Friday, August 19, 2011

Poynter says: News sites using Facebook comments see higher quality discussion, and more referrals

The journalism training center's story is here. Note: Starting last week, Gannett began testing Facebook comments at The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., and The Des Moines Register.


  1. Gannett seeking to limit conversations it deems objectionable shouldn’t surprise anyone as it’s deep with its DNA in how this company is run, and not in a good way.

    Turning to a large entity like Facebook may address an area that does need some cleaning up but surely a company as large as Gannett should be able to solve it on its own. Apparently not.

    What’s particularly interesting about this move is consumers are increasingly demanding less tracking of their online activities – and getting it, yet old media like Gannett do moves like these that will track people even more deeply than ever before.

    Acts like these well explain why Gannett and others will continue to fall further and further behind.

  2. Exactly, 7:22. Facebook will gain all the demographic and consumer information (including your date of birth, where you live, product preferences) for THEIR target marketing. Facebook wins big, Gannett loses again, as usual.

  3. 7:22, I don't see it as Gannett limiting conversations that are objectable. People are free to comment as they want. They just have to put their names next to it.

  4. The sites are using Facebook Connect to provide authentication and commenting on the site, users are not directed to Facebook to make the comments. See for an example of the commenting in action.

    I too, don't see anything insidious here. I put my foil hat on for far more impactful news than this...

  5. I don't see anything insidious here either. The sites are using Facebook Connect to authenticate users and commenting to an article. The user is not directed to Facebook. Here's an example at Des Moines:

    I'll wait to put my foil hat on until something really worth it comes up...

  6. Foil hats? Apparently, a few need more clarity:

    • Gannett limiting its own employee’s conversations has had the direct opposite effect of being the “catalyst for conversations that make a difference”’s held this company back and well explains why real innovation rarely takes place.

    • Gannett touts itself as a leading, technology-rich, “integrated marketing solutions company”...yet, turning to Facebook to solve an issue that even smaller peers have solved on their own sends a message it’s not.

    • Utilizing Facebook for authentication to the average consumer suggests less privacy, not more...all of which speaks poorly about Gannett’s “insight into consumer behavior.”

    • Stories using Facebook sign-in for comments barely receive any at all, even those known for getting the most like schools...for a company “at the forefront of a new era in human engagement” they’ve apparently missed how few parents want to be publicly known for questioning how schools spend money on their kids.

    All of which says this, Gannett isn’t “leading the transformation of the media and marketing solutions industry”, that is unless Gannett’s vision is to lead from behind.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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