Saturday, August 15, 2009

Comments on Comments

Over the last several years I have been very active in posting comments on may articles on a number of sites. One of the many comminunity aspects of the net and a very large number of sites is the ability to ask for and receive user/reader feedback . However, over the last several years I have noticed a very disturbing trend among many if not all of the sites that I read regulary. Theses sites generate user feedback in the form of comments on the individual article that they publish.

Simply put it boils down to two thing, relevancy to the article that folks are commenting on.. and Stupidity. When I take to time to comment on a article I make sure that I have something to contribute to the discussion, usually its a aspect or point that was not mentioned in the article. In other words something useful to say.

One of the many uses of the web is to bring people together to discuss issues, topics, and on a more personal level, even articles published on magazine site, I am not limiting this rant to just "Written" articles, I am also including commenting on YouTube video, and other forms of media on line. Be it a You Tube video, or a video review by Cnet or a personal blog, They all deserve the same respect as anything written but a magazine site. They put in they're time and energy to make whatever media the felt the needed to. After it is posted instead of thoughfull feedback and useful comments they log back on later to find some of the stupidest and often times juvinal and unfaltering post any 10 year old could post, by supsosed adults. The is was not supposed to be a playground for stupid irrelevant comments and flame wars. and generally insulting people.

Many times I have read a excellent article only to get to the end and find a host of irrelevant, or mean-sprited comments, none of them having little or anything at all to do with the article I've just read. Apparently, they didn't read the same article I just had. What the point of posting theses types of comments is , elludes me.

If I was running theses site I think a disclaimer above the comments section saying that your email is required and that the comments are monitored; If you leave a illrelevant or otherwise noncontributing comment you will be notified that your comment is being removed and told exactly why, offered one chance to post a civilized relevant comment. Continued abuse of the system will lead to your being banned from leaving comments on that particular sit. It would be spelled out in no uncertian terms, you either play nice or you don't play. period. I realize that many of the very large sites with large numbers of articles cannot police every single article and comment. which leave the users to think about the comments that they leave and will what they think they have to say add anything to the article. If they can't say something usefull , then they shouldn't be commenting and wasting webpage space and server space storing stupid comments .

In other news, Birthday greeting go out to, They cerebrate one year in streaming movie and tv to the world.
Their fist year has not been without issues,, ie,,the Boxxee issue,. Hulu says that the blocking of boxxee as ordered by the content owners and was not supported by them.
In the end, it don't matter who ordered the blocking of Boxxee, end result is they can't use a service, thats all they care. It isn't like Boxxee was cutting out commercials or otherwise editing the content or changing the experience, other then the fact it was going through Boxxee, and then on to a big tv screen.
To My way of thinking; They should be letting them play Hulu on any platform, as along as they don't change anything about the format or more importantly edit out the comericals. Being able to stream Hulu on any platform, be it Iphone, Blackberry, and other web-enabled smart phones natively would be a killer app. Even being able to stream it on my Ipod Touch would be nice.

The continuing saga of Real Networks fight to continue to produce software to rip and store dvd movies on computers has been dealt a several blow, What is means for consumers is that another aspect of consumer rights to use media that they though that they had bought is in the process of being eroded. I say" thought they bought", is slowly become buy to rent. You only think you own in reality you long term lease the media, subject to their restrictions, are many. Granted that is probably a bit of a extreme senrio, today,,, However, in the future it may become more real in many ways. It is legal to make copies of media for personal backup and archival proposes , But its illegal to make and sell software to allow you to make limited legal copies of your material. How much sense dose that make? it would be like owning a gun and it being illegal to buy the bullets for it, or not being able to buy gas for your car,, both are which are perfectly legal to own and use pretty much as you want to... So why dose the record/movie industries feel they have the right to limit how you can use your media for your own personal use. Your not making copies and sellings them on streetcorners. All one wants to do is make a back up copy of material that they have legally bought and paid for in good faith. Tho have the media companys telling you you own the media,, Yes, you can can make a back-up copy, Oh by the way the software to make decent copy-protected back-ups is illegal and any company that makes it will be sued out of business and their lives runined..
Thanks for buying our products,,
It is time for web users who use the comments to work with sites to encourage them to state a more directly worded commenting policy. Reporting comments that are offer no contribuation to the discussion of the article to site mangers. A campaign to bring awareness of the issue,, Granted in the overall scheme of things stupid comments aren't the most important thing, However, they do create lot of unneeded problems for webmasters and site owners.

Ken Lawson