Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's Not You, It's Me. (It's Really You.)

So, I had this whole long piece put together here about the +1 and my own indefensibly simplistic rant on the topic last week, and it was to go atop the following programming note. However, it's been a couple of days now and [hopefully] nobody cares anymore about the +1 mess. The crux of the piece was that dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac and I ultimately agree on the use of the +1, although we approach it from different angles (I think). Make great jokes and appreciate the great jokes of others. If anyone's still interested, maybe I'll post it sometime down the line. At any rate, for now, let's leave it in the vault.

Now, that programming note:

It's very possible that you've read your last Mad Bastards All daily Roundup. Way back in March or whatever, doing a roundup was as easy as looking for Steve_U's three best comments, picking a joke from shuttledik to rough up, brainstorming a few preferably-hyphenated ways to call someone a moron, and slapping the whole thing together quickly. It took me 20 minutes. And nobody knew this thing existed. It was a goofy intellectual exercise, a way for a scatterbrained person to organize his observations into something coherent. In short, I could skip a dozen roundups or not bother with links and it didn't matter. Then, sometime in spring, our first love Gamboa Constrictor outed us to DUAN, significantly upping the ante. Sometime around then also, as folks got more and more comfortable with the new Deadspin and some of the quirks and bugs were worked out, commenting started to surge back to previous levels. Keeping up with that surge has been hugely time-consuming. I'm embarrassed to say I have spent as long as 4 hours on a single roundup, which is roughly twice the time I spend each day on things that lead to a paycheck. Still, the attention was fun and I like to think we had an interesting conversation or two about mechanics along the way. But now, and for now, I'm no longer able to keep up in a way that is interesting but not enormously time-consuming. I can chronicle good and bad comments, but digging up any meaningful analysis is increasingly difficult. Redundancy abounds. That redundancy is additional weight. It's a mad, spinning whirlpool of neuroses. My psyche is in tatters. Just last week, I killed 2 dozen tourists from a perch atop the Washington Monument. I'm sure it was in all the news.

I'm sure we'll still push out the occasional Profile in Commenting and as many long-form pieces as I can talk myself into, but look: Deadspin commenting seems to be in a very healthy place these days. It was decidedly not back in March. Little did I know, back then, how impossible the roundups would be to maintain if things ever picked back up again. Going forward, I expect I'll nod in the direction of some hugely successful comments, especially if I feel like I have something interesting to say about them. Similarly, I reserve the right to beat up on the occasional piece-of-crap comment with as much vitriol as I can muster. I like writing things. Just not daily roundups. Or, at any rate, boy oh boy do I not have time to do those right.

Here are some numbers you might find interesting:

We started the Roundups in March 2011, roughly.

March Pageviews: 175 (of which I'm sure 169 were me)

As of April 20th, we were on pace for about 250 or so pageviews for the month. On April 21st, in DUAN, Gamboa Constrictor announced our existence.

April Pageviews: 11,207

May Pageviews: 13,573

June Pageviews: 18,652

Our five most popular posts were:

1. I'm Having That Dream Where I'm Wearing Only My Underwear in Public, from April 21st. This was our response to being outed. 651 pageviews.

2. Thursday Roundup, from June 2nd. I have no idea why this particular Roundup was our second most popular post ever. 444 pageviews, most of which came that evening.

3. THERE ARE NO LAUGHS BUT THOSE THAT OBEY, from June 3rd. This was our response to a back-and-forth that took place in our comments. 424 pageviews.

4. Guest Lectures in Commenting: dont-forget-where-you-came-from-cheese-mac, from April 28th. Our first ever Guest Lecture, coincidentally featuring the +1. 354 pageviews.

5. Profiles in Commenting: AzureTexan, from May 5th. In my humble opinion, our finest moment as a blog and the most fun I've had doing this thing. 324 pageviews.

To be clear: I'm not shutting this thing down entirely. I'm just stopping the roundups immediately. If someone wants to step in and do some roundups, email It might take me a few days to find your email - I'm steadfastly avoiding that email account in the wake of the +1 debate. It looks like all hell's breaking loose in there.

Thanks for reading. Keep doin' your damn thing.


  1. You guys remember the old Mad Bastards blog before Cheese Mac ruined it and it got shut down immediately?


  2. Jesus Christ. I feel like my wife just left me, except in a bad way.

    Seriously, I have no idea how you were able to maintain this at the level you did for as long as you did. It was incredible, and the quality of commenting improved markedly at the same time. It was a remarkable service, and I'll look forward to whatever you continue to produce. Like so many Deadspin related retirements, I hope this one proves temporary. If not, let me know if you'll ever be in my neck of the woods, the drinks are on me (all too literally sometimes).

    Oh, and in re June 2nd, I'm pretty sure about 440 of those pageviews were me. I'm sort of a tremendously insecure egomaniac.

    Take care. You know where to find us when you've got something else in the pipeline.


  3. Who's a bigger asshole, cheese-mac or Pete Gaines?


  4. I was all set to blast IronMike by saying you're going to ruin his life, now who will ever tell him he's funny? (nobody)...but now all I have to do is say see above

    Thanks for the fun,

  5. WashingtonForeskinsJuly 12, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Anyone know how to post anonymously? Just curious. No real reason.

  6. I just want to say how disappointed I am this ended the day before WashingtonForeskins got his most ever +1's on one comment.

    He seems like a nice boy.

    /thanks for the memories.

