DorobekInsider.com: Comments – I get comments about comments (or the lack there of) – but soon, you can post ‘em yourself

Friday - 5/8/2009, 11:12am EDT

I get a lot — and fairly regular… and sometimes bordering on angry — comments the lack of commentability on FederalNewsRadio.com, and, specifically, on the DorobekInsider. In the months since I moved the DorobekInsider over to FederalNewsRadio.com , I have used those comments in posts, but… there was no formal way to post comments on FederalNewsRadio.com.

That spurred comments such as one … and this note from NASA Goddard CIO Linda Cureton:

BTW, if yall’s website doesn’t start taking comments, “there but for the grace of God go ye.”

And she’s right, of course. Some would even argue that it isn’t a blog if you don’t feature comments.

That aside, this did happen for a reason. When we updated FederalNewsRadio.com earlier this year, we just couldn’t get everything done — and the decision was made that was one of the things we could put off. And then it was just more difficult then we anticipated, so we put it off some more. And, frankly, feds often don’t comment much, so… it seems like a easy choice.

Then this blog migrated over to the station’s Web site… and I have been pushing — to the point of being obnoxious — for comments.

The issue we are debating now is whether we should allow comments across the site… on just on this blog or certain parts of the site. My take, of course, is… open it up. Why not, for goodness sake? For too long, journalists have seen themselves as the arbiter of what is news — and what isn’t.  But change comes slowly… and some people are uncomfortable with opening up those doors… and there are even some who believe they still have control. I appreciate thosearguements. I just disagree. (BTW, I’m not talking about anybody specific. These debates go on across journalism.)

For many blogs — and for many Web sites — comments are at least as valuable as the content itself. And these days, we simply don’t have control. (Read What Would Google Do?… or listen to the Federal News Radio Book Club conversation of that book here.)

Our comment process, which should be up sometime next week, will require that you register. (Sorry about that.) And we want people to play nicely in the sandbox. Outside of that — we ought to be a place where we enable a conversation. Will there be inappropriate comments? Maybe. We will police as we can

All of that being said, at least here on the DorobekInsider.com — and I hope across FederalNewsRadio.com — your comments are coming soon.