Tuesday, July 31, 2012

MKMOT (July 31, 2012)

Guys, it's been horrible over there. I hate to put it so bluntly, but I don't know another way. As a result, it's been weak over here, too, and that doesn't bode well for our continuation. I make no bones about the fact that we rely on them, and you guys, to provide us with material. I wake up, write a couple sentences of gibberish, and hope it leads to some better gibberish below. Anything more than that has never been my plan.

This is a place to vent. It looks like we might have reached the point where there isn't much left to vent about. The bad comments over there now are so prevalent that before you can begin tearing one down, it is exceeded in derpitude by its own reply, and the next post takes it to yet another level. Burners have set fire to the place, and enough time has passed to safely declare that things will never be what they once were.   Acceptance may have set in. And that's OK. They're not in the business of providing a silly balog with stupid fodder. But it makes this place dull, and dull is the worst thing I can see on any given day.

The most interesting discussion in recent days has been about cola. That's OK, I suppose, but I can't be expected to provide you with such meaty topics day in and day out. I'm a balogger, not a journalist. So I don't know what our future holds, but remember, you can discuss anything you see fit here. It truly is open.


37 comments:

  1. As the guy who was 75% of the comments over here yesterday, I know it's been rough. Kinja is a disaster, and no reasonable person would suggest that it's an improvement in any respect.

    But don't you get the feeling it's cyclical? Others have mentioned that the summertime is frequently a nadir for commenting, that's probably true. Plus, it's the Olympics, and the posts are coming too fast to promote many jokes. Last week, or the week before, wouldn't you have said things were looking alright? I would have.

    The posts where we get down to joking are fine. I don't think the burners overwhelm those. I think the problem is the post that is 100% burners. Those are the ones that call out to the Deadspin semi-regular non-jokers, those are the ones that are total chaos a few hours after they're abandoned. Those exist because we're just a little short handed.

    So that leads me to this: have you quit or are you just taking a break?

    I know IMG is out of town and BBAM is stuck at work. Uwe claims to have quit, but I see those toes dipping back in. We're missing a lot of guys. Gamboa, Bevraj, Sharting, SavetoFavorites are more infrequent than usual. I have seen very little of SweatingMullets, ReverseApeChemist and DubaiAtNight. I could always use more Lionel Osbourne, Rare Endangered Vuvuzela, and Mantis Toboggan.

    Sure, there's been too much Raysism, but don't let that scare you off. If we get these folks back in the saddle, I think we'll be right back where we started.

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    1. I haven't made a credible comment in MONTHS, and it'd be easy to blame it on Kinja, but it's simply because I can't log in. I'm running on an ancient IE at work, and there's no hope for me, but that was the same case about a year-and-a-half ago when the re-design disallowed even my visiting the site altogether let alone attempting to comment.

      I still see a lot of familiar faces around town, and I still stalk quite a bit, but it's torture to sift through the riff-raf. When I see a burner convo as the first promoted discussion, I just laugh. Wasn't this the exact thing they told us not to worry about because it wouldn't happen and the discussion system was so sophistocated that irrelevent discussion would be banished to the back ot the line or abolished altogether? Famous last words.

      Also, what RayRay said below.

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    2. I think it is largely cyclical, but Kinja exacerbates the cyclicality and will hinder the recovery.

      Speaking only for myself, I have had a few things going on that have limited me to a relatively short time on the internet to "goof around." I used to devote roughly 100% of that discretionary time to Deadspin, but two things are holding me back: 1) the lack of interesting topics/posts (I just don't care about the Olympics, the NFL hasn't really started, the Dwight Howard rumors are annoying, and the Astros are atrocious) and 2) Every time I look at a new DS post all I see are horrible burner comments mixed in with the usual brilliance from Steve_U, EMS, yourself, etc. I worry that anything I do will be closer to the former than the latter, so I just move on.

      I will pick it back up in football season when sports takes up a broader mindshare, and I think others will come back as well. This happened last year, and we all survived ... but Kinja will continue to take some of the fun out until burners are separated into their own "special needs" section.

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    3. Thanks for the mention! I definitely haven't quit, but like Dubai I've been fairly busy at work for about six weeks or so. I've certainly had some free time--time I would have used to comment under the old system--but I haven't entirely adjusted to Kinja yet. I admit this is mostly owing to apathy. There are far more terrible comments, and it still seems it's largely up to me to separate the good from the bad. That amount of extra work combined with some truly terrible comments is just enough to dissuade me from throwing myself back into it...at least for now. At least with respect to the navigation and general "newness" factor, I'm definitely more comfortable with it than I was at the very beginning.

      I agree the topics of late definitely make it more difficult to make jokes, along with the general summer malaise. I'm also fully in agreement with you on the pacing issue.

