Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MKM Open Thread (April 18, 2012)

Welcome to your MKM Blog open thread for April 18, 2012, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!

Sorry about that, I'm still feeling a little hysterical about the whole commenting thing.  Anyway, here we are:  A place where the commenting system will never change, unless Google decides to do something, or I kill this balog, which I probably will do in the next week or so.  Till then, you're all stars here.  Except for Raysism, who is a whiny little bitch.

Anyway, while we still have stars, and commenting history, and avatars, and friends/followers, let's try to still be funny.  There was some terrific work yesterday.  In the eternal words of, I think, MKM,

fight the new commenting system and you may die. Run and you'll live -- at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our fucking Val Kilmer jokes!!!

Whoo!  Here's a Youtube clip to get you rolling.


34 comments:

  1. So wait -- am I beautiful, or a whiny little bitch?

    Answer: I'm both.

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  2. Okay, two honest questions:

    1) Does anyone have some sort of idea about how the new system will actually work? Perhaps a web site that we could check out that might be similar to the vague descriptions put forth by Deadspin and Gawker? I'd like to look at something similar just to get my bearings.

    2) How do you guys honestly think the "funny" will be treated? Will it still be the staple? Will it be downplayed? Will it be completely stamped out?

    Bottom line is that in a worst-case scenario, the comment section turns into a jumble of people spouting off opinions like on every other web site. Take a look at this for example, although I know you are all familiar with what I mean. I'm really scared Deadspin comment section is going to become like PFT's.

    Hold me ...

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    1. The Amazing SneijdermanApril 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      It seems that Gawker is rolling it out before any of the other sites, so at the very least we should be able to see how it looks over there before they fully implement it at all the sites.

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    2. "Commenting Temporarily Disabled" must be killing a lot of them right now.

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  3. I know that it was posted in last night's DUAN, but a Gawker commenter stopped by this morning and gave us a very early Pink In The Armor nominee.

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  4. I'm thinking back to when I first stumbled on Deadspin. And I know what hooked me: the starred commenters. I remember e-mailing the staff saying I would die to be a part of that. They told me how.

    Yeah, "the crack a joke and get applause" stuff is intoxicating to me (okay, say it: you've been sober for a while, then, you inveterate hack). But exactly what does the stuff look like to the less-than, say, initiated? Gawkerites keep using the words "frathouse" and "locker room." But those two places don't strike me as homes for the smart and clever. I think what bothers others the most is indeed the applause: yup, we're cracking each other -- and some wannabes -- the fuck up. And these people aren't part of it, which is bad, because everyone should be part of everything on the internet.

    I'm curious as to what the big deal is about not appealing to people who aren't sports fans to begin with? Are there fans out there that are put off by a comedy club that features performers who are, clearly, better writers and crafters than they are? Isn't that why you go to comedy clubs. Am I mistaken that the Deadspin commenting section is indeed a comedy club?

    The removal of stars? No big deal to me. But there better be some steamy ninja-on-ninja action out there or it's gonna be a circus without a tent.

    I guess if I have one suggestion, it would be to merely discourage +1s -- even ninja them out. And force someone to do another MBA where we can gargle each other's sacs. This way you don't go into a comedy club that only has other comedians in the audience.

    As for increased discourse, fine, but only in the threads that are more serious. Do we need serious discourse in a Bo the Bailer thread? Don't think so.

    Kisses.

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    1. 75 percent of Internet usersApril 18, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      everyone should be part of everything on the internet.

      Do you KNOW what kind of fucked-up porn we watch? I don't want to be a part of that. I'm not that flexible.

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  5. Man Who Prefers To Remain AnonymousApril 18, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Everyone needs to calm down. Deadspin is still a niche site that's going to have the same group reading and commenting. Just because they took away stars doesn't mean there's going to be a rush of people from Yahoo heading over to post "BENGALS KICK AZZ, RAIDERS ARE GAY!"

    The stories are going to get the same 4500 to 6500 views (outside of Drew's stuff) and the same 100 or so commenters. Gawker media is probably trying to clean up the other sites more than they are Deadspin. Think back to AJ's posts about dealing with Denton, who didn't even know who Brett Favre was. Nothing is really going to change.

