WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Having your say

One of the features I’m most enthusiastic about with our new Web site is the ability for readers to post comments.

On any story, readers can submit comments, and since our launch last month, I don’t think there has been a day where at least one story didn’t have comments.

I haven’t done a scientific analysis, but it is no surprise that controversial or political stories have garnered the most comments.

In particular, our recent story on industry’s opposition to the Buy America Act, has had a lot of activity. It now has 15 comments.

Another popular one is the story on Sen. Charles Grassley criticizing Microsoft for its use of H-1B visas. It has 12 comments.

These two stories share a common theme – how to preserve American jobs. The anti-corporate bent of some of the comments has surprised me.

I’ll admit my bias is toward free trade and open borders, so I’m bothered by comments that use terms such as “American born and bred.”

But I’m grateful for the comments and I think that the views I disagree with point more to a need for better explanations on how free trade creates wealth and opportunity here in the United States.

I’m still not sure if we have the right interface for the comments, but the Web site is a work in progess, so we’ll always be tinkering.

Currently, someone – usually me – goes into content management system and approves the comments before they appear on the site. I check at least twice a day.

I approve most of the comments. The ones that have been rejected either had profanity or were otherwise inappropriate. For example, one commenter said a person quoted in the story was a liar.

If the commenter had said, I don’t believe so and so because of X, Y, Z, I probably would have approved it. Maybe I’m wrong, but calling someone a liar with no facts or other insights to back it up – well, that kind of comment gets deleted.

If you disagree, please comment.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Feb 05, 2009 at 7:22 PM


Reader Comments

Tue, Mar 3, 2009 richard j. burtis

WHAT IS GOING ON IN WASHINGTON? WHY CAN'T THE PRESIDENT FIND AN HONEST POLITICIAN FOR HIS CABINET? DOES ANYONE IN POLITICS PAY THIER TAXES? IT SEEMS A SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS, THAT NOMINATION AFTER NOMINATION, THE PROCESS COLLAPSES WHEN THIER "DIRTY LITTLE SECRET" IS EXPOSED. I REALIZE THAT LIES AND DECEIT ARE THE NORM IN POLITICS, BUT IN THIS NEW AGE OF "TRANSPARANCY" WE NEED PEOPLE WITH AT LEAST A MODICUM OF INTEGRITY TO INSPIRE AND REESTABLISH TRUST IN GOVERNMENT.

Mon, Feb 9, 2009 Charlotte, NC

Nick: I agree with your culling process on comments. We can agree to disagree, but need input and position information so we can better understand the other point of view that differs from ours. That's what dialog is all about.

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