On social media sites, do comments enhance or detract from the user experience? That's the question that has been brought up in a Cre8asite Forums thread. There's "utter garbage" that is being served to the community, so how does that make social media sites engaging and enjoyable?
Joe Dolson has some interesting insights:
I think you're absolutely right - but I think it's a criticism of the community which creates those comments, rather than a problem with accepting comments.
This is echoed by Kulpreet Singh, who says that it's different (and higher quality) on sites where you have a true personal profile attached. That's when you're most likely accountable.
Comments only work for sites that already have a community, and the members have a track record and some accountability.
An interesting discussion has also been brought up on the SEO Igloo blog, where Barry, Kim Krause Berg, Bill Slawski, Sophie Wegat, and Matt McGee were interviewed. The distaste for foul comments was unanimous. Many don't participate in these communities as a result.
In the Cre8asite Forums thread, Kim Krause Berg goes further to say that there's an age and gender gap in comments.
There's a definite difference in the content of comments depending on the age and gender of the commenter.
I couldn't agree more. I also think there's an acceptance gap, but if you are involved enough in these communities, you somewhat see where these commenters are coming from, especially on a site like Digg. Not all sites have quality commentary (YouTube is notoriously bad at it), but when you're deeply involved in the community, these comments make more sense to you, even if they are laden with immaturity.
Forum discussion continues at Cre8asite Forums.