The Joy (and Misery) of Comments

Published on July 2, 2008

As I surf through various news sites around the web, I often enjoy reading user comments. On many of the sites I frequent, the comments truly add to the discussion and are a good for a belly laugh or two (or three). The feedback left on nearly every story at Gizmodo is hilarious, and visitors to Slashdot are often quite funny as well, making those my favorite tech news sites. Other sites can be hit or miss. Take Digg.com for example. Occasionally, some classic comments can appear on a popular story, providing some insight into the story, or more often, supplying a funny, sarcastic remark about the story as a whole. Other times, the comments are mostly juvenile and unhelpful.

Unfortunately, the comments on some sites are painful to read. Take my favorite gaming news site, Blue’s News. Nearly every comment on the site falls into one of these categories:

  • {Insert Game or Publisher Here} is Lame
  • {Insert Game 1 Here} is Better Than {Insert Game 2 Here}
  • Software Pirates Rule
  • Steam Sucks
  • OMG PONIES!
  • Yo momma!

The target demographic of the site is most likely males aged 13 to 21, but you’d think that someone would eventually have something good to say. Are there no civilized gaming websites in the world? This problem doesn’t just affect gaming websites. Places like CNN.com or our local news station WRAL are nearly as bad. It’s a shame that discussions vary so much. Do you read the comments at various news web sites? If so, what do you think?

One Comment

kip

I get most of my video game news from Joystiq, which has a few categories of comments: fanboys putting down other platforms, people complaining about fanboys putting down other platforms, opposing fanboys refuting the claims of the first fanboys by putting down the other platform. The surprising thing is that it matters very little what the news story is about, the fanboys can spin it very well. And occasionally there is a good point in there. Thankfully they started banning people who make “FIRST!!11!” posts a while back, because those got pretty annoying. Oh and if a story involves politics there are the “Americans are so stupid I’m glad I live in [country X] where we don’t have these stupid laws” comments, which are followed up by “Well in [country X] they have [some other stupid law] which is 100 times dumber.”

Also, YouTube comments are the worst. 🙂

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