The online media industry continues to face readership and revenue challenges. They are burdened with the task of not only providing the content but gaining more user interaction in the form of reader comments. Comments by readers are beneficial to sites because they show created readership and mean more eyeballs to that particular page or article. For publishers, more eyeballs means more revenue.
The Industry Standard is a news and analysis site owned by IDG, a large publishing organization that publishes over 300 magazines in 85 countries!
The Industry Standard re-launched on Drupal in 2008 with the goal of engaging with new readers and encouraging them to contribute comments and content. They also wanted to allow readers to comment anonymously, something that most news sites do not do. The Industry Standard felt that anonymity gave readers more freedom to express their comments, and would encourage more frequent and detailed commentary while expanding traffic and tying the publication into the many other online conversations taking place around technology.
Ian Lamont, The Industry Standard's managing editor, had prior experience managing online communities, and knew that the relaunched publication would need a comment filter that could encourage quality comments while sifting out spam and trolls.
According to Lamont, having anonymous comments is hugely important to The Industry Standard. "We really believe that most people don't want to deal with the hassle of registration. Because we are relatively small, if we only had registered comments, there would be far less reader engagement on the site. As it is now, we can have dialogues with unregistered users, which is really important to building voice and an online identity."
The Industry Standard is using Mollom to help them remove the barrier to visitor participation, allowing readers to comment anonymously and eliminate spam vandalism. Since the re-launch in 2008, Mollom has blocked 800k spam messages in 539 days and blocked more than a thousand attempts a day with peaks up to several thousands a day. Cool!