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From Trolls to Stars: The Commenter Ecosystem

2010 SXSWi Panel with Dashiell Bennett, Anthony De Rosa, Kate Miltner, Jaime Morelli

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Good talk covering fundamental issues facing online contribtion and commenting culture.

  • Mar 14, 2010


Wasn't aware there are actually people out there responding to their own comments and flaming themselves just to dial up attention (referenced by head of Engadget after he turned comments off recently for a cooling off period).

Self policing vs moderators - both have pros/cons, combo probably best.

Facebook Connect factor - really impacting the landscape.

Possible solutions discussed included:

Interesting idea of "auditioning" to comment, which Gawker does.

Privleges to promote and demote commenters, held by long standing trusted commenters.

People respond the way they're expected to, based on what's accepted in the community -- and that can work negatively as well as positively.

Consider communities where the site sets the tone for the comments vs where "start commenters" are really the influencial party.

Mention of integrated commenting systems, pulling in comments from other social media platforms.  Lending further context.

What is a comment?  Definition changing?  A tweet?  an RT? Not just text - speaking now in links images, videos.  Raises point of diff btw commenter culture and interactiion culture - is that the same thing in the end, just an evolution?

Facebook Liking - simple way to express opinion.

"You're not as anonymous as you think you are."

"Ultimately there have to be people involved to enforce those rules"

"The site sets the tone for the comments"

"The people that bitch and moan the most in the comments are the people you can probably do without on the site"

"Sometimes the editor themselves can be the trol" - by posting things they know will get the community riled up

"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference" -- in context of polarizing, strong reactions people have in comments.  Even though people claim to hate something - the sheer volume of respone can indicate otherwise.

"These days you cannot expect people to come to your blog to comment.  They have so many other places to share their opinion."


Good talk covering fundamental issues facing online contribtion and commenting culture.

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March 15, 2010
Bummed I missed this one! Best pic choice ever though, I gotta say.
More From Trolls to Stars: The Comm... reviews
review by . March 14, 2010
posted in SXSW on Lunch
Key Takeaways:   Potentially, the more passionate your community is about what ties them together, the more intensely trolls attack. Potential conflict when there are people in the same space using their own name and others interacting anonymously. Are standards of accepted behavior created by the company or the commenters? The site sets the tone of the comments. Tension between wanting to grow the number of users, and recognizing that core community might struggle with different cultures. …
Quick Tip by . March 14, 2010
posted in SXSW on Lunch
FIRST!! (noob) #trollstostars
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Event Description:
This panel will explore the fascinating and often bizarre world of commenter culture. From trolls on 4chan to Star Commenters on Gawker Media blogs, panelists will discuss:
- The nuances of commenter/blog symbiosis (including thebenefit/detriment to the business side of ad-supported blogs)
- The nature of commenter hierarchies
- The sociology of self-policing/group determination of communitystandards of behavior
- The implications of the shift from handle-based identities toreal-world identities (Facebook Connect)

Panelists include:
Dashiell Bennett (
Anthony De Rosa (
Kate Miltner (
Jaime Morelli (

Sunday, March 14 at 03:30 PM
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Events, Sxswi 2010, Panel, Sunday March 14, Convergence, Anthony De Rosa, Kate Miltner, Jaime Morelli, Dashiell Bennett


Type: Panel
Location: 12AB
Date(s): Sunday March 14

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