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  1. Lindsay says:

    I feel like this is a bit of a dishonest post. It seems like the decision to drop comments had to do with spamming–and that’s super legitimate. I think everyone can get behind that. What is disingenuous to me is the entire lead-in where you talk about the changes in the way people consume and comment and the shift to ?Facebook?? Totally different model. Not related to the post.

    “Trapped in a blog” is also a spurious argument. Just say the comments are not worth it and move on. Your reasons sound more like spin to build your case. You therefore weaken your case.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Lindsay,

      The reason we were left with only spam comments is because the way we communicate online these days is drastically changing. Several years ago, our blog used to get lots of comments that added value, contributed to the discussion, etc.

      But in the last year or so that has completely stopped because people are having those conversations elsewhere — on social platforms or other places entirely.

      That left us with just spam comments. So in my mind, the two are very related.

      • Ram B S says:

        Its a fact that the way we communicate online has taken a new shape and majority of us use online networking sites to express our own views and concerns. In such a speedy age its not worth to have commenting section in the blog.

  2. Hector Ramirez says:

    Love it.

  3. Neal Snyder says:

    Not certain this is the way to go — why do I want a professional discussion mixed up with my cats & kids? And I’m posting my comment here because it looked like my attempt to do so through my facebook account didn’t “take.”

  4. TMP says:

    Former fed here, who left after too many years getting annoyed with the lack of tech/resources/fear of social media at every level from the department on down…
    I think removing commenting is the opposite direction gov platforms should be going, Jessica. There is a lot of innovation occurring on interactivity platforms, designed to work productively with posters, and reward good content. These approaches are evolving and in my mind government platforms are the most important places for that capacity to be developed. Future generations aren’t even going to know how to interact with anything, if they can’t on something social/add/share commentary. In my mind, your unit needs to have many more resources put toward you, so you can innovate the kinds of platforms that engage people and support intelligent, diverse, insightful commentary. Livefyre, for example is doing some awesome stuff. Ideo too. Its a shame to step back from this for lack of resources/vision at the top.

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks for your input! Stepping back from comments didn’t have anything to do with a lack of vision at the top. We just took a hard look at what was being left in the comments. There wasn’t anything from the general public that added value because those conversations had moved to other platforms. All that we were left with was spam.

      It wasn’t a good use of our time to constantly be moderating spam comments when we could be putting our resources toward more innovative ways to interact with the public.

  5. Steve Lunceford says:

    Now what would be interesting is if you aggregated all the comments across the different channels and annotated the post with them. While I get the intent, not every person who may want to comment should be expected to have a G+, FB or Twitter account, nor should they forgo the option for public discourse by simply emailing and starting a discussion that won’t be seen by others potentially interested in reading/weighing in.

  6. Hillary Hartley says:

    Just curious: did you cross-post this to the USA.gov blog? I didn’t see it over there (but didn’t look too hard).

  7. maithe says:

    I totally agree with you Neal.
    I’m not sure at all it’s a good move.

  8. Seems like the natural evolution of social.

    For anyone working in social media, we spend more time monitoring our presence on those networks than we do on our own site. Plus, removing the internal comment feature forces people to share their thoughts (and links) with their networks.

  9. Jessica says:

    Hi Hillary,

    No we didn’t post this to the USA.gov blog. We usually only post “news-you-can-use” type text content on the USA.gov blog and save the explainer pieces for DigitalGov.gov. However, it might be worth considering posting this explainer piece there as well.

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