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How Offbeat Empire comment moderation has changed since 2012

Over the last couple years, however, things have shifted DRAMATICALLY with our comments. The shifts felt so natural to us behind the scenes that they felt kind of gradual, but when I look back I realized that it's been a huge change over a relatively short period of time, all leading up to a dramatic shift that readers may not be fully aware of. Here are a few of the things that have changed…

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How to tell a publisher you're unhappy with their website (and actually get them to consider making changes)

Over the past eight years, I've dealt with thousands of complaints from readers… ranging from the completely baffling the to the hugely helpful. I've noticed a few patterns in what makes the difference between constructive and helpful feedback vs extremely frustrating feedback. The next time you're unhappy with a publisher, here are my suggestions for how to make sure your feedback is heard and acted upon:

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In-image ads on Offbeat Home & Life

Normally the business side of running the Offbeat Empire blogs lives, well, here on the Offbeat Empire's behind-the-scenes blog. But today on Offbeat Home & Life, Megan did a post about her and my joint decision to ad in-image ads to the site. It felt important to do over there, since it's something we anticipated the reader community would have LOTS of opinions about. And they did… but not the ones I expected.

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Acculturating new readers who find us on Facebook

Offbeat Bride's Facebook page has blasted into the stratosphere this month, with our Like count going from 33k to 43k in the last 30 days. This is basically an average of about 400 new Facebook followers every single day — way above our baseline. Ok, so this is great, right? So many people finding Offbeat Bride and being introduce to the awesomeness, right? So many new readers! So many new eyeballs! Well, yes and no…

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"I'm weird for being normal": the reverse discrimination fallacy

I've written about "othering," and how in an online community where many people define themselves by their non-normativeness, it can be really weird to suddenly be part of the majority.

However, I've never dedicated a post to what I call the reverse discrimination fallacy… where community members allow themselves to feel marginalized because they're in the majority.

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Noteworthy comments: reader self-policing

There was some interesting commenting on the Empire this week, mostly because we saw several instances of readers stepping into almost a moderator-type role to offer feedback to each other.