Look, I’m probably the last person in on this, but on the off-chance there’s someone still missing out: spEak You’re bRanes.
It’s a blog entirely built around comments left on the BBC’s Have Your Say website, where the public are invited to, you know, have their say, on topical matters.
No need to go into close detail on the approach that spEak You’re bRanes takes: the fact that it has constructed a taxonomy for Have Your Say contributors that includes Grief Athletes and Werthers Original Imperialists probably says enough.
But aside from the odd deliciously nasty put-down, the thing that struck me with most force was the simple fact that commenters (horrible term) are fair game for a project like this.
Most writers probably take it for granted that their work may be criticised and lampooned, fairly or otherwise, at some stage. Many take steps to reduce the risk of it happening or shield themselves from taking it personally when it does happen (having supportive colleagues comes in handy). But how often do those of us working online extend the same concern for those we invite to interact with our content?
spEak You’re bRanes has a seemingly endless supply of intolerant, xenophobic rants to draw on, and personally I find it rather difficult to extend much sympathy to the BBC contributors it takes apart.
I do wonder though how many humane, intelligent and sensitive people there are out there who forgo the invitation to interact because of the rather merciless spotlight they see being aimed at others’ contributions.