Aristotle, the father of rhetoric, taught us about the three great appeals: logos, the logical appeal; pathos, the emotional appeal; and ethos, the appeal of reputation.
- Require registration. Anonymous comments have no value. Only cowards hide behind anonymity.
- Registration is a start, but websites and news services should require people to use their real names. A newspaper wouldn’t publish an anonymous or cloaked comment, so why should a website?
- People who carry out discourse publicly should want to tell us who they are. If you’re a company or blogger, you can provide a link to your site. If you’re not, consider a suggestion by David Meeman Scott, author of World Wide Rave: create a Google Profile (here’s mine). A Google profile is free, easy to create, and provides basic contextual information about who you are.
- Avoid deceptive practices
- Reveal the sponsors for causes and interests represented
- Be honest and accurate in all communications