I read with interest Alex Howard’s recent story on White House new media veteran Cammie Croft. Howard’s article notes that Croft commented on the White House Blog’s ban on comments, something I’ve noted in the past. Howard asked Croft about blog comments: “We’d like to open up comments on WhiteHouse.gov,” said Croft, “but we’re wrestling with how to make it a constructive online community. We like to say: ‘How do we avoid getting to the place that YouTube comments are?'”
A constructive online community is a noble goal. The Environmental Protection Agency deals with its share of controversial issues, yet their blog, Greenversations, accepts comments. Even during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico the blog is posting about the agency’s role and users are commenting liberally sharing their views. Is YouTube the right measuring stick?