I had never understood why I couldn’t comment on Lifehacker posts. It’s not something I’d do a lot of, but occasionally I like to offer my 2 (maybe even 3) cents. :)
So, I emailed the Lifehacker comment super-administrator lord of the comments dude, and asked why my comments were disabled. This was his response:
I’ll give you another chance to audition. Try to make comments that add value to the discussion. If we like what we see, we will enable you to comment without review. The moderators like to have several comments to review before they approve an account. Try commenting on several articles to give them more examples of your commenting style.
WHAT?? ”Another chance to audition”?? I hadn’t realized I auditioned in the first place. Even so, I’ve never heard of a social networking site that required you to audition. I mean, you WANT more people to join and keep coming back, right? That sort of thing seems kinda… elitist? I feel like I’m being evaluated to join a country club or something, when really all I’m trying to get into is the public golf course. No offense, Lifehacker, your site’s great but it’s no country club.
I can see the benefit from doing this, as it would keep trolls and such out. I’m more for the open membership method, then ban the bad users after methodology, but that’s just me.
This is actually kinda ironic, because I used to moderate a few message boards. Looking at it from a moderator’s perspective, the Lifehacker way is actually a great way to go. Keeps the site respectable. From a users perspective, you can’t help but feel a little insulted.
Maybe a good compromise would be to have moderators just watch (not approve) new user posts. That way they could ban the bad users as needed, and the good users would keep on posting comments without feeling discouraged that their first several posts are wasted. Or are they wasted? I’ve posted 6 times since they re-enabled commenting on my account, and those posts have disappeared from the articles. That’s frustrating, but maybe my insight just isn’t worth as much as I thought. :)