Care and feeding of the comments section

It’s Wednesday so it must be a post about sports. I’ve been reading the, always appallingly edited, Grauniad’s sports website since I came to Canada. The Guardian has traditionally been on the forefront of social media in the UK’s MSM (mainstream media) scene with RSS feeds a-go-go, a great technology section, the always excellent Media Guardian and a nice good sprinkling of blog type functionality.

However the last couple of blog articles I’ve read about my beloved Liverpool FC have been very badly received with the writers of “The cult of permanent rotation blights Benítez’s bid for title” (Richard Williams) and now “Benitez aims to rediscover Reds’ goal scoring touch” (Dominic Field) taking a whole load of flack in the comments section.

Williams was derided as “asinine” (steved) “sloppy” (ianx66) and “lazy” (JohnMcGeechan2) while Field took the heat for being “rubbish” (monkeycircus) “ignorant” (HiTs) and for writing the “most obvious stories and superficial, unresearched nonsense” (RobbieB).

I know that sports can be an emotive business and if the articles were written to stimulate conversation, click-throughs and ad-revenue, I can sort of understand them, but I can’t understand why the authors have felt the need to stay out of the comment section.

A simple “you make some good points but here’s why I said what I did” rebuttal would be a much more open and transparent way of further engaging the audience. I know how I felt when I wrote an email to both John Moore (CFRB) and Cathal Kelly (Toronto Star) about a disagreement I had with their positions and both took the time to reply – the same applies for people who comment; they want to be answered and to be included.

I reply personally to most commenters – and always to first time commenters – because this blog isn’t just about me, it’s about you as well. Hence the name. I hope that this small touch isn’t just polite, it helps to foster some sense of community as well.

All that besides, here’s to hoping that Rafa’s Reds do indeed rediscover their scoring touch (five in the last two games is a decent tally though) and that his rotation policy doesn’t blight the mighty Pool’s Premiership ambitions (he won the Primera League, and Champions League with a similar policy…).

*UPDATE* – Eight mins in and Liverpool are 1-0 up thanks to Crouch, one of the players Rafa “rotated” into the starting eleven. So much for all that nonsense.

*UPDATE 2* – Then there were two. Garcia knocks in another European goal and Liverpool are 2-0 up after less than 15 mins.

*UPDATE 3* – Just to put it all to bed, Crouchinho scores his second, Liverpool’s third with a sensational overhead kick.  Not a bad touch for a big man….

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One Response to Care and feeding of the comments section

  1. Reminds me…

    Did you ever see that jaw-droppingly bloody hilarious bit of live blogging the Nuardiag did of an India/New Zealand cricket match a few years ago?

    If not, go check it out.

    No, really. I know it’s cricket – but check it out.

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