Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Amazon Prime Day is the bad-news-free news event we’ve been waiting for this summer
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Sept. 19, 2016, 11:46 a.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: blog.coralproject.net  ➚   |   Posted by: Shan Wang   |   September 19, 2016

Even as the number of news organizations dumping their comment sections grows, The Coral Project is continuing to build new products to try and improve how comments work.

The group, a collaboration effort from the Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Mozilla Foundation (and funded by the Knight Foundation), has been researching how to improve commenting online for both commenters and news outlets and building out open-source tools for newsrooms to test. Its latest product Ask, released to the wider public on Monday (The Coral Project held an install party at SRCCON in July), is a system for crowdsourcing reader contributions:

‘Ask’ enables editors to create embeddable forms to invite contributions from readers. These could come in several formats, including text, photo, video, audio. The contributions can be (optionally) linked to existing user profiles. Editors can filter, sort, share, and manage the contributions, and then display the best ones in a gallery.

The Coral Project hopes Ask will simplify the workflow of engagement editors, journalists, and anyone who needs to put out calls for (and subsequently sort through) reader responses, as well as improve readers’ experience submitting material to news organizations. The tool will also help publishers avoid sharing user data with third-party, cloud-based systems like Google Forms, since the reader contributions are processed on a news organization’s own servers. For interested newsrooms, Github here.

Similar crowdsourcing tools exist, but Ask was built to address some features lacking from other platforms, and it can handle the whole process, from requesting reader contributions to editing them to finally displaying reader-submitted content.

— Existing tools aren’t optimized for journalistic use — common complaints center around poor design, poor mobile experience, poor accessibility, time consuming to create galleries/share the results based on call outs, inability for contributors to be remembered across different call outs, don’t connect with existing user databases or include the context of previous comments/contributions

— It’s an important part of our “contributions, not just comments” philosophy

— It allows us to build and test scalable curation management tools with something more manageable than a full comments system, as Ask isn’t real time or user-to-user facing, so likely to be lower volume and suffer less trolling

The Coral Project also recently unveiled a Comments Lab, which lets anyone play with features they’d want in an ideal comments space online (you can turn on or off emojis, for instance, or turn on or off displaying basic data on a commenter).

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 45,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Amazon Prime Day is the bad-news-free news event we’ve been waiting for this summer
A day where clicking to refresh is fun, not panic-inducing.
A new proposed law would turn drone journalism into a swarm of lawsuits and make it easy to sue over news photography
Imagine if a news photographer at a football game had to get permission from every single person in the stadium before taking a single shot — or else face hundreds of civil lawsuits. That’s what new model legislation wants to bring to public airspace.
Three multi-billion-dollar companies dominate the Chinese internet landscape, from news media to AI
Plus: WeChat now has 1.04 billion monthly active users, shortform video is booming, and a few other significant numbers out of a recent report on the state of the Chinese internet landscape.