If there is a danger in all this, it is one, perhaps, that has been exacerbated by the mainstream media as they have tried to adapt to the new online reality and incorporate the popular principle of wider participation into their debates.Because of the measures of success in the new online world, including how many comments are attracted and the number of page views, it has been inevitable, some argue, that the loudest and most partisan voices seem attractive. Which leaves a burning question unanswered. How to quantify what all this means for those engaging in public debate, including bloggers, writers, journalists and commenters.

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