Comment Is Free, a new editorial blog from the Guardian has just launched.
After following Ben Hammersley‘s posts about building this site I was interested to see how it panned out.
I do welcome the Guardian’s creation of an editorial site where we can read about opinions rather than just the dry facts. it is something which I think has been lacking from online news sites for a long time and I’m sure Comment Is Free will find some big names to contribute over the next few weeks. The addition of open comments to those posts is something more of a risk.
I can imagine the bosses at the Guardian being a little concerned about opening up a blog which will include posts on political subjects to the general public. Politics is one of those subjects which you are always warned away from at dinner parties in case it turns into an impromtu rehash of Bugsy Malone.
George Galloway's post has resulted in something of a heated exchange but just like the Newsvine entry on the same subject has one or two well thought out comments which add to the information provided by the main post.
I’m still unsure as to how much goodness these systems will give. You still have to wade through some rubbish to find the good comments on both sites. I think the most interesting thing they will contribute is the potential for providing an international viewpoint on a news event. When the BBC opens up certain stories with a “Have your Say” section it more often than not adds value. This may be because they are able to moderate the posts more fully and I think this is where the Guardian and Newsvine will need to concentrate their efforts.