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Discussion Discussion: Of Math And Commenting

Illustration for article titled Discussion Discussion: Of Math And Commenting

OK, various malcontents, you've finally broken us down, and we're going to admit something deeply uncomfortable. Here it is:

Sometimes, we get nostalgic.

It's true. Sometimes we yearn. Sometimes we long. Sometimes, we even pine. We pine for the good old days, when Deadspin's nethers were governed by a hierarchical system for displaying and moderating discussions. A time when the best of the best dick-joke craftspersons got their jokes placed front-and-center for the whole world to see, and you knew who the heavyweights were because their stuff was right there, and you had to go rooting around for the dregs. A time when established commenters had the godlike power to reach down into the purgatorial fog and lift some lost soul into the vivifying light of day. A time when weak shit by lame-brained bozos was basically invisible, almost like you were actively discouraged from reading it. A time when you scrolled down from a post and everything was orderly, and sensible, and easy. Yes, sometimes even we sylvan Kinja faeries find our gleeful effervescing darkened by the long shadow of what was.

And then we turn our computers on.

You may have noticed—and, if much of the chatter is an accurate indication, many of you have noticed little else—that Kinja seems so far to have a mysterious passion for certain commenters, and frightening disregard for others. That is to say, replies by some folks tend to rocket toward the front of threads (and replies to replies by these people seem to have a powerful buoying effect on the discussions in which they occur), while the efforts of others seem to plummet out of sight. This is no accident. Kinja likes some of you, because you are especially good; others of you it dislikes, because you stink; still more—most—of you, it's all, "Nice to meet you. Oh, we've met before? I'm sorry, I'm terrible with both faces and names," and then it nods and smiles while you make chit-chat but will forget you all over again before the next soiree unless you make a big impression.


Again, this is by design: the best commenters are escorted lovingly to the VIP area; the worst are herded into the alley out back; the rest must jockey for recognition and hope to avoid the rake. It's also, in this respect, exactly like the old star system, which many of you have been publicly mourning while also fretting about Kinja's indifference to the placement of your delicate Fabergé egg of an utterly mediocre Jay Leno-grade joke. Meanwhile, back in the old system for which we've all been pouring out our malt liquors for the past week, you quite literally could not even see unstarred contributions unless you found a little "Show all discussions" link and clicked on it. If the irony of this has escaped you so far, please accept our deepest wish that it finds you in the form of a falling asteroid.

The biggest (yet ultimately fairly mild) difference is that now, the evaluations of commenters aren't made public: you don't have a little gold star, or grey text, or a pink background to let you know where you stand. And some of you have made a practice of trying to game the system with cutesy nonsense like replies to +1s, or replies to yourselves, to try to artificially punt your shit to the promised land.

And hey, figuring out how this thing works and how to make the best of it is what you're supposed to do, but: c'mon. Have some pride. Flailing around, replying to yourself and offering insincere thank-yous in reply to every bit of positive feedback you get: these are the post-Kinja equivalent of carping about a star in the old system. We all agreed on the lameness of that; surely we can all agree that openly trying to game Kinja to boost one's dick joke beyond the standing it earns on its own merits is beneath us, yes?

The point, here, is that yes, many things have changed, but some other important things have not: good commenters have greater standing than crummy ones, and some influence to wield; staining regular Deadspin posts with sausage-making shit and pleas for attention is still frowned upon. Be funny, be smart, be original, be relevant. And be dignified.


Here's some good work from the past week.

Bevraj of Choice
Always Winning
Steve U


And here's some piss-poor work.

Nova Gearhart
Petty fucking spite begets further petty fucking spite. (You'll note that you won't find the ruinous-to-all-things-Deadspin-commenting burner account anywhere in these two conversations, we trust.)


Did you like any other jokes or discussions this week? Let's have ‘em.

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