      Finally, I'm a diehard Pirates fan and I've shifted a lot of my free time to commenting/reading on BucsDugout and talking Pirates baseball with fellow fans at work. Since I always talked about them even when no one cared, it's nice to be seen as the authority on a topic beyond how to expunge stalking allegations.

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    4. Seeing my name between Lionel Osbourne and Mantis Toboggan might be the best thing that's ever happened to me. I'm putting that on my resume.

      Frankly, I'm a lot slower than the best commenters, and I need to be laughing and enjoying myself in order to be funny at all. When Deadspin's activity is low, as it usually is during the summer, I usually just can't muster up the jokes. I'm low volume during the best of times. I'm slow on the uptake, I really am.

      So, BronzeHammer, to your question, I haven't gone anywhere, I'm just not sharp enough to comment very often. Especially when I can't breathe in the fumes off the big-guns.

      I do think it's important to remember that there are two things happening right now that would seem to influence a drop of one kind or another in Deadspin joke-making, and neither of them is Kinja: first, the summer is always, always slow. Second, the Olympics bring the kind of rapid updates that discourage great commenting, and they also lack the kinds of storylines that typically do well. Horses and figurines and such.

      Well, the Olympics do have horses, I guess. But they're not dying fast enough to be funny.

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    5. I've just been really busy with work. Don't worry though, I'll be back in a few months. Thanks for the mention!

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    6. PARS, I may not have said it, but I was definitely thinking "etc."

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    7. There's a little bit of the life-getting-in-the-way-thing (child care issues, mostly), but, yeah... I have to admit that Kinja's made things a good deal less fun. (That's the polite way to put it-- I'm very much in Ray's camp on the ill fit between Kinja's desired effect and the overwhelming majority of this blog's readership.)

      Honestly, I'm not sure whether this is a temporary ebb for me, or the start of something lengthier.

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  2. I like to think that I've generally kept an open mind and positive attitude both pre- and post-Kinja, but the last couple of weeks really have me down.

    As it turns out, Kinja really is a good format to encourage interesting and intelligent discussions. The problem is that 93% of the population is not interesting and intelligent. I’m not even talking about trolls – that hasn’t been a problem. The problem with Kinja is the same problem with talking to people in my office: they aren’t interesting or funny people to talk to. They are total dullards with uninteresting, unoriginal and poorly-articulated thoughts.

    Kinja is letting everyone with a computer shit all over our comment section with unedited and thoughtless drivel. I know Denton wants interesting conversation, and at this point I’d be happy with that. I just don’t see how your average sports fan is going to contribute to an interesting conversation. They can’t write well enough, and they’re not funny or original.

    It’s sad, really. I’m going to keep trying, but I’d be lying if I said I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

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    1. Unfortunately, I tend to agree with just about everything you said here. Deadspin used to mock the notion of sports-talk radio in the comments section, but right now Kinja seems to be steering the nature of commenting directly toward that. I don't listen to local sports-talk radio for the exact reasons you applied to your co-workers above, and it sucks that Denton is trying to reign in those very people.

      The ability to moderate our own discussions through dismissals was supposed to be our equalizer, but to be honest, if 2 out of every 3 replies I get is going to be somebody criticizing a joke I made or calling me an idiot, continuously dismissing them is going to get old rather quickly. I used to enjoy seeing a reply notification on Deadspin, but the only reaction I have now is relief when I see that the reply is from a handle that I'm actually familiar with. The approval process used to be the ultimate form of moderation, and as long as an open-door commenting policy remains in place, it's tough to envision a scenario in which things are going to get any better.

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  3. So you wanna talk? Okay, let's talk NBC. Last night, before the men's gymnastics competition, I saw someone on twitter (not one of you, thankfully) say something to the effect of, "Oh, great! Here's something that happened ten hours ago! Thanks, NBC!" despite the fact that at that moment it was, you know, 3AM in London and what did you want them to air instead? A rerun of Whitney? I know it's easy to lash out at NBC for their production of the games, and they have had some glaring fuckups thus far, but really, I don't see a solution for the tape-delaying of the major events.

    The way I see it, if you have access to televisions and NBC and MSNBC and CNBC and NBC Sports Network during the actual time the events you want to see are taking place live, you have some -- SOME -- reason to bitch about them saving the tape for prime time. But I'm going to assume that if you have access to that, you also have access to the via internet live-stream. Me? I'm but a cheerful wallaby working for CONGLOM-O CORP. so I have neither. As such, I'm going to try to avoid the news like the plague in order to not spoil the result of the gymnastics competition I plan to watch tonight. I assume there are much more like me than those with access.

    That said, it is still fun to rage against the machine. So Fuck NBC.

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    1. Bro did you see the synchronized diving event last night? Bunch of dudes in speedos with their dicks bulging out, freaking so gay! How am I supposed to sit down on my sofa and watch the Olympics while I enjoy a nice bowl of Kix if my boner keeps making me spill?

