To keep the comments as fresh and outstanding as they've been up to this point, we've commissioned Commenting Guru Rob Iracane to write a bi-weekly Comment Ombudsman column. It runs every other week. This is that week.
Mr. Iracane is the guy who approves and deletes comments around here, and the fellow to whom you should address any comment account requests, and he will explore issues involved in commenting, what makes a great comment thread, what's working, what isn't, answer your questions, so on. We want the place to continue to be as much fun as it is every day, and it's not an execution thread like our friends at Gawker do. We like to be inclusive here, because if we're not, we'd be forced to rely on our own wit and knowledge, and that's a scary thought indeed.
So here's this week's column, about the mythical beast that is Nibbles ... after the jump. Of course, don't be afraid to let him have it in the comments.
Back in the halcyon days of my college education, I took a class in computer networking. I learned about parity, and not the kind of parity that allows a football team in a tiny blue-collar Wisconsin town to be competitive once every 30 years; I learned about packets, and not the kind that Stadium Mustard comes in; I learned about errors, and not the kind that David Wright makes on a weekly basis. Although several years have passed, rendering my knowledge about networks to a Senator Ted Stevens level, I still know enough about computers and networks to realize that our server is not a sentient being.
Ever since the National League Championship Series in October of last year, Deadspin has dealt with a crush of comments on a regular basis, night and day. Back then, comments would show up twice or would appear 10 minutes late or wouldn't even show up at all. We took it upon ourselves to name the Deadspin server "Nibbles," thus insinuating that the entire network was run by Mesocricetus auratus. It was fun to hamsterpomorphize a computer for a while; we'd blame Nibbles whenever our comments didn't publish. The Gawker Tech folks, however, have addressed this problem, and things run pretty goddamn smoothly now. Duplicate comments get immediately bounced. Little friendly confirmation messages pop up when comments get posted.
So, how does a comment make it through those series of tubes from your computer at work to the Gawker servers at an undisclosed underground location, protected from nuclear attack, earthquakes and giant lizard attacks? I'm not 100 percent sure, but it definitely involves ones and zeroes: there are no hamsters involved in the process whatsoever.
So please, if your comment doesn't publish immediately, please don't immediately post another one accusing Nibbles of eating it. There is no Nibbles. There never has been, and even if there was, Big Daddy Drew would have stuck it up his butt.
These commenters, however, stuck hilarity up their butts and pooped out the Comments of the Fortnight: