Why do they do that?

As more and more newspapers and news sites start to include “blogs” as part of their coverage, they also show that they have absolutely NO understanding of how a blog works.

On a blog, the posts are in reverse-chronological order. This makes sense, because readers follow blogs from day today, so there’s a reasonable assumption that readers will want to see the most recent posts first.

The comments, however, go in chronological order. That’s because most readers don’t follow the comments to an individual post the way the follow blogs. They read the post, and if they’re interested, they read the comments. If the comments are in reverse-chronological order, it’s difficult to follow them. Especially if the comments span multiple pages, as they usually do on busy newspaper “blogs.”

Comments aren’t written by a single author, like a blog is. The individual comments follow one another and respond to one another. The only way a person might be interested in seeing the comments in reverse-chronological order is if he is obsessively hitting “refresh” to see what the next comment will be. But this person will very likely also be motivated to scroll to the bottom of the comments list.

For the VAST majority of readers, it makes no sense to put the comments in reverse-chronological order. This means you, ESPN. And you, Charlotte Observer. Yes, I see that you have the option to change the order of the comments. But your default should be the order that 99 percent of your readers prefer.

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One Response to Why do they do that?

  1. Phronk says:

    That’s pretty ridiculous. Why not take it one step further and write the paragraphs of the article in reverse order? :)

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