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  4. I'm back, bitches! Everything is going to be fine!!!

    [skims Kinja comments]

    Anyone want to meet up at Jalopnik?

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  5. It's also the beginning of August. I won't be back until I get moved, settled in a new place, and start classes in a few weeks and I'm likely not the only one.

    Also, moving can suck my balls.

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  6. Question: Do you think that Nick Denton thinks Kinja is a success? I'd be curious to know his actual thoughts.

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    1. I stumbled upon an article where he certainly makes it sound like he is happy with the direction that commenting is headed under Kinja.

      If you read the entire article, it becomes substantially easier to sympathize with the editors right now. It seems as if the policy regarding Kinja is "Get on board, or get out."

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    2. I love that his one example of Kinja being successful is that Chris fucking Crocker had fun with his live-chat.

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    3. Here's the money quote from that article:

      Instead, Kinja is built for even more exceptional people: sources, subjects and experts who, Mr. Denton expects, will elevate the discourse and create conversations around each post that are every bit as engaging as the items themselves.

      As long as Denton believes this fantasy could ever happen, the system will completely suck.

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    4. Jesus, that's depressing.

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    5. Yikes.

      Anybody got a count on the number of "leaks" Kinja has turned up? I'm thinking somewhere between zero and absolute zero.

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    6. The Amazing SneijdermanJuly 31, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      Man, if I wanted to share sensitive, breaking news, I know exactly what I would do. No way in hell would I try to contact an actual journalist or reporter or even a blogger to discuss the information with! Nope. I would leave an anonymous message on a popular blog website where the information would be swallowed up by 10 other comments comparing dick sizes or making witty jokes about the article above. That's how I'd do it, and I bet you'd do it the same way too.

      Unbefuckinglievable.

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    7. I never understood the point of wanting an elevated discourse. What are the only places that have that, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal? Are elevated discourses are going to drive opinion leaders to Deadspin? It's a sports site, FFS.

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  7. Deadspin's commenters have always been smart and funny. Most people aren't smart. More people aren't funny. Very few people are smart and funny. Deadspin used to have an approval mechanism which insured its commenters would be smart and funny. It doesn't anymore, and because of this the comments will continue to drift towards the vast, vapid mean.

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    1. Guy Who wandered over from GawkerJuly 31, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      And, no Deadspin commenter would ever point out that "insured" should have been "ensured." That would be a very Gawker move.

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    2. No, he's right. Deadspin insured me when I became a starred commenter. If I died, they got around $250,000. And for some reason this short, rat looking Italian guy kept following me around. I also noticed this guy with a weird sun tattoo just below his neck seemed to be with him a lot. But then they stopped coming around once I got shot.

      But i'm all good now.

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    3. And Ensure insured I would get my vital nutrients while restricted to a liquid diet!

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  8. The most interesting discussion in recent days has been about cola.

    I'm calling shenanigans on this Marv. Shit didn't get interesting in that post until Vuvs posted his Moxie story, which still makes me shiver.

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  9. Thar's gold in them thar comments! Hee hee! Hee hee! (does insane jig)

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  10. Guy Who Masturbates To Photos Of Candice BergenJuly 31, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Can I get a vote for Polish Fanta? It's far superior to its Americanized cousin? Any flavor will do.

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    1. Sand Pebbles Candice Bergen or Boston Legal Candice Bergen?

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  11. After being on vacation and away from the computer for a while, I tried to sift through some shit today. I think Bronze Hammer et al are right. I wasn't drop-dead funny, but I was starred and I respected what that meant. It's why I never felt right promoting a pink comment, and never did. It was a huge responsibility in my mind.
    I tried to explain the old commenting system to my father-in-law (didn't work), and it hit me that it was the perfect way to self-moderate. Why on earth Denton thought this would promote even more insightful, witty, clever, and smart comments is beyond me. Raysism was right, it's exactly like local sports-talk radio programs. It's entertainment which gives every mouthbreather the opportunity to chime in with no thought of crafting what's there.
    Again, I wasn't any great shakes, but I took great pride when I came up with something clever and/or witty and got a few +1s thrown my way. I felt proud. It's a shame that feeling is fading away now.

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    1. I will bet anything that Mr. Denton calls it his commenting paradigm, the tiredest word in the english language.

      Deadspin needs to break that paradigm.

      shit, I'm going to sleep, fuck you paradigm.

      **shakes fist**
      **puts in mouth guard**

      snores

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  12. none of the money appears to have been used to pay Yuniesky Betancourt.

    This has to be an insider joke, right? If so, well done Dom.

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    1. WhynotstartYunieverydayAugust 1, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      So I should stop cashing these random checks from Kansas City? Damn.

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  13. Hey, Deadspin commenting sucks, but the Bills have Mario WIlliams! Blow me, you beautiful nostalgic bastards!

    Xoxo,
    MKM

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    1. There is hope in Western New York these days....

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