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, on the new YouTube-in-comments feature, is after the jump. Of course, don't be afraid to let him have it in the comments.
Gawker Media pater familias Nick Denton recently had the Gawker Tech folks enable a video-embedding feature in our comment section, and then he blogged about it. It seems as if you can simply copy and paste a YouTube link directly into the comment box and the video clip will show up when your comment is published. What a brilliant application of technology! Videos embedded in comments! This certainly will not lead to absolute anarchy and irritate the combudsman or those readers who share the combudsman's sense of aesthetics!
Believe it or not, your faithful combuddy endorses this practice! There are many hilarious and/or poignant videos on the tubes that would be completely relevant to some of the posts on Deadspin. Sometimes, Will gives us a pertinent clip in the main section of his blogpost, but sometimes, it's up to us as the commenteriat to help him out with an appropriate (or occasionally inappropriate) video. Commenter CardinalRedOctober gives us a good example of proper usage in the Greg Gumbel Media Approval Ratings post, as he directs us to a clip of a sentimental Gumbel tearing up after the final NFC game broadcast by CBS. Gold star!
Still, I urge other commenters to take pause before embedding a YouTube clip in a comment: does this relate at all to the topic? If not, is it at least the funniest video in Deadspin history? If the answer is still no, then please, just make a standard dick joke.
I am glad, however, to let my column today serve as a sort of training ground and rehearsal space for both appropriate and inappropriate uses of this new commenting feature. Consider it a sacrifice. And for those of you who cannot see YouTube videos because of the filtering software at your place of business or education, I still don't care.
I do care deeply, however, for those commenters who provided us with the Comments of the Fortnight: