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Keeping Comments Civil via Social Media

Digital publishing news for July 18th 2013

Publications have always battled to tame the comment sections of their websites. Social media has emerged as a solution that provides authenticity and civility to heated online discussions. Poynter just released a detailed report on how media outlets have made the transition to socially gating their comment sections.

ESPN.com made such a transition yesterday, says Poynter: “Patrick Stiegman, editor-in-chief of ESPN.com, said by phone that three factors drove the company’s decision to switch to Facebook for commenting: ‘a tremendously smooth transition for fans,’ many of whom already have Facebook accounts; increased visibility for ESPN content beyond the walls of ESPN.com; and a desire to ’emphasize quality of comments over the quantity of comments.'”

Socially gating comments may decrease the volume of comments received but it increases the quality of discourse, “It has reduced the number of trolls noticeably,” Michael Landauer, digital communities manager at The Dallas Morning News said in an email interview. “There’s a lot more work you have to do to create a fake account and come in and throw verbal grenades. I think it just isn’t worth it for most people.”

Atlantic Media is on the Defense

The Atlantic Media Company launched its latest web publication called Defense One on Tuesday, reports Mashable . “Defense One is designed to appeal to both national security professionals as well as those merely interested in the subject, competing head-to-head with Foreign Policy, trade press and the defense verticals of publications like Politico and Business Insider. Unlike most of its competitors, Defense One will be free to access, supported entirely by advertising. Northrop Grumman, AT&T and PricewaterhouseCoopers have signed on as launch sponsors.”

DefenseOne.com features a more traditional blog layout compared to its sister site Quartz.

Having a Beast of  a Weekend

This fall is going to be busy for The Daily Beast. Capital New York has a report about a memo that Beast editor-in-chief  Tina Brown sent out on Tuesday announcing the launch of a new weekend publication called Beast Weekend. “Beast Weekend will refresh and refocus our weekend content towards culture as well as longer reads,” Brown said to her employees.

Michael Moyniham will be the editorial director for the Beast Weekend. “Brown also announced today that the Beast’s homepage will be getting a “new-look update” in the fall. The site has basically looked the same since the day it launched in 2008″.

Beast Weekend will launch in the Fall of 2013.

Toshiba Putting the Fire on Notice

DigiTimes is reporting that Toshiba plans to launch a 7-inch tablet. “Toshiba has reportedly placed orders for an entry-level 7-inch tablet named AT7-A and may launch it to the retail channel as soon as the third quarter of 2013, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.”

This new tablet would compete against the Amazon Fire. It will be interesting to see how Toshiba positions this tablet against the Fire and its massive content infrastructure.

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