1. Preposterous nonsense.

    Only kidding. I think this approach is quite right, and much more in keeping with the way that people expect to be able to share their thoughts online. It requires a little bit of culture change for some organisations, but the more I think about it, the more I reckon this is an administrative improvement i.e. making more time to design engagement around receiving general comments/stories/responses, as opposed to rigid Q&A.

    Over on BIS’s Focus on Enforcement pages we explicitly ask for people’s experiences, but this probably isn’t the best test for this kind of approach. The subject matter is quite complicated to communicate, and although it has generated some rich comments about reader’s experiences, there has been a lot of work involved with moderation. This is because there can be legal issues around people’s responses.

    Asking people to talk about heroes/villains, frustrations, and experiences in free text is the way forward. But policy makers will need to be reassured by a practical, but comprehensive, approach to moderation.

  2. Good stuff. I think this is an area we could all give a little more thought to. And not just on comment forms (though certainly there).

    A way of thinking about this it seems to me is:
    – generally people answer the question they are asked
    – different questions are different “what do you think about this?” “what do you you feel about this?” “what should we do about this?” will generate different responses
    – ask the question you want to know the answer to

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