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Jon Mitchell has had a rant here on ReadWriteWeb about Google+ and its many (in his view) shortcomings.
I still don't find Google+ compelling enough to be able to engage in that debate, but I was interested to see one poster's view in the comments included this salvo:
Anyone who has ever tried to comment your average newspaper website will no doubt join in on the chorus (and is probably still trying to work out how they subscribed for 20 e-newsletters while registering to comment).As for jumping through hoops, having to come to this site, after seeing the article on G+ was a pain. The entire article could have been posted to G+, where I was already logged in and could then share or comment. Instead I have to load this site, wait for all of the ridiculous ads and recommended stories to load, read the full post, which is interrupted with an ad right in the middle of the story, scroll past 20 comments, write my comment, then look forward to the no-doubt idiotic login process.
We don't half make things complicated sometimes.
Which is why I found myself agreeing (and, in line with my New Year Resolution, leaving a comment on) this post by Dave Burdick who suggests maybe shifting debates from main news sites to social networks, specificaly Twitter.
Interesting idea isn't it? Although debates shift wherever the participants want them to, imo, and the more we try to control them the more likely we are to lose out.
I suspect that as time goes on we will get less concerned about making people jump through hoops to comment on our site, and just seek out interaction, wherever it may be.
I hope we do, anyway - the 'log in to comment on this story' is just another facet of the Media As Gatekeeper approach we're all trying to move away from.