April 1st, 2008
01:30 PM ET

Comments (How To Win 360° Approval)

If you are new to AC360.com, you may have missed this. So we thought it'd be helpful for everyone to post it again.


Originally posted: April 1, 2008

We love reading your comments on the 360° blog. And there are a lot of them.

There are so many comments – in fact – that not all of them can get posted. Comments to CNN blogs are moderated. People often ask what that means. Anderson has blogged about it: "The process is very straightforward and – like on the television program – there is no hidden agenda.  If your comment does not get posted, it’s likely because there are so many great comments to moderate." READ ANDERSON'S BLOG ON COMMENTS

That said, there are still a lot of questions about moderating comments, so we thought maybe it’s time to let you all in on how to up your odds.

1. Use your real name (just your first name is fine). Some comments have been posted with an alias, but it’s not our favorite thing to do. If I’m on the fence about posting a comment and notice an alias I frequently just click delete.

2. Stay on topic. A great comment on the campaign submitted to a blog about grey wolves will not get approved. Post your comment to the right blog entry!

3. Streamline! Comments that fill several screens could be amazing, but when we’re moderating comments it is really tempting to click delete instead of reading and approving "War and Peace: The 2008 Presidential Campaign."

4. No links. Those are probably great articles and video, but we don’t have time to vet them, so links are an automatic delete.

5. We like criticism. We’re big fans of the 1st Amendment – we use the free press every day. We aren’t afraid of criticism in your comments, but let’s keep it intelligent and thoughtful, perhaps even constructive.

6. Language. Comments should be G-rated; PG at worst.  (And that includes these: @#$%%$#&).

7. Don't write in ALL CAPS. In case you didn't hear me; DON'T YELL AT ME AND I WON'T YELL AT YOU.

If we don’t post your comment, we aren’t taking out our aggressions on you. It’s a typical newsroom here; when we get angry we take it out on each other, our computer screens, and occasionally by slamming our fists on our desks.

Happy commenting and good luck!

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Angela, Virginia

    Ok, two points.

    Anderson's tie comments. I like them. I mean, sometimes we are all thinking, man he looks sharp in that suit/tie, and sometimes, we are thinking 'what the heck was he thinking when he put that on"?? (The GREEN tie episode. NO offense Anderson. The point: It is nice to break up the monotony of political ramblings whether it be about his tie, or Erica's head bobs. Some of us are more serious about it, and perhaps they should stay up another hour to get their fix. 🙂

    The other thing is, moderation is necessary due to the volume of blogs. Some comments are similar, and sometimes mine do not make the cut, but I don't get my feathers up. Relax folks, and don't take it personally. Love the show, oh, and for the record, LOVED the outfit last night Anderson.

    April 3, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  2. Anna

    Guess deleting my comments is your way of sending a message.
    Good thing I have a pdf copy.
    Too bad though that I'll never watch CNN again.

    April 3, 2008 at 12:23 am |
  3. EJ - Ohio

    Now if Keith Olbermann would let his viewers blog, that would be great. That's a fun show too.

    April 2, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  4. Judy

    I agree with Ipfoong, "why bother blogging at all if the time and effort don't amount to much." It doesn't make me watch 360 any more or less either but it is an insult to put your time an effort into a response and then repeatedly, not get it posted.

    April 2, 2008 at 8:52 pm |
  5. Phil, illinois

    Its amazing how many people complain about not getting posted. Who cares?? I've had some of my comments not posted, but I don't see the need to complain about it though. For what?? It aint going to change anything. Some of these people that are complaining are people in their late 30's and early 40's – I've seen there MySpace pages. Its kinda sad when you stop and think about it.

    Keep rockin Anderson and 360. God only knows the comments people send your way Anderson – I can only imagine what people say. I'm not one of those people you were speaking on, but I think you rule man.

    Take care.

    April 2, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  6. lpfoong

    Oh no! This again. You people must be getting lots of complains.
    I got to give you credit for bothering to explain so that bloggers can understand your position better. We know it's not easy and all of you have lots on your plate making sure that everything is running smoothly.
    But I hope you can also get a better picture and understand those of us who have difficulties in participating the live-blog.
    It's truly frustrating.
    It's stated above that questions have to be intelligent and thoughtful and since it's normally the same handful of names that get posted, they must be the ones that are truly intelligent and thoughtful while most of us aren't. Wow, that's hard to swallow.
    I think you've done right by having a mix of serious and fun comments. I don't have any problems with the ones whose comments get posted frequently.
    For me, this doesn't make me not watch AC360 but it does make me shy away from blogging since my time and effort don't amount to much.
    Even now, I'm thinking if this comment will get posted.

