Monday, June 25, 2012

KOAN

If a commenting system makes it all but impossible to comment, does it make a sound?

Welcome to a new feature on MKMUB, Kinja Open thread All Night, for those of you who want to talk about anything in a semi-coherent and familiar system that doesn't require an advanced course in cryptography to navigate.

Stay thirsty, my friends. And I'll have more to say in a bit.

20 comments:

  1. I, for one, am really enjoying the hot pockets thing. Awesome.

    [note: this is sarcastic]

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  2. Somebody mentioned last week that the other Gawker sites were spammed by "Hot Pockets" themed shit, and that Deadspin would be next. Well, they were right.
    Not to sound elitist, but I liked it better when there was a safeguard against the morons of the world from posting utterly inane randomness. This new format makes it horribly difficult to find the funny.

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  3. Is there any way to not have the CAPTCHA every time you post?

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  4. Serious question- do we have any reason to believe that anyone from DS outside of Sean really cares about the needs of, well, "us"'? I don't mean that in a snide fashion. I mean that as plainly as I have stated it. I think as commenters we like to believe that we provide this unbelievable service to the site, that we are these fantastic humanitarians providing the funniest content on the internet for free. But, if that were the case, I think Tommy and the staff would be doing everything in their power to keep "the commentariat" happy.
    Here is a quote from one of Tommy's replies today- "My biggest concern with the changeover was reconciling the difference between how most of our readers consume the comments/discussion (that is, a quick glance to see the funniest stuff) and how the fraction of our readers producing the funniest stuff consume the comments/discussion (that is, exhaustively and insatiably)."
    He plainly states that the majority of the commenters are the quick glance guys. And, it was stated ad nauseum today that the metrics are all about "unique visitors", not pageviews. In other words, these funny comments are not nearly as important to them as we'd like to believe. I don't think that the editors could care less about the commentariat- they do strike friendly conversations in the comments at times, follow people on Twitter, etc. But, if Tommy (or AJ) believed that the commentariat was so crucial to the site, they wouldn't have let these changes occur from a business perspective. I believe Tommy did us a solid by talking to IT about the +1 issue, but it seems pretty certain that the contributions of the commentariat are not what many of us like to believe. Now, if unique visitors happened to plummet if the majority of the commentariat left, then perhaps that would change the perspective. Just a thought.

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    1. I'm not defending Kinja, but I emailed Tommy directly to share my concerns, and it's pretty obvious he does care.

      We (the commenters) are a tiny slice of the visitors, but the comments themselves are a big part of the reason why a lot of the quick glance guys come by. Certainly that was true for me before I started commenting, and I know other people have said the same. As I said to Tommy, having a chronological/view all tab so that the dedicated commenters can continue to comment easily makes all the sense in the world.

      Part of the problem is that this (above paragraph) doesn't matter as much for Gawker. They're trying a one-size-fits all approach on sites with very different cultures.

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    2. Yeah, I can say for certain that Tommy cares. I've traded a number of emails with him, and he's always way more thoughtful than I deserve. And it's not just because he's a friendly guy, I get the impression that Tommy is a genuine fan of the comment section and appreciates how it distinguishes Deadspin from the competition.

      The reality of course is that Tommy is right in everything you quoted him saying. Most "readers" at most take a quick glance at the comments to see if someone knocked one out of the park. Whatever percentage of readership we represent - and using DUAN page views as a rough guide, I'd guess it's 5-10% tops - is fundamentally different from the casual reader. As a guy whose job it is to maximize readership, obviously he should start with things that benefit the vast majority of his readers.

      Look, who knows how this plays out. My guess - to be fleshed out in more detail momentarily - is that it ends up being no big deal, like every other redesign, but maybe not. I will say this: I don't think the commentariat could have a better advocate on top than Tommy.

      Tom Ley, on the other hand? Fuck that guy.

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    3. Almost every commenter came and stayed because of the awesome comments before actually taking a shot at commenting. A lot of people I've spoken to in real life have told me that the comments are the only reason they visit DS.

      DS is going to continue to have their big stories that generate huge page views, but if the comments aren't fixed, I predict an overall drop in page views if the commenters get frustrated and leave. Which, without improvement in the system, may very well happen. DS then will just be left with a bunch of trolls and Hot Pockets.

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    4. @IMG

      OUTSIDE ME, MY ASS!

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    5. @IMG Thanks, that is good to hear that Tommy is an advocate. The more people in charge like that, the better. Clearly the editors themselves are not the ones requesting these changes. They are just the messengers. I was just wondering where our spot was in the overall pecking order. I'm definitely willing to see this through as the site has lived through numerous redesigns previously and still provides great content with great commenters.

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  5. Well, hey - at least IMG's managing to stay Zen about this whole thing.

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  6. The Amazing SneijdermanJune 25, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Does anyone think that the volume of comments/responses to a particular commenter affect one's placement in the "avatar line" (for lack of a better word)? I noticed that people who had a lot of responses in the first few threads tended to be placed further to the left in the line, although maybe it was circumstantial.

    If this extends to DUAN too it could really make a difference.

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    1. I still have no idea how any of the new "lineup" works.

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  7. NEWSFLASH: It has just been pointed out to me that the mobile version of Safari displays comments in the classic Deadspin style.

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  8. I just saw Dickey reference this particular comment in DUAN:

    http://deadspin.com/5919642/olympics-field-guide-race-imboden-the-new-face-of-american-fencing?comment=50387279

    Reading it, you can almost hear Denton orgasming. Despite all of our hand-wringing and the staff's insistence that Kinja will not take away from the open community we've fostered, that comment is the epitome of what the higher-ups want all of Gawker to become.

    Some dude comes in, decides he's Lord Fencing, drops three or four names that, who the fuck even cares who they are, and breaks out some pitter-patter liberal arts college professorial race-bait bullshit. I mean, for serious, the damn article rated FencingKid under categories like "Sexy-pose threat level" and "Relevant Bob Costas facial expression"

    God bless our boy Tulo's Mullett for kicking all kinds of ass on his assignments at the 'Spin thus far, but the fact that some rando got him to type in response: "I apologize if this post made it seem as if we were deliberately overlooking fencers of color," I'm sure was the only justification management needed to legitimize Kinja and ring the success alarm.

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    1. I was under the impression Tulo was being sarcastic.

      The larger problem is that no one +1'd my response.

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    2. Bellwether_JohnsonJune 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      Done and Done.

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  9. I'm not funny and I know that, I just want to read the comments. I can't even find my own comments. Please help me.

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