The Q&A feature is a tool I always dreamed of having access to in my years doing community work, and had given up on the chance of having.
It's intuitive for our reporters and commenters to use without much instruction, it makes for an excellent user experience for comment readers (the vast majority of people interacting with comments anyway), and the way it's built encourages a very high caliber of comments.
In response to coronavirus, we are planning a daily Q&A conversation onsite between different journalists and readers (you can browse them at ft.com/ftreaders). We think that facilitating a space for readers to have direct access to our reporters and experts during such a confusing time is a public service.
This tool has come at the perfect time, significantly improving the experience both for our readers and our journalists.
Our reporters have so far said that the experience of doing Q&As has given them story ideas and a better sense of what their readers want to know, and that the tool is easy to use.
Our readers have also shared a lot of positive feedback on the format, including this:
"Many thanks for this precedent of getting specific questions answered by people with high expertise. Undoubtedly the most informative mode of journalism I've seen in over five decades. I hope it catches on."
US Head of Audience Engagement
The Financial Times
It went very well.
The interface was easy, and the questions and replies updated really quickly on both the site and in the moderation portal.
I set all questions to pre-approval, and was able to catch and approve them as they came in very easily.
Cal Lundmark Southeast Editor of Audience Growth & Loyalty