    April 2, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  7. KC, Texas

    I would like to thank you for not posting all of my comments. Some of them I am typing while beating on my desk, computer or co-workers or laughing whole-heartedly. 360 has a way of getting to the heart of everything and just reading these stories enlivens me to the brink of bra-burning sometimes!

    And the "Love your tie" comments remind me of Hannibal Lector talking to the senator in "Silence of the Lambs" with all of his I'll eat your liver if you get close enough style....."Love your suit!"

    April 2, 2008 at 9:42 am |
  8. Maggie C

    Just finished the piece on "360 approval" and I have to disagree with some of the comments and questions listed.

    I do not use foul language, make threats and I've never made a comment that demeans one's race or religion. Some time back I started seeing "held for moderation" on everything I sent. No idea why, except I often have a different opinion than the blogger.

    Now everything I submit (99%) is removed, after appearing under the moderation notice. I've blogged/commented on many sights in the past two years, and CNN is the only one that has censured my opinion. And that's what it is: opinion. I tried for months to get info pertaining to a particular candidate to no avail, yet others were asking the same questions.

    I'm sure no one would deny me an opinion after posts have requested comments. I consider the events a bit more serious than "moderation".

    Maggie C

    April 2, 2008 at 1:37 am |
  9. Carla Ontario Canada

    Thanks for the guidelines as I've only been blogging for a couple months (new laptop). I have been a fan of CNN since it started and watch it evolve over the years. I remember Wolf Blitzer reporting at the WH and love his show with Jack C. AC360 and the gang are the best!! Love the new webcam too, would be nice to have sound also.
    Great work from all of you and everyone behind the scenes. I enjoy reading all the comments and see that some of us have the same views even if we are from different countries.
    Carla, ON,Canada

    April 2, 2008 at 1:05 am |
  10. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Thanks for the rules. I've written on the ac360blog since it began. There's been an awful lot of evolution to the site and some days are more bumpy ( AKA..bumped and deleted) than others. But it's appreciated for the chance to give feedback.
    The live web cam? It's like a silent movie. The Acting in it? Well, let's just say no one can top Mary Pickford, but there's always hope....

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    April 1, 2008 at 11:37 pm |
  11. Jolene

    As one who has been blogging on the 360 Blog since day one, I must say that stating the rules as you did here is very welcomed. I do realize that moderating can become rather challenging, especially if the moderators are busy doing other 360 program activities or the bloggers try to push the limits with their comments.

    With that being said, I will give credit where credit is due and I thought the moderator(s) did a great job tonight on the live blog. I could follow the topics better and the comments were short and to the point.

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    April 1, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  12. xtina

    if Anderson is going to make funny comments like saying 'dippity do', then the viewrs are going to respond. I mean come on – dippity do?! For every dippity do, there's 50 serious comments. 🙂

    April 1, 2008 at 11:20 pm |
  13. EJ - Ohio

    "So if I behave and follow the rules about submitting comments, do I earn a AC360 biscuit? LOL "

    They only have Scooby snacks.

    April 1, 2008 at 11:10 pm |
  14. Franky

    "If we don’t post your comment, we aren’t taking out our aggressions on you. It’s a typical newsroom here; when we get angry we take it out on each other, our computer screens, and occasionally by slamming our fists on our desks."

    Don't worry guys, is cool! I've seen worse, LOL!!!

    April 1, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  15. neecee

    thanks for setting it straight......

    April 1, 2008 at 10:42 pm |
  16. MBG

    I notice that one of the new rules is that no links to other news stories are allowed. You know that there are news outlets like HuffingtonPost.com or CommonDreams.org that cover stories that you won't. (The "Winters Soldiers" conference in March of US vets from Iraq who reported on atrocities they witnessed over there is one such story).

    That seems to mean you want people to focus on your fawning stories about "foreing policy expert'" John McCain and your attacks on Obama as "too liberal" instead of the truth.

    CNN was way different back in the days when Ted Turner owned the network. Its present owners in the Military Industrial Complex naturally favor the biggest warmongers on the political scene. War is good for business.

    April 1, 2008 at 10:31 pm |
  17. Connie

    Thanks. I just started blogging a couple of days ago and was wondering what the rules are. Very helpful.

    April 1, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  18. Tammy

    I never want your job as a moderator. Ever. I do appreciate that this site is kept clean, respectful, and diverse. I read other blog comments from other news sources, and some of them just scare me. It will be two years this summer that I started commenting here. I keep coming back because it's a good place for intelligent dialogue, and you all keep this a pretty classy sight. However, as serious as the live blog can get, it does need to be lightened up at times. As serious as the regular blogs get, we need to lighten up and laugh sometimes. I got downright punchy last night on the live blog. You took my serious stuff, but the lighter side that does come out from others is appreciated. And Anderson and Erica do lead the way on the show and blog by lightening things up themselves at times. We are following their lead. It's good to know that they are "real" people who respect their viewers enough to comment with them and realize life deserves a good laugh once in a while.