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    1. Whatever, sportsfag. Yankees rule, you drool.

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    2. Yeah, I have to agree with Anonymous Man here. We're going to be fine. The transition will be easier for us than for the other Gawker Media sites, because there's less of the kind of crud they're trying to get rid of on Deadspin than elsewhere.

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    3. In a blog filled with guys, a MAN shall be king.

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    4. @anonymous & @sharting
      I'm hoping this is the case. Losing stars and the approval system kinda blows in light of the typical pink comments, but you have to think that Gawker is prepared to properly handle the commenting system if they truly want relevant and thoughtful discourse. I'd be most interested to get Sean/cheese-mac's perspective, since he undoubtedly knows what some of the changes will look like and he has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt how much he cares for the world of Deadspin commenting. Of course, I understand that this would be a precarious topic for him to discuss, since he is also a company man. My hope is that there are still some form of ninjas (holding similar thoughts about DS commenting) who will be the ones moderating, refining, and culling the comments while the new system gets up and running. This would allow for some discussion, as well as the carefully crafted dick jokes.

      That said, this is all being written from the hopeful and optimistic point of view that the DS commenting of the future makes room for the DS commenting of the past. If not, then as @Bobby Big Wheel pointed out on Twitter: "People who get angry about redesigns are replaced by new people who like them. Sunrise, sunset." I certainly hope that is not the case, since, in reality, I've got nowhere else to go and nothing better to do.

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    5. You can support the star/ninj system, disagree with its removal, and still be calm. I'd like to think that I accomplished that yesterday. If not, I intended to.

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  6. @Gamboa
    You had a great post yesterday. I think you actually helped cut down on the gnashing and whining that was seen on Gawker, since everyone on the DS thread could just point to your post and say, 'yep, that sums it up.'

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  7. Question: I'm banned at Gawker because I committed seppuku. Anyone know if I'll be able to comment there again after the redesign? Seems like if stars are gone, bans ought to be too.

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    1. AJ said this in Crosstalk yesterday, to somebody who asked a similar question:

      "Not sure. I think it's an open door policy from here on out, though, so I presume those people who will be banned will get another shot."

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    2. That's always been true, though. Banned people are free to create new accounts and give it another go, as Clinton Portishead and others can attest.

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    3. True, but I guess now you can do it without going through the hassle of making another account (which now involves making another Gmail, facebook, or twitter account). Who knows?

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    4. Most of the folks who committed seppuku got reinstated almost immediately (e.g., Quantum Suicide, Hung Daddy). Have you actually tried logging in to see if you are still banned?

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  8. http://madbastardsall.blogspot.com/2012/04/not-that-anyone-asked-for-my-opinion.html

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  9. Not that anyone asked, but my thoughts on the comment system is that I'd be very disappointed if the +1 goes extinct. Yes, it's insular/inside baseball or whatever, but dammit, why spend all that time crafting a joke if nobody is going to admire it? 90% of my jokes suck, but I think every now and then I make a good one, and it deserves recognition. I, and I would think most other commenters, won't have much motivation if a joke sits in the vacuum, unloved.

    The Gawkerers and Jezzies all have their own ways of acknowledging good comments, and the +1 (or ha! or what-have-you) is Deadspin's. Long may it live.

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  10. Mantis Toboggan, M.D.April 18, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    I realize that none of us (save for Sean, perhaps) know exactly what the future holds for the comment section, but something Shitehawk said over in the comments of his MBA post today gave me pause (relevant portion in bold):

    "One factor has probably been, from time to time, new commenters getting beat up by lifers over comments that didn't satisfy the soon-to-be-obsolete rule of Deadspin commenting."

    Is that right? I know that encouraging more serious discussion implies that "Be funny" is no longer the be-all and end-all of commenting, but that was already the case before yesterday's announcements. I don't really anticipate that the site's emphasis on humor will disappear. If it does, that's probably it for me over there, but again I don't expect that to happen, and as someone mentioned yesterday, we commenters will probably have a hand in dictating the tone.

    The real effect of the new system, of course, will be that the circle-jerk police will now be able to see each other's comments, finally giving them a chance to mount a united attack against our dick jokes. God help us all when Analysis Rube and shmeatloaf realize that they aren't alone. DOWN WITH TWATWAFFLES.

