You’re reading through your favorite site in the morning before starting your day. It's a normal part of your routine. You recognize the topics, content, articles and even the authors. But this time you see something new: a subscription prompt. It could be as simple as a kind request for you to support the site, maybe it's entirely optional, maybe it’s not. Or perhaps you’ve now been given 10 more articles to read free of charge, until being forced to pay or find a source of content.
Over the past year, the design team at Disqus has worked with product management and leadership make our product development process more open and inclusive. Myself, the Product Design Lead, along with the Design Team at Disqus successfully introduced design thinking practices, including user research and creative brainstorm sessions, across the company. At the heart of this work is the Product Discovery Sprint.
Earlier this year, we committed to fighting hate speech and began taking the first steps toward curbing toxicity on Disqus. As a Product Analyst, I focus on developing technology to facilitate good content. Our goals for this technology are to enhance community management tools for moderators, give users more power to address abuse and toxic comments within the communities they participate in, and improve the internal tools that our Abuse team uses for reviewing reported content that violates our Terms and Policies.
At Disqus, we are proud and humbled to boast an expansive network of users. Since writers and publishers are always striving to learn more about their audience, we thought it was a good idea to ask our users what they read, how they read it, and why. We also asked questions around reader-publisher engagement and what content they pay for. To answer these questions, we recently conducted a survey and in just one day, we got 973 responses! Here’s a summary of the most interesting findings from our research.
Quickly want to share that FiveThirtyEight is conducting a poll about why people comment (or not). Who better to answer that question than you!
My favorite bar in my old neighborhood used to have an Oscars night party. They’d print their own ballots and determine winners by the volume of cheering as each nominee was read aloud. That was fun but it was the discussion at my end of the bar that I enjoyed more. I could hear more and I learned more.
Yesterday, we published our findings from studying comments related to Oscar® nominated films. We couldn’t cover all that we discovered in one post. This next batch of findings looks at what surprised us and drove discussions in interesting ways.
I’m Jim, I’ve been working with startups since the mid-’90s, most recently helping publishers be more successful with Disqus. I may also be the most active commenter currently employed by Disqus.
At Disqus, we know that people choose to express themselves freely and openly in online communities. They can choose what they want to say, where they want to say it and how they choose to identify themselves when they do. And many of the people who use Disqus do this under a pseudonym — a handle or nickname that isn’t the person’s actual name.
Henry Anatole Grunwald, long-time editor of TIME, once said, “Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.”
In today’s ever-connected world, people of all colors, stripes and backgrounds are now part of that journalistic struggle — they share stories, provide commentary and are just as part of the news as the sources, writers, and editors.