Paper Has an Odd Idea About Featured Comments

Print media has struggled a bit with the move to online publishing and, especially, the integration of social interaction on their pristine pages. Some don’t understand the difference between reader content and content provider materials. Some require the stripping of anonymity.

Some don’t want to have a conversation at all. Some news outlets have tried to embrace reader content with mixed results. ESPN.com’s Featured Comment has been so consistently bland as to be laughable.

Not the MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, though. They’re willing to use any ol’ algorithm to choose their featured comments, pushing the edge on reader contributions. For example, check out this featured comment on the Twins:

Star-Tribune comment

That’s definitely a unique opinion you won’t get at MINNPOST. Encouraging a known performance enhancement user like Juan Rincon to get back on the stuff? Very edgy. Very Web 2.0. Very WTF?

We understand the STAR-TRIBUNE has had some issues with meeting debt obligations recently, but do they really have no interns around that can screen the Featured Comment that appears mere inches from their masthead?

Of course, we applaud their free thinking if they don’t mind comments like that. We can’t see anything against it in their Online Conduct Terms of Use. We just don’t know if we’d brag about such comments by featuring them.