Commentary Should Remain the Lifeblood of Blogs

By Mikal E. Belicove|For|March 15, 2012

Gawker Media founder Nick Denton still has a problem with readers’ comments: Apparently, they’re boring.

At SXSW 2012 in Austin, Texas, Denton — whose media empire includes such popular blogs as, and — reiterated his disdain for allowing just anyone to comment on his company’s blog posts. He says comments have become so caustic and toxic of late that he’s again considering only allowing a pre-selected group of people to comment on them.

This from a media mogul who describes his own blogs as “the definitive news and gossip sheet for entertainment, media and business.”

It’s true that some comments naturally carry more weight — for instance, if they come from a knowledgeable person or expert — while others offer vital counterpoints that add to the conversation. But tamping down on the ability for readers or customers to freely provide feedback is a sure fire way to kill the credibility of a brand.

For Denton’s Gawker Media, in particular, controversial posts appear all day long and they attract countless comments from avid readers who want to voice their own opinions, relate similar experiences or suggest a solution to whatever is being addressed. I would argue that this back and forth amounts to nothing more than the lifeblood of his business.

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