    April 1, 2008 at 9:44 pm |
  19. Angel

    There are reasons for rules and I'm glad your CNN blog is enforcing them, Anderson! It has become increasingly disappointing to read well written articles on the CNN cite with hateful, uninformed, and plain stupid comments attached. Rules are for all to follow...hint, hint.

    April 1, 2008 at 9:37 pm |
  20. seah ohio

    Great Job.

    It can't be easy moderating these boards. Thank you for the tips and the heads up. Keep up the good work. Maybe someday CNN will make a viewers board, just for on going discussions.

    April 1, 2008 at 9:13 pm |
  21. Brandi in the Swamps of Louisiana

    Oh boy, more rules, and just when I was trying to get into this. 🙂

    I guess I should also apologize for commenting on AC's tie's (even though I really dont like the red and black one) 🙂

    I will try to be more intellectual and definitely make sure I spell correctly. lol

    April 1, 2008 at 9:10 pm |
  22. Annie Kate

    Nice to have the rules laid out. It might help to have these rules posted where everyone sees them even after this post falls to another page as most people don't page through and wouldn't know to go looking for rules.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    April 1, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  23. Stacy

    I have to somewhat agree with Jo Ann. Some nights it seems like the live blog moderator is not following their own guidelines. There's always a lot of off topic shallow comments, as well as thesis-length posts. Intelligent conversation about the topic at hand gets lost in the mix and I know a lot of people are just giving up.

    I don't know if this would just make things a lot more complicated, but maybe if the moderator put forth a question coinciding with every story, it would help the conversation be not so all over the place.

    April 1, 2008 at 9:08 pm |
  24. Jacqui Chan

    Also, I forgot to ask, not that I will get an answer -UNDERSTANDABLY but I was wondering if the person who posts a blog receives a lot of comments, does someone actually print out the blog when it is thru for them to read?
    What I am getting at is, how are we to know if when we respond on a blog to the person who posted it that he or she will actually read it. Not that a moderator can force them but I was wondering if they are usuallly read so I am not waisting my time.
    Thank you

    MODERATOR: Our bloggers enjoy reading the comments. They appreciate the feedback.

    April 1, 2008 at 9:07 pm |
  25. Jacqui Chan

    I do stay on topic and sometimes I am posted but I do find it a bit annoying when I post something relative and it is not posted yet pre-teen, cheezey, cutesy comments are posted which to me seem more irrelevant for a news blog.
    Also I should say that over all it is a good blog and you/all of you do do a good job with moderating it as I am sure it can get overwhelming at times. Thanks...
    Jacqui Chan

    April 1, 2008 at 9:01 pm |
  26. Megan Dresslar

    Hi Anderson,
    I am agree with you, I am enjoying your blog each night. That is my favorite blog..... I learned so lot use this blog. Sometimes I write my blog what I do. Sometimes I usually delete my blog or other blog. I couldn't wait to write my blog and your show AC360! I'm grateful for my inspire to other blog. And thanks Anderson! thanks for let me write my blog in your show AC360! It will fun! I can't wait see you tonight! See you soon!
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa.

    April 1, 2008 at 8:57 pm |
  27. EJ - Ohio

    "Please take your own rules of posting to heart. I’ve read many live 360 blogs that are not streamlined. Ex: the doctor post the other night that went on for paragraphs and as far as on topic goes: “telling Anderson you like his tie” should not get posted on the live blog but did and not once. So if the rules are to be followed please start NOW."


    Perhaps if Anderson didn't wear such nice ties we wouldn't have to comment on them. It's his fault.

    And... the doctor's posts yesterday were extremely informative and offered a balance that the addiction story much needed. I personally found his personal experiences and his knowledge of the issues informative & refreshing.

    April 1, 2008 at 8:51 pm |
  28. Michele

    No comment 🙂

    April 1, 2008 at 8:44 pm |
  29. Genevieve M, TX

    So if I behave and follow the rules about submitting comments, do I earn a AC360 biscuit? LOL

    Just joking of course....keep up the good work 360 staff!

    April 1, 2008 at 8:41 pm |
  30. EJ - Ohio

    "You keep telling us that we should stay on topic, but I often see comments posted that have nothing to do with what is being discussed and are merely idle chitchat."

    Sometimes the idle chitchat is in response to some of the idle chitchat from Anderson, Erica, etc. They do their share of idle chitchat with some of the stories.

