AnnArbor.com advises "diligent moderation" for new site. The most important topic (judging by its position in the content czar's story about it) was how to moderate comments on the new site.
I hope they didn't pay a lot for the donuts and coffee to come up with that suggestion. I think any blogger who has been doing this for more than one month and who gets a fair number of comments will learn that comment moderation is necessary if you want to keep things fairly civil.
Even I could have told them that and saved them the price of the donuts.
Here's a summary from the czar's post:
"Our Web advisory panel met for the first time this morning in a community room at the Ann Arbor Public Library to see how our site is developing so far, to ask questions and give us input. We listed the names of our advisory group in an earlier post.
They urged us to take a strong hand in moderating conversation on AnnArbor.com right from launch. One warned us that the failure to do so could allow our site to degenerate into a "wretched hive of scum and villainy.''
To avoid that, we should have norms for conversation on the site, clearly enforce those norms, and be transparent about what we're doing.
That's interesting, because I talked about our plan to moderate "aggressively'' in an earlier post, and that intention was immediately challenged by blogger Mark Maynard. In the spirit of viewer discretion, I should mention that if you follow the link to Maynard's blog, the comment thread includes an impressive array of vulgarities. Even Maynard was moved to joke that "On second thought, maybe aggressive moderation is a good thing.''
Despite having already been taken to task on this subject, I still believe our technology advisers are right on this one, and that we'd better be prepared to moderate conversation consistently from the start. We've begun work on guidelines for moderation, and will share them here prior to launch."
As frequent readers here know, there are loose guidelines for posting here. The rules are mine and are meant to keep comments in hand. If, on the other hand, AnnArbor.com starts using those rules to clear out comments that are critical of them or talk about competitors, then that would be a mistake.
Also in that post it appears that AnnArbor.com learned its lesson with the New York designed "Acorn" logo and hired an Ann Arbor marketing firm to help them.
I hope "The Deuce.com" appreciates all the traffic I send their way. If you put Thedeuce.com into your browser you will go to GoDaddy.com.