Quietly, but surely, many online publications are beginning to enable conversations. By this I mean, sites like ESPN.com and online newspapers are enabling comments at the end of their digital content.
How smart is this? VERY.
Look at this story on ESPN about my beloved Browns. So far, this little story has generated over 100 comments. They call this “Espn conversations” and it’s in beta.
A Real-Time view of Conversations on ESPN.com
And it truly is a conversation. The main conversation page is an ajax updated page of comments that are flowing into the site.
Even my local Cleveland.com site is getting into the action. This story is an example (scroll down for comments). Now, instead of just “listening” to the writer’s thoughts, we can now converse with them and other readers.
Pretty, pretty smart for media companies to finally figure this out. I find that I spend as much as 50% longer on these sites leafing through the comments, when before without comments I would read and leave as quick as possible.
Of course, all of us in the blog world have known this for years. Finally big media begins to catch up.