Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Replies, Replies, Replies: That later discussion we were going to have..., Part III of III

Finally, when replying it's always good to focus on staying on topic.  Sometimes, you see people respond with something that seems totally unrelated to the original comment -- something that we might casually describe as a thread-jack.  Thread-jacks aren't necessarily unfunny comments - although in my experience, they almost always are - but they're out of place.  If there's a great thread going where everyone is coming up with hilarious Val Kilmer-themed movie comments that somehow also relate to bee-keeping or something (Real Bee-nius) and you chime in with a comment about how much you loved his performance about Doc Holiday, even if it's a really interesting and insightful comment about why you loved his performance (and it isn't, what do you know about movies anyway?), it's just out of place, and it breaks up the flow of the thread.  It feels like you just vomited it there to take advantage of the obvious attention the lively thread is generating.  There's this handy button labeled "start a new thread" if you have something worthwhile to add that would better stand on its own, and if it doesn't meet the criteria for being its own thread, there's always DUAN where you can vomit out just about anything and get 40 replies (no, not you, Landycakeboss - you just need to knock that shit off, like forever).   You'll sometimes hear the phrase,  “pyramid of comedy,” which I love.  All replies should build off the original, but everything should head towards a common point.  Don’t try to be Gaudi.  (By the way, at least in my opinion, if there is a pyramid going in DUAN, I still think this etiquette applies: it still screws up the joke to have something totally unrelated tossed in, but you should feel no trepidation about posting it in an adjacent location.)

As I said at the beginning, this stuff is optional and debatable.  It's not stuff that's likely to violate the only Deadspin rule of commenting -- make good comments (though as I said before, at least in my opinion, thread jacks and joke explanations are rarely good comments).  Some commenters have done very well consciously (or unconsciously) being anti-social and ignoring anything that feels like a rule of etiquette.  But the commentariat is a community, and commenters who consistently step on others' jokes might find that they end up getting less positive feedback on their own.  Also, if you step on one of his jokes, Uwe will hunt  you down and kill you, IN HIS BASEMENT!!1!!*


* It's actually more of a cellar.

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