Jeff Jarvis! His talk is called Comments Are Backwards, but it went way beyond comments. So far my favorite talk of the day, though the current one from @lizstrauss is amazing!
More news on that later. First, Jeff’s opening comment:
“Comments are the true voices of assholes.”
Find out how he thinks comments can be fixed: by accepting they aren’t broken – the process is.
Sites too often are concentrating on the bad stuff – “someone ruined this because they said shit.” “Part of the problem is that we allow comments after we are done what we’re doing, and it’s inherently insulting. We finish our work, our stories, we throw them over a brick wall.” And then people shout, curse, and deface the wall – because the wall doesn’t listen. And then they drive out the smart, conversing commenters.
Is the internet all rude, raw, and uncivilized? It’s like showing a snapshot of snow on someone’s deck – is that the highest expectation we have? Why can’t the photo be good?
We make the frequent , “Godlike” mistake of assuming the internet is in our own image – we forget that it’s a public, transactional place, and think it is just a medium – something “packaged, neat, pretty.” So, “if someone says SHIT we think it’s ruined – what have they done to our perfect medium?” Do we reject all of NYC because someone says “shit” on one street corner.
The problem with comments is expectations – we expect it to look like NYC. The second problem is that we think identity is the problem – and it is a part of the problem. FB and Twitter proves that, because conversation is more civilized. “Following leads to equality – there is some lesson there.”
The main problem is with the process, “it comes too late, it comes when we in media are finished, we don’t want to hear from you when we are doing our work.” “We need to move our publics up the chain.” Every industry is moving this way – education, industrial design – it fosters collaboration and innovation.
Make the process about interactivity. What if the reporter starts the process with discussion before writing? What if she starts the process with discussion before even choosing a story! Taking journalism digital allows us to do this – journalists on Twitter can do this, and “magical things happen” because they found a good way to listen to the public. Use that to improve it to perfection before it goes to print – “you’re working with a wise crowd.”
“The form of news is also wrong, it’s also over, the one-way lecture is bad.” All the talk about hyper-local is fine, but hyper-personal comes first – we have it form of emails, networks, etc. But that can be more formalized.
An aside about why he returned his iPad: “Content is not an application unless it does something.”
The mistake is that we focus on the product, rather than the process – that’s why we think comments are bad!
(A lot of talk around people being about to crowd-source information, travel, etc.)
Interactive 1.0 is a flash app. Interactive 2.0 is saying what we’re doing. Interactive 3.0 is interaction.