    April 1, 2008 at 8:36 pm |
  31. EJ - Ohio

    I also wondered how many famous people live blog here. I mean, how do we know that it wasn't really Angelina Jolie posting the other night? We know Kathy Griffith watches so why not Angelina?

    April 1, 2008 at 8:25 pm |
  32. Jo Ann

    Moderator: Thanks for the response, but that still doesn’t answer the question about the people who get posted five or six times a night, every night, no matter what they say. I have a feeling that some of us have been blacklisted from the live blog, but I am willing to try again.

    By the way, my name is Jo Ann, I have been blogging on the regular 360 blog for two years.

    April 1, 2008 at 8:23 pm |
  33. EJ - Ohio

    Of course without a job here in Ohio, I'm willing to moderate for a reasonable fee. Call or email me Mr./Ms. Moderator. 🙂

    April 1, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  34. Lisa

    While I rarely am able to participate in the live blog, I have noticed that many of the same "names" appear multiple times during the hour-long blog. Maybe allowing only comment per blogger may help get more viewer's comments posted. On the few occasions I have attempted to participate, I have left feeling very frustrated that my comment didn't get posted but 4 or 5 from the same bloggers did.

    I think it's wonderful that there is a core group, but room needs to be made for newcomers to allow the group to grow ... or we leave disenfranchised at not being able to participate in this unique venture.

    April 1, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  35. Lilibeth

    Thanks for outlining all the rules. Your job as moderator is hard...with the popularity of this blog, you must get a huge volume of comments. Thanks for always considering our inputs.

    Edmonds, Washington

    April 1, 2008 at 8:12 pm |
  36. EJ - Ohio

    If I used my real first name I'm sure some people would figure out who I am. I hope my initials suffice!

    April 1, 2008 at 8:10 pm |
  37. Maureen T

    So noted! I'll try not to comment on Anderson's tie or attire for that matter! Thanks for letting me know the ins and outs! Much appreciated! 🙂

    April 1, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  38. Jana, Indiana

    I appreciate that you have so many comments coming in at once, but I have to agree with both Jo Ann and Judy. The comments that are posted that are so off topic just does not make sense.

    April 1, 2008 at 8:01 pm |
  39. Judy

    Please take your own rules of posting to heart. I've read many live 360 blogs that are not streamlined. Ex: the doctor post the other night that went on for paragraphs and as far as on topic goes: "telling Anderson you like his tie" should not get posted on the live blog but did and not once. So if the rules are to be followed please start NOW.

    April 1, 2008 at 7:32 pm |
  40. Minou, New York City

    Hi Moderators,
    I'm all for moderating! Lord knows, not every brain fart of mine needs to be posted.
    I feel for you guys. Really! Even if I keep' em coming...for which I apologize beforehand ...

    April 1, 2008 at 7:16 pm |
  41. Jo Ann

    I will probably never get posted again after this, but here it goes.

    I don’t know if the regular 360 blog is monitored any differently than the live blog, however, I have always followed every rule you have posted here, but I am still having trouble getting posted to the live blog.

    You keep telling us that we should stay on topic, but I often see comments posted that have nothing to do with what is being discussed and are merely idle chitchat. It is discouraging to see those types of comments going through on a continual basis while intelligent, on topic comments and questions are left in moderation and deleted. This has happened not only to me, but also to friends in other states.

    I realize that you get thousands of hits a night, but that doesn’t explain why the same names get posted numerous times night after night without fail. These comments are often not on topic and do nothing to advance the conversation. 360 has always been one of my favorite news programs, but I have found myself leaving the blog and the show early many times in the last week.

    MODERATOR: Julie, we hold no grudges. The live blog is a challenge. So many comments come so quickly it is hard to keep up. Please keep trying. We value your input.

    April 1, 2008 at 7:11 pm |
  42. Jennifer - Michigan

    Your guidelines are good ones. I didn't like seeing the alias either; it seems sort of dishonest, like they have something to hide. Look forward to the show tonight. Thank you.

    April 1, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
  43. Jack, Long Island, NY


    April 1, 2008 at 6:47 pm |
  44. Rob, Arvada, CO

    Thank you for your six rules of common sense, Anderson. Hopefully now we can see some real intelligent dialogue and not candidate flag-waving and hurtful insults. I would also say that rule number 7 would be atrocious spelling. Nothing discredits your blog worse than when one cannot spell, and people with a caps-lock fetish should be deleted as well. Keep these rules enforced, and I am confident we can have some really insightful dialogue.

    April 1, 2008 at 6:45 pm |
  45. Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada

    Mr/Ms. Moderator

    Thanks for giving us a few tips about posting. It is a lot of fun to live blog and we want to help make your life less stressful as we know you already have enough stress dealing with the NEWS.

    See you tonight on the live blog

    April 1, 2008 at 6:34 pm |