Going one step further than The Guardian newsblog which is open to reader comments, Le Monde has a relationship with Six Apart to host readers’ blogs and invite them to participate in the conversation (full disclosure, I work for Six Apart).
Covered by the site editorsweblog.org, the Editor & Publisher of Le Monde, Stéphane Mazzorato, recently spoke at a conference in Lisbon on the launch of blogs on lemonde.fr saying, “The reader is a partner, not a passive audience.” He went on to talk about the success of blogs for the site mentioning in particular, the success of their NY-based correspondent who posted on the recent US elections,
For example, Corinne Lesne in New York ran a blog during the American election which allowed readers to have additional insights into the process, and to comment on the issues. Ms Lesne posted 62 items in one month of blogging, generating 774 comments from readers and 90,000 visits.
In this new world, the traditional Letters to the Editor are no longer on the second to last page of the first section on the day following. If a reader has a comment on something written, they can post their comments right there and then for all to see. Comments are something to be read in real-time, in context, right under the original post.