Orcas Community.
There have been some sticky situations in moderating those comments, and we even wondered at various points if we should moderate them at all. It became apparent to us, and those who read Orcas Issues, that commenting had perhaps become challenging to keep on top of. Most comments do not come to us for approval before being posted; it can be a full-time monitoring job for someone to make sure we read each comment as it comes in and that it isn’t getting out of control (whatever that means).
Not to mention the times that comments are posted while our staff takes time off to sleep (and eat). And that’s what happened yesterday while I was doing the evening meal thing. Three commenters expressed, in turn, their concerns about the actual story, and then their beef with the other commenters, as well as problems with the “recent bias of journalism” at Orcas Issues with the departure of Margie Doyle. (I’ll be contacting that person to try to understand what’s behind that.)
We don’t have to allow the ability to comment on our site. With just a few keystrokes and mouse clicks, we can wipe that scourge from our system. But I don’t want to! Our readers who comment add a level of involvement that pleases me greatly. It excites the site.
So let’s do this. Click here to take a brief reader survey and share your opinion. What should we do? As the voice of the Orcas community, tell us what you think.