Comments on Comments...

So, dear web souls, long time no see... Yes, our "presence" in this space has been somewhat lacking of late. All I can say is, we've been plenty busy producing a radio show.

(Funny, we managed to create this new website, but we couldn't figure out how to create more hours in the day — isn't that always the excuse?)

And perhaps you've noticed, there's been a bit of news to cover. Indeed, it's been a headspinning week or two, a panic — I think it's fair to say — for the history books. And it's still unfolding, building to who knows what sort of crescendo (or crash?) between now and election day. When was the last time this country faced an economic crisis of such magnitude in the final stretch of a presidential election campaign? We'll be on top of it, and we'll do our best to produce shows that will make you think, and inspire you to get involved in the national conversation.

Meanwhile, I'm delighted to say, a good many of you are doing just that, here on this site, in the comments on our show pages. These comment sections were — are — something of an experiment: we launched an open discussion forum in the heat of an historic election season, with a country as deeply and passionately divided as it's ever been. (What were we thinking???)

And yet, the result has been encouraging. Some rough spots, to be sure. Some overheated exchanges (but not as many as one might expect). Some moderation has been necessary here and there — and we're working on a more detailed set of guidelines to clarify our moderation policy. But for the most part, the quality of the comments has been just what we hoped.

But we're curious what you think. Do you read the comments? Are you posting? Are there specific guidelines you'd like to see us adopt and enforce? And keeping in mind that we are limited to this software platform (for the foreseeable future), what would you like to see us do to improve the comments feature of the site? And why stop there — how would you like to see us use the site to enhance, and extend, what we do on the air? (While you're at it, any thoughts on how we can find more hours in the day would be much appreciated too...)

Wen Stephenson
Senior Producer

This program aired on September 23, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.


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