This summer, Going Concern turns nine. Over that time, the site has changed a lot — to the chagrin of some, to the delight of others. In any case, one of the mainstays during this time has been the comments on articles. This week will bring more change to the site, as we’ve been working on a vast overhaul that will roll out, and we’ve decided that it’s as good of a time as any to announce comments on articles will end with the updated site.
The trend of publications ditching comments is not new; in fact, we’re a little behind the curve. Sites big and small have done away with them as the comment sections lost their value. Many were not welcoming places, filled with nonsense, hostility, and ad hominems.
Going Concern’s comments have been no different. While there are still comments that are insightful or funny, the vast majority fail to add much to the conversation. There will probably be a portion of the audience that believes this will be the death knell of GC, but most sites that have scrapped comments have continued on and we’ll do the same. Others will say that the site has been dead for years, yearning for the GC of circa 2009-10 when anything and everything was fair game.
But in the last nine years, the internet has changed a lot. This span of time is basically equivalent to an eon online. That means GC has had to change too, especially in this era of “fake news” where credibility and accountability is important, but also creating content that is informative, helpful, and sustainable. Gossip and irreverent commentary will always be a part of GC, but so will a range of other topics that are important to accountants outside of just the Big 4.
Now, before the pro-comment crowd storms out, you should know that they will remain on archived posts and Open Items. Most of the Q&A that occurs in Open Items is still useful and substantive, and we want to maintain a robust, active forum, so the comments will remain there. Obviously, it wouldn’t be much of a forum without them. And there’s nothing to prevent a user from starting a thread in Open Items about a Going Concern story. Likewise, we’ll still maintain other channels for your commentary, complaints, or suggestions. You can quickly get in touch with us on Twitter or our Facebook page, as well as email us.
So that’s that. Thanks to everyone who’s provided thoughtful, funny, and substantive comments over the years. It helped make Going Concern what it is today. If all goes as planned, the new version of GC will debut tomorrow, meaning this is likely to be the last article with comments, so you can reminisce and/or lament their demise here.