Are comments a wretched hive of scum and villainy or an underused resource for publishers?

From Paid Content:

There seem to be two competing views of website and blog comments at the moment: By far the most popular one is that reader comments — particularly on traditional media sites — are useless cesspools populated by trolls and hate-mongers who can actually do far more harm than good. The other view is that comments are a potential source not just of high-quality thought or opinion, but of writers who might be worthy of the same profile as a site’s salaried staff, not to mention a potential business model.

As Tim Carmody at The Verge describes in a post on the new features, the platform essentially turns every commenter into a blogger. Prior to the latest change, readers had a profile page that showed their latest contributions, but now they have what amounts to a full-fledged blog with publishing ability — complete with their own custom address at Kinja.com. And editor Matt Hardigree says that the site, and by extension other Gawker sites, will be looking at the comments as a source of content and even future hires:

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