This article will have zero Mets content. But at the same time, it seems critical to the future of the site and worthy of being posted. Up until this point, the main worry in regards to the blog has been building an audience. Now that has been sort of accomplished, my concern is how to keep quality high. That’s quality on our end and quality on your end, too.
Writing can be a very lonely thing. It’s one of the reasons I love the Game Chatters – the chance to talk back and forth with everyone while the game is going on. The comments section is how that applies to each and every article and the main reason I have such a big interest in its health and vitality. Of course, only a small percentage of those that read an article will comment on it. That’s fine – I certainly don’t comment on every article I read, either.
The simple truth is that I want an active and thriving community of people chiming in on each and every story published here. Part of it’s vanity but an even bigger part is the desire to learn something. We have about 20 people who regularly comment on stories at the site and I’ve disagreed with each and every one of them at one point or another. But I’ve also learned something from each of them and I value that tremendously.
The challenge now is to how to keep the comments section growing without becoming – for lack of a better word – stupider.
For the most part, the comments section has been very democratic. As long as you did not get both very negative and very personal your comments hit the site and stayed there. But last night somebody wrote a comment and my only reaction was:
Why do I want to publish this and drag down the quality of the comments?
It’s always been my belief that an institution like talk radio gets the listeners it deserves. My completely biased point of view is that Mets360 deserves a passionate, intelligent and articulate audience. The question is: How do we get it and how do we maintain it?
We’ve all been to sites that have comments like:
F*&k the Yankees
Your a d!ck
That’s the last thing I want to see here and I think the core audience would agree 100 percent with that statement. So, I throw this thought out to the readership – How do we continue to grow and foster an inclusive group and yet keep discourse above a fourth grade level? I say this with all apologies to my son, the fourth grader, who does not deserve to be lumped in with the lunkheads.
Perhaps it’s a hippie dream yet I think it can be done.
This isn’t about developing a site that employs groupthink. I am not looking for a bunch of yes people. It’s about having comments that make us think, rather than ones that make us cringe. Everyone should feel free to disagree (or, horrors, agree) with something written here and voice their opinion. But regardless of your POV on any issue, you should be able to state it in something resembling the King’s English and with civility.
So tell me how you think we should accomplish this. Leave me your thoughts in the comments section and from your ideas I will craft a “Terms of Service” that will appear as one of the buttons under our header image.
Thanks to all of those who make this a great site!