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    1. I think if I were looking for up-to-the-minute news on what's going on with Deadspin comments, the guy who abandoned his public tracking of those comments in November would not be the guy I would look for.

      In the thread BBAM links to above, AJ doesn't even seem to know exactly what shape the comments will take, or whether there will be room for humor. I agree with you though, that if the best commenters are making jokes then the best comments will be jokes, so it shouldn't be an issue.

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    2. Mantis Toboggan, M.D.April 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      Well, shit, my reply to you is down there. Hopefully the new commenting system won't be as tricky a labyrinth as the one on this site.

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  11. Mantis Toboggan, M.D.April 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    You're right, and of course I didn't mean to sound like Shitehawk is an "inside source" or something. But if his is an attitude shared by others, that's not a great omen for the future. Luckily, having just read DUAN from last night, it doesn't seem like that's the case.

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    1. I'm not suggesting humor will go away, just that it will no longer be against the rules to be something other than funny. My point was that people will be allowed and encouraged to do the very thing that used to get them drop-kicked into eternity, and that this will make the site friendlier for casual readers.

      Sorry if that was confusing.

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    2. Okay, that just confuses things even more.

      One more time: they removed the "be funny" rule as a way of encouraging more participation. Now, they're removing another impediment to commenting, which is a strict hierarchical system. These moves are being made to encourage more participation from a broader cross-section of readers. This makes sense, when you consider that the vast bulk of participation today comes from about 35 people, all of whom are willing to spend the portion of their day not spent making jokes on Deadspin reading about their jokes on another site about Deadspin comments.

      So, as I said on MBA, yes, there will still be jokes, and you will still know who the best jokers are. You should not feel compelled to leave over any changes to the focus on humor because, as you said, the site's best commenters will ultimately determine what the comments consist of.

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    3. Yeah, a while back when they said basically, "Alright, make serious comments now too, if you want", it didn't seem like much changed. This is just an evolution of that.

      I actually think the potential problems will stem from the hardware side of things. There are a lot of references to an algorithm that will evaluate the quality of our comments, and whether that will eschew individual editors' wishes for comment direction obviously remains to be seen. And if that means that +1s or jokes or whatever will be downvoted or obscured or deleted, then there may not be a whole lot that can be done about it.

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    4. I wouldn't worry too much about an algorithm. Although I think it's a good idea to let the people using the comment sections determine, though their own patterns of usage, the direction comments go, I suspect this will go much the same way BCS standings go - it's a calculation that relies heavily upon the opinions of those in the know.

      In other words, Gawker may utilize an algorithm, but they won't be letting SKYNET run their site. Content decisions will still be made by humans.

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    5. Mantis Toboggan, M.D.April 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM

      @Shitehawk

      No problem, and I certainly agree with you that humor won't disappear. I just wonder whether it will be emphasized as heavily as in the past, and I guess there's really no answer to that until we get one from the higher-ups. I also agree, to an extent, that any purported "focus" will not necessarily be determinative.

      Come to think of it though, an outside influence could play a role in maintaining that emphasis. Maybe, like, some other website? Give me a minute, I'll come up with one.

      @All

      I tend to agree with Shitehawk about the algorithm. However, I do recall some talk a while back about giving commenters the ability to "upvote" or "downvote" comments, which could throw a wrench into the best commenters' ability to dictate the course of the comments.

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  12. Might's well throw in an unstarred viewpoint. I'll miss the stars and it's not because I had any thought of getting one. My references are from way too far back. But it was fun seeing how happy it made folks, and the angst over not having one or losing one could be entertaining too. It was also interesting to try and figure out which users had stars that had been awarded by Drew or by some other quirk such as someone having one good joke in them that they could never match.

    I don't see how the funny could ever be eliminated, or even devalued, on a site dedicated to sports. Without humor most sports fans would end up evolving into nothing more than Boston sports reporters and I don't think anyone, even Denton, wants to see that. I doubt that at this time the Gawker universe has more than guesses as to how this will pan out, so we'll just have to see.

    I hope it all works out. Too many people have helped make this the best damn site, sports or otherwise, in my little corner of the world. I appreciate you guys and hope that once this is over everybody's reaction to the changes will be "no big deal".

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