Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Brief (Edit: Prolix) Whiny Note About This Site And Its Future

So, this blog, huh?  This blog came into existence all of five days ago, when MKM posted a tongue-in-cheek needy comment in DUAN (let's all pretend it was tongue-in-cheek, okay?).  Being an idiot, I decided to throw together a blog dedicated to MKM in a few seconds and reply to MKM, which I thought we might both get a chuckle out out of.  Instead, it got a very nice response, so I added a few more posts that night - none of which took more than five minutes to throw together - not expecting anything to come of it, and with no aspiration for it to continue beyond that night.   Instead, 2,000 visitors showed up that night, spurred in large part by plugs from Shitehawk both on Twitter and MBA.  WTF?   So, the next day, I thought I'd poke a little fun at my friends All Over But The Sharting and Phintastic, and we drew even more visitors.  Now, five days later, we've had nearly 11,000 of you visit the site, which totally fries my brain.  (To put that in context, at its peak, MBA drew about 18,000 visitors in a month, per Shitehawk.)

So, here we are now, and I'm not sure where I should steer this thing next.   As much fun as I have had, and as incredible as your response has been, I am loathe to run this joke into the ground.  I probably still have enough material in the queue to get us through another week or two, but there are ultimately a finite number of commenters I can profile, and guests who can write in to rip on me.   So, here are some ideas:

  • Shut her down.  The last post would be MKM's amazingly excellent hit piece on me, which strikes me as a very elegant place to end this, and on a very high note.  
  • Supplement the existing content with a daily comment roundup.  To be clear, this would not look anything like MBA looked.  Even if I possessed Shitehawk's writing ability and fantastic ability to understand what makes a comment work on Deadspin - and I have neither - I couldn't write the way he did because there's no way the MBA concept works if you know who the author is.  By staying anonymous, Shitehawk retained the appearance of total objectivity, and we could all imagine it was AJ or the Ninja or something writing - hey, it might have been - not some chump who only has, at best, a tenuous hold on his own star.  Otherwise, it's no different than just getting a +1 from IMG on Deadspin, which is no great achievement.  I suppose I could create a totally fake account and write under that name, but I don't think any of you would be fooled by that (though perhaps I misjudge your ability to suspend disbelief, based upon how many of you have commented optimistically about your prospects for marriage and/or employment).  Instead, what I have in mind is something that would look a lot like my commenter profiles do right now: a (hopefully) humorous and roast-like roundup of the four or five best comments of the day.  I'd exclude my own (to give all of you a fighting chance) and I'd try to find some that got missed, and of course, I'd include all of MKM's work (it's my game and I own the ball).
  • Keep doing what I'm doing for another few weeks and let it die when you stop showing up.  
  • Just start ripping on Gawker comments. 
Anywho, that's where we are.  I'm not going to post anything tonight after MKM's post, so you'll all have plenty of time to give me your feedback.  Use the comments, PM me on Deadspin, write your member of Congress.  Whatever.   I've enjoyed this tremendously and cannot tell you how flattered I am by the incredible response. 




  1. Gawker commenters, please. Hate to ask you to shine a flashlight into a latrine and then check how it smells, but someone needs to point out what a den of humorless egotism that comment section is.

    -Definitely not Phintastic

  2. Destroy Gawker commenters and maybe once or twice a week do a comment round up. I love this site, keep it up!

  3. Just keep doing whatever you want -- everything you touch is pure gold!

  4. Benedict CumberbatchJanuary 17, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I vote for a weekly Jezebel comment round up. But instead of saying anything about the comments, we just try to guess which commenters were ragging it that week.

  5. Hiya IMG, Miserable Shitehawk here. Here's some unsolicited perspective from a former stalker of the Deadspin commentariat:

    1. Shutting it down now is a fine option, if you're feeling even slightly overwhelmed by it. I wish I'd shut down MBA at its peak instead of waiting until I was completely overwhelmed. That said, the temptation to come back will be strong, and coming back feels a bit embarrassing, especially if you then subsequently burn out in 48 hours. Not that that is exactly what happened to me. In other words, I wouldn't shut it down unless as long as you're still enjoying making it.

    2. Roundups would be very exciting for the commentariat, but man, that's a bear. Keep it simple if you go that route. And I think you have enough credibility that you wouldn't need an alias, although you'd have to go soft on duds. Duds were the reason I went with an alias - in order to really skewer you fine folks, I needed a superhero alter ego, like Batman! Batman's cool, right?

    3. This blog is a lot of fun, especially when you pretend to think MKM is a good commenter (as if, amirite?). There's no reason you can't keep going for a long time in the same vein, you'd just have to slow down your rate of production. That's probably a good idea, anyway - you'll have more fun and feel less pressure if you spread out your entries a bit more.

    4. You will not last a week trying to regularly cull Gawker comments for a Roundup of mostly anonymous jerks and their faith-in-humanity-obliterating stuff. Sifting through bad comments, even on Deadspin, is an exercise in soul-wearying, teeth-gnashing misery - I can only imagine how bad it would be if the commenters were of the caliber found on Gawker.

    You've done an awesome job with this thing, and I'm hugely, hugely envious of your stats. Whatever you choose to do, this thing has been an absolute joy to follow, and I personally hope you stick around as long as you're able.


    1. [swoons]

      I can't thank you enough for this. I was never serious about critiquing Gawker comments, but you certainly have captured what a miserable undertaking that would be.

      I don't feel at all overwhelmed by what I am doing (nor should I, I'd imagine, after five days), more concerned that this site was built on a particularly slender reed and, unless I found a coherent way to expand the content base, there's just no way I could sustain it.

      If I were to do a roundup-like thing, it would not have any duds (pot calling the kettle black, etc.). I'd just pick 4 or 5 comments, not necessarily the "best" 4 or 5 comments, but 4 or 5 noteworthy comments, and write up a little summary of each with the same sensibility I've used in my commenter profiles thus far. Maybe I will give that a shot and see how it plays.

      You are so tremendously generous to stop by and contribute something this thoughtful. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your kind words and sage advice.


  6. Why not include duds? Why not ONLY post the duds? Fuck it. We already know which comments are funny... they're the ones with all the +1's dangling from their butthairs. The duds are the ones that we all sit there and stare at and think "FUCK! I really want to snark the shit outta that comment, but I fear the ninja."

    The reason MBA was so good was that MS explained why the funny comments were funny. Re-posting funny comments just so we can all re-circlejerk them isn't going to accomplish anything. And I don't blame you for being hesitant to even attempt to recreate what MBA was doing... that should be a full-time job for anyone depraved enough to do it.

    Throw the shitty comments up on the blog throughout the day, as they happen, and let us make the comments we're holding back on.