Presentation Title

A Comment on Comments: The Changing Form of Online Social Interaction

Presenter Information

Ashish Hingle, Cal Poly PomonaFollow

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 260

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

The comment section has long served as an instrument for discussion and interaction between content providers and their user base. The primary concern plaguing this mechanism is scalability of the system’s design, which has only been amplified by the increase in user traffic funneling through the outlet’s commenting systems over the past decade. The issue, compounded by a competitive market of alternatives, the legal implications of free speech and the over-arching concerns of content cleanliness, is forcing content providers to reevaluate their website goals to match an ever-changing environment of user interaction. This project looks at the reasons behind the decline in websites providing an internal commenting system to their users and the shift towards an external, but more interactive social-media experience. These alternatives are not only cheaper and easier to manage, but they allow content providers to reach a wider and more varied audience. The data for this project comes from an exploratory study, in which we examined 9 popular and highly rated news and media websites in 4 categories: online extension of television news (CNN, BBC, Fox News), online newspapers (LA Times, NY Times), online magazines (Forbes, Wired), and tech blogs (TechCrunch and The Verge). We collected, analyzed and compared multimedia, social sharing, and monetization data of these websites between 2006 and 2016. Our study provides valuable insight related to current research and trends in website design.

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Nov 12th, 10:00 AM Nov 12th, 10:15 AM

A Comment on Comments: The Changing Form of Online Social Interaction

HUB 260

The comment section has long served as an instrument for discussion and interaction between content providers and their user base. The primary concern plaguing this mechanism is scalability of the system’s design, which has only been amplified by the increase in user traffic funneling through the outlet’s commenting systems over the past decade. The issue, compounded by a competitive market of alternatives, the legal implications of free speech and the over-arching concerns of content cleanliness, is forcing content providers to reevaluate their website goals to match an ever-changing environment of user interaction. This project looks at the reasons behind the decline in websites providing an internal commenting system to their users and the shift towards an external, but more interactive social-media experience. These alternatives are not only cheaper and easier to manage, but they allow content providers to reach a wider and more varied audience. The data for this project comes from an exploratory study, in which we examined 9 popular and highly rated news and media websites in 4 categories: online extension of television news (CNN, BBC, Fox News), online newspapers (LA Times, NY Times), online magazines (Forbes, Wired), and tech blogs (TechCrunch and The Verge). We collected, analyzed and compared multimedia, social sharing, and monetization data of these websites between 2006 and 2016. Our study provides valuable insight related to current research and trends in website design.