A note to readers

A belated New Year's resolution: More engagement with reader comments

Published February 19, 2010 11:11PM (EST)

It's a little late in the year for a New Year's resolution, but I've become distressingly slack in keeping up with all the reader comments in How the World Works, and I aim to change that, starting, oh, right about now.

I'm not quite sure why I haven't been as engaged with the comments in the past six months as I used to be. Perhaps it is because, as the focus of the blog has become more dominated by political and economic news, the tone of comments has degenerated. It's not a whole lot of fun to check in to regular doses of people insulting each other, especially when they are mostly repeating the insults they flung the day before. I am also mystified by the regular commenters -- you know who you are -- whose only purpose seems to be to post the most negative, hostile thing they think of to say, every single day, with little regard to the content of what I'm writing. That's a sad existence.

Of course, I'm also aware that complaining is unlikely to change anything, and that I miss out on the good stuff when I avert my eyes. Engagement is usually the best way to foster a more civil discourse, and that's what I'm going to try to do from here on out.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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