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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 slowly kill a website you love

Last week on Offbeat Home & Life, we published a sponsored post about gender-neutral baby clothes, angled toward the gifts market. Within a couple hours, several readers commented on Facebook and the post itself that the products featured were out of their budgets — which I totally understand and respect. I'm less understanding toward readers feeling the need to post insulting comments when they can't afford a product.

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Favorite comments: altered jeans & duct-taped babies

Another week, another wave of hilarious, insightful, fabulous commenting across the Offbeat Empire blogs. In this morning's staff video conference, we discussed how one of the upsides of the shift toward people being too lazy to comment anywhere except Facebook is that the quality of blog comments on our posts has generally shifted upward. For the most part, folks who want to snark or leave a crappy drive-by comment are too lazy to click through to the post, type their names and email, and then type their comment. The snarkers seem be self-selecting to stay on Facebook, which is fine by us. The result is that the folks who ARE invested in the comment communities on the Offbeat Empire sites have a (generally) safe haven to have (generally) valuable conversations. It's honestly kind of amazing.

So gather close, my little offbeatlings, as I run through a selection of the Empire staff's favorite comments this week.