Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Does Anybody Read The Comments On The Huffington Post? No, It's Impossible.


I love that Pony Pals comment on this blog. Love it! When a post receives a lot of chatter, it's like, wow! Fun!

I used to find it irritating that, for instance, Andrew Sullivan didn't allow comments on his post, but it didn't take long to understand why. If your blog or website is popular, your posts won't get dozens of comments; they will get hundreds, thousands. At that point, it's obviously of no use.

Take the example screen-shotted above, from the Huffington Thing's story on Joe Arpaio's ridiculous birther news conference yesterday. As I write this, their story about the Arizona sheriff's totally inconsequential "investigation" is less than eight hours old, but it has already blown past 8,000 comments and I have no doubt that there will be tens of thousands by this afternoon. What's the point? Who is going to read 12,000 comments on a minor news oddity? Nobody. Oh, sure, I bet the Huffington Post has some hapless series of interns review them as they come in to make sure nobody says "fuck" or "nigger" or whatever, but otherwise it's highly unlikely that any individual is actually going to sit down and slog through what is essentially an endless flame-war on a lightweight story.

I guess it's to give the readers the feeling that "their opinions matter" or whatever.

Annnnnd, whoopsie, I never did finish this post this morning. Now it's evening, and just look at how many more comments are on this same dumb story:


That's ridiculous.

Does anybody here comment on the Huffington Thing? Or on big stories at the Washington Post? Why?

15 comments:

dianegsocialist said...

I don't, and for the reasons you specify. There's no point.

Fran said...

Newspaper blog comments, Huffpo comments - it is as if when I start to read, the few times I have actually done so - my eyes blur. As does my mind.

It is something akin to being in the metro station when the trains are not moving and the platform is crowded and each person is shouting, but no one else is listening.

What happens here is witty conversation. What happens there, frankly it is crap.

The Cat's Meow said...

I have never commented on HuffingtonPost and never will, although a friend is a "Super User" and has decided that he hates the trolls. That's the problem... various campaigns and interest groups and dittoheads hire 20-year-olds to establish profiles at selected popular sites and "comment" (i.e., repeat their latest respective talking points verbatim). BORRRRRRING.

I have occasionally commented at WaPo, but not lately. It would have to be something really outrageous or that I feel particularly insightful about. Either that, or Chris Cillizza has made an execrable grammatical error again, and I just have to say something about how stupid it is.

Bottom line: I'd always rather be trading quips with a circle of witty dinner companions than with a mob.

Matty Boy said...

Yes, I comment on the Huffington Thing. It's a bad habit, but sometimes I get a response, especially if the comments are in the tens or hundreds instead of the ten thousands.

I noticed that Talking Points Memo carries a lot of the same political stories as HuffPo with none of the CLICK ON ME SIDEBOOB! stories. About a year ago the comment section on TPM was full of interesting people, including a great fake troll called "The Ghost of Eustace Tilley", but sometimes they would get a spam attack or particularly pernicious real troll, so now the comments are through Facebook.

I hate Facebook A LOT more than I have ever hated HuffPo.

Shawnboy said...

No never have commented on the Huffington thingy. I have rarely commented on the JoeMyGod thingy. I have commented here on this PSP thingy a couple of times over the years. Now knowing you like it, I might comment a few more times in the future, especially with this upcoming election thingy. Waiting for the Veep, waiting for the Veep, waiting for the Veep.....this could get rather entertaining yet scary at the same time!

Peteykins said...

this could get rather entertaining [...]

Not if it's Tim Pawlenty!

Anonymous said...

Callista for veep!

Karl said...

HuffPo comments? Nobody goes there any more. It's too crowded.

HRH King Friday XIII, Ret. said...

I loves me some PSP!!!

Anonymous said...

I got banned form the Huffy Post because I said if Sarah Palin wanted attention so much, she should put a dress on and stand on her head on a busy street corner.

dguzman said...

I rarely even read Huffpo, much less comment on it. I prefer to get my news right here on this sparkly blog.

Anonymous said...

Got banned at Huffpost a long time ago for posting totally true, documented facts about the origins of the wealth of Cindy McCain, nothing bitchy. (Las Vegas mafia, if you need to know)

Never go there now, no need to.

Rosa S. Levi said...

There are other blogs?

Steve said...

Wow. Screen-shot as a verb. Impressive.

Flying Spaghetti Monster said...

I save all my witticisms for ArlNow where there's still a hope someone might read them.