In honor of the one year anniversary of EID’s relaunch (check out our first post ever here) under our new format, we thought we would copy an innovative technique used by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In addition to being a brilliant, award winning writer, he is also credited for having one of the best comment management strategies for his blog at The Atlantic magazine.
One dimension of his strategy, which seems obvious on the surface but is incredibly rare, is to start with the assumption that some of his commenters might know more about a subject than he does, even after he researches it for the article or post. That attitude is rare throughout life, let alone in blog comment sections. So he respects good comments and meticulously deletes the trolls.
Another technique he uses, in this case to prevent threadjacking (the tendency for comment sections to get way off topic, sometimes on purpose by commenters with an agenda) , is to have open forum posts. In these, he supports readers who want to talk about something not covered by a previous post but who posted their thoughts there anyway because they wanted to have their say. By moving this conversation to a new post area where it doesn’t distract from the original conversation, he adds real value.
Putting these two ideas together (which is the nature of innovation after all), we are going to open up a post in honor of our One Year Anniversary. In this post, feel free to comment on anything you think we haven’t covered (or haven’t covered enough). Present your ideas about any HF/E topics you care to. EID tries to cover all HF/E topics to some extent. But we realize that some topics are covered more extensively than others, in part because of our personal areas of expertise and experience. EID is supposed to cover them all, so we are going to rely on you to fill up the gaps – to cover anything you think is important but we are missing here on the EID site.
This will also allow us to mine the comments for topics of future posts. If it is successful, we will run more Open Forum posts in the future. We also may invite the authors of some interesting comments to submit guest articles for future posts.
So for the inaugural Open Forum, we decided to go completely open. Anything related to HF/E that you want to talk about – now is your chance. Have at it.
Image Credit: Anthony Cramp