[Insert your own headline here]Very amusing piece on the clash between user comments and professional journalism by Joel Achenbach in the Washington post this weekend. He's not entirely taking the subject seriously, but does pose some interesting questions about how commenting should be used, and how far it should go before it stops being so useful.
Interactivity is an evolving process. In the future, reporters will have to have, for at least one hour a day, a reader seated at their elbow to offer helpful suggestions. Occasionally, the reader will be allowed to climb onto the reporter's lap to take charge of the keyboard. You'll start seeing interesting double bylines, such as: By John Noble Wilford and Some Guy Named Bob...
...All of this is an improvement on the old days, when journalists typically interacted only with their bosses and their sources, while pausing occasionally to read a handwritten letter from a reader who was upset that her morning paper had arrived wet.
Writing was often solitary work back then. The writer was guided not by the audience so much as by an inner voice, what might be called, at the risk of sounding pretentious, a literary or journalistic conscience. Thanks to interactivity, that conscience can now be outsourced.