The Value of Comments

Via Order-Order, I get pointed towards a lovely post from Nicolas Kayser-Bril, a student in media economics, on the Economics of Comments

Economics of comments (used under licence CC-BY-NC, Nicolas Kayser-Bril)
Economics of comments (used under licence CC-BY-NC, Nicolas Kayser-Bril)

This is something that any brand has to face, when trying to distribute content on the web, the value of the comments. I’ve worked on a campaign where a video was released onto YouTube as part of a campaign, with open comments. The subject matter (a young, bratty teenager) meant the comments quickly dropped to the basest YT commentry. A decision was made to leave them as is BUT when a further video went up, which included a ‘real’ contest winner, not just the actress, we closed them. The comment quality tended to be low and potential for defamation too high to be comfortable leaving them open.

For any brand, commentary moderation is a high cost if all you are going to do is ‘moderate’. either pre- or -post. If you’re going to be around for a while (ie it’s not just a short term campaign), I’d be focusing on supporting and empowering your readers and commenters, to set the tone and encourage self-policing. A community manager can go a long way to help reduce reactionary moderation costs. For short term campaigns, if you want your content out on sites that are not your own, your going to have to live with it if the commentary turns bad, it’s a consequence of the web.

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