  7. Good work, F. Now: back to the ninjacave!

  8. Deadspin commenting, and the site in general, was a wasteland during the month or two before this blog started. Sure, the roundups coincided with the return of great commenters in general. But your timing couldn't have been better. In my mind, this blog saved Deadspin.

    — Unstarred commenter W.F. Champions

  9. Hey, this blog was awesome to read every night. Didn't expect it to last too long, but I'm glad it existed. Thanks for all the hard work.


  10. Poignant TheaterJuly 12, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    This is because Iron Mike failed to give you +1s during your hiatus, isn't it?

    In reality, with every day that I furiously clicked back to check this page, it became more and more apparent what an epic endeavor this must have been for you. Keeping it up for as long as you did is quite laudable and you have done the DS commentariat a huge service. Whatever you choose to do going forward wil still be eagerly anticipated,

  11. Just promise me you aren't going to make this big retirement announcement, only to come back and start doing again the next day. Because only a real shithead would do something like that.


    Thanks for keeping it up as long as you did. It was excellent while it lasted.



  12. Theodore Donald KerabatsosJuly 12, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    To be honest, I'm glad to hear to you say it was taking a huge amount of time for you to put those roundups together. It was unnerving to think that you could read that much material, pull out all the winners and losers, and then highlight and thoughtfully critique the whole thing in 20 minutes a night.

    Thanks for the good times, Shitehawk. And if anyone needs me, I'll be working on my new blog Crazy Assholes Everyone.



  14. /pours +1 out

    -Steve U


  16. I always thought this would be a great once-a-week blog that didn't waste time pointing out shit comments. You made me try so much harder, Shitehawk. Bless you (read: fuck you).

  17. DS is blocked at work, so I can only catch up at after I get home. This helped me shorten my nightly internet trolling so I could spend more time looking for my first true love: kitty videos. For that, I thank you. Godspeed.

    -Prick Top

  18. Aw shitballs. Thanks for doing this for as long as you did it. It's definitely improved the quality of DS. A big fat +1 to you, good sir.

  19. By the way, the automatic word verification word that came up on that last post was "pooper". I don't know how you did it, but bravo.

  20. This sucks, but it's understandable. Thanks for doing this for so long, though. Plus freakin' one.

  21. 8=====D ~ ~ ~ ~



  22. Sad to see the roundups stop, but bravo for all you did with them.

    Any chance we could get your thoughts on the situation that unfolded in the comments about the fan falling to his death in Texas? I must have checked over here fifty times last week looking for a treatise on why commenting rules 1) and 2) apply to some tragedies but not others.

  23. This was a great read every night, and was obviously a time consuming labor of love on your end. Thanks for making us all try to perfect our craft and get those elusive +1s.

    A boatload of +1s to you,

  24. +1 to you, MS. I won't lie: I eagerly looked forward to your roundups, and always breathed a sigh of relief when I didn't wind up in the duds.


  25. Damn you, Shitehawk!
    Simple solution.. All the commenters (besides me) convert the +1 into a tangible form of currency, perhaps tied to the yen, and pay you what you deserve for your tireless laboring in compiling the daily roundups. I will then accept a below market value royalty of 40% for the compounding page views I continue to generate on your behalf.
    Everyone I love goes away. Dammit.

  26. Sorry to see you go but it's understandable that an undertaking such as this simply cannot go on for long without it sucking the total life out of you. Your insight was extremely valuable even if my (correctly called-out impulsive/manic) posting history as of late flew in the face of the wisdom you were trying to impart. You were a fair critic of my work - supportive when I was "on" and critically raw (and deservedly so) on the more frequent occasions when I was "off."

    I'm still working through getting the finesse back and I guess I'm going to have to rely on the occasional Ninja tasing to get me back on the straight and narrow.

    Well, I'll be damned. As things turn out this is about me, not you.

    Vaya con dios, mi amigo!

    -- ToddReesingsTurfFacial


    No seriously, this place is great.

  28. The quality of the comments is absolutely directly related to this blog. Has nothing to do with the redesign. What of the constant mutual dicksucking that goes on? That's not making anything better. It makes people apologize because they didn't +1 a comment that 8 other people did. Also, why fear the comment ninja? You were funny enough to get starred in the first place, you can do it again. Take risks otherwise it's the same stale one chuckle comments over and over. One more thing- your life is deadspin, and a blog about your comments on deadspin. Think about that and remember it only takes 2 tears to properly water down your whiskey.

  29. I didn't even know this existed! I'm sad to see this go, though. It is truly fascinating.

    Also, I'm sorry for the crappy Ace Ventura joke I made a while ago. It was hack-y.

  30. I enjoyed reading your site. Thank you for the hard work every weekday. I was excited to see my name in your Favorites section and dodge the dud pile.

  31. I was thrilled to have discovered this site a couple of weeks ago and to see a small handful of my comments in the "Favorites" section -- certainly served as motivation to try harder. Sad to see the roundups go but I believe this site had a hand in getting the commentariat to a good place. Haven't been around that long but from what I see on a daily basis these folks are bringing it every day. I hope everyone continues to do so even after the carrot of a roundup mention is gone; I know I'll keep trying to do my part.

  32. Thanks for the work Shitehawk. With no roundup I can post Simpson's screencaps with IMPUNITY! This site saved a lot of people's eyeballs from awful comments (many of my own creation). Thank you for making me sweat bullets as my finger hovered over the enter key and I tried to figure out if my comment would end up in the Duds section.

  33. +1 for all of your work. Enjoy that beautiful, fluffy blog heaven in the sky.