Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A New Comment Moderation Policy on Sloopin

Dear Sloopers,

Every so often we like to take a look at the blog and try to ensure we're providing the best site possible. Over the past couple of years, we've had multiple discussions and emails about commenting on Sloopin. Since this is primarily a blog, our goal is to let the voices of the South Loop be heard (mostly unfiltered and uncensored).

Unfortunately, some comments have increasingly been off topic and unnecesarily agitating. With this said, we will be altering our comment moderation policy on Sloopin.

Starting today, we will do our best to review every comment. What this means is that our team will manually approve each comment before it's posted to the comment section on Sloopin. We will do our best to do this in a timely matter, but please be patient with us.

Just to reiterate, our goal is to encourage dialogue and opinions on issues and topics specific to the greater South Loop neighborhood. Opinions will differ, but please do your best to comment in a respectful and productive manner.

Please let us know how you feel!


The Sloopin Gang


Anonymous said...

New comment moderation policy = good way to kill your blog.


And I'm a constructive commenter. I commented the film festival story with a link to the winning entry. I usually comment other pertinent things too. But I think the sort of discussions people have been having in the comments are worthwhile. I read them all almost every day. Good points on both sides, usually, before devolving into personal attacks - but its also the internet. That's what happens. To be expected, otherwise start a community magazine.

Sorry, off topic for this post but you disabled comments for the entry about comment moderation.

Anyway, this stinks.

Jim in the Sloop said...

And I can't help but notice that the first comment is from one of the people who've chosen to stay anonymous.

I applaud this decision, as long as the moderation is light and comments appear quickly.

If you review several recent threads, many have veered way off course and into the same old political/racial diatribes over and over, even when such discussion has no bearing on the topic at hand.

If done correctly, this is the way to save a blog not kill it. I've seen way to many blogs die of their own weight when people bent on destruction have their way.

vr said...

I applaud Sloopin, and whole heartedly agree with Jim. I think this is a step in the right direction!

Chris said...

First comment issued anonymously by me: Chris.

Am I less anonymous now? I usually just forget to enter a name because I don't feel that it really matters, but if it does then I'll start doing it.

It seems that anonymity is taken somewhat seriously around here too. Just saying. What's the difference. Am I not still anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Sloopy is a racist!

Chris said...

Also, my major problem with the comment screening is that it prevents comments from being issued in real time. What keeps me checking back multiple times a day is my curiosity to see what other people are saying and thinking.

This hasn't been a problem yet, as comments seem to be approved very quickly, but I'm not sure I can expect Sloopy to be up at 4:30am approving comments for me to read when I'm in nighthawk mode.

Then again, maybe that's a good think too. Haha.

Andy Sites said...

I mostly agree with Chris

james said...

Terrible idea. I like a little innuendo in my neighborhood blog, especially if its on a heated topic.

People love controversy! Let us have it. And nothing on this blog that I've ever read has come close to being objectionable.

Have you read UptownUpdate? I don't even live in Uptown but I LOVE that blog. I love the way the readers there berate their alderman, mock the gangs/homeless/poor people (with video no less), and still promote local business. I'm not saying thats where this blog should go, but if theres a little of it, its not a bad thing.

james said...

I agree with Chris and Anon.

I just posted something and now instead of checking back later in the day to see if there is a response I might as well wait till tomorrow or 2 days... i.e. the next time I'm bored at work and think to go to this site.

Anonymous said...

you will lose traffic if you intend on moderating...there really is no point...have you read a tribune article...most of the fun is in the comments section..who cares what people say ..lighten up

Sloopy said...

Thanks for the comments! Again, we don't have any issues with posting anonymously, we just want to ensure things are on topic and relevant to the post.

We don't plan on regulating opinions about the aldermen, local establishments, etc.

One more note, we've been in contact with the folks at Uptown Update and also enjoy reading their comments. However, they have the exact same comment policy as we just implemented (actually it was their suggestion).


Uptown Updater said...

We heard the same thing when we instituted this policy on Uptown Update. Our readership actually went UP because you attract new readers who want to read (mostly) civil discussions and find out what is going on in their hood. We average 6,000 hits a day now with no anonymous commenters and comment moderation enabled. Running a blog at times is a full-time job and most bloggers have more important things to do than babysit the comments all day while trolls get their rocks off. If they have no forum, they eventually move on.

Keep up the good work Sloopin,
Your fans at Uptown Update

Anonymous said...

I support the new comment policy. I find it interesting that certain commenters are simply nowhere to be found now that this policy is in place. Could it be that our friend FGFM is no longer interested in the South Loop...or is it just that his trolling has been defeated by Sloopin's new comment policy?


Tim said...

While I might have opted for required registration, it seems the new approach is working. While some anonymous posters have still been rather repetitive across threads, they haven't been entirely off topic, no flame wars have erupted, and it seems that comments are being quickly approved. In fact intelligent discussion that must have been scared off previously, appears to have returned. Kudos to Sloopy!

Chris said...

Yes, I had little faith, but I agree with those who say this seems to be working. It seems that discussions have seen a lot of new and different contributors and flowed well.

And the comments get approved quickly enough for my taste.

So I was wrong in my initial judgments. I guess this is why I don't run a blog. Haha.

Ya done fine.

harveybirdman said...

What Tim said. I enjoy this blog, and it's nice to have a little civility. Keep up the good work, Sloopy!