Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday Roundup

Some favorites and actually quite a few duds from Wednesday's commenting.

, in no particular order:

The PhillieBot post brought out the best of Deadspin's commentariat on Wednesday. First up is don't-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac, who delivered what has to be considered the comment of the day and a COTY candidate with this hysterical meme-reference. This comment brought the house down. I laughed and laughed, and then giggled all afternoon. Great job.

In the same post, Same Sad Echo cracked me up with a wonderfully silly Stephen Hawking joke. Often, the fake Twitter post jokes don't do it for me, but I loved this one.

Also from the PhillieBot post, All Over But The Sharting used a simple lingo twist to great effect in a nice, funny one-liner. Seriously, I laughed a lot while reading the PhillieBot post.

Again in the same post, our boy Hatey McLife zinged Al Gore with a delicious one-liner, to the apparent dismay of at least one unapproved would-be commenter.

Gamboa Constrictor had another nice day, first checking in with a pretty goddamn funny Crosby, Stills, & Nash recontextualization in the Steve Nash Lap Dance post. Later, in the Mets Loss post, I laughed at another clever recontextualization, this one referencing (of all things) Benjamin Harrison. The hot streak continues!

Also in the Steve Nash Lap Dance post, Eddie Murray Sparkles earned applause for a fairly straightforward recontextualization of a small section of text. This is the kind of comment that could very easily be overcooked, but he nailed it, as usual.

Also from the Steve Nash Lap Dance post, MattinglysSideburns slayed me with the seemingly random choice of Edward James Olmos as the target of a fairly specific dig. I laughed very hard at this. He's been on fire lately.

And finally, unstarred commenter BrooklynRefugee got in on the act with what has to be called a perfect comment, in the Mets Loss post. That's pretty goddamn great stuff from a somewhat quiet, relatively unknown commenter. For his efforts, his comment was promoted and he received a well-earned +1. Great job.

Total Fucking Duds

Okay, there were a lot of duds on Wednesday. Commenting is definitely on an up-swing, in terms of quality and especially in terms of quantity, but with an increase in quantity comes an increase in sorry crap. That's nobody's fault, and it doesn't necessarily reflect an increase in bad commenters; there's more pressure on each commenter to get their joke out before someone else gets there first, and beyond that, lots of activity leads to a general spirit of participation, and commenters can't necessarily be blamed for throwing up the occasional dud in that environment. That said, I'm not going to harsh too . . . umm, harshly on a big, not-funny conversation in the Wake Up Deadspin post, started by International Poise Conspiracy and promoted and perpetuated by a few different featured guys on the relative hotness of actresses in Vince Vaughn movies. I absolutely hated this conversation, but I'll leave it at that.

Unstarred commenter Why So Egregious? was round-housed by Hatey McLife for a totally lame Anchorman reference in the Wake Up Deadspin post. This comment sucked, but maybe not enough for it to be included in the Duds section without having been called out. But even without that, this is just too lazy a reference and too lazily delivered for Deadspin commenting.

Featured commenter Hit Bull Win Steak had his weak offering in the PhillieBot post turned gray by the comment_ninja. First of all, there are no obligatory jokes. Second of all, replace the word "obligatory" with the phrase "low-hanging fruit", and then ask yourself if you should be associated with it. And finally, remind yourself that any number of clueless, tone-deaf, unstarred commenters will take the low-hanging fruit without your help, and ask yourself whether anyone in their right mind would promote it. Not to beat a dead horse, but again, when a featured guy takes the low-hanging fruit, it tells all the new commenters that this kind of joke is the sort of comment that will get them promoted and featured, which is why, immediately after the redesign, when norbizness was by far the most prominent, prolific commenter still left on the site, every goddamn unstarred commenter was dropping unadorned or sloppily, lazily captioned photos in every fucking post.

Unstarred commenter bofie had his wholly worthless contribution to the PhillieBot post moved off to #lame by the comment_ninja, and I'm okay with that. Again, it wasn't the worst thing on the site, but the message here is pretty fair; be funny. Make jokes. Whether or not it violates a community policy, it was not funny, it was not a joke, and it just doesn't belong.

Unstarred commenter ren0901b was justifiably snarked by FAILBOT for a totally lazy deflect-a-joke in the Ryan Mallett post. What can I say? I'm for this. I do not think it's a coincidence that commenting is starting to pull in the right direction now that FAILBOT and comment_ninja are making the rounds. Call me superstitious, but I truly believe the commentariat has been cautiously waiting for some indication that the comments are still considered an important part of the site. Short of any sort of direct acknowledgment from Nick Denton or A.J. Daulerio, the next best thing is the active presence of moderators. They've done a great job lately of making their presence felt, and it has rejuvenated a fairly shaken group of commenters.

That's it, kids. Look for a Thursday Roundup in the regularly scheduled time frame. Until then, hey, thanks for your continued support.

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