Commenting: An ounce of leadership is worth a pound of management

There's been a conversation under way this afternoon on Twitter about anonymous commenting and comment management. I didn't join in -- I was at a dance performance with family, and besides, I've written plenty about that topic in the past. You can Google the details.

What strikes me is that it's the wrong conversation.

Online separation? Newspapers have been there and done that

I was reading Alan Mutter's spot-on Andreessen’s not-so-hot idea for publishers and once again ran across some comments of the "newspapers need to set up separate online operations and give them freedom" variety.

Here's the problem: It's been done, over and over. It's being done right now. It's happening in ways you don't see, and I promise you won't like the outcome.

Let's take the biggest, and least visible, part first.

Why blog and comment spam isn't going away

Every one of us who opens up a website to public conversation faces a daily annoyance: blog and comment spammers. Cleaning up after them becomes a morning ritual.

Google, a mix of scammers and legitimate businesses, and global economic inequities all play a role in creating a system that guarantees this problem will not go away any time soon.

Continuing the participatory revolution

For years I've been pushing the idea of participatory journalism. If you've been thinking this is just theory, some more data has emerged that ought to get your attention:

Review: 'Drupal 6 JavaScript and jQuery'

Let's start with a confession: I don't like JavaScript. I don't like object notation and I don't like programming languages where whitespace (line enders) is significant. I cut my teeth on C, and I am suspicious of any deviation from its spartan truth. I also don't trust power windows and think the Volvo 240 was the pinnacle of automotive engineering, just to put it all in context.

Looking for journogeeks

Life is change, and we've had some great people change their lives by leaving Morris DigitalWorks to take on new challenges in the Web consulting and development world. We're sad to see them go, but excited when they wind up working on cool projects like

So we're looking to grow a new crop of wizards, and in the mix we're going to be recruiting some journogeeks.

Blows against the empire: iPad, Chrome, HTML5 and Android

It hasn't been a good month for Microsoft. First Google with its Nexus One, then Apple with its iPad, have highlighted how its empire is in risk of falling, replaced by a new mobile world in which Microsoft is irrelevant.

Most revolutions fail because the revolutionaries can't stay united. This one is no different. And there is plenty of skirmishing among the revolutionaries.

Regarding the iPad, I am Dr. Buzzkill

It's here. And I'm disappointed. It's not just that the iPad failed to live up to its hype (which was just short of ending world hunger, curing disease and raising the dead). It's that the iPad doesn't change the world, no matter how many times Steve Jobs says "advanced," "revolutionary," "magical" and "unbelievable."

Drupalization of Augusta

The new Augusta Chronicle website is now live, the latest in a series of conversions of Morris websites to a Drupal-based system.

Before and after

The soft paywall: Some more numbers to chew on

OK, one more post about the "soft paywall" concept and then I'll move on to something else.

Paid-content discussions tend to be dominated by religious wars -- declarations of belief, not fact -- so I want to do what I can to inject some facts when I can.

As I've pointed out repeatedly, averages are useless and segmentation is essential if we're going to understand human behavior and discover whether there is any real reader-revenue opportunity left in local journalism.